Epicure - - TRAVEL FEATURE -

Ber­lin’s his­tory as a di­vided city means there’s no real ‘city cen­tre’ but in­stead mul­ti­ple neigh­bour­hoods, each with their own charm and quirks. That’s how I find my­self in Wed­ding, a gritty but slowly gen­tri­fy­ing north­ern district that is home to ad­ja­cent sis­ter ho­tels AC Ho­tel Ber­lin and Moxy Ber­lin Hum­boldthain Park. Newly opened in 2019, the ho­tels by Mar­riott are dis­tinc­tively de­signed – the Moxy with a young, bold graphic vibe and the AC Ho­tel with a thought­ful Euro­pean con­tem­po­rary mien. The soft colours and rounded edges in­stantly soothe any men­tal strains, com­ple­mented by an ex­plorer’s theme in­spired by its prox­im­ity to Hum­boldthain Park, named after Ber­lin’s fa­mous ge­og­ra­pher, nat­u­ral­ist and ex­plorer Friedrich Hum­boldt. I meet up with Markus Rath, the young F&B man­ager at the AC Lounge which – you guessed it – serves up some se­ri­ous look­ing cock­tails, craft beers and bou­tique wines. “Ber­lin­ers want to be as in­di­vid­ual as pos­si­ble,” he ex­plains, as the rea­son why they are vis­it­ing and liv­ing in up-and-com­ing ar­eas like Wed­ding. Over the last sum­mer, the ho­tel ini­ti­ated an out­door in­die live mu­sic con­cert which drew the city’s cognoscent­i to the scene. I’ve run out of time for any more bars, but he gives me a hand­ful of names for my next trip. Mean­while, I can’t leave Ber­lin with­out at least tak­ing in some of the ac­tiv­i­ties and ex­hi­bi­tions themed around the fall of the Ber­lin Wall, which hap­pened on 9 Novem­ber 1989. A list of over 200 com­mem­o­ra­tions are avail­able at where artists and aca­demics alike in­ter­pret this pe­riod in time. Just steps away from the ho­tel is an ex­hi­bi­tion pre­sented by the Ber­liner Un­ter­wel­ten E.V. (ber­liner-un­ter­wel­ten.de), So­ci­ety for the Ex­plo­ration and Doc­u­men­ta­tion of Sub­ter­ranean Ar­chi­tec­ture, on Mythos Ger­ma­nia – Vi­sion and Crime. Other than the ex­hi­bi­tion, there are four tours avail­able all year round, rang­ing from Cold War nu­clear bunkers to ex­pe­ri­enc­ing WWII bomb­ing raids. Some 30 years later, a sim­ple lighted path marks the for­mer tra­jec­tory of the wall where it di­vided Pots­damer Platz, in stark re­lief to the open­ness of the Plaza to­day and a re­minder not to take any of our cur­rent steps for granted.

The writer’s visit was hosted by Bar Con­vent Ber­lin.

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