So almost exactly a year after my last visit, I’m back in Berlin! After checking into easyHotel Berlin—same as last year—and dropping off my baggage, it was time to get some food in my belly.
When I visited Berlin the very first time, I already visited Markthalle Neun, At the time, they were already closing, so I didn’t really have the opportunity to check out the market itself. This time round, however, it was Street Food Thursday, meaning the food stalls were open late! Of course, brewery Heidenpeters was still there to provide me with some beer to accompany my dinner…
While I was in the neighbourhood, I paid a quick visit to Hopfenreich, before heading back north of the Spree river again.
The newest kid on the block—only soft opening tonight—is the Manifest taproom. Unfortunately, they only accepted cash their first night, which severely limited my time there. But they had a dog, so that’s a plus at least. And their beer menu, that was impressive too!
The shortened visit to Manifest at least give me the opportunity to visit Message in a Bottle as well.
It’s—finally and hopefully—almost time to take another trip!
The recent reinstatement of the direct sleeper train from Brussels to Wien was too good of an opportunity to pass up, and a very convenient—and safe—way to get to Budapest, the main destination of this trip. Of course I will also spend some time in Wien itself, and I’ll be taking the long route back, spending a two more nights in Berlin, and a couple of hours in Hamburg.
Not surprisingly, this trip I’ll be collecting a couple of new stamps in my BrewDogBeer Visaagain—at BrewDog Budapestand BrewDog St. Pauli—but this time the first stamp in my Mikkeller Passportas well. Of course, wherever I go, I’ll try to visit some local breweries and beer bars, and enjoy the the local specialities as much as I can!
After over seven hours in a bus—luckily well air-conditioned—and the obligatory double customs checks, we caffeinated ourselves at Iris & June: excellent espresso from the local roasters Ozone Coffee.
After that, it was just late enough to check into our home for the next couple of nights: easyHotel London Victoria. Excess luggage dropped off, and we’re now ready to take on the challenge, and go to our first BrewDog bar!
We’ve been to London quite a few times before, visited a lot of sights and bars, but the introduction of BrewDog’s Beer Visa enticed us to revisit the Big Smoke, to earn the eponymous badge.
Al we need to do, is visit all nine BrewDog bars in the city, stamp out little booklets, and have our EFP cards swiped. Of course, we do need to have a drink in each bar as well…
It’s been a while since we’ve taken a bus to the UK, preferring a high speed train over a rather slow bus. However, because of our rather late decision to go on this trip, Eurostar prices had already risen to a ridiculously high level! So a trip by Flixbus it will be this time—Megabus doesn’t operate on the European mainland anymore—and from the money saved, we booked two nights in an easyHotel, conveniently close to Victoria Coach Station, so we can spread out our bar visits a little. The downside of this mode of transportation: we did have to get up quite early for a bus that will get us there before nightfall.
We got bumped from those nice places, by the way, since apparently now it’s possible to reserve specific seats, and we weren’t aware of that…
Starting with a last breakfast at Molmeg Cottage, we spent most of Sunday in DRT’s, buses and trains — and an hour in Perth — travelling back from Balquhidder to Glasgow.
After an early arrival and checkin in our hotel for the last night, we had dinner at one of the newest smoke and barbecue places of Glasgow: Smoak. We can’t wait until this food trend reaches Brussels!
Since our last visit to the city, some more new places opened, so we quickly visited the Hippo Taproom and Shilling Brewing Co. as well, before saying our goodbyes — and drink a couple of great beers — at BrewDog Glasgow.
On Monday, we had breakfast at Where the Monkey Sleeps and a quick round of geocaching, before boarding our train to London.
There we went to the Basement Bar of BottleDog Kings X, but they seem to have misplaced their taps… Not a problem though, plenty of choice in their fridges!
The Eurostarwas on time this time, which means we were in our Brussels home again before midnight.
No day to day report of my trip this time, a couple of photos after our return will have to do. Later I will post a follow-up with some photos from the cameras and iPhone of my travel companion and girlfriend h–na as well.
The journey by bus was more troublesome than ever before: the trip to London has taken us six hours longer than intended, mainly due to problems in the Eurotunnel. We made it to London eventually, but headed straight to the hotel to get at least some sleep before our first full day in the city.
After some time in the museum, we needed a drink, so we enjoyed some tea and scones at the Tea and Tattle. And I must say: it was the best cream tea I’ve had so far!
After a short visit to theScience Museum, it was time to start drinking… 😉 As an avid BrewDogfan, I wanted to visit as many BrewDog bars as possible, so we started at the latest London addition:BrewDog Shepherds Bush. After a couple of beers, we moved on to Camden. First fish and chips at Hook, where the dishes served looked and tasted remarkably like those at Bia Mara in Brussels… That means excellent, in case you were wondering! 🙂
Then a beer in the nearby BrewDog Camden, and after a short stop at the Dean Swift, our third BrewDog bar: BrewDog Shoreditch. Since they were about to close, we were ushered into UnderDog, the beery cocktail bar of BrewDog.
Since we didn’t feel like switching to cocktails, and preferred to sleep a little before another day of playing tourist, we decided to go back to our hotel. The previous night we were quite happy with the service provided by our Uber taxi, and the very reasonable ride price of £7.92, so even when the app warned us it the cost would be 2.4 times the normal rate, we went ahead and ordered another one. Oh boy, was that a mistake… Apparently we were quite a bit further from the hotel this time, since the total added up to £34.58!
After arriving in Edinburgh, we checked into our hotel ( easyHotel ) for a little nap — I’m never fully rested after a night on a sleeper bus — and shower.
Since it was h–na’s first time in Edinburgh, we decided to get on one of those tour buses to get an overall view of the city. We had a small, standing lunch at Oink, and then went for an Introduction to BrewDog Tasting and Talk with Five Craft Beers to Taste Each with Cheese and Meats at BrewDog Edinburgh. Mostly beers from their core range, but I’m happy to say I was able to identify each and every one of them, before the staff told us which ones they were! 🙂
It was the 25th of January that day:Burns’ Night! So we went to a ceilidh with a haggis, neeps & tatties buffet. Not the best of combinations for me, since I wasn’t really up for more dancing after having a go at the buffet…
All was digested by the next morning, however, so plenty of room for a proper Scottish breakfast! 🙂
This day we went on another bus to see Leith as well, and in the afternoon we had a private tour of Edinburgh Castle. Unfortunately, after the tour most museums in the castle were closed already. Winter isn’t the best time of year to be a tourist, so it seems…
But there’s always BrewDog Edinburgh, the place where I first discovered decent craft beer outside of Belgium and became a BrewDog fan. And as an Equity Punk, it is especially interesting to get there and order before five o’ clock to enjoy a very attractive Daytime Discount! 🙂
The culinary discovery of this trip must have beenWings: only chicken wings on the menu—well, and a few side dishes—but dozens of different sauces or dry rubs, and delightfully geeky!
To finish the day, a visit to the Bow Bar — they even had beer from De Natte Gijt! — and one last drink at the Ghillie Dhu before turning in.
Our last day in Edinburgh we went to the National Museum of Scotland, where we rushed to the roof to hear the one o’ clock gun and see the ball drop on theNelson Monument, only to miss it by seconds… It was the third time in Edinburgh for me, and I still haven’t actually seen or heard it!
Lunch at another newcomer in Old Reekie:Reekie’s Smokehouse. Here it was the first time I had brisket — tasty — but I’ll have to come back to try the ‘burnt ends’. Or maybe I’ll just get the whole Meatfest next time! 🙂