Monday, 23 July 2012

The British are coming!

I'm broken. Honestly, I'm knackered. And it's not like we've done anything amazing today. I took the kids to Steglitz for a decidedly British outing today. We started off by going to Berlin's very first Primark for a nosey. There's been a lot of excitement about the opening of Primark here: all the British expats were excited beyond imagination: it's not like the opening of a Primark in the UK. This was big news. Aside from H&M there really hasn't been any outlet offering cheap clothing in Berlin, and certainly not at Primark prices. I've never been a big fan of Primark to be honest, but even I couldn't have put off a trip much longer! So we went there and bought a few little things and it all felt very familiar.

Free entertainment at Toys R Us. (Hamish's face is enough to tell you I didn't put a coin in!)

After that I took the kids for a look round Toys R Us. As hard as it might be to believe, I managed to get out without buying a single thing. I used the 'list' technique. My sister once told me about this; where everything that they ask for/whine about you just tell them to put it on their list (for Christmas/next birthday/etc, etc) and they seem quite satisfied with that. You'd never believe how well it works.

Sand fun & mini trampolining

The small kids section.
Then we scooted round the back of Toys R Us to the Spielplatz on Bornstrasse which is excellent and has very good sized areas for both small kids and bigger kids all based around a circus theme. We spent a good hour there, before embarking on our next British expedition: by heading along the road to Broken English on Lepsiusstrasse. There are 3 branches of Broken English in Berlin, but Steglitz is probably my favourite. They sell a wide range of British food and drink and cards and teapots and tartan rugs, and will even get you out of a spot of bother when you need a flag for some sort of British-themed dress up event foisted on you at the last minute by the school.

Broken English, Steglitz

I am a regular visitor. I go every couple of months to stock up on Robinson's Apple & Blackcurrant squash. It's the only thing that we haven't been able to 'give up' since we moved here. Of course it's an awful lot more expensive than in the UK but I guess there are enough expats with things they can't live without to keep them in business. Anyway, it's a great wee shop. It's nice just to go in and sigh at the thought of *maybe* buying Ready Brek. Or some Walkers crisps. And obviously there are people here who really like Fray Bentos pies, because there seemed to be quite a selection of those.

Life's essentials.

We made do with 6 bottles of Robinson's, a 2 litre bottle of Irn Bru (for Stevie), and 2 packets of Cadbury's chocolate buttons. I won't tell you how much it cost. Believe me, the cost to my shoulders as I had to carry it all back in a backpack was more. Our final stop was at Hugendubel. I've started frequenting the Steglitz branch a little more since my closest one on Tauentzienstrasse closed. The Steglitz one has a reasonably sized English section, certainly far better than the Hugendubel franchise in the KaDeWe.

Life's even more essentials


  1. The English Shop here in Stuttgart is similarly stocked wiht a wide range of Fray Bentos pies (who eats them???) and extortionately priced baked beans. But it's great for the (very) occasional treat of Wensleydale cheese or a packet of Walker's Salt & Vinegar :)
    I've still got to sort out a means of making clotted cream though - being from Pasty-country, this is a must & most Kuchen would benefit from a dolop of the heavenly stuff!

    1. It's nice just to have a look round while we're in. It feels like sightseeing! Ha, ha! Mmm clotted cream! I had some not too long ago when I visited Hudson's, a British cafe in Kreuzberg. The funny thing is I'm not sure how often I would be eating scones with clotted cream and jam at home, but just seeing them here available, and I am compelled to order!

  2. That spielplatz is right by the mall, isn't it? I think that's the one right near my friend's house... which looked super-fun when I was there. German kids get some sweet playground equipment... all the stuff in America is like, fun/injury-proof now. Where's the excitement in that?

    And I fully support stocking up on treats from home whenever possible. Even though I'm not a Brit, I was entirely too excited to stop by the Marks & Spencer in Prague this weekend strictly so I could pick up a couple of jars of curry sauce. Love that stuff. :)

    1. Prague has an M&S? Oh, well I guess that'll be our next weekend away! And yes, you're right, it's right behind the shopping centre. It's a brilliant spielplatz.

    2. Yeah, there are a few there. The biggest one is in Wenceslas Square and I miss that food section. If only I had room in my bag for cookies as well. Damn. Love it!


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