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Travel
July 25, 2016

Gallerist Ranjana Steinruecke Picks 4 Things To Do In Berlin

Text by Ranjana Steinruecke. Illustrations by Shamanthi Rajasingham

She guides us to her favourite restaurants, galleries and shops in the edgy capital

I lived in Berlin for seven years, from 1997 to 2003, at a time when the city had still not come into its own. This was before it became a cosmopolitan metropolis. It was a bit dull then, and also tended to appear like an unending construction site with cranes on the horizon everywhere you looked. Since then, the city has transformed and has a completely renewed atmosphere. I love going back. It’s not too big, has nature right in its midst, and yet has enough ‘city’ to it.

Shopping and style
One of my favourite stores is Andreas Murkudis. I love the clothes and the user-friendly layout — one can spend hours browsing in there. Stilwerk at Kantstrasse is the place for superb and timeless design in home furnishing and decor. The department store KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens) has one of the most superb gourmet food halls, with fine groceries from all over the world. And their bread counter has to be the best — it’s definitely worth a visit.

Where to stay
Grand Hyatt Berlin at Potsdamer Platz has contemporary appeal. And the Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin at Brandenburg Gate — where Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala used to be put up on his visits — has decadence. If not to stay, surely drop in there for a cup of tea.

Foodie’s delight   
Cafe Einstein is a lovely Viennese-style coffeehouse. Nestled in one of the few villas to have survived the World Wars, it serves great wiener schnitzel and apple strudel. I always make it a point to visit when I’m there. Paris-Moskau is a lovely fine-dining restaurant known for its exquisite gourmet food, and unique atmosphere. And Edd’s, in central Berlin, is fantastic for authentic Thai cuisine that really hits the spot. In street food, one must try currywurst and pommes (French fries) outside the KaDeWe.

All about art
There are incredible galleries all over the city — Blain|Southern, König Galerie (in a cathedral), and Galerie neugerriemschneider; outstanding private treasures such as the Boros Collection/Bunker Berlin and the Hoffmann Collection; and spectacular museums such as the Pergamon. On the famous avenue Unter den Linden is the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle that will present a retrospective of the work of Bhupen Khakhar in November this year. With regard to architecture, one of my favourite buildings is the iconic Berliner Philharmonie, where we have wonderful memories of witnessing Zubin Mehta conduct.

Along with her mother Usha Mirchandani, Ranjana Steinruecke founded Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, a contemporary gallery in Mumbai’s art district, in 2006. The gallerist and curator worked in Berlin and Manhattan before establishing her art space in India.

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