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My Berlin: Florian Kolmer


Fashion photographer Florian Kolmer takes us on a tour of Berlin, revealing his insider tips on everything from the best place to find kosher pastrami to the best-stocked underground boutiques

Ximena Daneri
City Guide
Ximena Daneri ,

From exploring the London fashion scene to plastering the streets of Berlin with posters of his work, Florian Kolmer has had a varied and exciting career as a photographer. Now focusing on portraiture, his portfolio includes fashion campaigns and backstage catwalk images. Although well travelled, Kolmer’s heart belongs in Berlin. Here he tells us why.

‘I was born in Berlin and live in the east of the city – I think Berlin is the best place to live.

‘Apartment is a favourite store: from the outside it looks like an empty gallery space, but it is hiding one of the city’s leading multilabel stores in the basement. I think that Andreas Murkudis has the best selection of brands, while Esther Perbandt is a cosy store on Almstadtstrasse, where Esther sells her own cutting-edge fashion label.

‘One of my favourite restaurants in Berlin is 3 Minutes sur Mer – a bistro next to a gourmet restaurant, Bandole sur Mer, from the same owner. It has reasonablely priced dishes, a good wine selection and supreme entrecôte. Mogg & Melzer is a deli and bistro, right next to the fancy Pauly Saal. It has a kosher menu and the best pastrami in town. For morning coffee, I head to Café CK on Marienburger Strasse – my friend Cory, who runs the place, is a coffee–tasting champion. I go to Grill Royal when there has to be a big piece of meat on the plate.

‘For a night-time gin and tonic I like to visit the Neue Odessa Bar or Amano Bar, while King Size Bar is a very good place for celebrations – it’s the most glamorous shoe-box-sized bar in the world.

‘Museumsinsel provides the biggest dose of culture I can get in the world, and the Neue National Galerie has the most spectacular exhibitions; designed by Mies van der Rohe, the building itself is worth being looked at. I personally love the Helmut Newton Museum which includes many of the photographer’s personal items, so it also tells the story of the man behind the camera.

‘My top tip is to look away from the tourist trail and check out a cocktail bar in Schöneberg or go to a horse race in Hoppegarten.’

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