A few weeks ago Chris and I hopped over to Berlin to celebrate / commiserate his 40th birthday. I’ll post some of our city discoveries next week, but first I want to share a peek inside Linnen, the lovely B&B which became our home for a few days.
In fact, ‘home’ is the perfect word to describe this place: it’s relaxed, stylish and oh-so comfortable. It occupies the first two floors of a 19th-century altbau (apartment block) in the buzzing neighbourhood of Prenzlauer Berg in the former East Berlin, and we loved it from the moment we arrived.
Friendly owners Antonio and Bodo are compulsive collectors of vintage furniture, and the whole place is stuffed full of treasures. There are also beautifully resorted period features at every turn, including ornate ceiling stuccos, stripped doors and floorboards, and a grand spiral staircase that sweeps up from the reception area.
All six guest rooms are beautiful, with large windows that let in plenty of natural light, and all sorts of quirky bits and bobs. We stayed in Room 1, which is dominated by a huge four-poster bed set on a raised platform. We loved the soft grey scheme and the 70s-style velvet armchairs by the window, where we could sprawl out and watch trams rumbling along the street below.
We also had a sneaky look inside a couple of the other rooms, as well as the elegant purple-panelled suite. My favourite was Room 2, which has something of an industrial vibe, with caged wall lights, distressed surfaces, salvaged ceiling tiles, and a huge pendant lamp which resembles some kind of contraption from an operating theatre.
Downstairs is a laid-back café decked out in reclaimed chairs and tables, recycled kitchen cupboards, and retro display cases lit with a pink neon glow. Here we happily lingered over breakfast (baked eggs with chorizo and sourdough toast – yum), much-needed chilled gazpacho (our visit coincided with a heat wave) and excellent coffee and pastries. Come evening it transforms into an honesty bar, and we couldn’t resist helping ourselves to some pre-dinner wine before heading out to eat.
Best of all, though, was Linnen’s location, near restaurants, museums and the U-Bahn, with a tram stop on the doorstep. It also backs onto the former no man’s land of the Wall, and we spent a few fascinating hours touring the nearby memorial and documentaton centre – more on that and the rest of captivating Berlin to follow next week…
You can book a stay at Linnen via i-escape.
All photography by Abi Dare