Our favourite Munich haunt – Ratskeller

I have been to Ratskeller at least 20 times, and Ms B has joined me on about 5 occasions. We absolutely love everything about this place, the building and rustic interior decor, the slightly overconfident, grumpy but never malicious waiters, the location in the heart of Munich, and – most of all, of course – the fabulous food! On our recent trip to Burghausen (for the Burgfest Castle Festival, link here), we gladly took the opportunity to pay this true cornerstone of Bavarian cuisine another visit. They seemed to have gone a tad upmarket since our last visit half a year ago, with more fancy dishes and more attention to presentation and high-end ingredients, which was just fine with us.    After short deliberation, Ms B opted for the pork fillet steak with chanterelles and spaetzle in herb sauce (€24), I did what I do most of the time and […]

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Thames Rockets – Great Fun on a Rubber Boat

I had been thinking for some time about booking myself into London’s number one outdoor activity (according to Tripadvisor): a trip on a rubber boat with Thames Rockets. Today I finally made it, and boy was it fun! I opted for their gold standard package, the so-called Thames Barrier Explorers Voyage (80 mins for £54.50), departing from the London Eye. As a Londoner, the touristy sightseeing part didn’t do much for me, even though the guide was amusing enough and got a few laughs out of us. I was in it for the thrill of speed.         Shortly after we had passed by Tower Bridge, our captain increased the speed and went full throttle. It is surprisingly smooth a ride. Last year Ms B and I were going on a zodiac in the open Arctic sea off Longyearbyen in Spitsbergen at similar speeds of just over 55km/h (back […]

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The Lehman Trilogy at the NT – Loved it (and I worked there)!

We’ve just returned from a performance of the Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre. It was one of the best plays we’ve seen in years, truly awesome. While previous performances of the play across Europe have involved vast casts, Ben Power‘s (the NT deputy artistic director’s) English language version of Italian playwright Stefano Massini’s play involves just three actors. They re-enact the one and a half centuries of the Lehman brothers’ family history from when the first of the initial three brothers emigrated from a small village in Bavaria (where I’m from) to Montgomery, Alabama, in the South of the U.S. From when they were god-fearing, law-abiding, humble, not-so-well-to-do corner store owners (and later on cotton merchants) to them losing control of their investment bank in the 1960s, and to the bank’s demise as a faceless global investment bank in the Financial Crisis of 2008, when godless monsters like Dick […]

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Preview of Rattle and LSO performing Stockhausen at Tate Modern

We’ve just returned from our visit to the preview of Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra performing Stockhausen at the Tate Modern, and what a treat it was! The evening (of only 50mins performance; 60mins in total) started with Olivier Messiaen’s 1964 Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum (And I await the resurrection of the dead), a piece for brass, winds and percussion. Perhaps the most memorable bit about this part was how one of the musicians (no instruments/names mentioned; anyone present tonight would know who I’m talking about) thoroughly got it wrong big time, and – much more impressively – how the great maestro, Sir Simon Rattle walked up to the person in question at the end of the piece, and gently, smilingly, warmly, and clearly trying to suppress a burst of incredulous laughter, asked “What happened?”, to which the perpetrator said “I don’t know”. The world’s most famous […]

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Andrew Scott in Sea Wall, celebrating 200 years at the Old Vic

We’ve just returned from our visit to the Old Vic to watch Sea Wall, a monologue performed by Andrew Scott. It was written specifically for him more than ten years ago by Simon Stephens. This time around, it was staged again to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the theatre. Scott’s character Alex tells the audience about his life with his loving family. How he made friends with his wife’s father, an ex-soldier, how their young daughter brings joy to their life, how he’s happy with his job and where he lives.    Photo of Andrew Scott (c) Kevin Cummins; rest (c) BSqB Gradually the monologue steers towards the revelation of perhaps the most horrible event that can happen to man. As you would expect from an actor of Scott’s calibre, his performance is smooth and precise. The audience is laughing out loud one second and holding back tears the next […]

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