The world’s most reliable baker.

Our baker is the strangest baker on this planet; his brötchen never taste the same, nor do they ever look the same. One day, they’re almost burnt, the next day, they’re white as a geisha. When you buy them, you never know whether they’re crispy outside and airy and light inside or deplorably squashy inside and out, you never know if you will enjoy your breakfast or not. Why that is, we have never found out. It seems as if the only consistency in his life was being inconsistent. The same goes for his bread by the way. He’s consistently inconsistent here, too. I hate reliable people, I really do.

These mornings when you need a friend.

You’re tired, you miss your bed the minute you get out of it, then you don’t want to leave the shower but of course you get out of this comfort zone, too, you get all styled up and into the kitchen, you pour yourself a coffee, and you look at this mass of vitamins and nutrients and beauty boosters you keep washing down with it and you ask yourself if it’s all worth it — and then there’s that very important beagle person who tells you everything will be fine. God bless him.

Imperial breakfast.

For years and years, I’ve thought English marmalade was the best. I’m not known for admitting mistakes easily, but Boy, do I stand corrected. The best marmalade in the world is definitely French and not from a supermarket but from the Ritz on Place Vendôme in Paris. I wonder if they still have people stay in their suites of if they don’t have to rent out rooms any longer as they should be making a fortune with their grapefruit and clementine jam by now. It’s best spread on fine pâté, by the way, trust you me. Bon appétit!

Cake anyone?

Cake. Who could ever live without it? I don’t like to compliment myself but I am said to be a brilliant baker, just to semi-quote one of Jane Austen’s characters from Emma. However, I sometimes have neither the time nor the longing to stir and quirl some dough, peel organic lemons for flavour, go buy organic lemons in the first place, slit vanilla pods open to get some pulp, have the scent of vanilla on my hands all day and make people wonder why I sniff my fingers all the time, and then wait for the cake to finally come out of the oven, and then wait some more to let it cool off so that I can put the icing on it. That’s why I love store-bought cakes. And believe you me, the cheapest ones are the best ones. Anything with lemon, these aren’t expected to be organic of course, but you can’t have it all, or marzipan in it are my very favourites. And they are spongier than my own homemade cakes. I don’t know why though, as I said, I’m said to be a brilliant baker myself.

The nicest place for breakfast.

Actually, I had already had breakfast, but when I came by Berlin’s Literaturhauscafé on Fasanenstrasse, I looked into the beautiful little garden, so lush and green, with the lovely sound of well-mannered people chit-chatting over whatever one has at 11 o’clock, and all of a sudden I had to have a second one—by the way, the Buddenbrooks, my favourite family in literature, had a second breakfast on a daily basis, and I can tell you now, it’s not a bad idea at all. I ordered Italienischer Milchkaffee, Italian coffee with milk, I didn’t expect much to be honest, as caffè latte sounds more Italian and more promising, at least to me, but it was the best coffee I’ve had in a long time, the Eier im Glas, soft boiled eggs served in a glass, were a bit disappointing, I’m used to have them a little more spiced up, but judging from the taste of the totally unseasoned eggs, I could tell they were organic, no unhappy chicken produces such good tasting eggs, I’ve peppered them intensely nonetheless, still quite modest an approach to seasoning—my grandmother and Klaus Mann’s Barbara Bruckner had them with six different spices.

A hymn to breakfast.

I can easily skip lunch, lunch is the most overrated meal in the history of mankind, it’s only purpose is to give the working class a break, just a short one, though, I blame the trade unions, breakfast, however, I love, it was invented by people with lots of time on their hands, the time it takes to season your egg with seven different spices, salt not included, or to sip your tea in a gentlemanly manner, the second brew of the day, you’ve had your first one in bed, your early morning tea, to read your paper, turning those pages in slow motion, one cannot read a paper swiftly, only when looking if your last wrong doing made it to the front pages, that’s how it’s shown in films anyway, it takes even more time to choose what marmalade it is to make it on your toast or croissant, orange, quince or grapefruit, on these croissants you had to pick up at your baker first, you did enjoy that little stroll down the street, always running into a neighbour, exchanging thoughts on the forecast weather and last Sunday’s sermon at church, lemon curd it is, you’ve just realized you only had orange marmalade yesterday and were somewhat disappointed with the texture, your dog awaits a walk, he’s so transparent, be cruel, have another cup of tea, nobody not even your dog should ever rush you, sounds familiar, all of that? Of course not, we devour our croissants while on commute, wash’em down with some office coffee and can’t wait for lunch, the only time in the day where we can let go, for a minute or two, while nodding along our colleague’s reflections on the shortcomings of conference room B, waiting for another of his desperate little sighs, soundtracking his checking the time again, poor fellow, but damn, how long can it take to serve some pasta, we all endure it so very bravely – all by looking forward to our Sunday breakfast, the one day we are allowed to have one.

Paris for breakfast.

There are days when you don’t wake up in Paris, those normal days at home, in your very fine yet so very ordinary sheets, when you suffer from the same old view from your bedroom windows, the same old soap in the shower, that same old boring Diptyque soap instead of the hotel branded stuff that screams you’re abroad, far away from home, on the loose, free, it’s not so much branded with some hotel logo, but with the far more prestigious emblem of your very own liberty, whether it’s a place in the Himalayas, the Australian outback or, in my case, Paris, Rome, Helsinki, St.Petersburg or Edinburgh, as, with me, nature is almost always replaced with architecture, preferably from before 1900 AD, that late massive Finnish art nouveau and the exuberance of Brussels art deco are an exception, anyway, thank heavens there are days when your parents return from France, bringing you Proustian madeleines in form of Paulian croissants, those real ones, with that inimitable taste, au beurre, crispy as hell, as if they just came out of the boulangerie on rue de Rennes, not your father’s suitcase, and however German your homemade Sunday coffee is, you’re transported to the streets of Saint-Germain immediately. This way, thanks to fine parenting and modern transportation, your life in exile from any place abroad is worth living after all.

Think pink. Think Camilla.

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Think pink. That’s what we learned from Funny Face’s Quality magazine’s editor-in-chief Maggie Prescott – Hollywood’s version of Diana Vreeland. Think pink. That’s what I learned from my mother. My life is quite unthinkable without her Pink Camilla china service, designed by Spode in the late 1700s. I grew up with it, took parts of it to my very first apartment, bought additional pieces myself, smashed dozens of cups and plates, some teapots, too, replaced it all, well, not all, only the pieces I smashed after making my own living, after turning 27, so to speak, I still have tea from a broken bouillon cup, its handle broke years and years ago, my doing of course, never anybody else’s, why that is I don’t know, I’m not that clumsy, believe you me, anyway, I had my cornflakes in it right before school and vichyssoise, game and charlotte russe on Christmas eve, lamb was served on it at Easter and strawberry extravaganzas on my birthday, it witnessed tears and laughter, the entertaining of dear friends and social obligation dinners, small talk and passed on top secret information, all over breakfast, lunch and dinner, over coffee, tea, wine and champagne, in summer and winter, in the kitchen, in the dining room, in the garden, in a nutshell, this china is part of my life, and however much I love my own Royal Copenhagen, Pink Camilla will always represent my home, my parents, my background. God bless her.

So, here’s a potpourri of pictures I took over my years on Instagram.

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Nude.

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Sunday mornings are best spent in bed. No fuss, no stress. Just relaxing. With some hot coffee and croissants, that is. But how to get those croissants as quickly as possible? Without any fuss? By jumping out of bed and into your navy Balmain biker style sweatpants, putting on a white t-shirt and black flip-flops, and rushing semi-nude to your baker round the corner. No one could call you improperly dressed; you’re wearing an haute couture label for crying out loud. And when you’re back, you just take them off and crawl naked under your linen sheets again. Easy going.