Saturday 28 June 2014

This week I'm lovin'

This week I'm lovin', It's Brogues © Brogues Cozens-McNeelance

In all the excitement of my new Berlin Leben, I'm ashamed to confess I'd neglected the love for my native London somewhat. But being back for just a few fleetin' days has been a sweet reminder of how much I really, really love my southeast ends. More expensive, yeah, but still so.good. Take this Eggs Royale brunch (on sourdough no less) at East Dulwich's Le Chandelier - no words.

Friday 27 June 2014

Kae Sun @ Koffer

Fête de la musique is an annual fixture in the Berlin calendar (and worldwide in fact), with both large and small venues presenting a plentiful assortment of musical acts. The lineup of performances last weekend was a little overwhelming; there were shows all over the place, at the same time, spread out aaall over the city. Admittedly I didn't commit to a whole lot of research, but I did happily chance upon a certain last-minute addition to the bill: Kae Sun at Neukölln's Koffer Bar.

Hailing from Toronto but with strong roots in Ghana, Kwaku Darko-Mensah, who goes by the stage name Kae Sun, is a deft singer-songwriter with a sound encompassing a rich blend of soul, folk, world and reggae fusion music. He's supported an impressive list of artists, including the likes of Janelle Monae, Speech Debelle and K'naan. Sampling his dulcet tones and unique sound via his Soundcloud stream got me keen to experience the real thing, so I got down to the cosy Neukölln haunt to show some well-deserved support.

Arriving at Koffer, a cute café/bar perched on the corner of Weichselplatz, the atmosphere was still pretty chilled; he was anticipating a petite turnout. Sat at the bar, Kae Sun greeted me with a warm appreciative smile and we ended up having a sweet pre-performance chat. The location itself was ideal for a low-key kinda gig, with off-beat interior touches lending an added charm.

By the time Kae Sun hopped onto the stage, the venue had filled up considerably, but managed to retain its intimate character. Armed with his trusty acoustic guitar, the Ghanaian-Canadian talent immediately captivated the crowd with his lyrical depth, soulful tone and endearing stage presence. The short but sweet setlist comprised of a mix of upbeat and deeper tracks, which nicely exhibited his style versatility and vocal range. A number of his songs explore thought-provoking socio-political themes, approached with a beautiful sensitivity - the audience totally clung on to every word. Recalling his native Ghana with final number Weh Weh, parts of which were sung in African pidgin, the conclusion of Kae Sun's set perfectly welcomed in the evening's anticipated Ghana x Germany World Cup fixture. And he sure sung as passionately as the African side ended up playing.

Wednesday 25 June 2014


16, It's Brogues © Brogues Cozens-McNeelance

Ain't enough words in the dictionary to big up siblet. She's my go-to best gal, out-and-out soul mate and (prettier) partner in crime. Since she landed in my life 16 years ago, there's just no way I could envisage an existence without her. So happy freakin' birthday you little beauty, I LOVE YA.

...and the Berlin -> London pre-birthday surprise worked per-fect-ly.

Sunday 22 June 2014

Midsommar Festival 2014

Midsommar Festival 2014, It's Brogues © Brogues Cozens-McNeelance

After announcing the event a little while back in this post, I thought it was only right to practice what I preach and head to Friday evening's Midsommar Festival at Urban Spree. Run by Berlin-based PR/music consultancy agency Nordic By Nature, the annual floral festivity brings a touch of Scandinavian charm to the German capital with live music, drinks and games to guarantee some good clean fun. 

Midsommar Festival 2014, It's Brogues © Brogues Cozens-McNeelance

It was super high-spirited, and not just because our/vodka were providing the top quality shots (although that helped for sure). All cutely embellished, Friedrichshain's Urban Spree was the ideal venue: spacious, yet small enough to create an intimate, neighbourly kinda atmosphere. Bunting, mini greenhouses and traditional outdoor games gave it the feeling of a pretty village fete, with live acts suppling the Scandinavian flavour.

Gastronomy-wise, there was an eclectic offering of Korean dumplings by House Of The Flying Dumplings, quality burgers from the BUNS mobile and fresh fish dishes courtesy of Glut & Späne. All a pretty sweet way of celebrating the longest day of the year and getting ya summer on.

Midsommar Festival 2014, It's Brogues © Brogues Cozens-McNeelance
Midsommar Festival 2014, It's Brogues © Brogues Cozens-McNeelance
Midsommar Festival 2014, It's Brogues © Brogues Cozens-McNeelance

Friday 20 June 2014

Two Planets

Two Planets, It's Brogues © Brogues Cozens-McNeelanceTwo Planets, It's Brogues © Brogues Cozens-McNeelance

Yesterday, an internet glitch affecting corners of Neukölln forced our little work crew out of the office and off in search of a suitable spot to stay productive (and fuel us with coffee). Enter Two Planets: a cute bagel café offering a serene setting, quality brewed beverages and - crucially - working wi-fi. Conveniently housed right by Artconnect Berlin HQ, the hangout comprises of both a front and rear space, the latter being ideal for our temporary team office. As well as a pretty splendid selection of fresh juices, coffees and teas, Two Planets has a cute display of cookies and cakes, enticingly displayed in neatly labelled glass jars. Did someone say Nutella-stuffed dark chocolate chip cookies? Yeah.

Two Planets, It's Brogues © Brogues Cozens-McNeelanceTwo Planets, It's Brogues © Brogues Cozens-McNeelance

Two Planets, It's Brogues © Brogues Cozens-McNeelanceTwo Planets, It's Brogues © Brogues Cozens-McNeelance

Like much independents in the city (particularly the Neukölln Kiez), the interior design respects the "less is more" philosophy, opting for classic furniture, muted hues and plenty of plant life to enhance the tranquil vibes. There's also a nice mix of larger tables, raised stool seating and cosy nooks. The bagels are perhaps a tad petite for my appetite, but the ingredients are top-notch, ranging from ya standard smoked salmon and cream cheese to their old school peanut butter and jelly offering. Either way, it's undoubtedly made it as one of my go-to stops in the city for when I wanna escape conventional work environs and keep my caffeine levels topped up too. 

Two Planets, It's Brogues © Brogues Cozens-McNeelance

Monday 16 June 2014

Back to Mac

Back to Mac © Brogues Cozens-McNeelance

(No) thanks to a series of unfortunate laptop events, I’ve reluctantly been computer-less for the past month or so, forcing me into a bit of a blogging silence. Ohh. Without boring y’all with the tedious technicalities, both Apple and UPS essentially screwed me over - big time. 

Long story very short... One shiny laptop and a broken bank account later, I can re-find my flow at last! Sad as it sounds, Apple products constitute a core (ha) part of both my personal and professional existence; they’re pretty mandatory players in gettin’ my sh*t done. So despite my recently born wrath towards them, I’ve gotta admit it’s nice to be back in business, even if the excitement’s just a little tainted with exasperation. Anyway, now you know. Expect a healthy flurry of posts coming your way very shortly! YAY.