Last weekend, I visited my sisters in Essen in the Ruhrgebiet in Germany. The weather forecast was on my side already, promising sun and warm temperatures - much, much needed, since Denmark does not seem to grasp the concept of spring… We do get sun, too, but it’s really tricky, because it’s still super cold and windy, so even though it’s April, I’m still wearing my winter coat. I did give my beloved trench a try, but soon regretted it and switched back. But it can only be a matter of weeks now until it gets warmer…
Anyway, in Essen, the weather was beautiful all weekend! I arrived late on Friday, and one of my sisters had to work, so we didn’t really do anything big Friday night. We used Saturday to catch up on some sleep and started with a big homemade brunch, before we headed out to the city to get some shopping done! My parents came out to Essen as well, so we had a lovely family “reunion”, enjoying some coffee in the sun before heading back home for a sort of “pot luck” early dinner - we basically bought and prepared all kinds of food, everything we were in the mood for, and not necessarily with a concept - awesome!
Saturday night, it was time for some cocktails, and we chose Neon Café & Bar (http://www.facebook.com/neonessen), where they have a happy hour arrangement and make killer cocktails. Plus, the super cute server brought us free shots with cassis flavor. Definitely recommended!
On Sunday, we went to Unperfekthaus for brunch. This house is awesome, it’s relatively central in Essen, a huge, 5-story building with a large café/ restaurant area on the ground floor, and the top floors are occupied by artists’ studios, music practice rooms, community areas, etc. It’s very hippie-like, and a super laid-back atmosphere. You basically pay a time-fee, based on how long you stay (they write down your arrival and departure times) and are free to help yourself to drinks the entire time (i.e. coffee, tea, and soft drinks). To this, you can add various amounts of food, e.g. just one plate, or the full buffet. We chose to pay 12,50 EUR for the brunch buffet, and we were not disappointed! Starting with standard breakfast items (bread, fresh rolls, yoghurt, fruit, cereal, jams, cold cuts, cheese etc.) to more brunch-like stuff (baked beans, eggs, bacon, sausages) all the way to full-on meals, such as gnocchi in a creamy sauce with herbs, soups, lasagna, potato salad, etc. Of course there were also cake, muffins and pudding for dessert! So basically, we spent the first 2 hours of our stay trying to stuff ourselves with as many of the yummy dishes as possible. Let me tell you now, it’s completely impossible to try everything - even if your choice is limited, e.g. by being a vegetarian like my sister! Afterwards, we strolled through the different floors, peeking into the studios (part of the deal is that the artists let visitors walk through their studios), all the way up to the roof top terrace, where we sat in deckchairs and enjoyed the sun for another 2 hours or so. All in all, a brilliant day, and I can only warmly recommend the Unperfekthaus (http://www.unperfekthaus.de)