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Bauer Bernd farm

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Catherine recommended this fun farm outside Bielefeld. In the summer they have a huge corn labyrinth and a ‘flying carpet’ ride – (tractor pulling a big rubber sheet  behind with people struggling to stay on). They also have cafe, farm shop and other kids activities like go-carting and trampolines.

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There’s Moore to Bielefeld than Meets the Eye

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Last week in our trailing spouses art collective meeting, Patty asked us to create out own personal advertisement for what we liked best about living in Bielefeld to cheer us up over the winter months, (see We HEART Bielefeld ). The idea was, the more over the top the better! So here goes:

 

My niece Madeleine gets an earful

My niece Madeleine gets Moore of an earful

In my opinion, one of the best things to do in Bielefeld is to visit the Henry Moore statue “Oval with Points” in the Sculpture Garden of the Kunsthalle (the main art museum).

First of all, it won’t cost you a cent. You can admire it from afar, circle it slowly, eye it warily, stroke it, hug it and put your head between the points and become part of the sculpture itself. Seriously, there is no limit of the fun to be had with this sculpture. And if you are lucky, you may draw a crowd with your antics.

 

If you live in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, for example, where the Local Council recently sold their Henry Moore statue to the highest bidder to pay off some debt, you are welcome to come here and enjoy our statue. Especially those of you who live in one of the tower blocks on Stifford estate where the statue used to stand; Henry Moore had you in mind, the ordinary folk, when he sold it to the council cut price. Perhaps we can ask the wealthy citizens of Bielefeld if they would cough up the money to pay for your flights over here.

 

Perhaps your local statue has been stolen, and sold for scrap? Like the reclining nude from the Henry Moore estate Hertfordshire worth 3 million, which was melted down for scrap in 2005 for a mere 1,500 pounds.

 

And, if you are from the London Borough of Greenwich where you statue was taken away after a 25-year loan, only to mysteriously appear again during the Olympics, we promise you, our one isn’t going anywhere in a hurry.

 

The Bielefelders are generous by nature and will happily share their Moore  with you.  Perhaps you can find a few locals willing to link arms with you to form a circle of solidarity around the statue.

Come to Bielefeld. Discover Moore. !!!

 

Catherine’s favourite eats

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just a small selection of the incredible cakes on offer at Cafe Passon (now Cafe Gutzeit as of July 2012)

Bielefeld is small enough to feel like one borough in another major city. Nevertheless, it still has distinctive areas with their own particular character.  Being the particular nook of Bielefeld where I live, I would like to put my favourite Eateries on the map located in the East of the city, as well as the centre.

Favourite Eats in the East

Garten Eis Cafe – a family run business serving homemade creations such as the “Bielefella” – a yoghurt ice cream with crocant and liquid chocolate . Relax in their courtyard garden complete with sandpit, goldfish pond and beach chair.  They have also installed a canopy, so don’t let a bit of Bielefeld rain put you off getting your fix.

Café Passon  – Run by mother and daughter team, you’ll be pinching yourself believing you must be in a dream because surely cake cannot taste this good. And the news gets better, they only use vegetable based gelatine in their cakes. Update: Sold in July 2012 to a former trainee, and now called Cafe Gutzeit. Here’s hoping the cakes stay just as good.

Zum Siekerfelde – This pub is on Ehlentruper Weg, just behind the City hospital. It reminds me of pubs in England, as it attracts a mixture of customers. There is a great beer garden with a playground, so it is perfect for eating out with kids. You can get good pizza here and it is not too expensive.

My faves in the City Centre

Brauhaus Joh. Albrecht

A good place to bring the in-laws. Located in the historic centre, it specialises in home brewed beer and Fassbrause. Serves down to earth German meaty menu with food like schnitzels and steaks. Has some vegetarian options, though. A large beer garden and spacious restaurant.

Deine-Eisb@r

This is an interesting café around the corner from Brauhaus offering home-made ice cream (including vegan) and soups, all using organic ingredients.  As far as I know, not licensed, but Fair Trade coffees and teas and soft drinks.  Thirty percent of profits are donated to social and environmental projects. There are exhibitions and regular events, such as yoga for kids. Self-service, you weigh the ice cream, and pay per bowl for soups.  Staff very friendly.

Cafe Casa

Just around the corner from Karstadt, this is a nice place to go if you are in town. Special offers at lunch-time, and a very nice courtyard garden with a Mediterranean flair.

Restaurant Café Karstadt Bielefeld

I am going to fess up here, and admit I love eating with all the old grannies and grandpas in Karstadt restaurant. Though I don’t want to think about what they put in those sauces to give them that special gloopy texture, I always find myself back there.  My son once raised a few eyebrows from staff when he asked for vegetables with his kids’ meal.

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Ice cream without the e numbers?

Bielefeld Shops of Note – Kräuterladen Paracelsus

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Heiner Scheller, in his shop, Kraüterladen Paracelsus

Something nice about Bielefeld, and Germany in general is that there is still a culture of the small independent shop. Though this may invariably change as Germany catches up with the UK and the US, for now I would like to celebrate and point out just a few of these speciality shops still to be found in Bielefeld.

Kräuterladen Paracelsus 

My midwife originally told me about this amazing apothecary hidden away in the back streets near Bethel. The owner, Heiner Scheller is an expert in the field of Phytotherapy (herbal medicine). Apparently his early career hopes as a violinist were thwarted by an injury, which prompted him to start a career in medicine. However, his interest in music and stringed instruments never abated and he has an amazing collection of restored instruments in an adjoining studio space, which also has acted as a meeting point for music sessions with likeminded enthusiasts.

As I entered the shop, I felt I was in a sanctuary of calm, partly due to the orderly aesthetics of labelled apothecary drawers and rows of smoked glass jars on shelves but also to the wonderful aromas coming from the hessian sacks of herbs stacked around the shop. I discovered that 25 years of experience as a herbalist had enabled him to sum up a person’s disposition and needs surprisingly quickly, and soon I had a bag of mysterious looking leaves all of my own, called the Tiger Root, to brew up in the rather more unordered aesthetics of my home.

I have to confess, though, that I didn’t even make it half way through the bag in the end. I was under strict instructions from the herbalist not to drink caffeine in combination with the herbs, as my blood pressure could go dangerously high. At 18 Euros for 250 grams, the cost of these precious herbs should have been enough of an incentive to give up the coffee kick but, I am afraid to say, I am still waiting for that day, and so are my herbs!

Despite that, I can highly recommend a visit to this wonderful shop, and its gracious owner.

The shop is generally closed between 1pm and 3 pm for lunch so look up the website for opening times.

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Still on the shelf, but hopefully not for long.