Above: Neue Kammern (New Chambers) at Sanssouci

14 Favorite Moments in Berlin

A visit to Berlin is always memorable. The city is constantly in flux, in contrast with more settled metropolises such as Paris, Rome, Vienna and Madrid. Here are a few favorite moments from my trip:

1) Swimming in the pool at Hotel de Rome. Set in a former bank vault, the pool is punctuated by solid granite columns and overlooked by a wall of glittering gold mosaic tile. Imitation gold bars serve as doorstops.

2) Entering La Soupe Populaire. I knew this hot spot by Michelin-starred chef Tim Raue had an unorthodox setting, but I wasn’t quite prepared to be confronted by a semi-abandoned brick brewery and a sculpture of a crashed bus.

3) Dining on flowers and caviar at Nobelhart & Schmutzig. At this year’s most anticipated restaurant in Berlin, we enjoyed each of the many courses. But I won’t soon forget the dish of saibling (char) roe and sour cream served atop yellow rapeseed flowers. The neutral-flavored blossoms made a beautiful and creative replacement for traditional blinis.

4) Returning to our Bebelplatz-view room at the Hotel de Rome to find a jelly-filled doughnut on a slab of black slate labeled “Ich bin ein Berliner.”