As a prolific virus is travelling the world, many of us have some time at home to kill. Quarantine, curfew or precaution – whatever the reason may be: audiovisual streaming services will certainly be in high demand in the next few months. If you are looking for pastimes (other than reading this blog, of course, or listening to the equivalent podcast), here are 3 German shows you should definitely put on your watch list.



With International Women’s Day just behind us, Germany’s Equal Pay Day is coming up. What does Equal Pay Day actually mean? When is it observed in other countries? And how do German women fare compared to their British sisters? If you believe all human beings should be treated equally, this treat’s for you.


The ashes

Ash Wednesday (in German Aschermittwoch) is the day that marks the beginning of Lent in the Christian calendar. In Cologne – and also other regions in the world that celebrate carnival – it is also the end of the carnival season. But what does this day have to do with ashes? Where does the name come from and what are customary traditions to observe this day around the world?


Carnival craze

When I mention Cologne Carnival to foreigners (by whom I mean anyone not originally from or having spent some time in the area of greater Cologne), I’m often faced with large amounts of ignorance. Germans from other regions have heard of it but are mostly wary because they have a mental image of drunk bodies lining streets and door steps. People from other countries, such as the UK, often ask ‘When you say “carnival”, what do you actually mean?’ For the purpose of guidance through the maze of misunderstanding to do with the ‘5th season’, as locals refer to it, here are some facts about Karneval in Kölle.


Doing it properly

We recently talked about the word hat-trick in this blog. Now it turns out that a German hat-trick is different from an English hat-trick! What does all of that have to do with the colours yellow and black and the German school system? Here’s what you shouldn’t die not knowing…


Are you bloody serious?

Last Christmas, I gave Dracula my heart. The BBC brought the godfather of horror stories back on TV screens. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, the creators of the brilliantly rewritten 2010 Sherlock TV series, came up with this all-new Dracula. But does it really make your blood freeze? Read on and find out…


Tasty tea

For many, afternoon tea is the quintessence of Englishness. My English husband and I have enjoyed many a lovely afternoon tea in England, but we had never done so in our home town Cologne until a colleague recommended having Champagne Tea Time at Excelsior Ernst. Sounds fantastic, thought we, and made our way to one of the high-end, five-star hotels on location. Here’s how we liked it.



The Germans’ love of potatoes is probably one of the most accurate clichés ever conceived about us. This particular German is definitely a tuber enthusiast if ever there was one. Potatoes thrill me in any way, shape or form. If you are keen to explore a seriously delicious potato recipe unfamiliar to a majority of Germans and, what is more, to hear about a blatant village scandal in Kent involving not one but two large potatoes, this read will be a treat… Weiterlesen

The Ultimate Butterbrot

In life, at times one happens upon unlikely combinations of things which either seem banal when regarded individually or do not appear to be too great a match at first sight. The culinary world is teeming with such wondrous creations as the BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, whose latest save-the-world variants are the TLT (tofu, lettuce & tomato) or the ELT (eggplant, lettuce & tomato)), Pommes Bahnschranke, and another very special treat, as simple as it is intriguing… Weiterlesen

One for the road

Recently, my English husband and I were invited to a private party. Later in the night, when the first people started to leave, one of them said, ‘Ich trinke noch einen Absacker, und dann gehe ich’. I thought to myself, what a nice German word, Absacker, and asked my husband if he knew what it meant. He said he didn’t, and thus started a lively conversation about German drinking terminology. Here are some examples… Weiterlesen