Last weekend, the kids and I spent Saturday exploring the shopping in Köln (Cologne), which is the larger city just north of Bonn. Cologne has a trendy area with a bunch of cute shops, coffee roasters, and cafes. It was very hipster and reminded me of midtown Atlanta but with a European setting and a foreign language. :)
In case anyone is interested in the places we found, I took some pictures (mostly of furniture since we were furniture shopping. We're still filling in our place here.). The belgisches Viertel (Belgian Quarter) is full of independent, quaint places, and yummy food. I plan to come back for brunch someday.
How We Live is a cute shop just south of the belgisches Viertel. They have some rugs, side tables, knickknacks, and such. It's so cute. I wish it were down the street from me so that I could wander in just to browse whenever I feel like it.
ROOMS Cologne - has tables & chairs. Didn't have anything we were looking for, so no pictures. But that entire street has furniture stores on it (mostly modern design). Hohenstaufenring 48.
The Flying Fawn on Aachener Str. is full of fun home decor & cute stuff. Also, Aachener str is full of restaurants and shops I want to explore.
We stopped for lunch at a very hipster little burger bar which offers gluten free buns. It was awesome. What was not awesome was Brandtley climbing into Jackson's chair as we were getting ready to leave and taking a bite of Jackson's gluten-full burger & bun. We spent all of Sunday at home making frequent trips to the bathroom. I could have strangled him, but am hoping that the natural consequences of his actions have been punishment enough. Thankfully the bathroom necessity didn't start until after we got home later that afternoon, but his tummy started hurting within an hour.
Hipster German cashier complete with man bun and fedora and a snooty hipster attitude. We felt right at home.
(Note: this place doesn't have much seating. There are 3 tables outside & 1 inside which were all full, so we sat at the bar. There are a few standing tables too, but those would have been way too tall for the kids.)
My burger with goat cheese, bacon, and apple slaw.
Really great sodas. A German friend explained to me that the lemonade "Kölsches Wasser" is made in Köln and the name is a joke. There is a very famous perfume that has been made in Köln for many many years (the German version of Channel No.5) named Kölnisch Wasser. This is a play off of that name and ridiculing the perfume's exclusive reputation.
After lunch, we ventured out of the belgisches Viertel to several warehouse-style furniture shops in random places around town. These are the coolest places that I keep finding around here. They are independent shops who find, (sometimes) restore, and re-sell vintage furniture. Often industrial or shabby-chic or rustic. You never know what you'll find. Which is the fun of it. And can also be disappointing if you're looking for something specific.
Here are some of my favorites that we've found:
Rarehouse - (Ernst-Heinrich-Geist-Sr 12) These are the people who furnished the big Burrito Rico locations (the one on Aachener Str in Köln & the one in downtown Bonn). I talked with the owner for a while, who was very nice & friendly, and she also recommended the shop Schee. Schee has a location in Düsseldorf with reclaimed furniture (which I plan to visit) and a location in Köln with decor.
Rarehouse is pretty large, with a lot of pieces. Their website has pictures of the interior showing how large it is.
Geliebte Möbel (translated: Beloved Furniture) - This place had a much smaller selection than Rarehouse but more refined, less rustic pieces. I didn't check any prices, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were on the high end.
Exquisit - really cool stuff, some is pricey. These photos were taken a few months ago when we first visited. By the way, all of these warehouse places are unheated in the winter and are FREEZING!
I have a whole Pinterest page of other places I want to visit, but a few of my top picks are GrünBlauGrau (looks like a fun decor shop similar to How We Live), Waage Vier, Schee, and Mill - Vintage & Interior.
One funny story from our day...
We took the long train back to Bonn because it was more convenient than making a connection. During our trip, one lady near us enjoyed watching the boys play and spoke to them in perfect English. She had a suitcase and full shopping bag with her, which is not uncommon on trains, and I didn't realize until near the end of the ride that she was a bag lady. However, she clearly enjoyed speaking with us and before she got off the train, she pulled a tract out of her bag and offered it to me, telling me that I might enjoy reading something in English. She clearly doesn't read English as well as she speaks! Here is what she handed me:
So there's that. And now I have the suicide hotline number. :)