Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Dear Stammtisch Friends

We’re currently planning a few events here in the region and maybe there are some you would like to join in:

On Sunday, 30 June 2019, the Martin Luther Kirche is organising its annual Grillfest in Shieldfield, Newcastle. There is a family service from 3pm to 4pm, the bbq starts at 4pm to 7pm. Entrance donation is £1 per person (children under 10 are free) with the proceeds going to the North of England Child Cancer Research and the German Church. To get tickets – please call Oliver on: 07811 109 312

You may heard of the numerous sightings of dolphins at our coastline. I recently also met a lady through my consular work, who made me aware of the Dolphin Watch Association in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea. The next Dolphin Watch event will take place on Saturday, 6 July and I thought this may be good for a Stammtisch get-together at 11am at Church Point in Newbiggin. There is plenty of car parking next to the Marine Centre, where we can later head for refreshments. There is also the Newbiggin Dolphin Watch Group on Facebook, where you can follow the sightings, photos and videos. This event is open to all ages and if you have binoculars, bring them along! Please let me know if you’re planning to come so that I get an idea of numbers.

Other events I am currently considering are:

‘Vera’ Tour: to visit some of the film locations for this detective series
‘Project Auckland’: I was recently invited to a visit to this market town in County Durham and it is very impressive what is being developed there
– A Bavarian Movie with a short ‘language’ class

You may have also seen the news that Lufthansa has announced a new flight from Newcastle to Munich, not only connecting our region with the Bavarian capital, but also to a hub to another 140 destinations in 46 countries. You can already book the Munich flights now, which will commence in February 2020. Lufthansa will fly six days a week, leaving the North East at 1.40pm and arriving in Munich at 4.40pm. The inbound flight departs in Munich at 11.50am and arrives in Newcastle at 12:55. The German market is particularly important for business travellers as it’s the largest trading partner for the UK after the US.

The ferry service from Amsterdam to North Shields also brings many visitors to our region and hence DFDS Seaways are currently recruiting bi-lingual (German & English) travel advisors for their contact centre here at the Port of Tyne in North Shields.

I just returned from Germany and it is now my young nephews who keep me up to date of what’s going on there. This time I was introduced to Die Känguru-Chroniken (it was popular with my 10-year old nephew, but also the grown ups in the family). You can either buy a book, the audio book or watch some short YouTube videos. The author, Marc-Uwe Kling, who also reads the short stories, is a song-writer and comedian. It is difficult to explain, but it’s about Marc-Uwe sharing his Berlin flat with a very opinionated kangaroo. Here is a link to the episode ‘Theorie & Praxis’.

Make the most of the longest day of the year!

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Dear Stammtisch Friends

We have another diary date for you for our next Stammtisch just after the Easter weekend on Sunday, 12 April. The Kaffeehaus Amadeus in Lanchester offered again to be our host for Kaffee & Kuchen between 3pm and 5pm. Could you please let me know if you’re coming by latest 9 April? Thanks!

I am currently searching for other venues in the North East where we could get German food – any recommendations that you may have would be much appreciated.

If you just fancy a drink and a bit of networking with people from all over the world, simply join the InterNations crowd on Wednesday, 25 March in the DatbAr in Newcastle from 6pm.

The travel and tourism world met earlier this month in Berlin. Over 10,000 exhibitors from 186 countries attracted 175,000 visitors to the ITB Berlin. So if you’re looking for holiday inspiration, next year’s event takes place between 9 and 13 March 2016.

Should your travels in 2015 take you to Germany, the German National Tourist Board compiled a list of the top 100 attractions voted for in 2014 and are now looking for your vote for 2015 – click here to particpate.

If you want to combine languages and holidays, why not explore the country while joining one of the many language schools. The University in Jena recently sent us information on their Summer School. If you’re not sure, which school – try the Langwhich website that gives you information on providers across the country.

And if you are already fluent and you’re looking for a career move, the website ‘Treffpunkt Fremdsprachen’ may also give you some ideas of jobs in Germany and abroad.

Nigel Wright Recruitment are currently working with a successful North East Manufacturing business to recruit a German speaking Export Sales Manager.  This is a newly created role within the business and creates an excellent opportunity for an experienced sales or key account manager to join a growing business.

The role will be focused on developing sales within Europe, mainly through Agents or the companies own sales offices.  The export sales manager will support agents in customer visits, train them on products and feed key market intelligence back into the UK based manufacturing site.

It is essential that candidates are:

  • Fluent in German and English.
    • Able to develop excellent relationships, both with agents and end customers.
    • Experienced in key account management.
    • Experienced in working within a manufacturing / industrial business.
    • Flexible in terms of regular European travel.

If you are interested in discussing this opportunity in further detail, please contact Elaine Tulip-Johnson on DL 0191 2690713 or at Elaine.tulip-johnson@nigelwright.com

A German company that has done extremely well exporting in many countries is Thomas Sabo. Established in 1984 in Lauf near Nuremberg, the jewellers now has 247 shops and 2,600 jewellery and retail partners worldwide. You may also be interested in a smaller German jewellery designer I recently came across in Saunders & Pughe in Corbridge. ManuSchmuck was founded by Hameln based Ilse & Horst Eber over 25 years ago and design sophisticated, modern silver and gold jewellery.

I look forward to seeing you again soon and until then enjoy the first spring days & the forthcoming Easter weekend.

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Dear Stammtisch Friends,

After a felt ten year absence, summer has eventually reached the North East again. I am sure you are all getting plenty of use out of your BBQs and have those beers chilled for the weekend.

Before you’re all heading off on holiday, here are a few suggestions that you may be interested in:

Every year, the German children’s group travels for a weekend to the castle in Featherstone (near Haltwhistle). This year the trip is from 27 to 29 September and our Stammtisch member Silvie Fish would like to invite other Germans (with or without children) to come along. Of course, non-German speaking partners are also very welcome.

Departure is on Friday evening and the return journey on Sunday afternoon. It is also possible to stay for one night only or simply come for a visit during the day. The plan is to cook, eat, drink and go for walks and for the kids there are also stories, crafts, treasure hunts etc. There are smaller rooms (usually for families with smaller children) and large rooms to sleep in. It’s all about the ambience rather than luxury. And this year the teenagers also get their own area to hang out in. Cost including food is £50 (simply half for one night), as long as we have a minimum of 25 people per night (which shouldn’t be a problem. Payment is in advance either by cheque or transfer and if you’re interested simply email Silvie by 1 September (indicating number of people/nights) – silviefish@yahoo.com

If you enjoyed our nights in the Mansion House, you may want to look for Gunther’s Memories of the Blackforest. On Sunday, 28 July, his stall will feature for the first time at Newcastle’s Quayside and you can pop down there for some German sausages and Spaetzle. We will keep you updated on where you’ll find Gunther in the region.

I also recently found ‘Rettich/Radi‘ in my local Morrisson’s. It’s called Mooli here and all the Bavarians will know, it goes excellent with your Brez’n & Bier!

If you like your VW vans, the coast should be your destination on Saturday, 26 July for the third annual Tynemouth Classic Volkswagen Rally.
Discover Deutschland was a recent newsletter we received from DFDS and the cost for a ferry trip by car plus 2 people to Amsterdam was advertised as from £70/one way. While travelling around Europe, you may get a chance to see at a festival the French jazz/chanson singer ZAZ, who has been very successful in Germany over the past three years.
We haven’t got another Stammtisch date yet, but I can invite you to our next InterNations event, which will take place at Bar Livello, down at Dean Street, Newcastle Quayside on Tuesday, 30 July from 6pm onwards. Simply join InterNations for free and join our group for chilled drinks.
I wish you a very enjoyable & relaxing holiday season & look forward to seeing you all soon.

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Dear Stammtisch Friends

It’s been a while since our last Stammtisch and I hope that I can soon organise a venue that will provide some delicious German cuisine.

However, in the absence of food, maybe a bit of humour will make up for it? Germany’s Comedy Ambassador to Great Britain, the very funny Mr Henning Wehn, will be in the North East next month. You may already have tickets for either the Gala Theatre in Durham or the Stand in Newcastle. If not, the Gala Theatre still has tickets for the evening of Sunday, 14 April and they are £12.50/each (the Stand is already sold out). Maybe we’ll see you on one of those nights?

Our Stammtisch members have also been offered a 10% discount for a cottage stay in Perthshire, Scotland for 2013. There are three cottages available, with en-suite bedrooms, modern kitchens and their own private terrace with bbq and garden furniture. They also welcome up to 3 dogs for free and there are storage facilities for your outdoor equipment. For further info, images or testimonials, visit http://cottagesinperthshire.co.uk.

And if you’re travelling to Germany with your kids, you may want to do a brief stopover in Nuremberg. That’s where the Deutsche Bahn opened the Kibala – the new Kinderbahnland – in the DB Museum.

If you are newcomer to the UK and are still struggling a bit with the colloquial English or cultural differences, we’ve had a book recommendation – ‘What’s for tea? – Englisch wie es nicht im Schulbuch steht’ by Claudia Hunt, may just be the one to read. 

We also received another recommendation of a novel entitled „DAS LEBEN IST WIE DER WIND“ von Helmut Jost Krüger. Prussia in the 18th and 19th Century provides the backdrop for the lives of a family over a period of 140 years. The novel is available via Kindle at Amazon.

I also wanted to briefly introduce you to the Cinnamon Trust, which is a national charity that offers support  to people in their last years and their much loved and needed companion animals. If you would like to help their efforts, visit the website. They look for example for volunteers that walk dogs or foster animals if their owner needs to go to hospital.

Well, that’s it from me for today – let me know if you have any particular food wishes, then I can chat to some of the venues, I’ve got in mind. What is your favourite dish that you’re missing and I will try my best!

Enjoy the last snow flakes!

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Dear Stammtisch Friends

Hopefully you are reading this whilst enjoying the sunshine and a chilled drink! We have now a date for our next Stammtisch, which will be a BBQ on Thursday, 23 August from 5.30pm onwards in the lovely garden at the Mansion House in Jesmond. Our theme will be ‘Es geht um die Wurst‘, but obviously there will also be food choices for the non meat/sausage lover and please feel free to bring your family along. We will let you know menu/cost as soon as we know that there’s sufficient interest, therefore please let me know if you’ll join us as soon as possible so I can confirm.

I’d like to say a big thank you also to everybody who offered their services regarding the letter in the old German handwriting. The response was fantastic and the first person who emailed back ended up getting involved and it turned out to be a topic she was personally interested in. But thanks to everybody who so kindly wanted to help out – and I was impressed how many people were able to still read this writing style!

German language skills are also in demand elsewhere and I’ve got two job advertisements that somebody in our group may be interested in:

County Durham based Hospitality Guaranted are currently looking for a Conference & Accommodation Co-ordinator with fluent German/French skills to support their team. Tasks inv olve the management and co-ordination of venue finding enquiries, the completion of proposals for both UK and European markets. The candidate would also have to be able to translate from French and German into English and vice versa.The position involves supplier management and coordination, negotiations and proof-reading of contracts. Other tasks mentioned in the job descriptions were desk research, co-ordination of bookings, follow up of sales leads.

If this is of interest to you, please email me and I’ll forward the complete job description and contact details to you.

London based Listen & Learn are also currently looking for a freelance German teacher for elementary lessons for one adult in Greenside (NE40). The preferred schedule indicated was 1 lesson/week and for classes on Saturdays between 9am to 12noon. If you’re interested in this, please let me know and I’ll forward you all the details and then you can apply directly with the company.

The Edinburgh Festival is already in full swing and I thought you may want to see Germany’s Comedy Ambassador to Great Britain. ‘Henning knows Bestest’ is the theme of this year’s show at the Fringe Festival and you can get tickets from 15 to 26 August. I’m also monitoring his schedule so if he’s next here in the region – Tanja went to his show in spring and said it was fab – we’ll have to get a Stammtisch there!!!

Win a Dream Tour of Germany! That’s a competition of the German National Tourist Board (NTB), that’s on Facebook until the end of August. You can design your very own Dream Tour and win a personalised 7-day tour. More than 20 NTB partners have come together to offer different travel modules to choose from. Good luck & let us know if you’ve won!!!

Sunny regards


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French national Hélène Beaugy came to the UK as part of an Erasmus exchange during her studies for a BA in Language and Cultural Studies at the University of Dijon.

Following a 10-year career in language teaching, whilst completing an MA in French and Spanish at the University of Northumbria, Hélène decided to take the plunge and launch her own business.

Experience Northumbria draws on Helene’s language skills and hobbies and interests, which include running, cycling, walking, horse riding, classical music and films.

“Every year I had friends visiting the North East and afterwards they would rave about the beauty of the region. As they were here during their holidays, we would do a lot of outdoor activities. We always talked about the potential of doing foreign language tours in the region and this has been on the back burner for a couple of years. Now I’m in a position to offer tours in French, Spanish and English, and in German later.” explains Hélène.

Experience Northumbria specialises in groups of 7 participants or smaller that will visit the area either for a long weekend or for up to a week. Helene will organise the complete itinerary, from transport to accommodation in either hotels, bed & breakfasts, cottages or farms, she’ll arrange restaurants or tea room visits, supervise walks, runs or cycle tours and has partners who will deliver other activities such as horse riding, kite-surfing, golfing etc.

Hélène added: “One of the aims is to show the region’s common history with other European countries. French monks, for example, came to the North East to start abbeys or priories and the Blanchland monks became really powerful. A couple of years ago, I was doing a walk arund my grandmother’s village in Auvergne, where the local council had put new signs to explain the heritage of the village to visitors. It turned out that John of Gaunt, once owner of Dunstanburgh castle, had fought (dare I add unsuccesfully?) at the doors of the village, in a conquest expedition to France during the 100-Year War.”

To find out more about Helene’s tours, visit http://www.experiencenorthumbria.co.uk and we will also arrange a special Stammtisch tour to a historic site in the region later in the year.

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Christmas is only just over a month away and here are some events and activities that you might enjoy in the run up to the festive season:

There is, of course, our own Christmas Stammtisch on Monday, 12 December at the Mansion House in Jesmond

Starting at 7pm with a Glühwein reception, our dinner includes Hühnerleberpastete mit Zwiebelmarmelade (chicken liver pate with onion marmalade), Champignoncremesuppe mit Mandeln (mushroom crème soup with almonds), Gebratene Weihnachtsgans mit Apfelrotkraut, Badischen Klössen und Schwäbischen Spätzle (Christmas goose with apple red cabbage, potatoe dumplings and spaetzle) and Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (blackforest gauteau), Stollen and Pfeffernüssen (biscuits).

For those that are not so much into the birds, we also offer roast loin of pork stuffed with prunes as an alternative.

Please state your preference when booking. As the Mansion House caters specifically for our group, you need to pay by latest 5 December – cost per person £20 – simply call the Mansion House on 0191 281 0836. If you haven’t told me yet that you’re coming, please email me so I can track numbers for this event.

On Saturday, 26 November the German Christmas Basar will be held from 11am to 2pm at St James United Reformed Church in Newcastle (close to City Baths). And two weeks later, an advents celebration will take place on Sunday, 11 December from 5pm in the Martin Luther Church in Clarence Street/Copland Terrace in Newcastle.

This weekend it’s all happening of course in Durham, where you can enjoy Lumiere 2011 until Sunday. As part of the Winter Festival, Gatehead’s Saltwell Park will turn into Enchanted Parks from 7 to 11 December.

But if you want to experience a German Christmas and don’t want to venture off the island, just head north on the train to Edinburgh, where the Traditional German Christmas Market starts already next week on Thursday, 24 November and lasts until 24 December 2011.

Deutsche Bahn (DB) also has a special offer on – from London you can get to your favourite German Christmas market for €49 in 2nd Class one-way. Journey times are around 5 hours and for information, just click here for further details. From Newcastle there are also direct flights to Düsseldorf where you can easily get to many markets in the west of the country. Earlier this month, Lufthansa also announced one way fares of £39 from London, Birmingham and Manchester to Berlin, which is also a good gateway to the historic cities of Leipzig and Dresden in Saxony. And maybe with the launch of the new Berlin-Brandenburg Airport in 2012, the North East eventually gets good transport connections again to middle and eastern parts of Germany?

Also not too far from Berlin is the Harz National Park, which is partly in the states of Saxony Anhalt and Lower Saxony and covers an area of 24,700 ha. Click here for images and information on Christmas events in the region and here for a Deutsche Welle film about the countryside, its towns and villages and legends. 

I hope that has put you in the mood for Christmas and travelling near and far and look forward to seeing many of you at our annual Christmas dinner.

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We now have a date for our Christmas Stammtisch. On Monday, 12 December the Mansion House in Jesmond will host our traditional German Christmas Dinner from 7pm.

You can look forward to a Glühwein reception, Hühnerleberpastete mit Zwiebelmarmelade (chicken liver pate with onion marmalade), Champignon-cremesuppe mit Mandeln (mushroom crème soup with almonds), Gebratene Weihnachtsgans mit Apfelrotkraut, Badischen Klössen und Schwäbischen Spätzle (Christmas goose with apple red cabbage, potatoe dumplings and spaetzle) and Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (blackforest gauteau), Stollen und Pfeffernüssen (biscuits).

The cost per person is £20 and pre-payable to the Mansion House either by debit card or cheque. If you’re planning to join us, please let me know so we get an idea on numbers.

The German Christmas Basar will also again take place on 26 November from 11am to 2pm in St James United Reformed Church in Newcastle (close to City Baths). If you are looking to get involved with a stand or in any other way, please contact Michael Mehl directly, email: germanchurch@gmail.com.

All about Christmas in Germany – visit Discover Germany website for lots of information on the best places to go and information on traditions. And if you want to be spoilt after trailing along Christmas markets, why don’t you relax in one of Germany’s Best Wellness Hotels.

Export capability, engineering & technology and strong medium sized companies contribute to the success of the German economy. In a recent Handelsblatt article, various correspondents compared the German economy with the US, Britain and France to see what has been done differently – click here for their analysis. Guardian correspondent John Kampfner gave his opinion this week on the recent commons debate about Europe – click here to read his comment piece.

Both Germany and Britain have still many historic sites dating back to the Roman frontier days. Hadrian’s Wall Heritage is working with their colleagues from German Limes and if you want to find out more about their work, click here for their newsletter. If you’re interested in this topic, please drop me a line.

And a last piece of information: in the UK we eat frozen desserts like chocolate mousse, strawberry cheese cake and blackforest gateau from Coppenrath & Wiese, while the Germans are on Diet Chef from Scotland to loose weight. Any thoughts?

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I have just found out Terry Laybourne and his team will run a ‘Oktoberfest’ at their gastro pub ‘The Broad Chare’ down at the Quayside from 10 October for one week. They have a fabulous menu on offer and on top of that will stock the award winning WEST Brewery beer, brewed in Glasgow according to the German Reinheitsgebot (Purity Law). I’d suggest that we meet next Tuesday at 6.30pm at the bar and then head upstairs for dinner from 7pm. Please let me know if you’re coming by the weekend so that Terry can plan table(s) and food accordingly.

Just to give you an idea what’s on offer: Gulaschsuppe (Classic goulash soup), Gemischter Salatteller (mixed Autumn salad plate), Wurstsalat (classic Baden style sausage salad on Bauernbrot), Matjes Hausfrauenart (marinated herring fillets with apples, onions, gherkins and Yoghurt), Eisbeinsülze (jellied ham knuckle), 2 Münchner Weißwürste mit süßem Senf (Munich style veal sausages flavoured with lemonzest and fresh herbs), Bratwurst auf Sauerkraut (grilled pork sausage with sauerkraut), 4 Wienerwürste mit Kartoffelsalat (Frankfurter style sausages with German potato salad), Schweinebraten mit Blaukraut und Reiberknödel (roast pork with red cabbage and potato dumplings), Gebratene Schweinshaxe, Sauerkraut und Kartoffelbrei (roasted pork knuckle with sauerkraut and potato puree), Eisbein mit Sauerkraut und Meerettich (poached ham knuckle with sauerkraut and horseradish), Jägerschnitzel (hunter’s pork escalope with wild mushrooms), Hasenpfeffer (jugged hare), Leberkäse mit hausgemachtem Kartoffelsalat (German meatloaf with potato salad), Münchner Sauerbraten mit Semmelknödel und Preiselbeeren (marinated braised beef from the Rheinland with bread dumplings and cranberries). And for desserts there is Apfelstrudel (apple strudel), Kaiserschmarrn (hot caramelised pancakes with sultanas and apple sauce), Dampfnudeln (sweet yeast dumpling with vanilla sauce) and Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (proper Black Forest gateau).

If you want to get into the Oktoberfest mood – click here to see a short Stern video about this year’s Wies’n. And if you think you understood most, you’re maybe also ready to do Stern’s test ‘Bayerisch für Anfänger’. Being Bavarian, I thought I’d do very well, but was told that I must be a ‘Flachland Tiroler’.

I hope to see many of you next week at The Broad Chare – if you need any more information, please let me know!

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We’re currently planning our next few events for autumn/winter time. As it’s been a while since we met, I thought why not just attend one of the local beer events.

Popolo’s in Newcastle (Pilgrim Street) currently have an Oktoberfest Beer Menu, which includes Augustiner, Hacker Pschorr, Hofbräuhaus, Löwenbräu, Paulaner and Spaten. Why don’t you join us on Monday, 26 September at Popolo’s from 6pm for a few beers?

If you want to sample from around 60 UK ales, you need to head to Tynemouth today and/or tomorrow (16/17 September). In its 5th year, the Tynemouth Beer Festival, it is held at the Cricket Club (just behind the Rugby Club) and will feature live bands, plus many other drinks to try out and hot and cold foot. Entry is £5, you get a beer glass, programme and pen or for £10 it includes drinks vouchers.

WEST Brewery are, of course, also holding their own authentic Oktoberfest and this is probably one of the few places in the UK, where you can wear your Dirndl and Lederhosen without getting funny looks. If there’s some interest to go up to Glasgow together, let me know as I’m definitely heading north in the next few weeks!

If you’re heading south, why not call into Stein’s in Richmond-upon-Thames, a traditional Bavarian beer garden right on the river. They serve Schnitzel, Schweinebraten, Käsespätzle, Nürnberger sausages, Leberkäs, Currywurst und Obatzda to be washed down with German beers, wines and Radler. The dessert menu includes Sachertorte, Apfelstrudel, Dampfnudeln etc.

You will have all heard of various social networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing or Twitter. I’ve recently found two new ones in Germany, which I thought might interest you – My Social Petwork (social network for pets) and InterNations (which connects Expats worldwide).

Have a very good weekend and maybe see you soon in Popolo’s.

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