Eat at Gaia in Gerswalde, swim at Potzlower See!

In summer we are all looking for insider tips to escape the hot concrete of Berlin and enjoy some summer freshness, preferably in the surrounding area, preferably in Brandenburg. And the good thing is: Brandenburg is still a bit of a terrain unknown to many Berliners, the surrounding fabled region where there is still so much to discover. Or have you ever been to Oderbruch? If not, then it’s worth it!

But I will tell you about Oderbruch next time. Today it comes to Uckermark, about a special place there, to put it concretely, although the Uckermark is the most famous of all the Brandenburg districts for Berliners.

Gerswald: The place to get away from all this

Tomas Kurjanovic

Chicken in Gaya

For a few years now, I’ve been regularly going to Gierswald, a well-known hipster village a bit like Cold Spring in the Hudson Valley near New York. There (similar to the US East Coast) Berliners congregate with cuddly beards, park their new BMW SUVs in front of the village church, stroll over romantic cobblestones in their white sneakers or Birkenstock slippers and peek at a pottery or kebab shop that’s truly the village center Very small and adorable.

It is a little embarrassing for me to look at these faces, because then I realize that Gerswald is a little exaggerated, but it does not matter: he is so beautiful and so comfortable there that I do not let such impressions bother me. Yes, I admit that Gerswalde is where I go to escape the stress of the big city.

Even the scenery of the surroundings slows down to the limit

Tomas Kurjanovic

Noodles in Gaya

My first outlet is, of course, the Great Garden, made famous by two Japanese women who decided to open a cafe serving Japanese sweets in the former palm house in the gardens. Suddenly Gierswald became the ‘talk of the town’, all the Berliners between Prenzlauer Berg and Nikoln wanted to go there and reinforced the legend of the village of Gierswald, which has been haunted by neurotic and stressed townspeople summer after summer ever since. And rightly so!

I go to Gerswald at least once a year. This year I was already there to look around and record the changes. You have to know: the Japanese have moved out of the glass house with palm trees and handed the keys to a new duo: restaurateur Julia Heifer and Zuzanna Toth.

Since then, there’s been an insanely good kitchen with ingredients from the area (or the inner garden, which feels like a little oasis of idleness) and lunch and wines of the highest quality. The restaurant is called Gaia and offers tables overlooking the large colorful flowered garden, the forest in the valley and the complex, where there are also holiday apartments. Even the scenery of the surroundings slows down to the limit.

Try these appetizers

And what about food? This is beautiful, very good. The portions aren’t huge, to be fair, the prices are pretty high, but the quality makes up for it. The last time I was there, I tested a variety of dishes and happily ate my way through. I can give you some recommendations to take with you.

As starters, two cakes with whipped herb butter are €6. Homemade focaccia for €4 is also very good. Also try the garden salad, which is of course filled with vegetables from the garden (8€). I also found a potato pancake with charcoal pickle, cucumber and arugula for €11. The burrata with pistachio and green oil is highly recommended (14€).

Go to Brandenburg!

Tomas Kurjanovic

Almond cake in Gaya

Main dishes are negotiable. Last time I ordered fresh pasta, with mint pesto and ricotta cheese for 16€. My mates tested boiled chicken with fresh, crunchy peas, asparagus, and tarragon. Both dishes in combination were the perfect choice. Finally, treat yourself to a dessert, such as homemade elderberry ice cream with cherries for 6 euros or almond cake for 5 euros. You should also order an organic beer or drink your way through the wine list. I liked the white French “A la vie” (6.50 euro glass), the German natural wine was also pleasant. Fabulous!

When you are relaxing in the garden, happy and full, you should look at the castle complex in the village and check out the village lake, which unfortunately you cannot swim properly because there is no good place to swim. But that doesn’t matter!

Another bathing lake with a public bathing area is only a 15 minute drive away, which I think is really cool. See Potzlower! One could tell that this lake is a real insider tip. I hope that the villagers of Pozzlo will not be alarmed by his betrayal. The water quality is great and the shower area is never crowded. So: go to Brandenburg!

Gaia Restaurant, Dorfmitte 11, 17268 Gerswalde, Saturdays and Sundays 1-7 p.m.

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