Oval Space Chameleon of the night featured

If you like your places cool with a side of trash, and your staff gorgeous with a side of rude, then feast yourself on Oval Space. Morphing between pop-up restaurant, to showcase cinema, to nightclub extraordinaire, Oval Space is the Madonna of venue re-invention. And as with every superstar, it has a funny turn now and again so checking ahead to see what’s on is definitely advisable. Probably best known for its club nights—it hosts the secret sundaze parties which with their ever-popular rave-athons put this versatile warehouse space to good and proper use. Sun-kissed terraces provide a great summer hangout from which you can watch an oil paint-worthy sunset (or rise) over the Bethnal Green gas works. Basically, the place is a box of chocolates; you just never know what you’re gonna get. So check those listings, Forrest.

Swiss Institute Sticking it to stereotypes featured

If you came here looking for multi-purpose pocket knives and smooth alpine chocolates then you came to the wrong place. This Swiss Institute is all about art, and always has been—ever since their humble beginnings in a two bed Swiss townhouse on West 67th Street in 1986.

After a lengthy spell in a loft space in Soho from the mid 90s through until 2011, they finally managed to upgrade to some street-level digs worthy of the art work that they’ve been consistently displaying.

With the change in surrounds also came a change in MO. Whereas formerly the institute was all about showcasing Swiss art and artists to a primarily Swiss audience, they’ve now become committed to looking beyond the perma-neutral state’s borders; morphing themselves into an innovative international venue that provides a forum for artistic dialogue between Switzerland, the rest of Europe and the US.

Unsurprising, then, that they’ve adopted an all-embracing approach to different mediums as well—from the paintings, illustrations and street art of Nicolas Party to the sculpture and installation work of Amy O’ Neill.

Beelitz Heilstätten Nazi ghosts and socialist ghouls featured

If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big… creepy abandoned hospital. The notorious Beelitz complex has a grizzlier history than we would care to go into, suffice to say it’s worth Googling. The huge military hospital counts among its patients both Hitler and Honecker; so it’s already crossing into the stuff of nightmares. There are over 60 buildings in various states of distress, from dwellings that would make a Berlin squatter wince to parts that have been painstakingly restored and are still in use today.

Wandering round these remarkable buildings is a full day out. Nature taking its course has given some of them a beautiful make-under: red brick facades are cloaked in overgrown branches, while old paint curls and flakes into curious new shapes on the interior walls. This is irresistible bait for Hollywood, hence Beelitz has featured in both The Pianist and Valkyrie. The more dilapidated houses have ceilings falling through, under threat of further collapse at any second—so tread carefully, twinkle toes.

The site itself is a breeze to get into (just walk in off the road) but some buildings are boarded up, which just makes them all the more tempting. Going by day with a torch and a companion would be wise. To be found, there’s also a disused U-bahn station, railway tracks, and probably a few lost souls, for all your post-apocalyptic novel fantasy needs.

The Goodhood Store Up, up and away featured

When The Goodhood Store first opened its doors in 2007, it was heralded as having an innovative approach to fashion retail rarely seen outside of Japan. In the same vein, they went on to open the Goodhood Life Store, Goodhood Creative and launch ‘Goods by Goodhood’, their own in house label. That’s a lot of Goodhood. All this expanding has, unsurprisingly, seen them outgrow their original location and they have opened a new flagship store, along with its very own cafe. The new store incorporates womenswear, menswear, kidswear, homeware and any other ware you can think of, all under one roof. The same attention to detail and charm that made the brand successful in the first place is still apparent, both in their own collection and their curated offerings—exclusive lines by the likes of Opening Ceremony, Building Block and Monocle are available here. The cafe, meanwhile, serves up healthy grub and single origin coffee, providing a relaxed community vibe to this colossal retail space. With whispers of taking the brand outside of London, it seems the sky’s the limit for Goodhood.

Cevicheria Peruvian tongue twisters featured

Dresdener Straße is both the cool older brother of Oranienstraße and the prosperous uncle to Kottbusser Tor. With a wine bar, a whisky club and a cocktail speakeasy, Dresdener does serious drinking and it does it with aplomb. Until 2014, however, the serious foodies were left out in the cold. Neighbouring eateries Gorgonzola Club and Mercosy aren’t half bad, but they aren’t great either—Cevicheria, on the other hand, is all that and then some.

The Peruvian delicacy ceviche, as you might have guessed, is most definitely their thing. (That’s fish cured in citrus juice and spiced with chillies, by the way). It’s all as fresh as anything and goes down with a zing to end all zings. Whatever you do, don’t skip the starters: the fish carpaccio with mango salsa and prawns is the stuff dreams are made of. The mixed ceviche main is a solid introduction to the taste bud-stretching possibilities of this cuisine, and why not finish the job off with with a frothy pisco sour or two? Oh Dresdener Straße, you’re too good to us.

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