Browsing through Stuttgart

Not too long ago I took the train up to Stuttgart to visit my sister. We had originally planned to visit Handmade Soul, but at the last minute decided against it. Instead, we walked around Stuttgart and went shopping.

The very first time I went to Stuttgart was in 10th grade. It was at the end of the school year and we were there to go to the stock exchange. Afterwards we went to the Mercedes Benz museum, which was much more exciting for me than watching a few people on telephones selling stocks. I love old classic cars and think the next time I go to Stuttgart, I may have to pay the museum another visit. Since then, I’ve been a couple of times, mostly during the cooler part of the year.

We started our Saturday with brunch at Manufactum, a store which specializes in selling vintage inspired items. Be it pencil sharpeners, lamps, toys or kitchen utensils, you’ll find it here. The quality is top and so are the prices. When I lived in Munich, I payed regular visits to the store, dreaming of all the wonderful things I’d love to have. When they opened their first café in Munich, I rushed to try it. The café is aptly named “Brot & Butter” (Bread and Butter) as bread is what they do. You can choose from a wide selection of sandwiches, also open-faced, served on delicious crusty bread. Or decide on breakfast, where you can also go for one of the scrumptious croissants, cinnamon buns or cakes, if you prefer something sweet. It always takes forever for me to decide, and I always drive everyone else at the table and the server nuts!

Our bellies full, we strolled around town stopping at various stores. We passed the small chocolate shop Confiserie Selbach in the little connecting street between Königsstrasse and Schillerplatz with sells many different brands of chocolate, and I like looking at them for inspiration when I make chocolate bark. At Christmastime they sell a wide selection of chocolate advent calendars.

One of the must-sees in Stuttgart is Merz and Bänzig, an upscale store above the food hall. Enter from the front and you’ll be greeted by the smell of flowers as you walk through the florist area. The displays are always beautiful and I wish I could buy flowers by the armfull. Moving on upstairs, you can look down over the food courts as you walk past a selection of cookbooks, through the kitchen supply area selling everything you need and don’t need, past the soaps and return by way of the bed linens.

Once back out, walk across the street to Stuttgart’s famous department store, Breuninger. Here you’ll find everything from well-known to high-end brands. The store is huge and it is possible to get lost in it! There is an indoor courtyard with a small café and it reminds me a little of the Galleries Lafayette in Paris and a great place to hang out on one of the upper levels and do a bit of people-watching. If you need to rest your feet, head to the top floor for a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice before heading on.

After Breuninger we stopped at two delicatessens. Viola’s specializes in spices and herbs, but also sells mustards, oils and vinegars. I bought some dried limes I’ve been looking which I need for an Ottolenghi recipe. Then we went to Böhm’s Feinkost, which sells just about gourmet food you can think of. Our stomachs were growling by the time we left.

Our feet were starting to get tired and we though we could use a rest and some cake. My sister recommended we go to Tarte & Törtchen, a place she’s been to several times. Here you can choose from several little tarts or cakes. It’s a wildly popular place and trying to find a seat can be hard. By the time we arrived, a lot of the tarts and cakes had already sold out. We ended up sharing the Baronessa and the Wiener Walzer. The Baronessa was definitely the better choice!

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