Tea und Kraft

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My sister is currently living in the popular holiday destination of Söll, Austria. During winter the picturesque village is packed with skiers from all around the globe, who also like to spend time in the nearest neighbouring town, Kufstein.

Kufstein is a delightful mixture of quaint Austrian charm and modern sleekness; traditional wooden houses with flowers bursting from every window sill sit contentedly alongside the neoteric architecture of the University of Applied Sciences campus.

One place that gets the mixture of Austrian authenticity and exotic flare particularly spot-on is Tea und Kraft, a teahouse located on the main route into the town centre.

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This huge beautiful building with its wooden shutters and ornate balconies is somewhat of a centre for peaceful living; not only does the cafe offer over a hundred different types of tea to drink and buy, but it also hosts workshops on subjects like yoga, alternative therapy, healthy cooking for families, and more.

The team at Tea und Kraft are obviously well travelled and have drawn ideas from global cultures to influence their work. This is prevalent in both the interior decoration and the small ‘kraft’ shop at the back of the cafe. Here you will find wall hangings, incense burners, candles, small statues of Buddha made from jade, and many other homely treasures.

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It was a hot day when  I went to visit and of course they offer some brilliant cocktails too! I can recommend the grimly named ‘Black Heart’; don’t be deterred, it is actually like a sweeter Long Island Iced Tea with a lovely garnish of cherries and physalis.

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Among the multitude of teas you can order, your hosts offer a traditional Japanese style family serving which includes a pot of green organic Matcha Tea and three delicacies from their bakery.

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Salurnerstraße Nr. 5, 6330 Kufstein | Tue to Sat 10:00 – 18:00 

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6 Tips for Beginner Cosplayers

Guest blogger Emma Petfield shares essential knowledge for those just starting out on their own cosplay adventures.

1. Set a Budget

If you know how much you have to spend then you won’t be carried away by seemingly impressive online fully kitted out costumes. These carry a lot of risk and can be one hefty lump sum. If you do decide to purchase a ready made cosplay make sure to get accurate sizing and ensure that if you’re unhappy with the product you will indefinitely be refunded!

2. Second-Hand Shops Are Your Saving Grace

You can find things for half sometimes even a tenth of the price that you had initially considered paying. My suggestion is if you have a few cosplays in mind to make mood boards with examples of everything you need for each cosplay. Keep them with you and if happen to pass a charity or second-hand shop you’ll know exactly what you need and can compare directly to reference images.

3. Decent Sewing Machines Don’t Have to be Expensive

I paid £18 for my sewing machine and even though the needle broke, the machine survive quadruple stitched material to create a Yukata. Quality does not equal expense and I believe that if you look hard enough you can find good deals. Again sewing machine’s can be picked up pretty easily from eBay or even your local charity shops. I’ve sewn dresses, leotards and jackets using my sewing machine and it only have 8 settings, which are plenty for the things I need.

4 . Better Safe Than Sorry

If you’re not sure that your material is strong enough to withstand all your cosplay shenanigans then try double stitching or running it through the sewing machine a couple of times for extra support. One trick I always maintain is doubling material, especially if the costume leaves a little less to the imagination – conventions run throughout the year and if you want to be walking around in Misty’s crop top and denim shorts you best have something as a backup incase your doubling up doesn’t quite cut it. On that note…

5 . Don’t Endanger Yourself for the Sake of Looking Cool

Try to make your costumes fit the environment. If you know you’re going to be spending several hours outside in the Autumn weather, then it probably is best you save your Misty costume for another day. Picking several costumes at once can help with this as you can have them ready to go at the drop of a hat because of your excellent planning.

6 . Research Your Prop Material

Don’t just stick to the classic papier maché cardboard combo, there’s a diverse range of materials you can use. Worbla was a wondrous discovery but it can be expensive. Cosplay is about having a keen eye and knowing how to make something of a completely different thing. If you can turn a drain pipe into a Harkonnen from Hellsing then you’ve probably got that eye.

Emma blogs about all things bookish over at Howling Reviews and can also be found on twitter and instagram sharing her latest reads @KyraWolf289.

SchwuZ

Leave your stereotypes at the door as you enter SchwuZ, one of the largest and most inclusive queer clubs in Berlin. Situated in a huge warehouse building on Rollbergstraße, it caters for music tastes of all kinds, not just your Madonna and Weather Girls fans. Much like Silver Future , the crowd in SchwuZ tends to be young and progressive, an equal balance of all genders and sexualities. With three huge dance floors to choose from playing completely different genres, punks and metalheads mingle with indie kids, drag queens and hipsters at the bar in the conjoining corridor. Drinks are cheap, and there will often be stalls set up in the entrance hall where you can pay €1 for a shot of your choice, all proceeds going towards charitable organizations and causes.

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Part of what makes Schultz so awesome is its location and the raw feel of the club itself. You enter into what feels like a huge void, where all expectations leave you and excitement for what lies ahead starts to course through your bloodstream: a huge black corridor with nothing inside but a rotating cube on the ceiling, and pictures of notorious drag queens lining the walls. After this surreal start, you will notice music blaring from the tiny entrance door in the left-hand corner, which leads you into the main body of the club.

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Now you are through the rabbit hole and into an industrial wonderland of copper pipes, concrete blocks topped with leather futons which serves as seats/beds to lounge on, and graffiti by Berlin street-artist Plotbot KEN, depicting men in radiation suits and toxic waste warning symbols. The main room is enormous, with high ceilings and a small seating area complete with a mismatched ensemble of lounge chairs. Here you will usually hear hip-hop, RnB, and current chart music. For techno lovers, there is a room dedicated to electronic beats both old and new. The smaller room near the entrance to the club plays Nu Metal, Punk, vintage Pop, and all things nostalgic. No matter your preference, musically or sexually, you are sure to feel welcome in this club and keep on dancing till the early hours of the morning.

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Rollbergstraße 26, 12053 | 10.30pm-6am Wed; 11pm-7am Thu-Fri; 11pm-8am Sat | U7 Rathaus Neukolln