If you’ve spent even one Silvester in Germany, you are familiar with Dinner for Two, a 1963 Brit comedy sketch where Miss Sophie and her butler, James celebrate her birthday with an inimitable dinner party. The key line of the skit, which you must be prepared to ask and answer come end of year, is “same procedure as last year?”
This question actually comes up often when you live in a smaller city in Germany, where not much changes and it does not take too long to learn the “regulars” in the town. Sure, Göttingen is a university city with a dynamic population, but the shops and restaurants can come across as somewhat unimaginative if you travel afar often. When I suggested once to a German friend that despite its small size, the city was quite cosmopolitan, she pointed out the Innenstadt boasts two H&M stores, three Rossman “value-minded” drugstores, and a near bankrupt department store as the anchors for the shopping district. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my city as much as these guys. In fact I might say their little song is actually an anthem for the renaissance taking place in our sweet burgh.
Not only is the Carrè Center receiving a much needed makeover thanks to a British investment group, also Marktplatz, which surrounds the most kissed girl in the world, has received a breath of fresh air with the brand new Miss Sophie Cafe.We’ve been watching the space for a few weeks, first noticing the totally on-trend Radiant Orchid colour they painted the interior, followed by the mod black and gold dome pendants hung over the counter. Replacing the ill-conceived Bubble Tea and Sushi take away place, which was preceded by a short-lived FroYo shop, Miss Sophie Cafe opened today with live music and a Super Angebote 50% off everything. Even though the place was packed with a line snaking out the door, we managed to get some drinks and cake to-go and sat outside to enjoy their live music of the day – a guy taking requests and belting out everyone’s favourite english pop songs from yesterday and today. Relying on an iPad for lyrics, he actually managed to pull off everything from Bob Marley, Cat Stevens and Passenger to Backstreet Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
We ordered an Espresso Doppio, a Chai Latte, and a Hot Milk Chocolate plus a piece of Lemon Cake and one Marmorkuchen slice. The cost: under €7 with the opening day discount. I overheard a few people comment the regular prices were high, but this is typical of what I’ll call “old-school Germans.” For me, the quality was more than worthy of the prices. The fare: I give both cakes we tried 5 stars, and sit them squarely in the top tier for GOE – moist, good crumb, and really yummy fresh-baked flavour. In addition to a few other muffins and cakes, they offer international sandwiches, an Italian open-faced caprese on ciabatta, a Skandic inspired Matjes Smørrebrød, and a couple of German standards. Aside from the made-to-order hot drinks, you can grab Fritz Cola, Orangina, Bionade or a fresh-pressed Blood Orange Juice. The verdict: Miss Sophie Cafe has shaken up Marktplatz, but I certainly hope we can repeat the same procedure as today for a long time to come.