Lara Maria Gräfen, BERLIN
Lara reached out to me in 2012 when I started working on the book. I liked her from the very first minute and she ended up helping me prepare for shoots in Berlin as well as abroad. She is the person that comes closest to the description “ett lingon i ett cocktail glas” (“A lingonberry in a cocktail glass”) that I ever met. Down to earth but style sensitive as few. Since about a year she is running the blog Envie.
Q/A with Lara
M: Where do you come from and what do you love the most about this place?
L: I come from a small wine village at the Mosel called Cochem. It gives me the perfect balance to enjoy the big city life in Berlin. I love to be surrounded by nature, the water, my friends and family and of course, the good wine.
M: What role does aesthetics play in your life?
L: Aesthetics are not only my every pleasure, they luckily also became my job. I love discovering the beauty in life in all its facetts – from food to fashion to good handcraft. I truly enjoy the beauty in everything and love to share my finds with others on my blog envy. I realized within the last years that to me beauty might be more important than to others and that it plays a very big role in my life. But of course, it is not everything and there are far more important things. But why not making life a little bit more beautiful?
M: Which kind of aesthetics do you crave?
L: I enjoy having a story behind a product. You can simply tell by the look of a design or by the way something is cooked If the person truly put her heart into it. I couldn’t limit myself to one specific style, as long as it is truly filled with love for beauty, I enjoy it.
M: What would you say is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your life?
L: Sometimes I realize that to others my whole life seems a little risky. I have never chosen the normal and simple path, but rather discover the richness of life. To me this is the normal and most logical way. Why choosing normal, if you miss out on the truly beautiful adventures? I enjoy life every single day and am very thankful for everything. I guess one of the biggest risks in my life is just about to happen, since I recently quit my job to focus more on my biggest passion – singing.
M: When is a time you can recall being the happiest?
L: Luckily I can say that it is right now. Life is treating me very well and I can’t get enough of it
M: I really like the idea of SMILESTORM, that you took part in. Why do you think such a campaign is needed?
L: I just feel that behaving online still needs some education. We grew up having a life online, but no one really taught us how to behave on the internet. All I wish for is that people keep the same respect and behavior like they do in real life.
M: What is it that interests you in The Bread Exchange?
L: Besides being the truly best bread I have ever tasted in my life, I find it stunning, that you can still amaze and connect people with a simple thing like bread. This proofs what I just said above – if there is heart in it, the beauty will shine through and reach the people.
M: You are Vegetarian. What are your 3 favorite restaurants in NYC and Berlin?
L: In NYC my favorite restaurant is definitely the Buvette, who recently also opened in Paris. In Berlin I really enjoy going to the eins44 and Nansen – both offer fine kitchen in a relaxed surrounding.
M: I have been aiming to go to Mosel for a bike tour ages now. What villages or restaurants should I absolutely not miss? Where would you stay for a relaxing weekend in the Mosel region?
L: Well, I still did not give up hope, that we will make it to the Mosel together someday and I can show you around my home. There are uncountable places with wonderful castles, old houses and good German food. One of my favorite retaurants is Petry in Treis-Karden – one part of their restaurant is more exquisite and they really serve amazing food and besides a huge cheese carriage I had the most amazing Jacobs mussels there once.