Fraeulein Sonntag - The Beauty of Taking a Risk

Friday, November 13, 2015

"Join me for coffee, dear."

Simone Hawlisch tells magnificent stories.  Born in Lower Saxony, one of the sixteen federal states of Germany, this freelance photographer and visual storyteller who now lives in Berlin with husband, Heiko, carries the ability to concentrate beauty into a small frame, beckoning the mind to imagine the greater wonder outside the boundaries of confined space. An avid cook as well, Simone can often be found creating recipes in her tiny kitchen, working at her signature table made of rustic old scaffolding, or collaborating with other photographers and food bloggers throughout Europe and the UK.

Simone's journey towards a simpler, slower lifestyle began several years ago and she only recently gave up her job as Director of People Development for a global company in favor of living her dream as a full-time photographer and stylist for food, lifestyle and travel.  Her work has been featured in national and international online and print magazines such as Conde Nast Traveler and Life & Thyme, while her Instagram and Steller Stories boast a hefty following of fans and like-minded people inspired by her captivating narrative and stunning photographs.

In the early years of her life, Simone remembers cooking with her mother, learning favorite German dishes as they worked together in her mother's spotless kitchen, and also during times spent at her Aunt and Uncle's home in the country.  Now, she enjoys the freedom of creating a beautiful mess in her own kitchen while concentrating on the process of making a dish, experimenting with ingredients and later gathering with friends and family around a table where conversation flows freely.

"Life is so different for us since I work  as a freelancer. It feels like being reconnected and seeing what matters in life," reflects Fraeulein Sonntag (the name she uses on Instagram). And for her, this means more time for weekend adventures with Heiko, such as the recent hiking trip they took to South Tyrol in Italy or the cozy cabin they enjoyed in the mountains of Germany during another restful get-away.

For Simone, the deliberate choice to step into a slower pace and live the dream she longed for is best summed up in this favorite quote by Anais Nin:  "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."  

Simone in her element, meeting up with friends for coffee.

Photographing Clarchens Ball Room in Berlin, a magnificent treasure that survived the war.

Amsterdam on a rainy weekend for a cooking collaboration with friends.

The Loft - an interior exhibition in Amsterdam.

An upside down cake flavored with cardamom.

Lovely plums, waiting to be baked into something delicious.

Foraged mushrooms.

In Lisbon, where the sun reflects off cobblestones turning buildings into golden glory.

Starting the morning right with a good cup in Portugal.

"Sundays are for slowing down and enjoying a moment of stillness after a busy Saturday."

An early morning chasing the fog and catching the first rays of sun in Regent's Park, London.

A slow weekend of hiking in Germany's golden woods.

Walnuts at the Borough Market in London.

To follow Simone on Instagram:  @fraeuleinsonntag
Her blog, By Fraeulein Sonntag, will be available soon.

All photos courtesy of Simone Hawlisch and used with permission.


Rustic Rye & Hazelnut Biscuits
(Inspired by Nigel Slaters, Kitchen Diaries iii)

Makes about 15 biscuits

Ingredients (go for organic ingredients)

130g rye flour
30g light unrefined cane sugar
30ml dark maple syrup
65g salted butter
75g skinned and roasted hazelnuts
1/2 teaspoon baking powder


  • Grind the hazelnuts using an electric coffee grinder (my tip) or food processor leaving about 10g for later.
  • Whisk the butter and sugar until you get a smooth texture, finally adding syrup little by little.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder and ground hazelnuts and fold this mixture gently with the butter/sugar/maple syrup mix.
  • Roll the dough into a 4cm thick sausage, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for about one hour.
  • After 40 minutes into chilling the dough, preheat the oven to 160C.
  • Once you get the dough out of the fridge, remove the cling film and cut the dough into 15 slices, gently flatten them in the palm of your hand and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  • Chop the remaining hazelnuts in quarters and place 3 - 4 quarters on top of each biscuit.
  • Bake for 18 - 20 minutes and transfer to a baking rack to let them cool down for a bit. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting woman. How important to follow our dreams. Nice photos too. ��