11 March 2018 Taverne Zum Vollmond, 24 June 2017

I thought the hard part was done – London to Freiburg – over the chalky cliffs of Dover, scooting in and out of France, crossing into Belgium and briefly dipping a toe in Luxembourg before arriving in Germany on a balmy June evening. In a quaint suburb on the outskirts of Freiburg near Vauban – a flourishing, sustainable, district on the site of old army barracks.



But here, idling, at the intersection of ‘f@ck knows where?’ on the Swiss border with bumper to bumper traffic, trams both sides and no option to turn left or right, I thought, maybe, we were lost. “We” being me and cohort Daniela.

It was just under a day since we pootled into Freiburg, unloading ourselves into the home and good graces of friend Jörg Später, that we were now sprinting into Switzerland, navigating desperately to avoid the seriously expensive € autobahn charges. And stuck in a traffic jam on a bustling roundabout, at a very large intersection losing our well mapped way. Only forty minutes from our final destination Arlesheim, and the welcoming invite of hosts Tatyana and Thomas.

[crossing into Switzerland from Germany – before getting lost at the intersection of “f@ck knows where!?”]


Was it the blue road or the green road we weren’t meant to be on?  Confused, I tried to rationalise “in Germany the autobahn is marked blue and the main roads marked green, in Switzerland the autobahn is marked green and the main roads marked blue…. Or is it the other around?” “The roads marked blue in Germany and….”.  After a couple of expletives, some hand wringing, and a few twists and turns, we land in their drive.

Behold. Tatyana’s lush, flower and herb garden. A blooming spectrum of roses, foxglove, lavender, nasturtian, and a delectable array of pungent herbs like rosemary, oregano, chives, sage in a little corner oasis. I love fecund, wild, gardens.

Daniela, aka tour manager (one of her many hats), arranged the gig at Taverne Zum Vollmond, 24 June 2017 – a sofa concert, run by Thomas and Tatyana. A couple of  talented and respectively tech savvy and artistically inclined individuals who invited us into their home of orchards, windows of light, high ceilings, checked tiles and wood floors. Treating circa thirty of us (plus newly roped in roadie, Jörg) to a Swiss apero of delicious home-made hors d’oeuvres, cheese, charcuterie and booze –  unexpectedly amazeballs – as the dial kept rising on this surprisingly sultry summer’s eve.

[Chives or was it Rosemary from Tatyana’s garden, warm up, apero and set up]

I warmed up with a few songs. It was hot!  I mean wet, humid, muggy hot!  This good natured bunch were sweating sitting down while my fingers slid off strings. We took a break outside in the garden.

Different walks and ages, the crowd were a relaxed and personable bunch. I kicked a football in the garden with one, he was very cool – and liked my songs, evidenced by foot clapping while rolling on his back, he was four?  Always plenty of talent in the audience and one, Marcus, treated us to a couple of songs after my set.

Gig pics here

With passions revealed in food, tech, friends and atmosphere Tatyana and Thomas are warm and very generous, hosts – with an ethos that springs from valuing real connection, and community, and sharing what you have with others. This regular music event was inspired by a local woman they knew who opened her home to anyone who couldn’t sleep, or maybe just wanted a chat or company, on the full moon.

If you hadn’t guessed Taverne Zum Vollmond translates into Full Moon Taverna.

[Abut to start, Cooling off outside between sets, jamming with a couple of the guys after the gig, a well deserved cheeky one after a long day/drive]

Both a counsellor and artist Tatyana shared a fine catalogue of bold, surreal, dream inspired paintings, I’ll link to her website when it’s up. And Thomas the tech whizz was building a photography portfolio.  Inviting me and Daniela to a local village festival the following day (after making us breakfast!) we caught a 10 piece jazz band before going off to Basel.

A mental kick for missing the opportunity to float down the aqua currents of The Rhine, in perfect weather! What a gorgeous way to spend an hour. But zapped from the heat and unwilling to trudge back to the car for our togs, we walked and watched people glide by.

But hey, we made it to Arlesheim, Switzerland and Taverne Zum Vollmond.

Again, pics of the gig

[Le Rheine – we didn’t float down – et le Festival]