Back in middle school, I used to wonder what's going on inside the ominous teachers' room.
During breaks, teachers would retreat to a room overlooking the school yard with a "no access" sign on the door: Das Lehrerzimmer. Supposedly, they would chat, have a cup of coffee and observe the students like lifeguards at the pool.
After all those years, I have finally peeked inside a real teachers' room! And as I accessed Das Lehrerzimmer Café through a long hallway inside Bern's former gymnasium, nostalgia hit me.
Back to school at Das Lehrerzimmer Café in Bern
Das Lehrerzimmer Café is a mash-up of coffee shop, lunchtime restaurant and bookshop for contemporary art books. The furniture is authentic with a vintage touch, and it looks just like what I remember from grade school. I would describe the atmosphere as part Bohemian, part urban hipster, and I really do not mind going back to school here!
On the menu are local beers, adult beverages, various specialty coffees (including coretto with grappa) and a large selection of teas. The breath of options will initially overwhelm you, but that's what the friendly staff is for: They will gladly point out the bestsellers.
We found out about the Lehrerzimmer Café in a nifty little guide published by the Swiss Heritage Society. Don't miss this gem of a café if you happen to find yourself in Bern...
About the PROGR Cultural Space
As you step outside the Bern train station, ask any local about PROGR and they will point you to this former wheat-storage-facility-turned-gymnasium-turned-cultural-space. (PROGR is short for "Progymnasium"). Here, about 70 former classrooms and multipurpose rooms have been turned into studios for creative minds.
Apart from Das Lehrerzimmer Café, there is the Turnhalle art space and a new tenant who has just moved in: erlesen is a shop for fine print publications in various shapes and languages.
(Copyright by erlesen.ch)
The PROGR cultural space in Bern has retained a "school" character, making me feel as if I was stepping back in time.
My grade for this place? A solid "A".