Berlin can seem sprawling, with its large GDR housing estates and empty old factories, but it is easy to escape to its surrounding network of beautiful lakes, which have crystal-clear water running through them. Berliners love nothing more than the short trip to lakes like Müggelsee or further afield to Leipnitzsee, where they can swim, picnic and hike, often combining it with that very German enthusiasm for nudism. One of the most accessible by S-Bahn is Schlachtensee, to the west, which feeds into the much larger Wannsee. There’s a marked path around it as well as miles more through the nature reserve of the Grünewald forest. Overlooking the lake is the Fischerhütte, housing both a large outdoor beer garden and a more formal restaurant inside. It was originally built in the mid-18th-century as a rest house on the road between Berlin and Potsdam (the official residence of the Prussian kings). After a good stroll, nothing beats a hefty bratwurst and, depending on the season a fassbier (draught beer) or creamy hot chocolate. From the terrace you can watch the rowing boats slowly drifting around or, if it’s been below freezing for long enough in winter, the ice-skating. Inside, the modern brasserie features plenty of old photographs from its heyday in the 1920s when these lakes were Berlin’s answer to the French Riviera. The menu is suitably traditional, with mainstays like Schnitzel and Flammkuchen as well as seasonal specials like venison or white asparagus.