For one week only, Londoners can travel to Berlin for the cost of an Overground ticket.
No, this isn’t one of those crazy flight deals on a “bargain” airline that makes its money back by charging for oxygen, seatbelts and toilet paper sold by the square inch.
Rather, there’s a new pop-up shop on Bethnal Green Road in Shoreditch showcasing nifty gifts and high-octane bottled libations made in Berlin. The store is open through Sunday, October 11, 2015…not-so-coincidentally coinciding with London’s “Cocktail Week.”
“We wanted to create a place where you can feel the spirit of Berlin,” explains Burkhard Kieker, CEO of VisitBerlin, who is heading up this European pop-up promotional tour for Germany’s capital. The tour began in Stockholm on 21 September and will up sticks next for Vienna, followed by Amsterdam and Paris.
Kieker attributes Berlin’s appeal to “the three T’s: talent, technology and tolerance. This is our recipe for success.”
So what happens when the best of Berlin—a city renowned for its liberality and creativity–meets achingly hip East London? Here some highlights from today’s grand opening.
I stepped in and was immediately transported back to the 70s, thanks to Abba’s “Dancing Queen.” Somewhere in the ethersphere, there’s a movie of me inside busting a move–although thankfully, not a hip.
If you prefer a little more elbow room, there’s a DJ spinning tunes in the showroom, too.
On the technology forefront, you can check out the tallest 3D printer in the world, the Delta Tower.
Admittedly, I’m still a bit hazy about how this works. If I stand on it, can it scan me and extrude me anywhere in the world I want to go?
Of course, if you’ve ever seen the Willy Wonka shrinking machine, you know technology occasionally has its hiccups. (See Exhibit A).
So, while teleportation may still be a dream for the future, what does this mean for you TODAY? Free 3D printed buttons, that’s what.
There are plenty of Ampelmann products on offer, as you would hope and expect. I’m seriously considering buying a pair of these lovable Berlin mascots, which would make excellent “mood lighting.” Green means “it’s all good.” Red means “don’t even think about it, buddy.”
You’ll also find “runway quality, organic cosmetics” from Und Gretel, sexy scents from Frau Tonis Parfum, and colourful textiles. (See Exhibit B).
I honestly thought the sign read “Ninja socks” when I first saw it.
“Alrighty, then,” I shrugged. “Argyle is the new black.”
One should never question the fashion sense of a preppy ninja.
My favourite items, though? These chic metallic bowls, which come flat-packed and can be bent into any shape you like. Great for working out your artsy aggression. I loved them so much, I bought three.
Finally, if you’re feeling thirsty, your needs will be well-catered for. How about Berlin in a bottle?
More details: http://www.visitberlin.de/en/spot/hello-london
133-135 Bethnal Green Road, London E2
Upcoming Berlin pop-up dates:
Vienna, Austria: 2–7 November
Amsterdam, the Netherlands: 16–22 November
Paris, France: 7–12 December