Some people are craving a horizontal week in the sun. Others, a romantic city break with food and fine wines. But some of us don’t want either of those things. Some of us want a holiday that makes us feel very good and, also, very bad. Some us just want to be forgetting absolutely everything about the past 18 months. So get those spandex trousers out and load up on 5-HTP, because this is our Berlin staycation.
STEP ONE: WANDER AIMLESSLY
Every mash-up weekend opens with a brief period (anywhere between five minutes and four hours) of faux cultural sincerity to temporarily delay the inevitable car crash of the next 48 hours. The time span depends on whether you started drinking at the airport which, for the purposes of this staycation, we’ll class as breakfast. If you’re partial to a pint with your Pret, you probably want to skip this step. If not, consider a trip to Herman Ze German - where all the sausages are imported from the family’s butcher in Germany - for a tray of klassisch currywurst. Schön.
STEP TWO: PLAN YOUR NIGHT
Right. Time to get imaginative. Dress like you’re seeking the approval of a tattooed bouncer who looks like he eats puppies for Christmas dinner. Clear out as many rooms as possible, and give each one a ‘vibe’. Like:
The lounge AKA Room 1: Techno. Darkness. Cheap lasers. Mind altering substances to help you think you’re in Berlin.
Your bedroom AKA Room 2: Trance. A bed. Regrettable conversations.
The bathroom AKA Room 3: A strobe light. A lock. A place to gather your thoughts, that happens to have a strobe light.
STEP 3: GET ABSOLUTELY MORTAL
This part is fairly straightforward. Unless you’re looking for a nefarious number. We can’t provide you with that, sorry! But we can provide you with some excellent booze recommendations. Tayer + Elementary have a range of extremely classy pre-mixed cocktails. Or alternatively, Highbury Library are doing luminous cocktail pouches for a tenner. Which, to us, feel like an investment if you’re taking this step seriously. Alternatively, check out our Alcohol Delivery Guide before you inevitably end up getting a load of £2 1664s delivered at 4am.
STEP 4: EMBRACE THE OOMPTS
By this point you should be sufficiently steaming. The kind of steaming where you shout variations of ‘THIS IS ACTUALLY DECENT ISN’T IT’ to your weary-looking, much more sober, housemate. The kind of steaming where you probably want to start spinning a six house and techno set in Room 1 (your lounge). NTS have you covered. They’ve got a few ‘Live From Berlin’ marathons that should keep you and the oompts going until silly o’clock.
STEP 5: ORDER THE NEIGHBOURS AN APOLOGY GIFT
A sudden moment of lucidity will hit you at a point of either monumental hammered-ness or momentary soberness. Either way, you’ll remember the existence of the humans who live above, below, and beside you. You will freak the fuck out. You’ll talk about COVID fines and prison and, for no reason whatsoever, your childhood ambition to become a Sainsbury’s pastry section baker. Someone will suggest a 4am apology WhatsApp - which you’ll regret in precisely seven hours time - and another person (both conceivably your internal monologue) suggests an entire stem ginger cake from Quality Chop House. Or a jar of kaya coconut jam from Mei Mei. Maybe they’d like some crème fraîche from the River Cafe. Is that weird? Or is that nice? Who’s to say.
STEP 6: BURG-HAIN
At some point you will fall asleep and at some point you will wake up. Then, and only then, will the insatiable hunger hit. This type of hunger is unique in that it’s often quickly satisfied but is wholly indecisive. All it knows is that it wants carbs and it wants Schitt’s Creek to be the soundtrack to slow, thankful, digestion. Were you actually in Berlin, you may well think you want a burger. And by that we mean, we would absolutely want a burger. So it’s decided: burger.
STEP 7: THE DINNER DEBRIEF
Everyone knows that the best bit of any big one is the debrief. When phones are found, regrets are buried, and dinner is enjoyable again. It’s when you all talk about cathartically smashing the strobe light and wonder what the neighbours will do with their crème fraîche. You’ll want to keep it Germanic as this is the final meal of the holiday, after all. Order some schnitzel from the German Gymnasium or a whopper käsekrainer sausage with potato pureé. Alternatively there’s goulash and more schnitzel available from Corbin & King. And if you’re really back with a bang, get a bottle in from Central European wine specialists Newcomer Wines. Prost!