Articles by Paul

Originally from Lancashire in the north of England, Paul Scraton is responsible for Company Communications at The Circus. If you would like to get in contact with him, you can reach him by email at paul.scraton [at] circus-berlin.de

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This is (some of) us at the opening of UVR Connected in the Hotel building on the corner of Rosenthaler Platz. Those of you who have been keeping an eye on the blog will have seen the announcement of the opening a few months ago, and after a lot of work clearing the space and getting it ship-shape, the big event took place last week. Here’s what we said about our new neighbours back then:

“Alongside carefully chosen brands, UVR Connected stores also sell their own collection, much of which is produced in the countryside north of Berlin in a region known as the Uckermark. Using fabrics from Italy and France, UVR Connected creates clothing that is timeless, classic and, in their own words, “grown up”. We think it is great that we will have on the square another local company, committed to production in Germany and Europe, and we are looking forward to welcoming our new neighbours to the square.”

Well now they are here we are certainly happy to have them next door, and as the dust settled on the opening party we sent Lisa around to take some pictures so you can get an idea what to expect. Rosenthaler Platz just got a lot more stylish:

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Today is the 53rd anniversary of the day the border between East and West Berlin was closed using rolls of barbed wire and hundreds of armed guards. Within hours the construction began of what would become known at the Berlin Wall, the most visible manifestation of Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” that divided not only the city, the country, but also Europe. The Berlin Wall continues to shape the city almost 25 years after it came down, and if you are interested in learning more, there are a number of fascinating exhibitions and other sites of memory to explore. Here are some of our favourites:

Berlin Wall Memorial and Documentation Centre

Just a short walk up the hill from the Circus, Bernauer Straße was the location for some of the most dramatic scenes during the days following the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961. Many escapes both above and below ground took place here, as well as some of the first tragic deaths of people attempting to cross the dividing line. The stretch from Bernauer Straße U-Bahn station to Nordbahnhof is now home to a large open-air exhibition about the many historically important events that took place here, as well as  the Chapel of Reconciliation and a preserved stretch of the Wall itself which stands as a memorial site. The Documentation Centre is closed until November 2014 for renovations, but the Visitor’s Centre houses an interesting shop with books, videos and other resources relating to the history of the Berlin Wall.

U-Bahn: Bernauer Straße
www.berliner-mauer-gedenkstaette.de

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Rummelsburg

After a great summer of Open Air parties down in Rummelsburg, hosted by the fabulous FLY Watergate crew and their pals, this Sunday 17 August sees the final installment – for this summer at least. Here’s what they have to say…

“A fantastic summer at Rummelsburg is coming to an end and for the grand finale we will be going out with a big bang! Our favourite location will be especially prepared for the occasion with the sand sifted and the trees perfectly combed. The weather fairy has already been bribed so all you fortune seekers can rave to your hearts content as the sun charges our batteries with all its’ strength one last time. That the music for the show will be amazing should go without saying…so anyone who isn’t familiar with Loco Dice, Jamie Jones or the fantastic live shows of dOP is going to get some serious extra tuition from us. Whether barefoot or in polished shoes, everything goes, just don’t forget your sunscreen!”

As always, we have tickets available at the reception of the Circus Hostel for €19,50, and it is going to be some party… check out the facebook page of the events for more information, as well as links to the artists performing on Sunday.

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So the Circus Creativity Bonanza continues apace… anyone who has been to Rosenthaler Platz in recent weeks will see that the renovations to both the hostel and hotel buildings are in full swing. On the hotel side, the new corner shop from our friends at UVR Connected has opened – we will be bringing you some photographs from the interior in the coming days – whilst across the street the Apotheke space has now joined the opticians under the deconstruction hammer.

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But what to expect in the future? Well, behind the scenes the Circus team and our buddies at Unit Berlin have been formulating their plans for both inside and outside the hostel building, and today we are offering a sneak peak of what you can expect for the façade of the building. We have so many ideas that we cannot wait to share with you, so keep following us here on the blog to find out more in the coming weeks and months.

chill and grillIf you fancy some tasty treats, cold drinks, and a fantastic view across the centre of Berlin, then join us on Wednesday evening for the next of our Chill n Grill events… see you up there?

We love food… but sometimes time is short and we need to eat on the run. We have put together this map and guide to some of our favourite places for grabbing a quick bite to eat, from the classic sausage or kebab to old school delis, weekly markets, and champagne and oysters for those feeling a little flush…

It’s all about the sausage…

Germany might conjure up images of sizzling bratwurst or boiled bockwurst, but in Berlin curry is king. The currywurst is a Berlin institution, made by chopping up a (when made properly, skinless) bratwurst and smothering it in a curried ketchup. It is not particularly spicy, but it has been the lunch of choice for hardworking Berliners for decades. As with kebabs that come later, everyone has their favourites but there are some institutions on the Berlin currywurst scene.

Certain members of the Circus team swear by the Bratpfanne, a small kiosk on the Schloßstrasse down in the south-western neighbourhood of Steglitz. East Berliners on the other hand swear by Konnopkes – housed beneath the overhead railway lines at Schönhauser Allee and just a walk up the hill from the Circus on Rosenthaler Platz. And whilst we are on the subject of the sausage, a little further up the Schönhauser Allee opposite the S-Bahn station you will find Alain’s, where you can try the Kettwurst – otherwise known as the East German hotdog. The sausage is dunked in sauce and then stuffed inside a hollowed out bun, and it is believed to have been invented by the kitchen team of the Television Tower, back in the GDR.

Döner Time…

Everyone knows that the Döner kebab was invented in Berlin, although there are many theories as to who was the first… in any case, to get Turkish flatbread filled with salad, sauce and slivers of shaved meat, then you need look no further than the nearest street corner. Literally, in the case of the Circus, as although Rosenthaler Platz is in the old east, and thus was never a part of the city with a large Turkish population, the Rosenthaler Grill which opened after the fall of the wall has developed in the past twenty years a reputation as one of the finest in the city, which is great seeing as it is right on our doorstep.

Otherwise, the recommendation has to be to head south to the neighbourhoods of Kreuzberg and Neukölln, and vegetarians need not miss out on the wonders of the kebab stand. Mustafa’s grilled vegetable kebab is legendary – queues at peak times can stretch out for an hour or more – and if there is a meat-eater in your party that needs keeping happy, it is possible to add chicken to the mix.

Old School Delis and Bourgeois Fast Food…

If the humble sausage or döner is not quite refined enough for your tastes, then Berlin has other options for a better class of fast food. The Rogacki is an old school deli in Charlottenburg, family-owned and operated since the late 1920s and location for travel writer and chef Anthony Bourdain’s favourite meal in Germany. There are all kinds of wonderous foods to be eaten, standing at the Rogacki’s waist-high tables and served by smiling ladies and gents in white coats, but it is most famous for its cold cuts and locally-sourced fish.

Even higher up the social-food-chain is the foodhall of legendary department store the Kaufhaus des Westens, known to everyone in Berlin as the KaDeWe. If your wallet can handle it, there can be no better “lunch on the run” than champagne and oysters… Berlin is generally more Mike Leigh than Sex In The City, but KaDeWe is one of the few places where it is unashamedly about the price… although thankfully they have the quality to match.

Prepare your picnic – Berlin’s Weekly Markets…

And then there is the picnic. Any guide, however rough, to snack spots and lunch venues in the city would be missing something if it did not mention the opportunities for fresh air treats in the many green spaces of the city. From the Tiergarten to the Grünewald, the Müggelsee or Volkspark Friedrichshain, the options for whipping out you picnic blanket are seemingly endless. But where to buy your supplies? Here is where the many “weekly markets” of Berlin come in, selling local – and often organic – produce, from tasty cheeses and breads to fruit, vegetables and – of course – those sausages again.

The most famous is arguably the Saturday market on Winterfeldplatz in Schöneberg, whilst closer options to the Circus include Kollwitzplatz (Prenzlauer Berg; Thursday and Saturday) and Hackerscher Markt (Mitte; Thursday and Saturday). Also interesting is the Turkish Market on the Maybachufer (Neukölln; Tuesday and Friday) or the organic farmer’s market on Boxhagener Platz (Friedrichshain; Saturdays)

 

KMA Beer Fest
Those who know us well, know that we love a beer or two at the Circus. So what more could we want than the world’s biggest beer garden, over a mile long, to be built within a sober walk or a tipsy stagger from The Circus. For the eighteenth time, Karl Marx Allee is host to the International Beer Festival. The festival runs from the 1st to the 3rd August, and will bring together 320 breweries from 86 countries, presenting over 2000 different beers for you to try.

In recent years the festival has showcased beers from specific countries, such as Poland in 2013. This time around they have decided to follow the growing trend, and the motto for 2014 is “Craft Beer Specialties.” Over 200 craft beers are expected to be presented at the festival, from the USA, Italy, France, Argentina, Norway and Nepal.

Opening times for the festival:
Friday 1st August: 12 noon – Midnight
Saturday 2nd August: 10am – Midnight
Sunday 3rd August: 10am – 10pm

The admission to the International Beer Festival is free

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It is time for the next installment of our favourite summer festival in Berlin – the FLY Watergate Open Airs at Rummelsburg. We’ve already enjoyed some great parties, and the fourth event on the 3rd August promises more of the same. The event is hosted by DIYNAMIC, and the line-up includes Solomun, H.O.S.H., David August (live), Stimming (live), Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Adriatique, Karmon, Thyladomid, and Magdalena.

As always, we have tickets available at the reception of the Circus Hostel for €19,50, and it is going to be some party… check out the facebook page of the event for more information, as well as links to the artists performing on Sunday.

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