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Now this is a city that’s very good at being bad. Here’s where to indulge in a few deliciously guilty pleasures.
As Sally Bowles once belted out on the fictional stage of the Kit Kat Club, “Life is cabaret!” It certainly feels like it at times in Berlin. After the initial turmoil following the fall of the Wall, the city found its footing and in the process rekindled its love affair with all things decadent. While Berlin’s more youthful vices are well-documented, such as in the sinfully renowned real-life Kit Kat Club, there are a number of more sophisticated ways to flirt with high-class hedonism here.
Few places in the city will allow patrons to enjoy the pleasures of a fine cigar, which is why aficionados appreciate the Berlin Marriott Hotel’s well-ventilated lounge. An extensive selection of whiskeys makes for the perfect accompaniment to that rare hand-rolled Cuban.
If you’re going to break the bank, you might as well do as Berlin’s fashionable upper-crust does and head to Grill Royal, the city’s most extravagant steakhouse. Luckily, the prime cuts of Kobe, Australian Wagyu, and other top-notch beef selections match the premium prices. With more than 1,200 wines to choose from, you’re bound to find the right bottle to accompany oysters and spoonfuls of caviar.
Though Berlin tends to skip the outright glamorous in favour of more experimental theatre, the shows at the Friedrichstadt-Palast are a noteworthy exception. The spectacles rival Vegas for the sheer number of lithe dancers clad in scintillating body suits and over-the-top costumes. Though the performances have an undeniably sensual appeal, nothing ever veers too far into risqué territory.
Few places in the German capital can claim the cultural cachet of Kaufhaus des Westens, more commonly known as KaDeWe, a bastion of luxury so synonymous with Berlin that David Bowie included it in one of his songs. For a true treat, visit the The Oyster Bar at KaDeWe on the sixth floor, where pristine shellfish come accompanied by flutes of Champagne.