Christmas crackers at the English Shop


While German Christmas is full of wonderful food, drinks, traditions and myths, there’s one thing it lacks: Christmas crackers.

Luckily there’s a place in Cologne – and Bonn – where you can stock up on these Christmas essentials: The English Shop.

Just off Schildergasse in Cologne, and right next to Stern Platz in Bonn, The English Shop is a home-from-home for Brits. It doesn’t just stock crackers – it also has mince pies, Christmas puddings, Christmas chocolate variety packs, and of course, Paxo stuffing. All the ingredients for a typical British Christmas – if that’s what you desire.

What the hell is a cracker?

Christmas crackers are foil covered paper tubes fitted with a chemically impregnated card strip, similar to what you’ll find in a cap gun. Two people pull the cracker from each end, setting off the bang . Whoever gets the biggest end, also get the contents of the cracker, which is generally a small toy, a paper hat and a joke – depending on the quality. You can get luxury crackers filled with useful things too.

The crackers decorate the Christmas dining table and are pulled when the turkey is served. Family members dutifully don the paper crowns and then the jokes are read out to the delight of the children.

It’s a British tradition that dates back to Victorian times. In the 1850s a London confectioner started adding a motto to the sweets he sold wrapped in twisted paper packaging. Apparently he was inspired to add the ‘bang’ when he heard the crackle of a log he’d thrown on the fire. The paper crowns were added in the 1900s.

Get a free cracker at the English Shop Cologne

For anyone who doesn’t know about Chrstmas crackers – the English Shop in Cologne is giving five lucky readers the chance to try one this year. Send us a message on Facebook – give us your name and email addres – and we’ll send you a voucher for a free medium sized cracker with a purchase over €5.

The English Shop Cologne
An St. Agatha 41
50667 Köln
Tel: 0221-2578555
Open: Mon-Sat 10am to 8pm

The English Shop Bonn
Sternstr. 71
53111 Bonn
Open: Mon-Sat 10am to 8pm





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