STAY in Hamburg:
Even among the most stylish hotels in Hamburg the 5-star SIDE Hotel stands all alone. Actually it's located on Gänsemarkt. Designer Matteo Thun from Milan created the hotel and the rooms in a purist and surprisingly colourful fashion, and each of the pieces of furniture is a masterpiece in its own right. The 24-metre-high atrium, brought to life by lighting by Robert Wilson, is a highlight for fans of architecture. One night in a double room from Euro 500.
This hotel provides ideal accommodation for sensitive artistic souls, who may choose from one of four houses. The Yellow house features both turn-of-the-century and Biedermeier styles. The breakfast room and reception are located here. Guests in the Green house can enjoy a view of the Zen garden, clean lines and modern reduction. The rooms in the Red house go to show that even 80s style can be tastefully realised. The highlight, however, is the Blue house, in which every room is named after a writer. Writers such as Martin Walser, Catherine Millet, Sven Eric Bechtolf and Marjane Satrapi are among former guests. Double room from Euro 130,-.
A young team of architects retained the exterior of the turn-of-the-century city villa, yet completely renovated the interior creating Hamburg's hippest hotel in the process. During its construction glass, stone and wood were the materials of choice, while at the heart of the building is the Mazza restaurant, which serves Syrian cuisine. On the topic of food, you might have the luck of enjoying your coffee at the long breakfast table in the company of a particularly beautiful guest - young models are often booked in at the hotel for their beauty sleep. Double room from EUR 99.
SHOPPING in Hamburg:
Need advice? Kathrin Bruss has such a good eye for designer fashion that even the stars allow her to dress them. The Pet Shop Boys, Sheryl Crow, Thomas Gottschalk and Herbert Grönemeyer are just a handful of fashion-conscious stars, who have been convinced by Bruss' sense of style. The truly big names, however, are to be found on the labels: Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulenmester, Neil Barret, Chloé and many more are regulars at Petra Teufel. Clothing for people with taste and individual style.
Deluxe delicatessen: Butter Lindner is a haven for any gastronome and amateur cook. Here simply everything tastes good. Hamburg's in-crowd head to Butter Lindner to pick up their essentials. From bread and pastries to sausage, sweets, vegetables and spices, here you can find everything you need for your favourite recipe, or just a delightful snack. And the quality is so good that even star chef Tim Mälzer regularly drops by to stock up. The highlight, after which the shop was named: butter directly from the block. Salted or not, sliced to measure.
Ethel Vaughn is an illustrious name - that's also what fashion designer Katrin Weber must have thought and therefore used the name of her boyfriend's granny for her fashion label. The granny is a Brit and also the style of the native-born Dusseldorf designer could come downright from the isle. Her urban street style is sometimes sexy, sometimes sporty, at other times simply casual - but always cool. In the small store right between the Millerntor-Stadion and the Reeperbahn in Hamburg's district St. Pauli you'll find sweatshirts with batwing sleeves, tracksuit-styled jeans or hand-bleached shorts with a domestos look. Each piece is characterised by a casual cut and trained craftsmanship. Apart from housing the sales area for the pieces from the latest collection you'll also find the designer's atelier here - where each peace can be crafted in small quantities. And what about the fact that you can also buy the British workmen's boots by Dr. Martens? It's like chalk and cheese!
SIGHTS in Hamburg:
To catch the Fischmarkt on a Sunday you have to get up early - something that is easier said than done given Hamburg's lively nightlife. Those who make it can reward themselves with a fresh crab roll before venturing into the free-for-all. Yet Fischmarkt doesn't solely revolve around fish. Since 1703 practically everything has been sold: flowers, fruit and vegetables, liquorice, eels and souvenirs. Just a few years ago you could even find livestock on offer. The true highlight is the banter that the salesmen and women employ in an earthy Hamburg fashion to tempt the passers-by into making a purchase. Breakfast is available for early birds, tourists and hungry revellers from the previous night in the great hall, which is filled with the sound of a questionable music accompaniment.
Oh to be a grocer's widow... as these lucky women had the honour of living in the Krameramtsstuben at the foot of St. Michaelis Church. The timbre-frame houses, which were built in the 17th century, mimic doll's houses. Today the houses are home to a bookshop, a gallery, a museum and a restaurant. Amazingly the houses remained untouched by the great fire in the 19th century as well as the bombs dropped in the wars. If St. Michaelis Church is the heart of Hamburg, the Krameramtsstuben are the soul.
Kunsthalle is home to a first-class collection, which covers no fewer than seven centuries. Here each of the big art families has its own room or house: the old masters are also represented, as are the authorities from the 19th century and the modern classics. The media collection, which includes audio and video works, deserves a special mention. Among others it features work by Günter Brus, Dennis Oppenheim, Valie Export and Gordon Matta-Clark. The Gallery of Contemporary Art - a four-storey, white cube - is dedicated to art from 1960 onwards boasting many interesting pieces.
EAT in Hamburg:
Those in search of passion need look no further, promises chef Thorsten Gillert. And he is true to his word. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at Bude 1 and watch it transform into the trendy Artisan in the evening. Artisan offers diners set menus from four to seven courses, while the appropriate wine accompaniment comes recommended by professionals. The menus change daily leaving guests an element of surprise, providing they remember to reserve. Even star chef Tim Mälzer is impressed, openly acknowledging Thorsten Gillert as the city's most creative chef.
Built on the grounds of the big wholesaler meat market, this restaurant seats no fewer than 180 diners. And every single one of the seats is necessary as three days a week Tim Mälzer - the popular and admired TV chef himself - can be found in the kitchen, preparing the finest food to spoil his guests, who of course remembered to reserve in advance. Dishes include quail breast, poussin, Burrata and Calamaretti. The old brick house exudes charm, the cuisine is wonderful and the ambience is upmarket without being pompous.
Enjoy a taste Portuguese of life with fish, wine and sweets! The Portuguese quarter winds around the harbour - more precisely around Dietmar-Koel-Straße. If you're an enthusiastic eater, then it's certainly worth a visit. Galego is one of the most popular restaurants in the quarter, both with tourists and locals. Reserve a table in advance to ensure you can enjoy truly wonderful fresh fish. If you forget to do so, then try Sagres just a few doors down the road at number 53.