Grand shopping boulevards, elegant arcades, and some of Germany’s best hotels are to be found in Hamburg. This Hanseatic city boasts not only elegant residential areas and town houses on the Elbe River, but also luxury at its best: abundant nature and green areas, time to savour culinary delights, and a relaxed attitude to life. While elegant Hanseatic style doesn’t have to be expensive, it certainly exudes a unique identity – just like the residents of Hamburg.
Born-and-bred Hamburg residents stay away from pretentious sports cars, flashy luxury labels and public extravagance. All this might be considered as luxurious in other cities and countries – but not in Hamburg. Although the city has the highest density of millionaires, the city’s affluence only rarely shows through eye-catching status symbols. Instead, Hamburg residents prefer to rely on exclusive understatement.
That said, Hamburg has of course its luxury boulevard: Neuer Wall, one of Europe’s leading shopping streets for luxury labels, with brands such as Jil Sander, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Cartier, and Hermés. However, it is the traditional, owner-managed retail shops that make shopping in Hamburg a very special experience: stockists of international fashion such as Unger, Sönnichsen jewellers, or the branch of the Hamburg-based company Montblanc. Anglophiles will find what they are looking for at Ladage & Oelke, a family business that is in its third generation of management. Behind its Art Nouveau doors you will find selected British style garments for men and women.
Noble and beautiful
Owner-run specialist shops can also be found in the ABC quarter with its beautiful Art Nouveau facades and small town houses. Thanks to its fine boutiques, antiques shops and jewellers, this part of town is also known as the “Satin Quarter”. Here you can find around 40 specialist shops that are renowned for their personal approach, knowledgeable advice and excellent service. The name of the ABC quarter originates in the fact that in the old days, these houses were provided with letters rather than numbers.
Another family-run business is the fashion retailer Thomas I Punkt at Gänsemarkt. This shop offers its own Omen collection designed by its owner. All items are produced in the company’s own sewing and knitting studio in Hamburg-Rothenburgsort. Many of the fabrics are sourced from highly specialised weaving mills in Japan, Belgium and Italy.
For your very special shopping experience, it is also worthwhile venturing into one of Hamburg’s most exclusive urban districts. In Eppendorf, for instance, fourth-generation perfume merchant Martin Meister is running his Meister perfumery. Under voluptuous stucco and modern chandeliers, Martin Meister and his wife offer a choice of selected luxury scents, such as Kilian, Escentric Molecules or Bond No. 9. But here you can also find very special scents that are rarely found nowadays, among them Halston and Patou. Eppendorf is also the home of Uli Schneider’s showroom. The exclusive Pöseldorf district on the banks of the Inner Alster Lake is host to the Michelin-star restaurant Anna Sgroi, as well as various antiques shops and interior design showrooms.
In a time when every other person seems to have a Louis Vuitton label dangling from their arm, Hamburg’s manufacturer are experiencing a true renaissance. The arts and crafts house Koppel 66 is home to Stefan Fink Schreibgeräte, manufacturer of finest fountain pens. Stefan Fink is renowned for his high-precision quality work, especially in Japan. In his Hamburg studio, Stefan Fink manufactures sensuous fountain pens made of rosewood, Jacaranda and bog oak, with 18 carat gold nibs. All of his pieces are characterised by a puristic elegance, and some of the pens take up to five years to complete. Koppel 66 is home to 20 other arts and crafts manufacturers, among them master shoemaker Annabelle Stephan. All of the workshops at Koppel 66 are open to the public.
Located in the Eppendorf district, the Hentschel Uhrenmanufaktur produces around 200 watches per year. The clockworks are refined by hand and are renowned for their minimalistic design. The Chronometermuseum Hamburg is located just beside the store.
Exquisite fare and delicacies from Hamburg
Local specialties and delicacies are always a nice gift to take with you. Top-quality spices, and specialty coffees and teas can of course be found in the Speicherstadt warehouse district. Where once large sacks of pepper, coffee beans and precious leaves were stored, today, the gourmet store Speicher & Consorten has opened a new outlet – with 13 products from Hamburg manufacturers in stock. It goes without saying that the highest product quality, the best raw materials and traditional manufacturing methods and craftsmanship are a matter of course in Hamburg.
In the immediate vicinity, the owner-managed tea shop with more than 250 hand-picked varieties is waiting in the Wasserschloss Speicherstadt. Here, tea merchant Holger Sturm puts into practice what he has learned in the Hamburg tea wholesale trade and on the tea plantations of Darjeeling in India.
Today, Hamburg boats three branches of the modern Hamburg delicatessen Mutterland. Food lovers can discover rare regional delicacies in the branches in the district of St Georg, on the Poststrasse and in Eppendorf. Discover homemade sauces, chutneys, salsas or jellies from ANNIs, as well as locally produced slow food jams and tasty honey, fine chocolates and fruit brandies produced with passion by master distillers from the surrounding region. Daily fresh food and home cooking are also available here for immediate consumption.
Some of the local brands such as Senf Pauli, Kakao Kontor or the vanilla expert Jaques Dukart can also be found on the Isemarkt. This noble weekly market is held every Tuesday and Friday alongside the magnificent Art Nouveau buildings spanning a kilometre between Eppendorf and Harvestehude. As many as 200 traders offer the finest fresh fruit, vegetables and specialties from Hamburg and its surroundings. So if you would like to try some home-smoked Hamburg bacon, this is definitely the place to go.