In my seemingly endless love affair with wallpaper, Schumacher never disappoints. And heading up their team is the wonderful Benni Frowein, who as President of the company works closely with creative director Dara Caponigro to bring this historic company charging into the future with exciting new projects. And with his love for travel, along for his penchant for good design, I just had to ask him give us the inside scoop on his home city of Hamburg.
“I grew up in Hamburg, but it wasn’t until I moved away that I realized what an extraordinary place it is. Having been for centuries one of Europe’s most booming ports, it’s layered with all the rich complexity that such an international, seafaring orientation can bring. From the polished, sophisticated enclaves winding along the River Elbe to the gruff grittiness of the UNESCO World Heritage Site warehouse district, there is something to discover at every turn. Best of all? It’s a world away from the wall-trammeled tourist circuit.” – Benjamin Frowein
The view from Clouds, atop one of Hamburg’s few highrises, is magnificent. And the inventive cocktails and meat-driven menu are just as good. For something more elegant, Seven Seas has two Michelin stars and always draws a smart crowd. Balz und Balz is one of the best coffee bars in town, with beans from artisinal German roasters. Henssler & Henssler is a perennially popular sushi restaurant right on the water near the legendary, 300-year-old fish market.
Unger has long reigned as the go-to spot for high-end, bold-name fashion, while Little Department Store has a more cutting-edge selection of clothes. I’ve been buying almost all my shoes at Budapester Schuhe for years, it’s unbeatable. They don’t have a website, so you have to do a little old fashioned searching!
Something of a Hamptons by the North Sea, the Isle of Sylt makes for a perfect weekend jaunt from Hamburg. Its 25-mile-long beach has powder-soft sand and dramatic dunes, and attracts the sporty, well-heeled set. Rent a bike to toodle past traditional thatch-roof cottages, then stop in one of the quant towns to feast on local fish and peruse the tony shops. Book a room at the third-generation family-owned Hotel Stadt Hamburg, a long-standing member of Relais & Chateaux, and centrally located in the burg of Westerland, itself a hub for European windsurfers.
Antiques BC Blume is a great store for antique silver. Clic, is a wonderful furniture and design shop in Hamburg’s Design Center. I also love Roomservice, a small and cute interior designer store with personally selected items. Another can’t-miss is Decorazioni Interior – a small design shopped owned by a friend of mine.
Thank you Benni for all your wonderful insights! I am headed to Hamburg for a few days this summer and will definitely check out every one of your tips!