On the go with Andre Hallier
Moin, my name is Andre Hallier. I made Blankenese my home around 30 years ago. When I moved to the Elbe, I quickly realised that I would never want to leave this place again. Why? Here in Blankenese, I am closer to the sea and I can take a sailboat and go out with my friends. At the same time, I find myself in one of the most beautiful villages in Germany – surrounded by exciting people. On our tour through the district we will mostly walk since there are several stairs to deal with. However, if you want, you can also take the bus number 488. The so-called “mountain goat” will take you from the S-Bahn station Blankenese all the way down to the ferry dock at the Elbe. Here, you can feel free by the water.
A stylish village
My tour through the Hamburg Elbe suburbs starts at the S-Bahn station Blankenese. For breakfast, I love to go to Café Roederer's (Blankeneser Bahnhofstraße 34), which is located just a few steps down the street. The quality here is second to none, the croissant is buttery, the plum cake is amazing. Plus, the staff is really nice. Roederer's is located just across the Blankeneser weekly market, which offers regional specialities and takes place every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Let’s continue along Bahnhofstraße. When it comes to local shops, I love visiting the fashion house Smith's (Blankeneser Bahnhofstraße 11), which sells plenty of famous designer brands. Dirk Dietrich, the owner, likes to offer his own piece of advice when it comes to style and clothing, which I really appreciate. We turn right into the Blankeneser main street and walk for a bit downhill past some beautiful, small shops. Each of them has something special to offer, be it children's fashion or painting classes.
The world is passing by
Before we're off to lunch, the most beautiful staircases in Hamburg – possibly even in Germany - are awaiting us. Taking the beach stairs, I stroll down to the Elbe and find myself astonished again and again by how harmoniously the old captain's cottages blend with the new villas in prime locations on the Elbe hillside. Here, you can meet famous home-grown Hamburgers like tea-trader Robert Scheibler, who runs his office in the old town hall in Hamburg. Comedian Otto Waalkes also has a castellated residency on the Kiekeberg, towering from the right side. Time and again, my gaze wanders over the glittery, tidal-washed waters. When the water runs away, mudflats around the Elbe island of Schweinesand emerge, and it almost looks like you could walk over them. For lunch, I go to Ponton op'n Bulln (Strandweg 30), a small restaurant that offers classic cuisine right by the Blankeneser ferry dock. I briefly greet fellow fisherman Jürgen, who takes his freshly caught eels out of the weirs and sometimes even gives them away for free. The Kajüte SB 12 (Strandweg 79) is located directly by the ferry dock and awaits with tables and chairs on the Elbe beach - stunning views of the passing ships included.
Starting from the Blankeneser pontoon, you can easily explore the Elbe suburbs further along the shore. To the west, through sandy beaches and past the red-white-striped Blankeneser beacon towards the beautiful "Roman Garden" and popular destination Falkensteiner shore. Or to the east, where Blankenese beachside hotel (Strandweg 13) is located. After passing the hotel you will reach the idyllic Hirschpark (German for deer park), which is where you will also find the Witthues (Elbchaussee 499a), a beautiful thatched-roof cottage that offers fine dining. My tip: the "Qualle auf Sand (German for jellyfish ashore)", a speciality that consists of nut cake, sour cherries and whipped cream. I decide to go for a hike further along the Elbe to Jenischpark, one of the most important landscape gardens in Northern Germany. The spacious park in the district of Hamburg-Othmarschen holds three museums, including the Ernst Barlach House with expressionist works of the famous artist. It's worth taking a quick detour to Waitzstraße, a beautiful microcosm of boutiques, ice cream parlours and shops.
The way home
On the way back along the Elbe towards Blankenese, I walk by the grandious Hotel Louis C. Jacob (Elbchaussee 401-403) and the old Baroque church in the district of Nienstedten. This church is one of the most popular wedding churches in Hamburg. When it comes to dinner, restaurant Ahrberg (Strandweg 33) is always a good idea. From soused herring to steak, there is no dish that I don’t like at this place. Still got time for a nightcap? Close to the train station, Michael Gamper and Petra Avenarius run Riva bar (Blankeneser Bahnhofstraße 36), which offers amazing cocktails inspired by their numerous travels.