Melbourne fashion designer, Virginia Martin of búl, shares her travel tips for visiting Hamburg.
Growing up in the heart of Melbourne, Virginia Martin’s passion for clothing and design was nurtured by a mother who doubled as sewing teacher. After finishing high school Virginia threw herself into design, at 19 years old her first collection was released to great success and was quickly taken up by various stores throughout Australia. Virginia eventually took a break and moved to New York, further growing as a designer while interning at renowned labels Proenza Schouler, Cynthia Rowley and Heatherette.
After spending almost two years immersing herself in this world of design, she returned to Melbourne eager to establish a new label. The ocean and the coast acted as her inspiration and motivation for a label that would reflect her passion for quality garments and tailoring. That label was búl.
childhood nickname, derived from her brother who couldn’t pronounce ‘Virginia’. Origin of the actual word is unknown. Pronounced buhl, similar to the hull [huhl] of a boat.
Where to go?
Make sure you visit the stunning harbour views at Strand Pauli, walk through Speicherstadt on a foggy evening, bike along the river to Blankenese and get lost within the meandering stairways, small roads and thatched-roof houses. Visit Eppendorf for their local produce market Isemarkt and grab a Streuselkuchen full of fresh seasonal fruit – delicious.
Where to stay?
Being Germany’s second-largest city, there’s an abundance of places to stay depending on what you’re after – St Georg is near central station, close to Alster Lake and Hamburg’s main shopping strip or St Pauli is the nightlife district, which is close to the harbour/River Elbe. A personal favourite of mine is Movenpick Hotel Hamburg, a converted water-tower near Schanzenviertel, one of Hamburg’s ‘trendy’ quarters.
What to do?
With an abundance of canals, streams and bridges, Hamburg is a visual spectacle. Stroll the River Elbe, which flows right into the north sea, and lose yourself in the rich parklands of Jensichpark, Romischer Garten and Hirschpark to name a few. A must-see is the Alter Elbtunnel, the old tunnel under the Elbe with stuck-in-time car elevators, extremely photogenic views, rich in history, and always a unique experience.
Immerse yourself in Hamburg’s contemporary art galleries like Kunsthalle and Galerie der Gegewart and be sure to see a performance in the newly opened Elbphilharmonie, a concert hall in HafenCity and a piece of architectural art in itself.
Tarterie, Kandie Shop and Mimosa are great cafes where German breakfasts are grand. Ask for a Franzbroetchen from one of the many bakeries. End the day with dinner at Krug and wine-tasting at TVino. They are quite close to each other on C, very modern-German and both well-known by locals. Walk into Schanzenviertel (which reminds me a lot of Melbourne’s Fitzroy) and sit on the steps sipping on hot Galao. Or start your day right with breakfast at Café unter den linden.