Gourmet Retreat on the Elbe

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A 20-minute drive from the city center along the Elbchaussee — Hamburg’s most elegant avenue, lined with parks and impressive prewar villas — takes you to Hotel Louis C. Jacob, with 85 accommodations and a sensational Michelin two-star restaurant overlooking the Elbe. Amazingly, the restaurant’s Linden terrace looks almost exactly the same as when Max Liebermann, Germany’s most important Impressionist, painted it in 1902 (you can see the painting in the Hamburger Kunsthalle).

The interior of <em>Jacob's Restaurant</em> at Hotel Louis C. Jacob
The interior of Jacob's Restaurant at Hotel Louis C. Jacob - Photo by Hideaway Report editor

I won’t soon forget our dinner in the palatial Jacob’s Restaurant, with its soaring ceilings, huge crystal chandeliers and towering flower arrangements. Our table faced a tall window looking out on the Linden terrace and the Elbe, where we dined on fare that was creative but firmly rooted in tradition. I loved the delicate and refreshing salmon topped with sour cream and onion jam in a dill-apple sauce, as well as the contrastingly rich and deep onion soup surrounding a savory crouton garnished with caramelized onion and Gruyère espuma. But my favorite was the artichoke barigoule in artichoke bisque, accompanied by sheep’s milk ricotta dumplings that induced shivers of pleasure. I ordered two wines from Baden, one of my favorite German wine regions: a creamy and refined 2015 Franz Keller Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) and an earthy and focused 2007 Stigler Spätburgunder Grosses Gewächs (Pinot Noir).

Spice-crusted saddle of venison with port-soaked cherries, leeks, lardons and a chanterelle reduction from <em>Jacob's Restaurant</em> at Hotel Louis C. Jacob in Hamburg, Germany - Photo by Hideaway Report editor
Marinated strawberries with strawberry sorbet, mascarpone ice cream and meringue from <em>Jacob's Restaurant</em> at Hotel Louis C. Jacob in Hamburg, Germany - Photo by Hideaway Report editor

Unfortunately, our gardenview Junior Suite dazzled far less than dinner. It had an attractive, if slightly sterile, art deco décor, with wood floors, neighboring twin beds and bright-white walls softened by a few abstract prints. But the upholstery on the sofa had seen better days, and I didn’t care for the brown-green slipcovers on the armchairs. The bath had all the right features — marble walls, granite counters, dual vanities, a separate soaking tub — but it still managed to look unstylish. And the air-conditioning was completely ineffective.

Our Junior Suite at Hotel  Louis C. Jacob in Hamburg, Germany
Our Junior Suite at Hotel Louis C. Jacob in Hamburg, Germany - Photo by Hideaway Report editor

Fortunately, there is no need to stay at the Louis C. Jacob to enjoy dinner there, since it’s just 25 minutes from Hamburg’s center. Be sure to leave time for an aperitif either on the Linden terrace or in the plush lounge adjacent to the restaurant. A citrusy and herbaceous “Hanseatic Martini,” with gin, kümmel, Granny Smith apple and lime, is a delightful way to start the evening.

Jacob’s Restaurant
Elbchaussee 401-403. Tel. (49) 40-8225-50


Read more about our editor’s trip to Germany

By Hideaway Report Editor Hideaway Report editors travel the world anonymously to give you the unvarnished truth about luxury hotels. Hotels have no idea who the editors are, so they are treated exactly as you might be.
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