The lakeside enclaves around the Aussenalster north of the centre are among the flashest in Hamburg. Rotherbaum and Harveststude remain as prestigious now as when they emerged in the late 1800s as the des res of business tycoons, their smart villas still home to the affluent and foreign consulates. One favoured hangout is Pöseldorf, located just behind Fährdamm wharf in the northwest. Between lunch with Hamburg’s media high-rollers and browsing the boutiques and galleries in Milchstrasse, there is superb Jugendstil architecture in the side streets to discover – nowhere else in Hamburg boasts such a diverse mix of large white villas, courtyards and mews. Allow three hours for a straightforward eight-kilometre circuit of the lake – or you can take one of the hop-on, hop-off tourist ferries operated by ATG Alster-Touristik, which call at the nine quays around the lake every hour.