Diana Ashal: My Hanover

Relocating is exciting but disorienting; sophisticated ex-pat Diana Ashal understands both the stress and opportunities involved in making a significant move, which is why she developed All In One, her relocation service for companies, families and individuals. American-born Ashal introduces us to her adopted home: Hanover

City Guide

Monday, 16 July, 2012 by Ana Finel Honigman

Diana Ashal

Diana Ashal

Where were you born?
In a small town near St Louis. The Midwest residents have a deeply rooted admiration for the area, which has a great deal to offer.

Where do you live now?
Hanover. Living in Hanover is like living in a park since it is virtually surrounded by greenery. The city is growing in popularity as a modern must-see German city.

If money were no object, where would you live?
Somewhere near the ocean yet not far from the hustle, bustle and convenience of a large city.

Which city is your favourite shopping destination?
Milan – the Italians have impeccable taste in clothes and always manage to get it right.

Which are your favourite Hanover stores?
Donna, Emma and Vivace cater to high-end top designers in the city centre. Schöneberger is a lovely quaint boutique in a suburb of Hanover.

And your favourite restaurants?
Insel for French Mediterranean gourmet food with a stupendous view over the lake. Basil offers the best of Asian fusion cooking. 12 Apostles is a dedicated Italian-themed restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere. Küchengarten is new, trendy and upbeat. Firenze serves Tuscan gourmet food in a traditional old half-timbered heritage building familiar to this region on the outskirts of Hanover.

Do you have a favourite local café or bar?
Harry’s New York Bar – I enjoy the mix of exotic cocktails, live piano music and minimalistic interior. HeimW is a novel combination of café, bar and lounge in the heart of downtown Hanover. Hugo’s – the atmosphere is amazing in a beautiful roofed courtyard.

Where do you take out-of-town friends?
It really depends on what my customers are interested in. Generally most have never been to Germany so they prefer typical traditional German food. This can be found at the Ständige Vertretung or Paulaner, which provides typical Bavarian hospitality in a rustic atmosphere.

Where do you like to celebrate?
There is a bar in the Kastens Hotel Luisenhof which I always go to for special occasions and I associate it with many fond memories. The atmosphere is inviting and English is often spoken. If the weather is nice I prefer Schöne Aussichten, a converted beach club on the rooftop of a garage with fantastic 360-degree views of the older city.

Do you have a favourite Hanover walk?
I enjoy walking through the Eilenriede, which is a path-filled forest right in the city – it’s larger than Central Park. The park comprises woodland, restaurants, playgrounds, beer gardens, etcetera.

Can you reveal any secret spots?
Of course – I would gladly share them in person!

In your opinion, what’s the best attraction in Hanover?
I would have to say the Maschsee, which covers over 78 hectares and provides the city with an enviable aquatic playground with its variety of recreational amenities. However, the Herrenhausen gardens have been Hanover’s most famous attraction for more than 300 years.

Which do you think is the best museum in Hanover?
Kestnergesellschaft, although I am also a fan of the Sprengel Museum

Which person from Hanover do you most admire?
Professor Dr.med Dr.h.c. Madjid Samii, the founder and president of the International Neuroscience Institute. He is such an asset to Hanover.

What insider tip would you offer for exploring your city?
Take a walking tour of Hanover with ASAP English. They provide entertaining highlights of Hanover unlike anything I have ever experienced – a guided tour with a difference.

Where do you most like to travel for inspiration?
A quick drive up to Hamburg always seems like a mini vacation, or a short flight to Majorca will do the trick.

What product or place can’t you live without?
My family and friends – better than any product or place.

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