+ Copenhagen City Break

My boyfriend and I were desperate to go on a city break to help get us through the long, cold winter months here in England. We had a few options; Madrid, France, Denmark – being in London means you’re no more than 2-3 hours away from some vibrant and cultured cities in Europe.

Considering we spent five days in Copenhagen earlier this month, I should really know more about Denmark than I do! However, what I do know is that Copenhagen strives towards beauty, whether it’s the architecture, the people or the furniture and lighting sold in one of its many interior design shops. As well as that, I ate some of the best meals in my life while there.

Any self-respecting food lover has heard of NOMA, three-time winner of the Best Restaurant in the World accolade courtesy of Restaurant magazine. It’s well known that it’s almost impossible to get a reservation there, however we were able to book ourselves onto the NOMA shared table upstairs. The only difference is that you are at the mercy of a set menu and have to sit next to strangers, but this just made the experience more unforgettable really.

We went there for lunch, and the experience overall ended up taking us from 12.15pm right up to early evening. Everything we ate and drank was derived from the local region, with the exception of some Ethiopian coffee following the twenty-serving feast!

Some other highlights from our time at NOMA:

    • The water we drank was actually obtained from “birch tapping”, a method of collecting birch sap and using that to create mineral water.
    • Each member of staff there REALLY knows their shit. You can ask them anything about the ingredients in each dish, how it was made, the context of each ingredient, and you can be sure they know the answer!
    • Samphire is probably the best find of the trip! Not just served in NOMA, this salty sea vegetable is one of the tastiest greens I’ve ever eaten, shame it’s £14.99 by the kilo at my local market 🙁
    • Be careful if you are offered a ‘Nordic coconut’. It’s actually a hollowed-out turnip, which the staff at NOMA kindly fill up with a hot, steamy broth.

Aside from NOMA, here’s some recommendations if you’re thinking of heading to Copenhagen anytime soon:


Nyhavn

We stayed within five minutes’ walk of this area, and it quickly became out destination of choice when we had run out of ideas for where to go for dinner. You’ll find a great restaurant called Barock. It’s not cheap (where in Copenhagen is?!) but this place offered me one of the best rib-eye steaks I’ve ever tasted. The waiter was also really, really helpful and friendly and suggested some places to go as well as going into detail about the samphire vegetable served alongside our mains.

Further down the terrace of restaurants and bars, you come to McJoys, a dependable Irish pub that has friendly staff and usually offers live music for its punters. Ned and I ended up there for a round or two more than once!

Strøget
Although it’s not ideal to go shopping in Copenhagen thanks to the strength of the Danish Krone, this street is where to go should you need to pick anything up while away. Illums Bolighus is a department store that, for me, is unrivalled in style and its vast array of designer furnishings. We spent nearly an hour wandering around the store and basking in the beauty of its wares!

Canal Tours
Going on a canal tour is an experience not to be missed, as it really helps to solidify in your mind the beauty of the city. The city reminded me of Amsterdam, which isn’t a coincidence as we learnt via our canal tour that King Christian V deliberately used Amsterdam as a model of what he wanted Copenhagen to look and function like.

Freetown Christiania
During our time in Copenhagen we were also able to ‘leave’ the EU by heading to the self-proclaimed Green Light district, a place which aims to be a self-governed commune. In fact there’s only three ‘rules’: Have fun, don’t run and no photos.

Most of the housing is ramshackled and slightly devoid of sanitation (we walked past a garden with some discarded bits of toilet roll lying about, not so nice!), however it does seem to be a place where most people just want to live and let live and there’s an undeniably optimistic vibe pervading the district.. or that might just have been weed!

I’d definitely recommend going, although I’d stay in a nicer hotel next time round – the one we were in had two cheapo mattresses squidged together, paperthin walls and reception staff who seemed to know very little about either the hotel or the city!

More photos from Copenhagen:

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**Republish of a previous post thanks to a small site breakdown!**