Embracing hygge in Copenhagen

img_4773Once famous for its quaint harbors, the Disneyland inspiring Tivoli Gardens and the Little Mermaid statue, Copenhagen has become, in recent years the new destination.

Less party central than Berlin, less quaint than Prague and much friendlier than London, it has cool appeal by the boatload.

It is also the spiritual home of hygge…Thanks not only to Noma, thrice-named best restaurant in the world and the hype around New Nordic cuisine, but also, for it’s style (those Scandi people really know how to wear a scarf)

So, after an early start, a de-tour through East Croydon and a flight over Amsterdam, we touched down in supper sunny Copenhagen for a lovely long weekend of culture, food and catching up.

 

First on the agenda – after getting into the Scandi swing of things, was to find our bearings and where better than at the top of the city. Up we climbed to the top of the tower, Danish Parliament, Folketinget. From the top you can see for miles, terracotta rooves, boats up and down the canal and jade green details.

From up here, with the sun beaming over the city, we picked Nyhavn as the next destination. The 17th century canal harbor is lined with picture perfect houses. This is the perfect spot for a Danish beer as you watch the world go by…

Day two, up bright and early, we headed over to trendy Norrebro for brunch. In between hip shops and cafes, we found Grød – the perfect porridge joint. We enjoyed creamy bowls of porridge topped with fruit compote, coconut, and hazelnut. The staff were super friendly, and the setting made for hygge heaven. This place proved super popular, get there early – people will queue for this porridge perfection!

Tummies full, we strolled in the sunshine through the beautiful Botanical gardens, past palatial buildings and down winding streets to PapirØen, a quirky street food market just across the water from Nyhavn. The converted paper mill houses every kind of cuisine imaginable, as well as some impressive looking cocktails. After much window shopping, we eventually decided on the Danish staple, Smørrebrød. Intricately decorated – these open sandwiches were piled high with toppings – very difficult to eat with dignity, but delicious all the same.

Next on the agenda, Freetown of Christiania, this self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood is a hippy haven. Perfect for those into graffiti art, knitted socks and marijuana keyrings, these abandoned army barracks feel very different to the calm and clean city, which we headed straight back to with New Nordic cuisine on our minds.

We spent our Saturday evening at the decadent, Höst chatting over a seven course Danish taster menu, before heading to the other side of the city for personalized cocktails at super cool Lidkoeb.

Sunday called for some market haggling, and Torvehallerne was a great place to grab a pastry and watch the world go by. Fueled by beautiful cinnamon swirls we jumped on a train to nearby Humlebæk for some culture by the sea at the Lousiana Museum of Modern Art.

This beautiful museum, twists and turns before spitting you out right to the coast. Copenhagen natives gather in the museum gardens with a glass of wine filling up on vitamin sea.

Our last evening in beautiful Copenhagen, was spent at the trendy meat packing district, we arrived just as the sun was setting for dinner at Kodbyens Fiskebar. This very cool seafood eatery scored top points with us. We enjoyed an amazing meal and were very excited to get a tour of the kitchen.

Sipping on the last of our champagne, we realized we had truly embraced everything hygge – that feeling of peaceful sleepiness, of being warm, well-fed and in good company. Copenhagen you truly are a Copen-haven!


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