DK – 1653
Denmark is flying high these days, producers of excellent TV dramas such as Borgen, The Bridge and The Killing and creating a new discipline of culinary wonders. It also happens to be extremely beautiful, full of warm charming people and lots of bicycles.
Flying over the expansive tundra frosted like a Christmas cake iced to within an inch of its life is my lasting memory of the short flight from London to Copenhagen. We arrived in only 90 min, 20 min earlier than scheduled. The simple journey from the Scandi styled teak floored airport into the centre of town is only 12 minutes. This is the sort of Europe I enjoy the most. Being right in the heart of the action in no time at all.
The Andersen Boutique Hotel is a five-minute walk (even with cases on wheels) from the train station, so easy to find. I was in Copenhagen three years ago and found it all flooding back to me. It is such a pretty city. The Andersen Boutique Hotel was to be our home for the next three days, it very was comfortable, central and funky. There are four types of room; Cool, Brilliant, Wonderful and Amazing they range in size from 13m2 to 23m2 so plenty of space.
We arrived late afternoon and I’d completely forgotten that in Denmark that means ‘happy hour’. Between 5pm and 6pm there is a small bar in the large reception area where guests can help themselves to a glass or two of wine and mix with fellow travellers. This simple act makes a good welcome something special. The staff were superb that would help in any way they could and of course, they all speak perfect English.
Breakfasts are a typical Danish experience with plenty of healthy options as well as cheeses and cold meats. Lots of teas, coffee and fruit complete the picture. In the daylight the reception seemed even cooler than the night before. There were clear Perspex Phillip Stark chairs, a round fireplace midway up a wall and in the corner an internet computer (Apple no less) and a selection of design books and guides (mostly in English) so if you rock up without a clue what to do here’s your chance to work it all out.
Vesterbro is the perfect location for the visitor to Copenhagen. It’s central, near the main shopping roads and areas (one is totally car free) and you’re never far from the water. Out and about in winter it’s advisable to wrap up warm, as it can get very cold. We wandered off to visit the nearby Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. If you only visit one museum in Copenhagen make it this one. The antiquities collection covers Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman art and treasures and the modern offerings a wonderful mix of Danish 19th and 20th century paintings. As well as homegrown art they have 40 pieces by Gauguin, a complete series of bronzes by Degas and 35 sculptures by Rodin. It’s one of those marble floored high ceilinged temples to art that is a joy to walk around. The winter garden has a cafe offering ‘make a cake’ (you can choose any number of sweet combinations) and good tea.
There are plenty of good local eateries near the hotel. We found ourselves in a great little Thai restaurant that looked familiar. We’d been there before three years earlier! There was also a super burger joint called Vesterbros Originale Burgerrestaurant, simple food done well with beer on tap if you want it.
We also ate out at the other end of the scpectrum. Copenhagen was put firmly on the gastro map with Noma a few years ago. Sadly closed the spirit of innovative food and style using local and fresh produce continues. Mielcke and Hurtigkarl situated in the Royal Danish Horticultural Society Gardens is an outstanding restaurant. One of the best meals I have ever eaten I will be writing about it in a separate review. But needless to say 15 courses with matched drinks, alcoholic and soft were faultless.
The cheery front of house Mia asked us how we got on at the restaurant (she knew the answer of course, it’s the talk of the town). We made our way up to our large room and sat in the sofa and wondered how we could move to Copenhagen. This is an über cool city, reputedly one the ‘happiest’ to live in where the bicycle outnumbers the car and they work less hours than any other western country but have a very high standard of living. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?
Seriously, I cold easily live in Copenhagen, It has everything I need to hand. A capital city by the sea is something special, something exciting and full of potential change and influence and easy to get to. Even if you don’t get the Scandi food thing it’s worth going there for the interior design (just about perfect in every way), the architecture and a stroll around The Tivoli Gardens, the prototype to Walt Disney’s theme parks. Make the journey and you won’t be disappointed.