48 Hours in Copenhagen – What We Ate

Copenhagen has some of the best and unique food in the world.  Unfortunately for my food-loving Husband, we didn’t try any of it.  It’s just not my scene, guys – I don’t think I could ever promise to be interested in a classic Noma meal or a trip around the iconic food markets.

I do however have my favourites – places I will go back to time and time again because I know I’m going to have an excellent meal.  They’re not to everyone’s liking, perhaps a bit safe or not particularly exciting, but they make me happy.

Always number one on my list is Halifax burger.  This was the very first restaurant we visited in CPH 8 years ago, and we joked that this was the main reason for our visit this time.  It sounds extreme – travelling 600 miles just to eat a burger – but this is an exceptional burger.  We visited the Amager restaurant on this trip (having previously been to both their Larsbjørnsstræde location on multiple occasions, and the Frederiksberg location) and once again received an amazing welcome from the staff.

I love this chain so much that I have their artwork up in my kitchen at home, and I was delighted to see a mural of theirs on the side of their building.

Another restaurant I go out of my way to visit is Gorms Pizza, specifically their branch next to Fields Mall.  I wouldn’t normally recommend a mall restaurant, but I just love the set up of this location – amphitheatre-style seating, and we got seated right at the top.  Husband had the Arendse special with mozzarella and proscuito and I had a Fields exclusive (I think.  Not entirely sure…).  Whatever it was, it was delicious.

On our last visit, I discovered Istid, but as it was Christmas and Istid is an ice cream shop, it was of course closed.  So this was the first time I’ve tried the store that I’ve followed on Instagram for 3 years.  We considered going to their new Nordhavn store, but decided instead to pick up our treats at Jægersborggade.  This is honestly the most incredible ice cream – making it with liquid nitrogen makes it so smooth.  We sat in the shade in Assistens Kirkegård across the road on the morning of my birthday eating spectacular sundaes – I was having the time of my life!

It wouldn’t be a trip to Copenhagen with some kind of kanelbullar.  On this trip, we had a kanelsnegl from Holm Bageri and a kanelstykke from Lagkagehuset (both in Frederiksberg).  Both were delicious as each other, with the coffee from Lagkagehuset slightly tastier making that our favourite breakfast.

And on the subject of coffee, we went back to the Original Coffee at the top of Illums on a few occasions because Husband became addicted to espresso tonics.  Even though the cafe is in a huge department store and we assumed it would get busy, we always found a seat so we’re now claiming this as our secret hotspot.  You heard it here first folks (to be fair, everyone probably thinks this is their secret hotspot).

One last place for a shout-out, even though we didn’t stop here, was the cafe in Magasin Du Nord which I think was called Coffee Industry Sweden.  There were very few people here, and the decor was beautiful.  If we hadn’t filled up on Espresso Tonic, we would have snuggled in here.

48 Hours in Copenhagen

We don’t normally celebrate our wedding anniversary – it’s too close to both our birthdays and the start of the academic year, so no really effort is made and we’re both fine with that.

This year however, we thought we should do something special to mark the big 1-0. Our immediate thought – Copenhagen. Our favourite city to spend time in. The last time we visited was back in 2015 when we spent 5 days over Christmas just wandering around with big coats on. This time, we’d have just 48 hours to absorb as much Scandi culture as we could.

We stayed at the Bella Sky again, which was mostly fine. We’re used to the hotel being very quiet, but as we were still in tourist season, it was fit to burst with huge groups of tourists. I don’t know that I’d necessarily recommend this hotel, but it suited us for two days.

So what did we pack into those 48 hours? A lot of walking primarily, and visiting areas of the city that we haven’t visited before. Frederiksberg became our new favourite suburb, but we also had a wander around Amagerbro and the area around the DR studios (‘DR City’ as it’s known).

And we finally crossed the Inderhavnsbroen (Inner Harbour Bridge) from Nyhavn to Christianshavn after watching it being built over many years. We even got to stand on the bridge as it did the crazy opening thing (which surely cannot be safe???) – the middle of the bridge splits open to allow tall ships to sail through. Madness.

We didn’t eat loads of food, but enough to make a blog post about so that will follow, but definitely our favourite new stop for coffee with a view was the Original Coffee at the top of Illums. We went here several times – definitely a favourite new hang-out spot for us. And look at this view:

We of course explored both Illums and Magasin but we weren’t in the city to shop (which is just as well as the exchange rate was a disaster). Just across from Illums on Strøget is Hay House – an interior design wonderland. Two floors of beautiful Hay products, set out like a Danish apartment and almost like a museum. I was in heaven, but again that pesky exchange rate shattered my dreams buying it all. Instead, I just took a million photos so that when I win the lottery, I can re-create Hay House back in the UK.

I did manage to get a small memento however. Many years ago when Husband was on one of his many work trips to CPH, he stumbled across an independent jewellers called Ladyfingers – a shop featuring the work of female jewellery designers. I didn’t ever get a chance to visit on our previous trips, but I finally made it there this time and bought a beautiful necklace from Winberg Jewellery. The shop it situated on Jægersborggade which is an insanely trendy street and such a treat to visit. Wandering down here made for a pretty perfect Saturday afternoon.

In fact, everything we did made for a perfect trip. This was my 5th time in the city and Husband’s millionth, so we don’t feel the need to do all the touristy things. Just walking around, people-watching, and falling in love with the architecture (like the Mountain Dwellings building below) is satisfying enough for us.

Christmas in Copenhagen – 2. Juledag

Spoiler alert – the next two “Christmas in Copenhagen” posts aren’t about Copenhagen at all.  Scandalous.

Kronborg CastleOur weather luck ran out on Christmas Day 2 (aka Boxing Day) and we awoke to drizzly rain.  We never worry too much if there’s bad weather (blizzard-mageddon has put everything into context for us) so out we went after breakfast – on the metro to Nørreport where we’d change for the train to Helsingør.

The train journey up the coast was super easy, but I will admit that we gave up trying to work out how to buy a return ticket and got two singles.  We probably spent more than we needed to, but I couldn’t figure out how many ‘clips’ to get.  Just give me a button on the machine to press!  The train itself was huge and very comfortable – we sat in the quiet carriage which was actually dead silent (unlike the noisy UK).

Within 45 minutes, we were at  Helsingør and into Kronborg Castle.  Those of you who know me well will appreciate that history really isn’t my thing, and I genuinely thought we’d have a quick once-around the castle, and then we’d have a wander round the town.

How wrong I was – I completely loved the castle and we spent HOURS there.  So long that we didn’t have time to explore the town.

We got there just as an English (free!) tour was starting, so we followed our guide through the underground casements.  I particularly loved how dark it is – if it had been in the UK, there would have been floodlights, health and safety signs, chained off areas.  Not here.  Go where you want!  You want to go in that mega dark bit which has no natural lights?  Knock yourself out.  Literally as some of the ceilings were quite low.

We spent half an hour with our guide down there, and at the end of the tour she announced another English (free!) introduction to the castle so we followed her around for another half an hour.  Our guide was genuinely funny and informative, and I could quite happily have trailed after her for the entire day, but I think she had another job to do so we left her to it.

Kronborg Castle at ChristmasThe ballroom was my favourite room, and was decked out with a huge Christmas tree.  This photo doesn’t actually do it justice – I’m stood in the middle of it to get a good tree shot.  It has huge windows which allowed natural light to pour into the room.  Imagine how great it would be to get married in there.  It was also very cool to see Sweden, only 4km across the sound.  If it wasn’t for the rain, I would have got some good photos.

We had a coffee at the cafe, where bizarrely someone was sat with a pet rabbit on their shoulder, and I had my very first Danish flødeboller.  It was bloody lovely.  And then back on the train for another easy (and silent) trip back down the coast because I was particularly keen to get back for dinner this evening.

The best thing I ever did when we visited Copenhagen for the first time in 2011 was research burgers.  All evidence pointed me in the direction of Halifax and I have been obsessed ever since, to the extent that I have two Halifax posters up in my kitchen.  I can’t remember how many restaurants they had back then, but they now have seven, all of which were closed for most of the time we spent in Copenhagen except for one in Frederiksberg which happened to re-open on 2. juledag.  YES!

We haven’t ever visited this area of the city before but even in the dark it looked very trendy, so next time we’ll definitely visit in daylight.  However, our mission for this evening was burgers and I am happy to say it was mission successful.  I had the brand new Åmål  burger with sweet potato fries, and I have no idea what was in it but it was GOOD.  Husband had his usual Lonestar which was all BBQ-ey.  We had a great waitress who we tried to convince to get puddings put on the menu as we needed something sweet for afters.  She tried to convince us to get some more sweet potato fries for the way home which we declined, and then instantly regretted as we left.

Goddamnit, we need a Halifax in the UK.