copenhagen, denmark

After visiting Aarhus, we headed to Copenhagen for a few days. I’ve wanted to go to Copenhagen for so long, I was really excited and had such high expectations. Thankfully they were more than met and I’m really looking forward to visiting again, not least as we didn’t have enough time to do everything I’d planned.

We stayed in Frederiksberg, which is a slightly separate part of the city but still very central to everything – it’s a neighbourhood with plenty of small shops which we loved exploring. Breakfast one morning at Granola, was the perfect way to start the day – this local French-style café was bustling, but we managed to squeeze in. We then moved on to Vesterbro, a neighbouring area that is also full of independent shops which seem to showcase the work of a locally-based design and creative community. One of the shops I particularly loved was Playtype, where we bought some beautifully designed stationery.

Another area which I really enjoyed exploring was Nørrebro, to the north of Fredriksberg, which is much quieter but still full of independent shops – design, chocolate and interesting homewares all caught my eye as we explored. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants, both cheap and cheerful as well as fashionable and/or Michelin-starred. We took advantage of Manfreds' policy of keeping back a few tables for walk-ins and enjoyed the packed buzzy atmosphere. The food was a bit hit and miss for me and I wished we’d not ordered their “set menu” of sharing plates as I always find it off-putting when everyone around me is eating the same food. Manfreds is a great place to choose if you’re fan of natural wine, or just want to try more of these unorthodox wines – we had a bottle of Domaine de Miquettes Madloba (a blend of viognier and marsanne) which is aged in clay amphora vessels, which was a first for us.

Good food and interesting wine is everywhere in Copenhagen; we visited two food markets, Torvehallerne and Copenhagen Street Food on Paper Island. Torvehallerne is near the botanical gardens and a great place to stop for lunch – we spent a happy half hour looking around the two glass halls, which are full of food and drink stalls, deciding where we wanted to have lunch, before returning to our chosen stalls (pizza slices in one corner and then a "pulled duck" baguette from a French stall in another corner).

From here we went to Ved Stranden 10, a lovely wine shop/wine bar near the water. When we arrived, mid-afternoon before going on a boat tour, there was a small group having a wine tasting in one corner and in the other was a lady sitting, sipping wine and flicking through a magazine while her little girl sat and did some drawing. We had a few glasses of wine and bought a bottle of our favourite to enjoy later.  

Our stop at Copenhagen Street Food on Paper Island was limited to drinks as we were on our way to dinner. This was a real shame as there were plenty of food stalls selling delicious looking street food and we really liked the friendly vibe. I will definitely head back here as it’s a great place to while away a few hours, eating, drinking and people watching. The weather was chilly so there were plenty of open fires and heaters, around which people gathered, which made it feel extra cosy.

However, the decision to move on from Paper Island was not one we regretted – we headed to Amass which was the best meal of our trip. This massive industrial space (a former shipyard building) is home to a restaurant that is rooted in a philosophy of organic and sustainable food. The delicious food and wine (do take the time to talk to their sommelier – we had some beautiful wine as a result of his recommendations) will bring me back to Amass and prompted me to recommend it to a number of friends. However, the most special memory I have of that evening is sitting outside, wrapped in my coat, in front of a large open fire, enjoying the cold air, the sound of water and the smell of wood smoke (they lit the fire pits on the first night they opened the restaurant and people loved them so much they continue the tradition). Putting my coat on the next morning was a wonderful treat as the smell of smoke took me straight back to the fireside!

This is only the lightest sketch of our Copenhagen experience but hopefully it captures a little of how it made me feel. I will be back.