MICHELIN STAR STICKS, DANISH DISNEYLAND AND A HIPPY HAVEN - MY WEEKEND IN COPENHAGEN

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Copenhagen is one of those places that just sounds nice right? You imagine fashionable blonde women strutting around in heels while they nibble on pastries and burly men in big coats walking ridiculously small dogs. Just me? Anyway it was super cheap to fly there back in December so the blonde kiwi and I decided to get out of town and explore. 

The festive season is a great time to go as we found out. For one, there’s giant nutcrackers.


Also, Copenhagen LOVES its Christmas markets. We saw three different markets on the same street. To be fair, it is apparently the longest pedestrian street in Europe and strolling down it with ease despite thousands of others doing the same makes the case for Oxford street to be pedestrianised.


I made the fun discovery that mulled cider actually tastes better when you dump a shot of gin in it. The blonde kiwi discovered that you must never pose for a photo with one of the street food faves of the city - French dogs.


Having eaten/drunk our nutritious festive fare, we embarked on a Sandemann’s free walking tour. I have raved about these tours before and it started out well. Our guide showed us some cool street art, beautiful buildings and taught us a lot about the history of Copenhagen. Then it got cold, real cold. Then it rained and my enthusiasm started to wane.  


Then it bloody snowed.


Our tour guide finally admitted defeat and we stopped for a break indoors. I used the opportunity to get a hot chocolate which was a cup of piping hot milk with three chocolate sticks (one milk, one dark, one white) that you had to stir in until they’d melted. So far it was the highlight of the tour. 

The blonde kiwi meanwhile nipped down the road for warmer socks and didn’t come back for ages so we lost the group. I was quietly overjoyed as it was frrrrreeeezing. However, central Copenhagen being rather small we ended up bumping into them again so the guilts kicked in and we stuck it out till the bitter end. 

I have to hand it to the tour guide, she had determination and even when the sleet was horizontal she kept on talking (and talking) about some old guy doing something interesting that I couldn’t quite grasp due to the searing pain of my frozen ears. 

What felt like several years later the tour ended and I was happy when our guide confirmed our suspicions that it's not worth going out to see the infamous little mermaid. Apparently she’s miles away from anything and a bit crap. 

There was only one thing to do in this sort of weather - drink ourselves warm. Thankfully we found just the place to do that in cocktail bar Holmens Kanal. The setting is romantic and the drinks are great. The Corpse Reviver No.7 that I am modelling here is highly recommended.


From there we totted off to a restaurant far too fancy for the likes of us - Marchal. As home to 18 Michelin star restaurants, it’s kind of a thing you have to do when in Copenhagen and I was not complaining!

We felt toasty and warm as we watched the elements batter the Christmas pop up stalls and parked cars outside. You imagine snow as delicate and beautiful but this stuff was full of fury - evil snow if you like.

Naturally the blonde kiwi and I felt a little out of place, a bit like we were playing at being rich people. The test of our disguise came when the waiter asked us for our wine selection. I always find this awkward and resist all temptation to opt for the cheapest bottle of red. It gets worse when they then bring you the cheap stuff and wait while you taste it and go ‘oooh’ ‘mmm’ yes that’s definitely what I ordered. Thanks. Go away now. At what age do you suddenly learn how to deal in this situation?! 

Anyway the meal was incredible as you’d imagine. Every dish was made a complete fuss of and personally delivered to our table by the chefs (supposedly, although they were suspiciously clean and there were a hell of a lot of them as the blonde kiwi pointed out).  

The ‘chefs’ would pour the jus over our meals and explain what it was that we had ordered which proved to be an entirely necessary procedure when this arrived.


Yep that’s a pile of sticks. Still no idea why really. You don’t question these things.

Thankfully it also came with these tasty scallops.


And that’s about where my photo taking ended for the night. As I've mentioned before I find it a bit embarrassing in a posh place like Marchal and I struggle to remember at the best of times because let’s face it, I’m a glutton.

The highlight was the dessert - delicate yet chewy white chocolate and salted caramel macarons. Just thinking about them makes me want to book a flight back. Lowlight of the meal was seeing we’d spent £14 on the water they’d been topping us up with all night. Doh. 

The next day we ventured further afield to Christiania. The place is fascinating when you think about it - exempt from the laws of Denmark, where people freely sell weed and go about their business according to the Christiania law which I’m sorry to tell you dear reader includes ‘no photos’. We found it had a strangely unwelcoming vibe considering it has the name ‘Freetown’. Still, very interesting to stroll around and see the makeshift houses. Also if you’re in the market for a skateboard or pipe, this is the place for you. 

For our final meal in Copenhagen we went to the acclaimed Told and Snaps. This underground (literally) cafe specialises in traditional Danish open sandwiches and snaps funnily enough. The setting is cute and cosy with loads of locals packed in close. It was buzzing when we went so make sure you book ahead. The staff are very helpful and gave us advice on which snaps went best with our sandwiches. We both went for the pork belly and they were incredible.


Word of warning: the snaps are STRONG! I was impressed at the amount that the group of elderly ladies next to us managed to put away.

Our last expedition of the day was to the Tivoli gardens. This ancient amusement park is one part Disneyland (Disney apparently took inspo for his parks from here), one part tacky grandeur and three parts creepy AF.

Exhibit A:


Exhibit B:


Exhibit C:


These things moved far too realistically and sung terrifying songs. I shudder thinking back to it. Even more disturbing was watching the empty rides operating while the few souls brave enough to be outside huddled together around fire pits like a scene from an apocalypse movie.

We had a little time to spare before heading to the airport so checked out the Magasin Du Nord. This department store is set in one of the most beautiful historic buildings in town and among other things (like a metro station!) is home to entire floors of delicious Danish treats. A friendly salesman obviously thought we were wasting away (or massive suckers) and offered us a free sample of these incredible choc covered marshmallow thingys. We ended up buying six of them dammit. 

So that was our weekend in Copenhagen, hopefully it whet your appetite for the gorgeous city. I’d love to go back but I’m not sure if my arteries could take it. Oh go on, one more Spandauer pastry won’t hurt...

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