Along with canals, boats, royal palaces, bikes and bakeries, on my trip to Copenhagen last month I came across some local graffiti. These two colorful murals made me smile…
Art with a touch of humor…what’s not to love?
The beach is probably my favorite place to be. Give me the ocean, warmth and a breeze, and that’s pretty much all I need. (If you happen to toss in some grilled fish and a handful of kettle-cooked potato chips, I’ll know I’ve died and gone to heaven.)
Unfortunately, I don’t live very near a beach – and a house in the Hamptons is not in the works. So, when the weather gets nice, I make do with patio dining. Amazingly, on my recent visit to Copenhagen, despite weather in the 40s, the sun (together with patio heat lamps and blankets) made it possible for my husband and I to share a few meals outdoors. Not the ocean, but I was just as happy all the same. (And this kind of civilized dining had one advantage, too. I didn’t get sand in my shoes!)
In recent years, Copenhagen has fast established itself as a hot spot for gastronomy. The fact that it’s home to Noma (the restaurant which has held the top spot on the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list for the past 3 years), has helped to set the bar pretty high indeed. While I can now say I ate at the “world’s best restaurant” (our reservation was the second night I was in Copenhagen), I’m happy to say that the food that still makes me most happy is simple, healthy fare served without pretense.
Don’t get me wrong; I did appreciate the vast amount of work that went into the 20-something tasting course menu we had at Noma. However, I was relieved that the dishes were all small, since few of the flavors were so delicious that I wanted to keep eating. Unsophisticated palette? Maybe. But I tried everything served that evening, including the dishes garnished with forest ants.
I think I’ll stick to regular sea salt.
What I did love and look forward to each morning, was the breakfast buffet at the hotel.
It wasn’t served in Royal Copenhagen china (the photo above is from the display window in the Royal Copenhagen China store), but it did consist of a variety of fresh fruit, cereals, hot oatmeal, dried fruits, cheeses, chorizo, ham, rugbrød, peasant breads, soft-boiled eggs, yogurt, danishes, and rolls.
After such a breakfast, you’d think it would be hard to eat anything else all day, but coming on the heels of time spent sightseeing, an early afternoon coffee and pastry was the perfect pickup.
My favorite pastry shop was just off the main pedestrian avenue in the old section of downtown. The shop girls were charming, helpful and, like most of the Danes, spoke beautiful English.
Even though the choice of pastries was so enticing…
My husband and I ordered the same delicious pastry – a small almond tart with shortbread crust and delicate marzipan filling – on both of our visits to the shop. The relaxed ambiance was conducive to talking and people-watching. I also perused a free copy of Bitchslap Magazine…
Which contained an interesting editorial combining Danish Fashion and New Nordic Cuisine.
(My husband wasn’t so convinced about the red elastic-waistband pull-up pants; however, I’m going to have to get a pair of the “caviar” polka-dot tights.)
While I did eat some delicious savory foods, I was even more excited that the Danes have a love-affair with my own favorite…LICORICE!!!! I made short work of two bags of Tom’s Pingvin Lakrid in just the week I was in Copenhagen…
(and I plan to order more here!)
I find it hard to believe that just one week ago I saw the sun rising in Copenhagen, Denmark. We were on our way back to the States that morning, and the colors in the sky at 6 a.m. were truly spectacular. My camera was, unfortunately, already packed away for the trip; not surprisingly, given that I only had one week to deal with jet-lag before coming home, I didn’t catch the sunrise on any of my other mornings in the Danish capitol. All the same, I did notice the extraordinary bright and clean light that seemed to color each day – not to mention that it made the 40 degree weather far more bearable.
Light obsessed? You be the judge…
Although we arrived home from Denmark only yesterday afternoon, my jet-lag seems to be in control already. I’m back at work teaching, running errands, and catching up with life after having been away for two weeks. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet been able to solve my computer issue, so I can’t post any photos from my travels yet.
In the meantime, I’m reminiscing about…
Cold but sunny cloudless days in Copenhagen,
Cafes with delicious coffee and pastries,
Quaint cobblestone streets,
Burgers and a beer with my husband on the harbor,
and of course
Fabulous Danish licorice!