I’ve just arrived back home after one of the most exhilarating long weekends I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing, from a culinary perspective at least. I mean, I loved my trip to Copenhagen last September for many reasons but this past weekend was just another level and it’s left me with a bit of a void feeling now that I’m home. Seriously, after eating such exciting food, I am completely disinterested in what I could possibly cook or go out to eat knowing that as good as the food is, it will pale in comparison to what I ate in Copenhagen.
But more than anything, if I hadn’t before, I have completely fallen in love with the city itself; There is such a laid back, calm feeling about the city that it rubs off onto you whilst there. It’s a very hip city without trying to be, aided by the Scandinavian architecture and design which is obviously everywhere (unlike somewhere like Londinium which is a vibrant city, but IMHO tries a bit too hard in parts to be hip).
I love how cycling is embraced as a normal mode of transport and as a result, there are proper cycle lanes which other traffic obey and cyclists are not seen as a nuisance taking up precious road space reserved for motorists. I mean, it’s not like many of the cyclists wore protective head-gear and/or light reflective clothing because they don’t really need to. What’s more, not only are there plenty of spaces for people to leave their bikes, but I didn’t see many bikes chained or locked to whatever bike stands or posts they rested against. If you had a bike and propped it against a lamppost whilst you went shopping, would you seriously expect it to still be there when you returned?
And then there is the food: Nordic cuisine has been a big thing in recent years and as much as I enjoyed my meal at Noma last Sept, I didn’t feel really wowed by it all. I was much more excited by the food I ate at Relæ (and so really looked forward to going back as a result), but the meal I had at Noma was so many levels higher than my visit last September that I finally understood and got what all the hype about Noma was about. I wasn’t going to write about it really (I’ll reveal why in the actual post), but it was so good that I feel the need to share my excitement with you all. Plus, there was a trip to Bror which further confirmed to me how exciting Nordic cuisine really is. But it wasn’t all about the fine restaurants we ate it; one of my favourite things about Copenhagen is the hotdogs; Yes, seriously, the hotdogs. They’re certainly not gourmet and I’m not entirely sure if they’re all beef or pork, but I can tell you that they have a really good snap when you bite into them and are delicious! I love how the bread roll is slightly toasted, I love the combination of raw and deep fried onions, I love the pickles and the remoulade you get with your hotdog.. But what do I love the most about the hotdogs in Copenhagen? They’re such a taste of home for returning Danes that there’s a hotdog booth in baggage reclaim at Copenhagen Airport, presumably because previously, people couldn’t cope with having to get their luggage and walk through the 300 metres or so into the Arrivals Hall where the next closest hotdog booth is.
Copenhagen isn’t a cheap city – I had a bottle of wheat beer from a local Copenhagen microbrewery and it cost 55Kr – Which at current exchange rates comes to about £7. But if you budget to allow for such high prices for alcohol (if you’re going to drink alcohol at all), you should be OK. Personally, I think that the coffee there is better than anything you get here and as a result, there are some fantastic coffee bars in the City. Besides, drinking less booze means you get to appreciate your surroundings a bit more and given you’re surrounded by such beauty and class in Copenhagen, that’s definitely something you don’t want to miss out on when you’re in Copenhagen. I’m really happy to be back home in Birmingham, but I do miss Copenhagen and am already itching to go back..