Trip date: July 2016
The Scandinavian have a term for what they consider to be cozy, relaxing, natural, or chill; hygge (pronounced hoo- gah). It's become quite the trend lately to use this word when describing coffee shops, galleries, even hair color as Forest pointed out to me, but when you are in the atmosphere of hygge you just know it, just feel it. And this city wraps you up in it like a Danish design cashmere blanket! I experienced lots of hygge time.
Before we went for lunch at Noma we headed to the fantastic Torvehallerne. I was already smitten but for my girlfriends this was their first time. Coffee from the Coffee Collective, pastries from Laura's, and tacos from Hija de Sanchez made for a very good breakfast!
Properly fueled we split up with Forest, Kate and I grabbing the metro to Christiania. This hippy commune is known for being a "free state" and also for selling hash. We were only there to ogle. I'm sure smoking some hash is very hygge to many! Photos aren't allowed because of the drug sales, and we really didn't find it too interesting, but it was on the way to Noma (what a juxtaposition these two locations are!) so when in Rome...
After our incredible lunch at Noma, Kate, Forest and I decided to walk around the Nyvan area a bit. Nyvan is so charming with its Hanseatic buildings lining the waterfront, and the boats traveling in and out of the canals. It's got its fair share of tourists as well, but seeing as CPH is dramatically smaller in size than other European capitals the tourists are number-appropriate. Hygge.
We headed back to the apartment for much-needed post long, long, lunch naps before rallying and grabbing an Uber to Ruby. This cocktail bar is perhaps the most talked about in Copenhagen. We entered the door flanked by lit candles, signifying the business being open -hygge- and were shown to a large booth in the main room. This space is decorated beautifully with pretty mirrors, antique furniture, marble floors, etc.
The menu of cocktails was playful and interesting. They were also expensive as most things in Denmark are.
Next up was Strom, which wasn't as fancy or as expensive. But the service and the drinks were still great. Strom is a bit more casual and not so "scene & be seen". Really good cocktails at both of our stops. We were all a bit worn out from our big (eating) day so we headed home for pajama-nightcaps.
On Sunday Forest & I decided to rent bikes and cycle along the canal to meet the girls for lunch. Biking in Copenhagen is a must-do, the bike lanes are completely separate from the street on the majority and you can rent a bike with a swipe of your debit card at kiosks all over the city. Bike helmets are not required nor commonplace.
I felt very local peddling along, even if it was just for about 20 minutes. We dropped the bikes at a kiosk just a block from the restaurant Ol Brod.
Being a tad early for our reservation we grabbed a picnic table outside on the sidewalk and enjoyed a nice glass of wine in the beautiful sunshine. When Kate, Caitlin, and Sarah arrived and we moved inside the adorable restaurant for our lunch.
The selection of modern smorrebrod here is fantastic and we all loved our food. Unfortunately our service was so bad it bordered on comical. Forgetting orders, disappearing, bringing the wrong things. They are also known for their selection of schnapps and our waiter never offered to help us choose any. Definitely not hygge. But I have to believe that this was the exception and not the rule as so many of my friends had recommended it. I'd go back and give this potential charmer another chance.
After lunch Forest, Caitlin, and I walked to the train station and headed 30 minutes outside of CPH to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. It's a super easy trip and once off the train just about a 20-minute walk to the museum.
We started by wandering around the grounds as the sun was out and it was beautiful. This is a fantastic place to bring a picnic and relax on the massive lawn overlooking the Baltic Sea. Hygge.
Then we started exploring the collection wing by wing. We were all absolutely charmed by this museum with its interesting and not so-common works of art (to me anyway).
We finished up by exploring the backyard grounds around a delightful pond. Art and nature. Denmark you have it going on.
When we arrived back in the city we made a little pit stop for some glasses of cava served to us by handsome Nordic men at a bar in the Torvehallerne. As you do.
That evening we said goodbye to Sarah as she was headed back to London. Now down to four we headed to The Barking Dog bar. The bar adopts a theme every few months and we had hit the jackpot with it being Tiki time! Decorations were hung, the menu was loaded with classic tiki concoctions, and they were served in awesome tiki mugs. We even had a pupu platter of sorts.
Great drinks and even better service, the staff here are super fun and it is a bar I'd absolutely drag you to if we were in town together!
Cocktail stop number two was at the well -known Lidkoeb. The space here is so beautiful and definitely hygge. Candles, brick walls, high ceilings, leather club chairs. The drinks were good but not overly impressive. That's ok, sometimes you go for the atmosphere.
Sadly upon leaving we found out the hard way that most restaurants in Copenhagen are closed on Sunday nights. We hadn't planned for that and were kind of out of options. We raided the 7-11 across from Lidkoeb and took our crap frozen pizzas home to bake while we made a few nightcaps. Noma seemed like such a long time ago!
All Copenhagen photos here.
Other posts from this trip:
Last Days in Copenhagen
An American in Bornholm
Dinner in the Middle of the Baltic Sea
Best Restaurant in the World?