Design & Food: Our Trip to Copenhagen part II (i)

The second day was a very important day indeed, it was my 22nd birthday! So we had planned to cram in as much as possible. On Theis’ recommendation it was off to Nørreport to a food hall called Torvehallerne. He recommended it to us when we told him about Borough market, in London. A quick hop on the train from Forum and we were there. It’s around the corner from the station, so it wasn’t long before my rumbling tummy was sated. You can’t miss it too, with its glass box construction reflecting the sun’s light. We got there quite early, most of the stalls hadn’t yet opened, but the ones that had were good enough!

Stopping for a coffee and some wienerbrød, this was an amazing start to my birthday. We both shared some snegl (a cinnamon swirl) and a Træstamme ( a marzipan & rum flavoured cake). It was amazing, and the coffee complimented the warm spicy tones of the snegl.

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Another stall which was open (only just!) was the liquor & vinegar seller. As soon as I saw it, I had to get some real akvavit/ snaps. The only Scandinavian liquor I can get readily back home is the akvavit from IKEA in Cardiff, so to get proper stuff was a must! I had plans of using it for my Danish themed christmas, to serve with the starter of smørrebrød. Buying it was a bit weird though. As myself and Tom had gone ‘hand luggage only’ we were limited to a max of 100ml to take home with us, which wasn’t enough, so we bought two 100ml bottles albeit being more expensive than the 200ml bottle. Oh well! The small bottles are a lot cuter.

Our last stop at the food hall was at a food stall Grød (meaning porridge). Now, don’t get me wrong porridge is ok, it’s healthy and filling etc but it can be a bit boring. Not here! The Danes have taken porridge and given it some well needed pizzazz. Already filled up on pastries we didn’t have enough room for a bowl each, but we had to try some. Put before us, two spoons, ice cold milk puddling in the steaming hot oat porridge, and the toppings!  Roasted almonds, crunchy fresh apple and a big dollop of sickly sweet dulce de leche. More of a dessert than a breakfast. But, a perfect Bday treat.

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Wanting to burn off a little of the food before our next destination we decided to scout the area, popping into a few of the shops nearby. The thing about Denmark, even their cheap shops are pretty stylish. Whereas back home, to find something stylish in our little ‘pound shop’ style stores is like finding a needle in a haystack. Design in Scandinavia is taken so seriously that it has filtered down to cater for all budgets. I found some awesome little grid pattern glass pots for 15 DKK (£1.50) that were just calling out to be filled with salt scrub. Oh and this happened.

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Time was ticking on, so we made a move and hopped on the next train to Louisiana art gallery.  The scenery on the train journey was a pleasant surprise, as we passed many residential areas of the outer boroughs of Copenhagen, which you wouldn’t normally see on a city break holiday. Stopping at the Humblebæk station, you’d never think that were were in the midst of a cutting edge modern art gallery. The surrounding  area was well, very quaint. A quiet suburb with lots of big wooden houses (stained black) with immaculate gardens and the odd Danish flag. But sure enough, around the corner, by a wall of trees in their Autumnal glory it stood there camouflaged in a skin of ivy. The trees in hues of ochre, umber and russet contrasted beautifully with the bright green of the gallery.

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Adding to the Autumnal tones were three big statues in bronze of gourds and pumpkins by Japanese Pop artist Yaoi Kusama. Bespeckled with her trademark polkadot pattern, these were a taster of what we had come to see, a retrospective of her works, as well as the gallery’s extensive permanent collections.

– In the next post I’ll describe and review the gallery, the exhibitions and my birthday meal, courtesy of my childhood friend and her Danish partner.

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