the good life in copenhagen

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remiss as i am to use this word, pierre and i took our “baby moon” in copenhagen in late august. i chose copenhagen because it’s more famous for its cinnamon buns (aka “snegls”) than for its wine and for its obsession with design. as a bonus, copenhagen also turned out to have the most amazing food and was very baby-friendly — every woman of childbearing age seemed to be waddling around, heavy with child, and there were “eco” baby shops everywhere. this extended even to the flea markets, where every third table was siphoning off used baby clothing from denmark, germany, and france.

P1050524P1050658we went to two flea markets — the østerbro flea market (sundays) and the more famous frederiksberg flea market (saturdays). lots of clothing (used bras…?) at both and less in the way of danish tchotchkes, but lots of baby clothes to be had for about $2 cdn, which is literally the only deal we got the entire time we were there.

IMG_4393IMG_4379IMG_4391people warned us copenhagen was one of the most expensive cities in the world, but we were alarmed to discover a two-ride stop on the metro costs about $7 and take-away coffees are in the $10 neighbourhood. everything, including tap water ($14 for a bottle) costs money, except, thankfully for this pregnant lady, the public washrooms, which are on every street corner. that being said, we have never eaten better meals, so at least we were paying $20 for the best damn soft-boiled egg ever. a few of our favourite places:

  • grød: an all-porridge restaurant on jægersborggade that we went to no less than three times and came home with the cookbook and bags of oats for all our friends
  • vespa: a lively-yet-cozy italian place with a 20-dish set menu… and all you can drink wine.
  • cafe lækkerier: home of the $20 soft-boiled egg
  • central hotel and cafe: the smallest coffee shop in all of copenhagen
  • granola: rumours of great milkshakes, but i had chicken salad?
  • papirøen: an island of food trucks

just way, way too many to name. there was actually a food festival happening while we were there and on our second night we trekked out to the danish forest for a 5-course all-pork dinner with about 18 other people. i have never eaten better food. luckily we were walking and biking a lot (see cost of metro ticket, above) so all the snegls didn’t affect us too much.

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weather was variable and most days we got wet at least once, but walking around in crisp danish air was definitely preferable to enduring the heat wave enveloping toronto at the time. (i never thought i’d complain about the heat, but it’s amazing what an extra 10 lbs does to your perception.)

P1050559in the centre of one of the richest areas in copenhagen are some old army barracks that were taken over by homeless youth sometime in the ’70s. it still functions as its own colony, with laws and taxes not applying. there are no photos allowed on the main street, called “pusher street.”

IMG_4357i didn’t want to move around too much on this trip (that is, pack up my bags, board trains, switch hotels, switch currencies) so we stayed in and around copenhagen, but did take a few day trips, like this one out to sletten, a small seaside town. (there’s also a big modern art museum nearby.) i was all geared up for fish and chips and some tea (so wet, so cold) at what looked to be a simple wharf restaurant, only to be turned away from the members-only boathouse restaurant.

P1050490as is to be expected, good design did abound, but none of it was remotely affordable. we poked our heads into a lot of shops — designer zoo being a favourite — but treated them more like museums than shops. museums with price tags. all we came home with were flea market finds for the baby (and some new stuff from aniel) and the cookbook.

we’ve had a pretty good run of european adventures — i’ve been across the pond every other year since 2005 for at least two or three weeks at a time — but we’re pretty sure this was our last of this kind of trip for a while. obviously we have other big adventures ahead…

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