Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Memories of Denmark




I'm not long back from a two week and a half road trip around Denmark and my goodness I cannot wait to tell you how amazing this country is. Having visited Copenhagen back in 2009 I was expecting the rest of the country to be wonderful, but I was blown away by just how charming, pretty, and full of joy Denmark is. Denmark isn't like Copenhagen, well maybe Aarhus is a little. Cities are small, villages are full to the brim of cutesy, colourful houses, and day-to-day life is peaceful. Not to mention that the people are some of the friendliest you'll find.

A couple of years ago Steve and I did a road trip around Iceland which was indescribably out-of-this-world. Whilst Denmark doesn't have the same dramatic landscapes, it does have it's own unique style of beauty. Denmark is flat, when you come across a hill it's a big deal, which is why there are so many cyclists. The luscious, green landscapes stretch as far as the eye can see. The coast is an eclectic source of glorious white beaches and dramatic cliffs. The architecture is stunning, from rainbow coloured bungalows, end-of-the-world light house and sand swept churches, stunning design museums that will make you want to move in immediately, and ancient Viking fortress ruins that are so incomprehensibly old it's hard to believe they're real. Denmark has it all and when you take into account how small and easy to travel the country is, it's the perfect place for a stress free and beautiful road trip.

Whilst I'm hardly a pro on Denmark I feel like we covered so much ground that I can give you an excellent overview of the country. Some of the places we visited I would return to in a heartbeat, whilst others I could happily never visit again, not because they weren't nice but because I left feeling satisfied. Plus there's still a few parts of the country I need to save for another trip.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Where to eat in Copenhagen, Denmark


A big reason for wanting to visit Denmark was to indulge in New Nordic cuisine. I love the concept of using only the most local of ingredients in your cooking. Not only does it promote local business and environmentally friendly practices, but it also leads to innovation, exciting and unique flavour combinations, and dishes that you can't find else where.

Had we not been spending over two weeks in Denmark, I would have liked to have visited a Michelin starred restaurant such as Geranium, Kadeau, or Relæ. But with Noma closed during our visit, I had this all or nothing mentality - if I couldn't visit the restaurant that invented the New Nordic movement then I'm not going to bother with the others. Anyway, my wallet breathed a sigh of relief when it realised it wouldn't be forking out for these types of meals.

That being said, Denmark, as I'm sure you've heard many people say, is not a cheap place to eat. With a 25% sales tax, the cost of eating out can rocket. Most of our dinners hit the £70 to £90 mark which is of course expensive, but also comparable to some of the restaurants Steve and I frequent in London. While this is extremely far from a budget dinner, the thing I will say is that the food in Denmark is some of the best I have ever experienced. The quality of the ingredients, the inventiveness of the flavour combinations and the exceptional service meant that I never once felt a meal wasn't worth the price.

What I did come to realise is that there's isn't a huge difference in price between your casual all-day cafe type places and somewhere a little higher end. If you can afford to spend a little extra per person when it comes to dinner then it's worth seeking out those higher quality restaurants, you will not be disappointed.

If you want to eat well without going bust then my best advice is to avoid alcohol, or at least wine. Steve and I don't tend to hit the booze too hard on holiday, a few bottles of local beer will do us just fine which is great because this is a much more affordable option.

So onto the food. I did a lot of research for where we were going to eat and it absolutely paid off because everywhere was wonderful and I cannot wait to share my recommendations with you.

BREAKFAST / BRUNCH



Friday, 26 May 2017

Out of Office: Danish Edition


Today Steve and I are off on a two and a bit week road trip around the gorgeous country of Denmark. The last time I was in Denmark was way back in 2009 when I spent a couple of days in Copenhagen during my inter rail trip. I remember loving the city but I don't really remember doing that much in terms of sightseeing (I was broke). This time around I am armed with a long list of sights, shops and restaurants I want to visit so it will be all stations go.

We will be spending out first five days in Copenhagen, three days in the actual city, one day driving around the island of Zealand visiting castles and galleries, and another day across The Bridge in Malmo, Sweden. My obsession with Scandinavia really kicked off back in 2009 so I am really excited to revisit the country, especially as I've developed a love of Danish design, Nordic Noir TV, New Nordic cuisine and the great outdoors since I was last here.

After Copenhagen we will be driving over to Jutland to stay in Odense for a couple of days. There's a few Viking related sights I want to stop off at en route and once we're there we'll be spending a day on the lovely island of Ærø. Odense is the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen so I'd like to visit his home and indulge in a bit of Danish literature.

Our third stop will take us over Jutland as we'll be staying in Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark. I'm excited to wander around the cobbled streets as well as visiting some of the small nearby islands like Fanø and Rømø. It's from here we will be driving down to the German border one day which should make for an interesting diversion.

After Ribe, it's on to the Danish Lake District. We'll be spending a couple of days in Silkeborg as well as visiting Legoland which I am beyond excited about. There's not a ton of stuff to do in this part of the country so it'll be nice to spend a little time relaxing after a busy week of sightseeing.

We'll then be travelling up north to Aalborg for one night. There's quite a bit to do in the city but we'll be shortly heading up to Skagen for beaches and down time. I can't wait to hit the sand dunes and relax in our beach house for a couple of days. 

Are final stop is Aarhus which happens to be one of the European Cities of Culture this year and there's a ton of stuff I'm excited to visit. Nearby Djursland is meant to be a lovely part of the country and I'm sure we will visit some of the beaches around there as well. There's a few museums I want to make time for in Aarhus as well as a plentiful food and shopping scene.

After a couple of days in Aarhus we'll be catching the ferry back to Zealand, visiting Rosklide, a couple of sights in Copenhagen suburbs, and a final Danish dinner before our flight back to London.

As with all of our big holidays I have a rather detailed itinerary but I'm prepared for plans to change. You never know what could happen when you're on the road for two weeks. If you've been to Denmark and have a burning recommendation to tell me about then please do leave them it in the comments as I am always eager to hear tried and tested holiday places.

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