When a city such as Copenhagen already hosts seven amazing festivals all year round, how do you attract visitors during the colder, winter months to your Northern European metropolis? Wondercool Copenhagen is the result – a melting pot of the best of all these festivals to create one “taster” of an event in February. Combining everything from cooking and architecture to music and fashion, I got the chance to fly over during the festival to see what all the fuss was about.
Having already covered a guide to spending 48 hours in Copenhagen once before, I was keen to see what else outside of the regular tourist trail the Danish capital could serve up. After arriving late on Friday night and checking into the former seafarers warehouse Admiral Hotel, we got some rest before tackling Copenhagen head on Saturday morning.
After a hearty Scandinavian breakfast in the hotel, we hopped on the bikes provided to all guests of the waterside hotel and made tracks to our first stop on day one – the nearby Danish Design Museum. Four centuries of furniture and decorating arts are represented here in what was the former Royal Frederik’s Hospital. Here we learned about famous Danish designers like Arne Jacobsen and how much they’d contributed to great industrial and home design trends over the last fifty years.
This yellow and blue sofa was one of the most striking items in the collection. Even though it was designed in the 1950’s, the look and style remains timeless and creates a cool retro vibe that I would definitely trade my own sofa at home for.
After soaking up the clean lines and colour of the Design Museum, we all jumped on our bikes and made our way to Nikolaj, Copenhagen’s contemporary art centre. Housed in a former church, Nikolaj is now home to various art installations over it’s three floors that change throughout the year. On our visit, we were treated to the Fokus Video Art Festival. I’d never really been to an video festival before but it’s intriguing to see the kind of clips people come up with. And the bean bags were comfy.
Next, it was time for the main event – the Lumpfish Roe Rally. We met Copenhagen’s food aficionados, also on bikes, in a menswear boutique in the middle of the city, ready to sample each restaurant’s interpretation of Scandinavia’s caviar. After a quick speech, we were off peddling or way to the first stop at the Orangeriet. Housed in a conservatory on the fringe of a royal park, Orangeriet provided us our first taste of lumpfish roe and set the standard for the rest of the tour.
Lumskebugten was the highlight of the caviar ride for me. It was here that we tried out Danish schnapps (Aquavit) and managed to snaffle some free wifi also. With a hearty “skål!” we knocked back the aquavit and tucked into the caviar. Lumskebugten is a harbour side restaurant with a long history of entertaining and cooking for the Danish royal family and is a great intimate venue for a meal.
After a long day of riding our bikes to the six different restaurants, we decided it was time to sample something a little more substantial in picturesque Nyhavn. We parked up our bikes and entered down into the depths of a warm split level restaurant to thaw out and tucked into more of the local fare, this time in the form of burgers and beers.
In Denmark there is a vibe they have called “hygge” (pronounced “hoo-gaa” as I found out after being corrected by our guide for saying it completely wrong) which basically means cosy, warm and together with family/friends. I first learned about it back in 2010 and Abi from Inside the Travel Lab captures well what hygge means to the Danes. It was here, downstairs in a little grill house in Nyhavn that I captured the above shot and thought “yeah, I feel pretty cosy right now”.
This was only day one of a two day quick jaunt over to Copenhagen with Visit Copenhagen. Make sure you come back in a few weeks to find out about the cutting edge architecture and coffee shops we discovered.
Disclosure: this trip was provided complimentary by Visit Copenhagen but as always, opinions are my own.