Last month I was in Copenhagen for a few days. It was my second time in the Danish capital, and this time I broke all the rules. I didn’t eat at any fancy prix fixe restaurants. I didn’t even walk along the famous part of the river with all the colored buildings.
Instead, I spent most of my time with my cousin, her husband and my nephew Ethan who was turning one. My cousins are both PhD scientists working at the University of Copenhagen. Total nerds, I tell you. (Hi, Cous!)
We ate a couple of home-cooked meals at their apartment in Frederiksberg. We picked up Ethan from daycare and we went grocery shopping. Sometimes the best trips are the ones where you’re not really doing anything at all, you know?
But I still made sure I squeezed in a couple of bucket list places. And of course, I shopped like a Kardashian at every Cos store in my path.
First, here’s a shot of their prized Datong cooker. She’s a proud Taiwanese, I tell you.
Since they live in a one-bedroom with a baby, I stayed two nights at SP34, the hipster’s hotel paradise, before I spent my final night on their couch.
We went to Torvehallerne Market, a famous indoor food hall. There’s an outpost of The Coffee Collective there. If you’re boring like me, you’ll get a latte. But if you’re a coffee addict like my cousin, you’ll probably order an Aeropress thing.
Outside, there was a weekend flea market where vintage Danish design pieces were laying around casually like a yard sale. I saw some cool wooden coathangers. Very special wooden coathangers. Except they would have cost more than the clothes I would hang on them.
Too bad these chair didn’t fit in my carry-on bag. The cane ones in the back are also very nice.
Back inside the market, you can buy all kinds of Danish foods, like these open-face sandwiches. However, since I wasn’t technically a tourist, I didn’t eat any. Instead, my cousin took me to her favorite Korean food cart outside and we shared an amazing piece of fried bread with honey inside. Super tasty.
At the very top of my to-do list was the newly renovated Normann Copenhagen showroom. They hosted the reopening just a few days before I got into town, so I was like, yessss, perfect timing.
I wish I could live in that showroom. That’s me in the mirror, by the way, pretending I actually live there.
The best part about visiting Normann Copenhagen is stepping down these stairs…
And seeing this. It’s even more awesome and bright in person.
No one was around when I was down there. I imagined myself in pink pajamas, laying on that couch drinking a strawberry daiquiri.
It feels completely serene, somehow. Like swimming inside a womb. Or being happily stuck inside a cloud of fairy floss. Exiting that room was hard, I’ll admit. But back to the real world.
The one Copenhagen-style meal we had was at Väkst, the restaurant on the lobby floor of SP34. Väkst is operated by the Cofoco restaurant group, and they run a bunch of other stylish eateries in town. My cousin and I both had the two-course lunch set at Väkst for 225DKK each, or around 1,000TWD.
You get bread and butter, an entree plus dessert. Everything’s local or organic or handmade. The chicken dish we had was described by our server as “very special local farm chicken”. It was perfectly juicy and tender.
Then we had an amazing dessert of salted caramel ice cream, black pepper meringue, homemade grilled plums and cream. We were both dying as we made our way through. I’m guessing all that cream had something to do with it.
Another design store on my bucket list was the Hay House showroom.
It’s a cornucopia of stationery, furniture, homewares, lighting and artwork. Trust me, you will want to buy it all.
The furniture section is especially satisfying/unsatisfying. Everything looks amazing, yet nothing is yours. Which is what being a visitor in Copenhagen is supposed to feel like.
Unless you happen to be visiting family…in which case, the best part of your trip will be hanging out at the local shopping mall, pushing a stroller around and deciding what local beers to take home for dinner. And trust me, it’ll feel fantastic.