Tuesday 11 April 2017

A mini city guide: 4 days in Copenhagen

The slightly awkward seasonal spell between winter and "proper" spring often signals the need for a little environmental refreshment; it's easy (and totally normal) to feel a bit low and crave some fresh surroundings to elevate your mindset. My recent four-day getaway to beautiful Copenhagen – accompanied by my equally beautiful cousin Ellen – provided just the pick-me-up I'd been pining for of late. 

Despite never being to the Danish capital before, its all-pervasive loveliness came as no surprise: many a friend had advised me how suited it was to my personal weaknesses – good food, design, culture, coffee, nice humans, etc. That being said, I couldn't have predicted just how much I'd fall in love with the city and its dreamy offerings. Aside from being exceedingly jammy with the weather (), Copenhagen really was hard to find fault with.

A perfect combination of the usual city suspects and a healthy dose of nature, not to mention an impeccably high ratio of aesthetically-pleasing people (and puppies and architecture and the rest), Copenhagen encompassed glee-inducing travel touchstones in abundance. Though I'd researched and kindly received lists of must-see spots beforehand, much of our favourite places were serendipitously happened upon. I felt it only fair that I pay it forward and share them with ya, should you find yourself there in the not-too-distant future (which you simply must). 

The accommodation: We stayed in CPH Studio Hotel, a super well-connected, friendly, aesthetically on-point aparthotel setup with a little gym, café and rooftop terrace. Recommend biiig time!

In no particular order, here's a little-ish list of the shops, cafés, cultural spaces and hangouts we went to and loved:

 GRØD // I'm not ashamed to say that we found ourselves in this glorious grain-filled spot every morning for breakfast. A porridge lover's paradise. 

 KAKTUS KØBENHAVN ~ If you know me even a tiny bit, the mere name of this succulent store-cum-ogling spot will suggest why it made me weak at the knees. Since it's tricky to fit cacti into cabin baggage, I left with a canvas bag memento (it would've been straight up pr*ckish of me to leave empty handed).  

♥  LOUISIANA MUSEUM OF MODERN ART ~ This cultural gem was hands down the most recommended location I received before hopping on the plane to CPH, and with good reason: it's simply the best. Well worth the train trip! 

TORVEHALLERNE ~ A street food market with all the goods, Torvehallerne provides an abundance of options to nourish yo'self amidst all the city cycling/walking. A few fave stalls: The Coffee Collective, Resso, Grød (obvi), Laura's Bakery, Lêlê Street Kitchen, Palæo, Retreat, Stalks & Roots, Vita Boost.

♥ ASSISTENS KIRKEGRÅD ~ The famous burial place of Hans Christian Anderson, this idyllic cemetery is a must-go space for a slice of city calm. Far from being morbid in character, it has a tranquil, meditative quality that leaves a special impression. 

SNEAKERS & COFFEE Two of my favourite life items in one petite place – and they were playing Otis Redding when we visited. Tick, tick, tick. 

RETRO NØRREBRO ~ A good-feels, non-profit, volunteer-led café haunt which also serves as a rolling exhibition space. The perfect mid afternoon chill spot. 

ASTRID OCH APORNA ~ Ellen and I were wooed in by Astrid Och Aporna's vegan hotdog sign on Nørrebro's Jægersborgadde and left with stomachs full of the most delicious cruelty-free fast food around. Vegan or not, a sample of their menu is a must!

 MANT ~ A dreamy stockist of stationery and plants. Yep and yep. 

♥ PALERMO HOLLYWOOD ~ Kudos to the buyers here: Palermo stocks a beautifully curated collection of lifestyle, literature and gift wares in an exquisitely designed space.

♥  KOMPA' 9 ~ A friendly, cosy coffee haunt with a homey interior and a good food offering too.

HAY HOUSE + MINI MARKET ~ From future home interior goals to the slightly more attainable Mini Market stock, Hay House is quite the wonderland for anyone with a weakness for sweet sweet design. Coincidence that Hay rhymes with yay? Naaay.

STILLEBEN ~ Yet another interior store to set our hearts aflutter – we visited two of their shops while in the city – Stilleben provides an ample dose of design inspiration. Leaving empty handed is hard. 

♥  SUPERKILEN ~ A hallmark CPH destination, you've no doubt seen a snapshot of this iconic-looking skatepark and play area before – even if you haven't set foot (or wheel) in it before. A veritable outdoor wonderland. 

STORM ~ Easy on the eye (less so on the pocket), Storm is a lifestyle store with – characteristically for Copenhagen – an impeccable line-up of design, art and fashion goods. The magazine display is a must for anyone with a penchant for publications.

 JOLENE ~ If you're on the hunt for a vibrant night time nook, Jolene – indeed, the meatpacking district in general – is your place. 

♥  JÆGERSBORGGADE // This isn't a shop or café per se, but rather a must-see street in the Nørrebro district (opposite Assistens Kirkegård), where you'll find lovely food/mooch sites aplenty.