We've not had a holiday in over a year so having decided it was time for a break we booked long weekend in Copenhagen. Ignoring the fact that it is eye wateringly expensive, I can honestly say it was one of the best city breaks we've had. I could easily write a week full of blog posts there was so much to see and do but in fear of boring you, I'll try to keep it brief... for now anyway!
It was cold, but mostly dry (although there was a brisk wind off the sea, lest you think I'm sporting a new hair style!) so as the city centre is easily accessible by foot so we walked for miles, exploring the various sights such as the picturesque but touristy Nyhavn
Of course we also had to see the equally touristy Little Mermaid, which I can only describe as underwhelming! The industrial harbour backdrop complete with power station has been edited out.
But there were also beautiful churches...
Castles and palaces...
Crown jewels and art galleries, museums and shops selling wonderful Danish design. And when our feet were too sore to walk any further we took a train over the Oresund Bridge to Sweden, where we had a quick coffee in Malmo before coming back again!
But despite all the wonderful things to see, the highlight of the trip has been the food. Every day we were there, we ate the most delicious and mouth watering open sandwiches with fillings ranging from pickled herrings and vegetables, roast beef, venison, salmon, egg and prawns... sometimes from street stalls such as the wonderful Hallernes, situated in Torvehallern food market just a stone's throw from our hotel, famous for its Smorrebrod...
but as a treat on the final day we had lunch at Shonnemann which has been serving Smorrebrod with beer and snapps since 1877. It was magnificent!
Of course we couldn't come to Denmark without eating a Danish Pastry or two (possibly four or five in my case!) They are not actually called Danish Pastries in Denmark but wienerbrod or Austrian bread which come in all sorts of varieties. My favourite were the kanelsnegel... or cinnamon snails!
And we also sampled the very trendy New Nordic cuisine at a fabulous little restaurant called Host. We ate a five course tasting menu and when our fourth course came up served on these huge plates neither of us could quite believe it,. Stewart was waiting for his chips to arrive! But despite laughing at such a little portion on such a huge plate the food was excellent, full of wonderful flavours and neither of us felt hungry by the end of the meal.
Of course we couldn't go to Copenhagen without a visit to the Tivoli Gardens. Fabulously tacky but great fun too. We resisted the roller coasters and other rides (well it didn't take too much resistance to be honest) and just wandered and watched as it grew dark, warming ourselves on cups of Grog and taking in all the lights and Halloween decorations.
It has been a wonderful few days in so many ways but the thing that will stay with me is that just about everyone we met from waiters and hotel staff to ticket inspectors and shop assistants were friendly, polite and cheerful . All the time we were struck by the fact that everyone seemed to want to help... Danish happiness and hygge are things that could make a whole blog post on its own and maybe I'll write it one day but for now I'm reminded that a smile and friendly word costs nothing and it can make all the difference in someone elses day.
Today it was back to work but feeling refreshed after our break... and I've ticked off a few more things from my sixty by sixty list. Still a long way from sixty but the list in my side bar is growing!