After taking us through the numerous tasty delights of Lisbon and reviewing the city’s Heritage Av Liberdade on our behalf, we sent travel blogger Heather Cowper off on another adventure. This time, she’s on the front line cool-hunting in Copenhagen in the first of three guest posts, kicking off with a catch-up with Avenue Hotel’s manager, Mai Kappenberger…
Hi Mai. We love the cosy lounge at Avenue. How can we recreate the look?
It’s a mix of kelims, Moroccan silverware, British Bestlite lamps, sofas from Italy and decorative touches from the Paris flea markets. We like to make our guests feel at home, and, as Denmark has long dark winters when we don’t go out as much, we try to create that cosy feeling (we call it hygge) with a fire or flickering candles and lanterns in the garden.
The hotel’s in Fredriksberg, which is a charming old residential neighbourhood where you’ll find plenty of shops. There are two universities and a business school nearby so expect smaller, interesting shops as well as delis, chocolatiers and specialist interior shops. Take a look at Mandrup Tapeter near Avenue, a small shop well known for its unusual wallpaper. For Moroccan silver trays like the ones we have at Avenue, try Thé à la Menthe which has a shop and café. I’d also recommend the neighbourhood of Hellerup – you’ll find lots of little boutiques on its main street, Strandvejen.
The Danes often buy classic furniture from the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, which is resold at auction on sites such as Lauritz.com where you can buy and sell vintage Scandinavian designs. Go to Fritz Hansen for the works of well-known contemporary designers or visit the Paustian Furniture Warehouse in Nordhavn.
Wow, we want to get shopping already. What about children, what’s there for families to do in Denmark’s great city?
For a lovely family day out, head to Dyrehaven, a forest on the outskirts of the city, to see the hundreds of deer running wild. It’s less than 30 minutes by train from the city centre to Klampenborg Station. Pony treks can be arranged for children and there are also horse-drawn carriage rides around the park. For somewhere to eat with an old-fashioned Danish feel, try the Peter Lieps Hus in the park.
Not too far away is Charlottenlund where you’ll find the Danish Aquarium in an old wooden building with a children’s playground. There’s a fortress with canons and the beach is also nearby. Have a picnic in the pretty gardens of the local palace, and try the family-friendly steakhouse, Mash.
If I’m staying in the city with my kids, we love to visit Lagkagehuset, the best bakery in Copenhagen, and then we might rent a rowing boat in Christianshavn to explore the canals – we’ll be sure to take some hot chocolate with us. Or we might take a hamper along to Fredriksberg Have, and then check out the city zoo’s Elephant House, which was designed by Sir Norman Foster.
If your children are a little younger, the perfect place to go for a delicious organic brunch is Café Krudthuset in a grand historic building in Christianshavn. You can relax while children play in the playground, dress up in old costumes, read in the cushion room or frolic in the farmhouse.
Paustian Furniture Warehouse 2 Kalkbrænderiløbskaj
Thé à la Menthe 56 Rådhusstraede
Peter Lieps Hus 8 Dyrehaven, 2930 Klampenborg
Mash Steakhouse 235 Strandvejen, 2920 Charlottenlund
Lagkagehuset Bakery 21 Amerikavej, Christianshaven
Café Krudthuset 8 Krudtløbsvej, Christianshaven