Copenhagen: Vermouth and Heavenly Nibbles at Rudo

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Sometimes this whole “taking the day as it comes” approach doesn’t work out so well. Like when you arrive at Baest on a Saturday evening hoping for a table when the restaurant is clearly full. Of course we had to wait. And we happily did so, knowing what was in store at this wonderful pizza restaurant!

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We were told it would take an hour until our table was ready and the maitre ‘d suggested we check out their bar Rudo in the meantime.

Always happy to check out a good bar we walked upstairs to this cosy bar we completely failed to notice on our first visit.

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A vermouth bar! So we got persuaded to try something new, and both Maria and I (Daniel was driving and had to stick to soft drinks) were pleasantly surprised. I chose a white vermouth with citrus notes that I really liked while Maria settled on a red one. Both on the rocks and very refreshing on a balmy summer’s eve.

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Obviously hungry we also checked out the bar snacks menu and spotted something that made us jump for joy: burrata toast with truffle. I mean, sounds like heaven on a plate, right?!

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And, oh, it was too! Absolutely delicious and just as we were about to order our second one we were told our table downstairs was ready – only 40 minutes into our hour.

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So down the stairs we went and took up seats at a communal table outside, simultaneously checking out the menu and the food around us. And then we settled in for a real pizza feast!

Moral of the story: sometimes “taking the day as it comes” works out better than if you had planned it! (If we had booked Baest like last time we would have missed out on this lovely bar experience. And that burrata and truffle toast!)

Rudo, Guldbergsgade 29, 1st floor, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen: A Second Lunch at the Food Market

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I never miss a food market when I’m travelling! Apart from in Barcelona when it was closed when we were nearby.

But when I find them open I always seek them out and make sure to pop in. It’s fun mingling with the locals, checking out the local produce and buy some culinary mementos to enjoy at home.

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Copenhagen’s food market Torvehallerne, is a very sleek version of the food markets you find in other cities. The two buildings are all glass and modern, and although you can buy fresh produce it’s also interspersed with restaurants.

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I think I’ve sampled them all, and one favourite we always come back to is Tapa del Toro with its many pinxtos to choose from.

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Although we had just enjoyed a lovely gourmet lunch we wanted a little taste of both the food market atmosphere and the lovely pinxtos. Because sitting here sipping cava and biting into baguette with Jamon Iberico while people watching and chatting to your friends is just such a big part of what we love about Copenhagen.

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When we finished we walked next door to a new interior shop Maria had discovered and had a look around enjoying the colour scheme and pretty things for sale.

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Only to return to Torvehallerne and The Coffee Collective for a coffee before our next shop. Maria and Daniel had espressos but I decided to try their iced latte, which turned out to be the best one I’ve ever had! I don’t usually have milk in my coffee but it works really well if it’s a strong iced latte like this one. I was always skipping with joy drinking this!

Frederiksborggade 21, 1362 Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen: Gourmet Lunch at Restaurant 108!

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If booking a table at Noma seems too daunting or requires too much advanced planning, then Restaurant 108 is the next best thing. It’s a spin-off from Noma, and much more accessible. So accessible in fact that we rocked up for lunch one Saturday in August and they could fit us in without a reservation!

You see when I come home to Sweden I have hardly any time to myself to plan things like this, so this annual trip to Copenhagen with Maria and Daniel (aka the best tradition ever!) is all about spontaneity. We get in the car shortly before lunch time and decide there and then where we are going to go. Sometimes we call ahead but most of the time we just rock up and hope for the best. Luckily this works well in Copenhagen, where I feel people live more in the moment, than say London or Stockholm where you really have to book restaurants far in advance to not miss out.

And for us it just means the day is a very free-spirited one, with no time constraints or musts. We just go with the flow and we all love it!

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But back to our lovely lunch. We got seated straight away, at a wooden table by the windows where there was a nice breeze from the open windows and doors letting some air circulate on this warm summer’s day.

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We preferred to sit inside as this was fine dining and the sunshine would too quickly spoil the food, but there was a cute little terrace just outside over looking the cutest house boats on the canal, which we made sure to check out later.

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The interior here is just as airy and clean as one would expect from a Danish restaurant offering new Nordic cuisine, and it feels like an almost tranquil space. The tables are fairly far apart and there is space for the waiters to do their dance in between table with such finesse it’s a treat to see.

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Happy with our choice of restaurant (and that they had room for us!) we toasted with wine and beer and patted ourselves on the back.

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Then the bread and butter arrived and we congratulated ourselves once again but it was out of this world good. The bread was still warm from the oven with a nice crunchy crust but the inside was all pillowy and soft and airy. And the butter (or was it really soured cream? It was so light it was hard to tell!) with its lovely tanginess was the perfect pairing.

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Give me good bread and butter and I need nothing else to be happy!

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But we had ordered a few other things and it would be a shame not to taste them!

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My first plate of thinly sliced radish on top of smoked sturgeon looked very austere, but as you lifted up the radish slices you glimpsed the richness of what was inside. The smoked sturgeon yes, but also pumpkin seeds for texture and a rich but light sauce to bring it all together. Oh, such joy it was to eat this! Tender subtle flavours that just lingered in your mouth afterwards extending the experience.

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But the next course was even better! It was the most perfect lamb tartare I’ve tasted in my life (and I have eaten a few tartares to know what I’m talking about!) and it was just pure heaven. The meat was soft and light and full of flavour and the herbs and seasoning just added layers and layers of flavour and texture I tried to savour it for as long as possible.

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Meanwhile Maria ate this wonderful monk fish with herbs and flowers from the garden -probably the prettiest main course I’ve ever seen!

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But I was happy enjoying my tartare in slow motion, savouring every moment and every bite!

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As much as I loved the airy dining room, I also loved the rust coloured cosy loos, and just had to snap a selfie to remember this lunch by, because I think my face says it all; pure happiness and contentment!

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Then I stepped out in the sun on the terrace where my friends were waiting and we got back in the car searching for more food related adventures. Yes, much more to come, so stay tuned!

Restaurant 108, Strandgade 108, 1401 Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen: drinks at Rødder og Vin

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Back in August when the days were longer and the nights were balmy I had a whole day in Copenhagen with my friends Maria and Daniel, as per our age old tradition. It’s so nice to have a day with these two in one of my favourite cities (and “almost” capital growing up) just chatting and exploring new things.

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We concentrate on good food and drinks, but we always visit some shops and try to see a new area of this ever evolving city.

In the early evening when our legs were tired from all the walking and we needed a drink we went to the bar and wine shop Rødder og Vin for a much needed little break. The reason we stopped here was because we knew (thanks to Daniel’s research) that they sell cider from Fruktstereo here. Both Daniel and I grew up with one of the guys behind the cider brand so we want to support and try their products when we can, and in Copenhagen that’s quite easy.

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We took our ice cold bottle of Cider Maybe outside to a wobbly bench underneath some scaffolding and toasted to our friends. It was such a lovely start to the evening sitting there with a nice cold (and dry – this is NOT Kopparberg, rather the polar opposite to it!) cider enjoying the hustle and bustle of Copenhagen.

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When we had finished our drinks we got up and walked some more, to our dinner destination. So stay tuned for more Copenhagen tips!

Rødder og Vin, Ravnsborggade 10, 2200 København, Denmark

London: Trinity years later

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Most of  you long time readers will remember that I used to eat at a restaurant local to me in Clapham when I lived around there; Trinity, A LOT several years ago. I loved that restaurant so much. I had the best ever risotto there and their bread is to die for. I’ve taken most friends there, my parents and have many happy food memories from this lovely place.

But as I moved a way from the area I got other good local restaurants to try out and I didn’t make it back. Then it was closed for refurbishment for a long time and a while ago now it opened up its doors again, with an additional more informal restaurant upstairs, and they got a Michelin star for the downstairs restaurant.

So pretty much everything has changed, but I was still very curious to go back and try the new Trinity (still with head chef and founder Adam Byatt at the helm) and see how it compared to the restaurant I forever keep in my memories.

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What I noticed first was how the space has changed. The address is the same and the building looks the same from outside but the layout inside is very different with an open kitchen and a more austere decor. It’s more modern and a little less cosy. But I definitely like the open kitchen!

The dining experience has changed too; from a semi upscale neighbourhood restaurant to more of a fine dining experience. But it’s still not stuffy, which I like, and the waiters are all lovely and relaxed while keeping it professional.

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We got two amuse bouche to start and they were both delicious! The little tartlets with pea and parmesan were utterly delicious and the little cigars with olives were nice too!

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The menu has changed too, from three courses to an optional four, but we asked if we could do three each (as I know how full you get here!) and stagger them as we were sharing everything. It was no problem at all, so we shared a first course, two second courses, two third courses and one pudding! That was the perfect amount for us (I was sooo full!) especially with all the added things like amuse bouches and petit fours. I could only take tiny bites of the last sweets which felt like a waste!

But back to the savoury dishes. The tuna tartare with apple and almonds was really lovely. The fish was just perfectly cooked and the mellow flavours accompanied it really well.

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Next we had pasta with langoustines and petit pit which was really nice, but it tasted completely different to how I had pictured it in my head. More earthy than light. But still nice.

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The warm Norfolk asparagus with smoked beurre blanc (we went here before the summer so it was totally seasonal!) however was the star of the show. Please put this back on the menu next year and I’ll be there! LOVED it! We both did.

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For the third course we had one of the specials which was the glazed lamb sweet breads with more petit poi and lardon. Really nice!

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But this was the winner! Wild sea trout with cucumber and white burgundy. Such delicate lovely flavours. Love!

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And for pudding we had another cracker; their salted caramel tart with salted caramel ice cream, because there is no such thing as too much salted caramel. And wow, it was AMAZING! Just perfect in every way.

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We also had a nice bottle of British wine which I think it’s worth telling you about. I love getting introduced to interesting wines in restaurant and this was was quite different but so lovely (and at a good price too!).

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Then the petit fours came pouring in and I had to take a little breather. We were so slow but also greedy and wanted to eat it all. Lovely little almond cakes.

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As well as macarons and truffles. So generous and although I’m sometimes too full to fully appreciate them I love these little extra touches. You feel so well looked after and it elevates the dinner a lot!

So the verdict? I like both old and new Trinity. I’m sure I will be nostalgic about old Trinity for quite a while, but I like this new version too. And I can’t wait to try the upstairs bit which might be similar to the old vibe as it’s supposed to me more casual. Only one way to find out! Race you there!

Trinity, 4 The Polygon, Clapham, London SW4 0JG

Norfolk: pizza at The Jolly Sailors

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August in Norfolk is peak season, and the heat wave probably added to that. We’re talking car queues on every road leading to the beach, full car parks, looong ice cream queues, and packed beaches. So you can imagine that if you want a last minute reservation to a restaurant you have to be verrrry lucky.

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That’s why I really like places like The Jolly Sailors, where you don’t need to book (unless you’re a large group), can just show up on a whim, order a pizza and find yourself a table underneath vines and fairy lights.

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It’s rustic, semi-cosy, but also welcome to all. There’s an eclectic mix of guests and a large playground for the kiddos out back. And they make good pizzas (and offer takeaway too).

We had a very impromptu date night here on our last night, and as much as I love fancy restaurants and elaborate menus, sometimes a pizza in a beer garden with someone special is just the ticket.

The Jolly Sailors, Main Road, Brancaster Staithe PE31 8BJ

Norfolk: seafood dinner at The Hoste

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One of the evenings in Norfolk in August we all went out for dinner at The Hoste in Burnham Market. It was my first time there, but the others had all been before.

To start I just had to have the Norfolk oysters, as it’s such a treat to have fresh local seafood, and they did not disappoint. Lovely, almost buttery, oysters. So yummy!

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Most of us around the table had the Lobster Thermidor and fries as our main course and it was really nice. We had a really nice dinner here, but the service could have been a lot faster and more attentive, so I hope that improves.

But nice food and atmosphere!

The Hoste, The Green, Burnham Market, King’s Lynn PE31 8HD