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

Copenhagen: dinner at Bæst

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As you know I like to eat, and when I once a year have my day with friends (who luckily also likes their food) in Copenhagen, we make the most of it. Which is why we could fit in tacos for lunch (followed by some smørrebrød because why not?!), fika at our favourite place, wine and cheese pre-dinner at this nice little spot and then still had room for dinner. The August heat and the walking helped though.

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Bæst, our dinner spot for the evening was recommended by Daniel and all three of us loved it. It was laid back and cosy, and obviously a popular spot because it filled up as we sat there.

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The menu reflects the casual atmosphere and has the emphasis is on good local organic produce and sharing plates. Just what we like!

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The grilled courgette and kale salad what we started with was really nice. It had texture, a nice charred flavour on the courgette and acidity and freshness as well. It’s the kind of vegetable dish that makes you feel good.

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Next up we had a huge plate of chicken wings, covered in a herb-y finger-licking sauce. Delicious! And a lot fresher on the palate than regular buffalo wings (which I love, but this version was more interesting).

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After that we were ready for the main event; the pizzas!

Cooked in a 500C (!) oven these blistery, still soft but cooked just enough pizzas are to die for.

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Especially the classic margherita. With a delicious tomato sauce, their own (!) mozzarella and basil.

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I mean, look at this. Pizza perfection.

Bæst, Guldbergsgade 29, 2200 København N

Copenhagen: wine and cheese at Vinhanen

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It’s difficult to explain the difference between Denmark and Sweden, or the difference between Stockholm and Copenhagen, especially as both countries and cities have different areas with different vibes, but overall I would say Denmark is just so much more relaxed.

Sitting like this, on a wobbly bench on the pavement outside a wine bar amongst parked bicycles drinking wine and using an old IKEA stool for a table is very Copenhagen. The bicycles are definitely a part of the scene and I like the no-fuss approach to basically everything.

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I actually can’t remember how we found this wine bar, but it was on our way to the restaurant where we had dinner after, and tired of shopping we just fancied a glass of something cold and some nibbles.

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And that’s exactly what we got at Vinhanen. Lovely cold wine (much needed in the August heat), crusty sourdough bread and yummy cheeses. The owner was lovely and chatty and we got to try the different wines so we got one we really liked. So nice!

In the store (you can also fill a bottle and take it away) they have big barrels of wine on tap, so you can order a bottle, a glass or a carafe. Clever!

Apart from the good booze and cheeses Vinhanen also offers a nice eclectic mix of people and fun people watching on the street. It’s the kind of place you want to hang out in all night. And that’s exactly what I intend to do next time.

Vinhanen, Baggesensgade 13, Nørrebro, Copenhagen

Copenhagen: Hija de Sanchez

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When an ex-Noma chef opens a taco restaurant you just know it’s going to be good food. On my day trip to Copenhagen this summer with my usual Copenhagen travellers Maria and Daniel, we didn’t have enough time to go to the restaurant but got to taste Hija de Sanchez’ tacos at our favourite lunch place; the food market called Torvehallerne.

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There are several restaurant stalls here, so you can sample a bit of this and a bit of that. But we went straight to Hija de Sanchez and ordered a plate each of tacos.

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And some cava. Because why not?!

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All three of the tacos were (of course) delicious! The one with cheese and avocado (queso fresco) was nice and fresh but I also really liked the one with fried runny egg and guacemole. And the barbecoa was the best I’ve ever eaten (and I’ve sampled a few…)!

Next time I really need to go the restaurant – can’t wait to sample the whole menu! Which I’m sure my travel companions are up for.

Hija de Sanchez, Taquería and market, Torvehallerne, Frederiksborggade 21, Copenhagen

First week of holiday!

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My holiday was rather busy, but that’s what it’s like when you’re living abroad; lots of family and friends to catch up with and you’re constantly behind on that front, however hard you try, as there simply isn’t enough time. My strategy this time was to start off busy and try to wind down a little towards the end, as I need to sleep and relax as well. And for once I think it worked. To say I feel refreshed might be pushing it, but I feel less tired than when I left London, which is the whole point of a holiday, isn’t it?!

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But since I had a 7am flight on the Saturday I took that day to relax and really feel that I was on holiday. It was pure bliss to arrive at the beach house, change into a bikini and a cover up, have an glassbåt ice cream in the sun and just try to switch off a little.

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I also walked down to the beach to dip my toes in the water and breathe the fresh air. And in the evening I enjoyed some bubbly and a nice homecooked dinner (pork fillet with lemon and herbs, new potatoes, tomato salad and a cold garlic and herb sauce).

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The next day I went to Helsingborg for lunch with friends and got to see both the hosts’ lovely new house and meet other friends’ little baby for the first time. For lunch we had a lovely poke bowl with sesame marinated tuna and ice cream for pudding. It was so nice to sit in the garden catching up with dear childhood friends like that. The afternoon went by in a flash!

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On the Monday I went to Copenhagen for the day with two friends, and we’ve been doing it for so long it’s a tradition we do everything to keep every summer.

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We started off with tacos and smørrebrød for lunch at Torvehallerne, had fika at our favourite café and in the evening wine and cheese at one place before dinner at another. It was a perfect day chatting away with friends, looking in a few shops and just enjoying what this lovely city has to offer!

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The next day I didn’t have many plans so started with a lie-in and a late breakfast in the garden. I did a few errands and sunbathed a bit and had dinner with my parents in the evening before a visitor from London arrived late that night as the flight was delayed.

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So the next morning another lie-in was in order followed by a cooked breakfast outside. By the way, poached eggs on toast with tabasco is delicious!

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We continued the day driving around the south coast, checking out the beaches and eating ice cream.

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And in the evening we had a crayfish party complete with Västerbotten cheese quiche, fresh and smoked prawns, snaps and silly hats!

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The following day my visitor played golf in Falsterbo while I spent the day with by best friend and my god daughter before meeting up with the golfers for lunch. Afterwards we went to Badhytten for a drink followed by a quick swim in the sea.

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Then I was put to work making burgers (with fake shack sauce) for us all. So yum!

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Friday was my visitor’s last full day in Sweden so we made the most of it spending most of it on the beach and after a late lunch we made our way into Malmö for drinks, dinner and some more drinks.

The next day we had time for a long breakfast and a swim before my visitor had to leave for the airport and I spent the rest of the day taking it easy and had dinner with mamma and pappa in the evening.

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The next day (Sunday) we drove to the southeastern part of Skåne to have lunch with two of my cousins and my auntie. We had hot smoked salmon with new potatoes, soft boiled eggs, asparagus and a cold dill sauce. Very Swedish and so yummy!

It was a lovely week and as you can see I got to see and do a lot and catch up with many of my friends!