A Scandi Weekend

Anyone that knows me knows that I am a huge fan of all things ‘Scandi’, so I was very excited to be going away to Copenhagen for a long weekend. I mainly saw this as an opportunity to gain invaluable interior design inspiration and pick up some Danish design names to bring back home with me. The reality was; there was very little time for shopping and exploring home stores so this blog post is dedicated to the incredible food that I experienced during my 48 hours in Copenhagen.

First up is a restaurant which I need to shout about from the rooftops and it goes by the name Höst

Höst was a recommended restaurant on the Visit Copenhagen website, and I can see why it is a firm favourite with foodies in the city. Their menu is simple but plentiful. While there is no a’la carte option, you’ll be sure to find something which will tantalise your taste buds on their beautifully seasonal 3-course {350 Krone / £41} or 5-course {450 Krone / £53} set menus. Each menu comes with an optional wine pairing by their sommelier should you wish to indulge in that (and should your wallet be able to stretch, too). So after a day of traveling and a skipped lunch, I opted for the 5-course menu which went a little bit like this:

Witch flounder with cucumber, smoked cheese, and roasted chicken skin

Hand-cut veal tartare with roasted yeast and freeze-dried raspberry 

Sourdough pancake with veal sweetbread and Porcini mushrooms 

Pork neck from Grambogaard with black currant, beetroot and mustard

Dill ice cream with blueberries and white chocolate  

Little did I realise with all the ‘taster plates’ or ‘amuse bouches’ if you prefer, that would be served before and after the “official” courses, I’d be rolling out of Höst nearly 3 hours later having polished off 11 courses!

I use the term ‘course’ lightly… as you can see from the photograph above, the first ‘course’ consisted of four lovingly hand-cut chips which had been meticulously arranged in a Thyme plant accompanied by puffed pig’s skin and a creamy mushroom dip (served on a rock). Instant inspiration right there for the next time you have the friends over for a ‘wine and nibbles’ evening.

So why not serve your crisps in herb bushes!?

Smoked scallop with nitrogen-infused ice cream
Freshly baked bread rolls with whipped butter
Witch flounder with cucumber, cream cheese, and chicken skin
Hand-cut veal tartare with roasted yeast and freeze-dried raspberry

The food at Höst was absolutely incredible. Yes, it did come with a reasonably hefty price tag {our total bill came to roughly £170 for 2 people}, but remember we are in Scandinavia where food and alcohol prices are typically much more expensive than in other parts of Europe. That said, I think we got exceptional value for money. The quality of the produce, the imaginative way flavours are combined and the execution of all eleven dishes made for a really memorable experience. The service at Höst was impeccable; the staff was so knowledgeable about all the food they were serving, they took time to explain, in the most perfect English, the exact details of each element on every dish and how the food had been prepared. The waiting staff were willing and able to answer just about any question you had about your dinner. They were just attentive enough without becoming one of those nuisance servers that ask “is everything OK for you?” every five minutes. The time between courses felt just right. I wasn’t rushed nor was I left waiting an age for my next tasty installment.

Booking is essential, particularly at weekends. If you’re headed to Copenhagen be sure to get Höst on your itinerary for a culinary experience you’re not likely to forget in a hurry.

 

Next up for review is the cutest little cafe called Atelier September

I went here for breakfast on the Saturday morning of my weekend break. You can find it tucked away in Gothersgade 30, opposite ‘The Smallest Museum in Copenhagen’. Unfortunately, they don’t take reservations, so whether you can get a seat here is entirely down to luck. Fate favored me on this occasion, as I was able to get a table for 2 at the window and ordered:

Americano

Cappucino

His & Her Croissants 

Grapefruit & Blueberries

Yogurt & Granola

 

Everything was so fresh and so delicious – and so Instagrammable! Definitely worth a visit, if you can get a seat.

 

On Saturday evening I went to Restaurant Radio.

Which conveniently is located on Julius Thomses Gade immediately opposite The Forum, a live entertainment venue. I had two tickets to see Sigur Ros that night so it could not have been more perfect (of course, I had diligently planned and researched eateries within walking distance to the concert venue to maximise foodie-time and cut down on travel-time between getting my noms on and concert-going. Hats off to me, I think I came up trumps with this little find!)

Because of my slight over-indulgence the night before, I opted for the 3-course menu rather than the 5-course. Like Höst, Restaurant Radio only serves seasonal set menus at an almost identical price-point. {350 Krone / £41 for 3 courses or a slightly cheaper 435 Krone / £52 5 course menu}.

Special taster pre-starter

Squid with mushrooms

Duck

Poached pumpkin with yogurt ice-cream

The squid looked like tagliatelle and tasted unlike any squid I’d tried before. It was divine. The duck was cooked to perfection and served with berries and a chicken jus. The chef actually comes to the table to serve your dish and pour his ‘special sauce’ from a small copper pan over your plate. The poached pumpkin was so delicate. I’d never had pumpkin, well, squash, as a dessert before but it’s certainly something I will try to re-create at home in the kitchen.

Bookings can be made in advance on their website, which makes it super quick and easy to do. Again, I would have no hesitation in recommending this place to friends and family who wanted a fine dining experience in CPH.

Sunday morning, I hopped on a train over to Sweden and got off in Malmo. It takes about 40 minutes and a great thing to do if you want to tick off two countries on a packed weekend break. I had a small bite to eat in a cute cafe called Mocca

Who says you can’t have cheesecake for brunch on a Sunday?! When in Sweden…it’d be rude not to go for something with Diam in it! Especially when it’s homemade.

It was quiet but I think we were up and about long before most of Malmo had woken up. The coffee was rather excellent too.

Sunday afternoon, we ate al fresco in Mello Yellow, Malmo.

Moroccan Lamb Patty with Seasonal Vegetables

What I had was quite lovely, and I loved getting snuggly under the ‘Mello Yellow’ blankets they offer all their guests. But compared to the other places I’d eaten at over the weekend I did feel like I was going home on a bit of a culinary low.

Other recommendations… 

Sadly I didn’t get to try these places out either because they weren’t open at the time of the day I was there, or simply because I wasn’t aware of it until I was exploring the city with locals.

Under The Bridge

Chefs hard at work Under the Bridge

A ‘pop up’ culinary adventure by ‘noma‘. Said to be THE BEST in the city; and so it should at a slightly eye-watering 1,250 Krone for a 5-course dinner [thankfully, that does include drinks, but will still set you back £150 per person]. I walked past the tent which literally had popped up under a bridge, and the kitchen brigade was there, outdoors, preparing the food. The dining room, despite the slightly drab looking white marquee with plastic windows from the outside, was set and looked magical on the inside.

Bastard 

They claim to be all about “happy animals and earthy roots”. I just wanted to ‘check into’ somewhere called Bastard! But I have it on good authority from friends who have been, that the food there is very good.

The ‘meat-packing’district

The meat-packing district of Copenhagen, complete with hipsters.

According to the ‘Alternative’ Tour Guide, the meat-packing district of CPN is where a lot of the exceptional food can be found. Up-coming chefs break into the food scene here before branching out into bigger and better establishments after they become more…established. There’s an abundance of trendy bars and restaurants to pick from here but be warned, the buildings aren’t the prettiest. It’s very commercial/industrial looking in appearance and it is a bit of a magnet for ‘hipsters’.

– – – – – Fin – – – – – 

If that’s inspired you to book a trip to Copenhagen and experience some ‘hyggily’ moments, here are the details of what I got up to…

Hotel SP34

£162* per night for a superior double room at the very trendy SP34 Hotel located at Sankt Peders Stræde 34. Pssst…they offer ‘Wine Hour’ every night between 5.00-6.00pm where you can get a free glass of wine in the lobby. Definitely worthwhile doing given how expensive alcohol is in Scandinavia!

Room 421 at SP34

Flights

£42* return with Ryanair from London Stansted to Copenhagen

Activities

Sandeman’s Walking Tour [free, although tips for the tour guide are expected], The Alternative Walking Tour, Sigur Ros at The Forum, train from Copenhagen Central to Malmo, Sweden [approx. 40 minutes direct].

Total Budget, c.£1,000

For a 2-night stay including flights, food, drink, souvenirs, activities and airport transfers.

For more top picks in the city and to plan your trip, go to visitcopenhagen.com 

*prices will vary depending on availability

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