ON THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
Copenhagen seems to have it all: Architecture and art, a design past, present and future, a food scene raising the international bar, a royal family, and even a beach. No wonder some say that Copenhageners are the happiest people in the world. It is about time to head north, get on a bike and get lost in endless summer days:
First, stop at Mirabelle – bakery, café, lunch and dinner restaurant all in one. The well designed interior with its distinctive floor tiles complements the high quality of the food. Enjoy the homemade pasta or grab a loaf of their incredible sourdough bread (often selling out during the day, so reserve or come early!) or some croissants, among the best in town, even though rumor has it the small bakery Juno is winning the croissant game: buttery, flaky, with a crisp outside, crumbling in your hand but at the same time almost melting in your mouth.
Always worth a visit is the studio and shop of MK Studio. Handmade ceramics, cups, plates and bowls that have character and are beautiful, but are also practical and durable; each piece is unique and shows love for fine detail and high quality.
As a refresher, take a stroll on the winding paths and over the soft greens of the Botanical Garden or the park-like Assistens Cemetery and visit the final resting places of H.C. Andersen and Sören Kierkeqaard. Take a moment to sit in the grass as it is so silent, peaceful, and calming. Or head to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, an art museum, and enjoy its beautiful and spacious winter garden, where you can sit and walk among the palm trees, feeling worlds away.
Back on the bike saddle, let’s head towards the beach. Crossing the many picturesque bridges, with the sun above and the blue water glittering beneath, there is only one essential summer thing missing. Luckily, Alice ice cream and coffee is directly on the way. The small shop on the island of Amager offers a small but fantastic selection of ice cream. Make sure to have it in their home baked waffles – heaven!
It is just a few minutes ride until we reach Amager Strand. Wait – is this southern France? Behind the soft dunes a long white, sandy beach stretches out endlessly, the view across the blue water reaching as far as the Swedish coastline, the iconic silhouette of the Øresund Bridge in the background. Off with your clothes and into the water – it’s time for a swim, a sunbath, and a read. Time to switch off.
Heading north to the peninsula Refshaleøen; the old industrial area is now home to many bars, bakeries and restaurants hidden among former warehouses. Nestled on the waterline is a small, unimposing bluish fisherman’s hut, La Banchina. It’s really small with only limited seats and an incredible view, but you will want to sit outside on the vast piers stretching into the harbor. People gather in the sun to enjoy coffee, natural wine or freshly made food. Go for a swim, just like anywhere in town, the water is perfect. The unique atmosphere of this place is magical, especially when the last sunbeams give everything a golden hue.
Back to buzzing Nørrebro district, to Gaarden & Gaden. This clean designed yet very homely place features an open kitchen and big wooden counter in the center, serving breakfast, coffee, lunch and a simple dinner menu. It’s calmer during the day but lively in the evening, often with live music, and always with great food and a fine selection of natural wines, beers on tap and drinks.
When the night finally sets over Copenhagen head to Kødbyen. The meatpacking district that is still used as such turns into a vivid going out area at night with many restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Sit outside and enjoy a glass or dance the night away until the early morning hours.
Of course there is way more to see! There is a plentitude of architectural highlights scattered across the city, there are places to shop and first class coffee to drink; there is Louisiana and the Design Museum; there is Slurp Ramen Joint and Manfreds; there is Apollo Bar, Pompette and Den Vandrette. And yes, there is Noma, naturally. But sadly, in real life not even perfect days are endless.