September 12, 2016 § Leave a comment
Aspiring actor Hans Christian Anderson was not known for his acting career; his interest fell short but soon found fascination with words. Since, he had written many poems, plays and other fairy tales. In 1837, one of his unique fairy tales was published and 72 years later, it inspired Carl Jacobsen, son of Carlsberg. After an adaptation ballet performance; he commissioned a sculptor to create a bronze statue of the main character that now sits quietly by the waterside of Langelinie Park, Copenhagen. The Danish fairy tale is Little Mermaid and a century later, Den lille Havfrue is still one of this hygge city’s most attractive tourist spots.
The secret to the world’s happiest city derives from the very tender word, hygge, the Danish way of life. They embrace the softness of velvety handwoven cushion pillows, craft dainty jewellery, preparing meals from scratch, gathering close friends to your home and savouring the present moments.
Granted that this visit wasn’t solely for the city, I still had the opportunity to explore and soak in the lifestyle. It was also my first time staying at an Airbnb. Honestly, there is no better way to understanding the local lifestyle but to live like one.
Having accommodation at Nørrebro district is a blessing. Just on Jægersborggade street alone you can find, to name a few: Relæ (an organic Michelin star restaurant), Coffee Collective (quality coffee roaster/cafe), Vanishing Point (a craft shop with handmade jewellery and artwork), Meyers Bageri (a very good Danish bakery) and gågrøn (a sustainable retail shop). We ventured through the lane and had coffee before a long lunch at Relæ.
I had been following Chef Christian Puglisi and his unique organic restaurant for almost two years. A typical meal orchestrates around wholesome vegetables from their own farm outside the city; meats & seafood from thoughtful local farmers/fishermen practicing sustainable methods; dairy bottled the night before it gets delivered to the restaurant in the morning; carefully selected equipments, table settings and even apron. Read more about their report here.
Romaine lettuce, plum sauce, red wood sorrel
lemon curd, yogurt, marigold
dark chocolate mousse; aubergine, white truffle, hazelnut praline
A casual, simple meal with graceful finesse, greeted with kind waitress/cooks. They spoil us with endless servings of sourdough bread & Sicilian olive oil throughout the course. Bread, which is made from their sister bakery, Mirabelle, just around the bend from Hans Tavsens Park on Nørrebrogade. In other words, there is no excuse for you not to take a slow stroll over and tuck into a warm loaf of sourdough bread or pizza at Bæst, or have a pint at Brus
But before that please drop by Mikkeller & Friends to enjoy some local craft beer, at the very corner of Husumgade. It’s as fresh as a first dew in the morning on the autumn flowers in the park.
Near the city centre, you will find a large food market selling everything from fresh produce to artisan chocolates and homemade masa tacos, Hija de Sanchez. Torvehallerne is an international affair waiting for people, both far and near, to devour themselves with gorgeous heartfelt food.
Down the street on Frederiksborggade towards the bridge, there is an authentic bakery, Naturbageriet. Heartfelt, gluten-free and vegan too. It’s classic wooden interior, simple retail racks and piles of baked goods by the window carry a modest atmosphere. It feels almost like visiting a grandparents’ home, which is precisely how the pastries tasted ~ unpretentious, wholesome and comforting. Perfect as a quiet companion during tea time.
In the city, walk along Gothersgade and into Atelier September to enjoy a Danish designer’s Jonas Trampedach collections and dine at the cafe. The clean and elegant art pieces, simplistic furniture and odd vintage decorations retain the nations personality.
Just as their design speaks character and substance, so do their meals. Rye bread with sliced fresh soft avocado and finely chopped chives, generous drizzle of olive oil, squeeze of bright lemon and sprinkle of salt. Sitting by the window facing the main road, I wonder if there could be anything more nourishing than this on a golden sunny afternoon?
More about Oslo in the next post.