A Copenhagen honeymoon is where all things hip meet hygge, as Lauren Fraser finds out…
Touching down into the capital city of a country celebrated for pastries, fairytales and happiness, it’s fair to say we were looking forward to a long weekend in Denmark. But how would the cosiness, candlelight and contemporary cool that epitomise Copenhagen all come together? We hailed a taxi and mulled it over for another 20 minutes on the drive to the hotel.
Pulling up at The Andersen Hotel, located in Vesterbro, an area busy reinventing itself as one of the hippest places to be, the city’s secrets started to reveal themselves. Characterful architecture and painted properties give the city an old-world charm, but you need only peek indoors to slide effortlessly back into the 21st century.
This was certainly true of our home for the weekend. The Andersen’s lobby alone is a vibrant, inviting space of old-meets-new transparent, wing-backed armchairs and watercolour cushions.
A room with a view…
Inside and out. Stepping into our Wonderful room after a rewarding walk up the stairs (seriously – there’s a treat left for you at each level if you give the lift a miss), a splash of fuchsia pink wallpaper greeted us from behind the roomy bed, scattered with throws and cushions, which can be tailored exactly to your sleeping habits thanks to the hotel’s indulgent pillow menu. The rest of the finishes combined glass, pale grain wood effects and black statement lighting. The result? A room that felt bold and contemporary without compromising on cosiness.
But the positives don’t stop there. The Andersen is also home to a daily free wine hour, offers speciality tea and coffee on tap and even gives guests the gift of 24-hour check in, so you can enjoy your room for the full time, whenever you arrive.
And then there’s breakfast, which, like almost every aspect of life in this city, is accompanied by candlelight. Picture an organic feast of pastries, rice pudding, pancakes, yoghurt, fruit, cold meats, cheese, salads and even matcha tea lemonade and you know you’re in for a nourishing treat.
What The Andersen lacks in a restaurant for dinner it makes up for with its location on the doorstep of Meatpacking. This area is arguably one of the best places in the city for atmospheric restaurants and bars.
We brought the ‘when in Rome’ attitude to Denmark (why should Rome get all the fun?), so while our waistlines may have grown over the weekend, we returned home with an excellent flavour for Danish cuisine and no regrets at all.
Almost every cafe leaves blankets and sheepskins to snuggle up with on outdoor seats. Even in the balmy single figures of our February visit, we were willing to embrace the alfresco approach – the perfect chance to get our daily dose of hygge.
Let’s start with the classics. Although you’ll pass plenty of bakeries as you wander the city, it’s worth the walk (or cycle – bikes are free from the hotel) to reach Conditori La Glace. Tucked away in Copenhagen’s ultra-romantic Latin Quarter, this is one of the oldest patisseries in the city with a reputation and menu as incredible as its history.
Call in for a cup of coffee and a slice of freshly baked cake to get your feel-good fix within a warren of wood-panelled interiors and marble-topped tables. We recommend the Werners Valsetærte for a rhubarb, almond and vanilla, gooey-with-a-crunch delight.
Fancy something authentically Danish but savoury? Let me introduce you to smørrebrød, the traditional open sandwich served on rye bread that is anything but, if you’re new to the country. Not knowing what to expect, we found a restaurant in colourful, riverfront Nyhavn (a must visit with or without food and the former home of fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen) and ordered smørrebrød topped with potatoes, chives, smoked cheese and avocado mousse. I’ve never tasted anything quite like it, but my goodness it was good.
Despite all this indulgence, our foodie experience was headed for even greater heights. We enjoyed the tasting menu at Mielcke & Hurtigkarl, and there is only one word to describe it: flawless.
After our coats, scarves and hats were whisked seamlessly out of sight, we joined the exclusive group of diners that evening and took our seats at a table for two. The charismatic manager and expert sommelier, Thomas, would be our host for the night, introducing first Champagne and then wines as the near-15 courses flowed with perfect timing from the kitchen.
It’s safe to say it was a true culinary adventure. The Japanese-inspired, Danish dishes surprised and delighted us with every new arrival. The service was impeccable, with the chefs coming to the tables themselves to introduce and enthuse about each course and theatrically serve sauces. They even highlighted the fact that the head chef himself had caught the duck and goose that we were about to taste in the charcuterie course. We’re willing to bet you’ll find a provenance like that near-impossible to beat.
Mielcke & Hurtigkarl is a restaurant powered by passion, by a commitment to brilliance on every level – from the stunning botanical-inspired interior to the intriguing dishes they create and the care taken to pair them with nothing short of exceptional wines. “We hold nothing sacred, except pleasure,” the restaurant proudly proclaims, and it’s true.
If you want to really indulge on your honeymoon and taste food in combinations you never imagined possible – green strawberries and scallops, for example, which by the way is irresistibly delicious – I can’t recommend dinner here highly enough. When food is the way to the heart, one gourmet experience here will leave you loved up for life. What more could honeymooners want?