I am 110% sure that whatever I have to say about art, fashion, travel, food someone far far cooler has said something much more interesting in a far more eloquent way. HOWEVER, my lovely Instagram friends keep asking me what exhibition I'm at, where I shop and what I recommend. I'm not by any stretch of the imagination a writer, and my photography is amateur at best but I do want to be as helpful as I can and I also know how much I rely on my fave Instagram inspirations. Please feel free not to read any further, and if you do please bare with me as per all of the above.
Me and my cute little co-inhabiter, Matt set forth on a long overdue trip to Copenhagen, 'epicentre' of the design quake. Needless to say I had a to do list longer than my hair as I've been soaking up my friends/fave bloggers recommendations for years. As much as discovering the lil nuggets of Danish culture and experiencing the famous hygge way of life, I was most excited about visiting some of my favourite designers.
First on the list was Etage Projects. I've followed these guys for a while now and consider them to be leading the way for contemporary design galleries. I was completely blown away. It's safe to say I've never been in a space with so much talent per square metre. It's a compact space jam packed with so many masterpieces, it felt like being in Charles & Ray Eames studio in the 1940's. The pieces that stood out to me were: Superpoly, Jerzy Seymour, Guillermo Santoma and Sabine Marcelis. I'm excited to follow their journey and already can't wait to go back.
Next we popped down the road to Copenhagen Design Museum. The space is set out as a continuos loop starting from modern day and ending in the 1900's with a Bauhaus exhibition at the exit. What was amazing to see was the amount of iconic danish design throughout the last century. A highlight was the 'secret' concave room with glass display cabinet running up each side, if Hans J. Wagner was a bee I imagine this is exactly what his nest would look like. If you have a spare afternoon I would definitely recommend checking it out.
3rd on the list was Kunsthal Charlottenborg. It was getting late at this point and the museum was about to close so we had a quick dash around and then sat down for an aperitif in the super trendy Apollo Bar. You know you've found the cool kids spot when you're surrounded by Saks Potts fur coats and Shrimps bags, although Matt was non the wiser.
Whilst we were in the area we had a quick wander round Nyhavn and Christiana. Nyavn was lovely and Christiana was interesting but not really our bag. You can't move for the smell of weed and i have too much anxiety as it is. But saying this is was worth seeing and there was some funky modernist architecture dotted around.
For dinner, because we had some great recommendations from friends and also because we on a budget we went to La Neta. A great, vegetarian friendly Mexican with a cheap price tag. I know I know, Mexican on our first night in Denmark is a poor show BUT we already had our next two Scandinavian dinner reservations booked and they weren't cheap so this is how we justified it to ourselves.
The next day, we wanted to take in some Danish history (and Matt wanted to see the Viking exhibition) so we took ourselves to Denmarks museum of history. It was an interesting few hours but quite frankly there's only so many flint spears I can look at and the sun was shining so we loaded up on danish sandwiches from Ritas Smorrebrod and headed to the Botanical gardens. Sadly the greenhouses were closed to the public but we had a lovely wander around the gardens and a few Tuborgs in the sun.
We caught the Statens Museum for Kunst just as it was closing but luckily managed to see the wonderful Sonja Ferlov Mancoba exhibition. A real treat with a stunning selection of sculpture and incredible use of shape. I can see her work in a lot of modern sculpure/design.
We went for dinner at the wonderful 'Host' in central Copenhagen. The restaurant is a real experience, scattered throughout are ceiling high trees and giant pickling Jars. It reminded me of the BFG's cave where he keeps all the children's dreams in Jars along the walls. All of the furtiture was Hay Design and each cosy room was separated from one another with a grey curtain hanging from a wooden ore. The menu is nice and simple, either 3 or 5 courses with a selection of wines per course. Each course is fish with the exception of the final course where you can opt for a meat alternative if you wish. We went for the 5 courses as it was one of our only blow out meals. Each course was exceptional, offering up different mini eating experiences and various takes on danish cuisine. My two favourite dishes were actually not part of the 5 courses but 'surprises' from the kitchen. The first was a tiny caramelised pinecone on milk ice cream and yoghurt crumb. The dish came on a bed of forest leaves and the aroma plus the sweet and sour burst from the pinecone took me back to alpine hikes. My second favourite dish was a mushroom soup with basil oil and deep fried mushroom which came in a thyme tree. I'm a bit of a crazy herb plant lady so picking my own herbs to sprinkle on my soup was a real novelty! And the soup was a velvety sensation. We paid around 1500KR for two of us, and for the full Scandinavian experience it was a well worth it.
On our last day we got the train out of the city to the Louisiana Art Gallery. The train takes you up the coast to the gallery so you get a tiny glimpse into Scandi countryside. On arrival we followed the herd of art worshippers a short walk to the gallery. As soon as you start to walk around the gallery you are instantly taken in by the building. A stunning homage to danish modernism. There was some really beautiful art, but I have to say the building was the real star of the show. Matt is actually an architect, so experiencing beautiful architecture is all the more special with my own personal tour guide. Having the little touches and functionalities explained always gives me a deeper understanding/connection to the building. We also went to the Danish Architecture centre, but I'm not going to go into detail as I feel like a fraud talking too much about architecture as this is Matt's area.
The Louisiana is situated in the most idilic coastal paradise. Throughout, the building teases and frames the seaside view. We went on a Sunday so the only downside to the trip was that it was super busy. We escaped the crowds for lunch and ate our open (slightly disheveled from the trip) danish sandwiches on the beach. There is something about the sea and the mountains that just resets your brain. A really special afternoon.
There was a real sense of familiarity about Copenhagen to me, I'm not sure if it was the high street which mirrored the chain shops we have in the U.K. or if it was the fact I am already very familiar with the design and culture through social media and books. There was however, some huge differences. One of them being there was far less homeless people on the streets which was lovely to see, but also saddening that the homeless crisis in UK is so under reported and therefore normalised, you just expect the same level everywhere. On a brighter note, the city in general felt much more laid back compared to the hustle and chaos of London. There was so much we didn't have time to see and the to do list is now longer than when we set off so I will definitely be returning.
Oh and I also went a bit crazy in Hay Design shop, how could I not?! I was in homeware/colour palette heaven. I also managed to bribe Matt to come to my favourite danish clothes designers, Stine Goya, Saks Potts and Ganni with me. These are also some of my favourite designers full stop. Danish fashion designers similar to danish designers are at the forefront of the fashion world so it was amazing to see these brands on their home soil.
Well I think I've babbled on for long enough.
I have missed a few of the restaurants/bars/places I'm sure you're bored of me now so I'll save you the details. Also if you've read this far, thank you! You're a better person than me. If you like this post please let me know so I can weigh up whether/when to do more. And if so fashion blogs or food blogs or travel blog or lifestyle blogs or art blogs or design blogs? The blogging list is endless.
Any tips are very welcome, but please be kind I'm awfully fragile!