A few weeks ago I decided I needed to get away from work and wedding planning stress and set out to think of a place where I could escape for a few days. I wanted a city that mixed sightseeing with relaxation and good food was imperative – especially a great breakfast. I also wanted a city where I could shop around and lounge about in cafes. All of this isn’t that easy to find in April. Most of the places in Europe on my list – Santorini, Ibiza, Croatia, Tuscany… – aren’t really great till summer. After hearing about the Hotel D’Angleterre, however, the decision seemed obvious – Copenhagen!
That’s right I literally based an entire trip around a hotel that I heard was amazing, and it more than lived up. Above is a snippet from the breakfast buffet. I left every morning feeling pregnant (wedding diet totally flew out the window the 5 days I spend in Copenhagen). The salmon! The berries! The muesli! The pastries…so good!! The hotel also has a fantastic spa and a Michelin restaurant.
Even if you don’t stay at the hotel make sure to book a table at Marchal (the images above speak for themselves and yes, that’s real gold on the chocolate dessert) and follow it with drinks at Balthazar Champagne Bar (make sure to make a reservation). Copenhagen isn’t a late-night city (the most popular dinner reservations are at 7pm and many restaurants start becoming empty at around 9:30/10pm, but Balthazar gets packed on weekends. Marchal is also a world renowned restaurant and, as mentioned, has a Michelin star, so you’ll definitely want to book in advance (and try not to overeat when they put the insanely delicious bread basket on the table!).
As for Balthazar, this is where the trendsetters go (I love me some good people watching!). Most of Copenhagen is on the conservative and casual side (I barely saw any heels, which may have to do with the cobblestone sidewalks), but Balthazar is the exception; people are very well dressed. It’s also worth noting that the hotel’s location is smack in the center of where you want to be – not only near tourist attractions but near ALL the best shopping (from local boutiques to big names like Stella McCartney, Gucci and luxury department stores).
When you’re in the mood for something low key, but equally memorable checkout Cafe Tight. It’s a local favorite that serves well-priced, nicely presented comfort food dishes (think Oreo cheesecake and Mac & Cheese spring rolls). Not only did I love the food here, but the staff was super friendly and it had an overall great, upbeat vibe. This is also the kind of place you can stop in for a quick pre or post dinner cocktail.
If you want a Michelin-style tasting menu but without the high price tag, checkout Vakst which is housed in a greenhouse of sorts. Their beautiful, vegetable-focused menu is exceedingly reasonably priced and totally delicious. The new restaurants is owned by Cofoco, a major restaurant group in Copenhagen. Checkout their website for a long list of restaurants – sadly I didn’t get to checkout any of the others, but I’ve heard amazing things of Cofoco as a restaurant group in general. On a side note, Vakst is vegetable focused. Some of the dishes sound a little “exotic” but go with it…I’m very picky and not adventurous and thought everything tasted fantastic.
For something quick or on-the-go I loved 42Raw. A vegan (some dishes are also raw-vegan) eatery located in the shopping district of Copenhagen. Try their smoothies and lasagna! They also have very Instagram-friendly acai bowls.
Convinced yet to check out this fabulous Danish city? If not let me underline that the city is super walkable – especially if you’re staying at the Hotel D’Angleterre, which again I can’t recommend enough. There wasn’t anything that was more than a 20 minute walk and most things were a mere 10 minutes. The hotel (which also has the city’s only indoor pool) is in the center of all the shopping, cafe, restaurants and 2 minutes away from the sightseeing boat tours. While Copenhagen does have Hop On, Hop Off buses I highly recommend seeing the city by boat and then going back to whatever catches your eye.
Among the highlights are Tivoli – an amusement park and garden (image above… I went just before Easter). Tivoli is worth checking out even if you don’t like amusement parks (I don’t like the…), it’s beautiful just to walk around. Trust me it’s no cheesy Six Flags! I also stopped by Copenhagen’s Jewish and National Museums and, of course, Freetown Christiania, a green and car-free neighborhood covered in graffiti where people freely smoke marijuana. I’m not into any illegal substances – I swear! – but walking around Christiania is a unique experience that should not be missed.
If you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing/checking out a lot of museums you might want to consider buying a Copenhagen Card.