Hygge (hoo-geh) is the Danish concept for relaxing and taking note of the simple things in life. I’m still practicing my pronunciation but I can completely get down with this idea. Wearing wooly socks and reading a book in front of an open fire with hot cocoa is the pinnacle of hygge.
Forgetting life’s worries over mulled cider and board games with friends means you’ve gotten into the hygge spirit. Slowing down and recognizing that your well-being comes first. Yep, that’s so ‘hygge’, America.
Gettin’ hyggie with it at a local cafe
Kids dressed in snowsuits!
Toddlers in snowsuits everywhere!
Season’s Greetings with this mossy sleigh
Getting ready for the holidays at this fancy hotel
This was the introduction to my first trip to Copenhagen. We wrapped ourselves in our warm coats and walked along the riverside to the Nyhavn canal. Along the way we tried out the ingenious trampolines built into the sidewalk along this part of the riverside. The almanak restaurant at the Standard gave us our first taste of smorrebrod, a traditional open faced sandwich on rye bread with tasty toppings.
Trampolines on the sidewalk!
Fun for all ages!
Smorrebrod with cod
Smorrebrod with potatoes
We strolled the lanes of the town center. We saw the Lego flagship store, and also bought Corey a new coat at a small neighborhood shop. Walking Copenhagen was easy even in the chilly weather. We cranned our necks to see the holiday lights at Tivoli Gardens (mini-theme park not really worth going inside in my opinion), and found a wonderful independent art pop-up market with ceramics, earrings, and woodwork.
Not sure if this is hygge, but folks were definitely enjoying the little fish cleaning their feet at this spa.
We hit up two Christmas markets, but this one was my favorite as it had a ‘do it yourself’ type of feel.
Here’s what folks repurposed! Matt, Perri and my mom would love this!
The Planetarium. We didn’t have enough time to go in but it looked so neat.
The entrance to the lego store!
Legos were originally this size!
As the sun set, we made our way to NOMA!!! THANK YOU, CHEF NICK WONG!!! We are the luckiest people alive for this reservation! All of the food here is foraged, harvested, grown or caught locally and it truly makes such a difference. I’d also say the service is why this restaurant was ranked #1 in the world in 2014, and has been ranked in the top five for since 2013 (see list here)! We were welcomed by the entire kitchen staff when we arrived, and we were able to tour the kitchens after our meal. Just unbelievable! We met interns, a wonderful sommelier, and confirmed the rumors that NOMA will open a restaurant in Mexico soon. The staff provided food recommendations for Copenhagen on Sunday, for our return to London, and for Bangkok honeymoon as well!
Sunset and time for NOMA!
Thomas helped us get the reservation too!
Feast your eyes on this!
Apple of the Season: Apples in a sauce of caramelized apple skin with bits of apple balled smaller than any melon I’d ever seen.
Fresh Sliced Scallop: We felt like we’d never had a scallop after eating this one!
An Autumn Plate: The leaves were taped down so we didn’t eat the wrong thing. We had treats at our 6 o’clock, 9, 12, and 3 o’clock. Fruit leather leaves, fried leaves with ants…wow.
Autumn plate continued: They harvest the ants by using rolled parchment paper that the ants crawl up. They drop ants from different hills into the same container so they begin to get aggressive with one another. This builds up lactic acid. Then they freeze the ants so they are more acidic tasting for the pate. This acidity is said to balance the fried nature of the plant that the ants are served with.
Radish Pie: Someone rolled these individual slices of radishes into these seaweed based tartlets. The radishes are very red because they are soaked in beet juice.
Natural Fermented Bread of Oland Wheat and Hulless Barley: The baker who made this bread was dining with his family in the restaurant that night! The butter was to die for and imported from France.
Milk Curd with Fresh Walnuts and Parsley: Very interesting and refreshing and I forgot to mention every dish for me was lactose free!
Sea Urchin and Cabbage: The urchin was perfect!
Langoustine, Onion and Lavender: Corey’s favorite dish of the night! Lavender oil- who knew we should be cooking with it!
Langoustine part two: fried in butter!
Butternut squash and barley: a light (lactose free) cream with beechnuts that are peeled three times before plated! Painstaking!
Steamed King Crab and Egg Yolk Sauce: enough said!
Charred Greens with Scallop Paste: these were salted with salt from dried seaweed leaves and scallops. The greens were picked by all of the interns.
Whole Roasted Duck: Ok, not everyone got a whole duck, but we all received different pieces of the duck. Corey got the head, bill, and tongue!
Roasted Duck part two: Pickles made from rose petals, asparagus, and plum.
Roasted Duck part three: Corey found the pellet that killed the duck in his food!
They warned us this could happen so we weren’t mad, but we definitely joked that they had planted it there. We took it home as a souvenir.
A dessert of Potatoes and Plums: Probably the least interesting of the night as it mostly tasted like sweet potatoes.
Black Current Wood Ice Cream and Roasted Konini: an exquisite popsicle on a little branch. Mine was lactose free! It tasted like a caramel pop.
Moss Cooked in Chocolate, Cep Mushroom, and Egg Liqueur: My favorite part! The moss was sprayed with chocolate after being cleaned three times over for dirt.
Moss continued: The moss only grows 1cm per year! I felt like I should stop eating it…but that faded too fast. The texture was perfect for moss (I know that sounds weird!) Haha.
Sunday, we woke up smiling. How lucky were we?! We headed to the food market for the tacos made from handmade masa, which were the best I’ve had outside of California. We strolled other stalls and taste tested meatballs, and small snacks before we had to fly back to London. We’re too lucky and very grateful for the opportunity that Nick afforded us! I felt hella hygge 😉
The bus is for very tall people! Look at those high ceilings!
Egg wrap- whole new meaning!
We had some really good meatballs from this stall.
Salami in the shape of a ….pig?
Hija De Sanchez stole my heart in Copenhagen!
- Lunch at almanak: jump on the trampolines first though (about a 3 min walk from the restaurant)
- Stroll Nyhavn Canal, walk past Tivoli Garden, and get lost in the many side streets of Copenhagen
- Check out Noma before it shuts down Dec 31, 2016 (too sad that it’s closing but they will bring out something new and amazing, no doubt)
- Have a cocktail at Bronnum
- Do a late breakfast or early lunch at the Torvehallerne market. Don’t forget to try the tacos at Hija de Sanchez (Sunday market)
Walking to the canal
Very interesting building in shape and size
A water slide for summer?!