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Tuesday, 06 December 2016

Copenhagen at Christmas. The capital of cosy (part 2)

Tradition demands that the first thing we do on any visit to Copenhagen is to eat a pølse from what now appears to be a diminishing number of pølse vogns (sausage vans), dotted around the city streets. There’s something very Danish - almost hyggelig - about clustering around these food vans in winter.

And here’s another tradition. ‘Welcome to the world’s happiest nation. That calls for a Carlsberg,’ said the sign in the arrivals lounge of Kastrup Airport. Denmark, of course, is the home of Carlsberg and it is one of its brands, Tuborg, that every year produces a Christmas beer, Tuborg Julebryg.

Gløgg (spiced, mulled wine) is also a big thing at Christmas, one of the city’s oldest bars, Hviids Vinstue serving it every year from November 11. For a more contemporary bar try Lidkoeb or Brus.

Our first day was very much a wandering one, taking in the sights and lights along Strøget and its parallel streets, admiring the windows in stores like Illums Bolighus (centre of modern design with a little shop for Christmas decorations, pic), George Jensen, Royal Copenhagen Porcelain and the two department stores of Illum and Magasin du Nord (pic).

We had coffee and pastries at Conditoriet La Glace, then later broke for lunch at Sankt Annae. This is a delightful little place where the menu includes about 30 types of open sandwich (smørrebrød), a traditional food that Denmark is well known for. Danish schnapps are available too, a perfect accompaniment to the herring, gravadlax and smoked eel.

Although new Nordic cuisine has put Copenhagen on the food map, more ‘traditional’ restaurants like Sankt Annae are still much in evidence. Schønnemann, Restaurant Kronborg and L’Alsace are three others.

Heading back to Strøget we made our way up another pedestrianised street called Købmagergade, past the Round Tower (pic) to Nørreport station where just behind the station is the popular food market known as Torvehallerne KBH (pic). More than 50 stands are spread between two halls, with a few places to eat and drink as well.

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