Sweet as Pi

72 hours in Copenhagen: Day 3

Monday // Day 3

Our final day in Copenhagen began with more Danish pastries. We walked round the corner from our AirBnB and down a small alley to a Laura's Bakery - yum! We sat outside enjoying our last Danish breakfast, chatting about what we could do today (our feet were still tired from yesterday so we didn't want too much walking).

We decided on a visit to Nørrebro since we were recommended it as a different atmosphere to where we were staying, particularly Ravensborggade compared to Værnedamsvej. We hopped on a bus there (saving our feet). We wandered around the area - it has a more multi-cultural feel compared to Vesterbro, with a variety of shops. I think the area is also known for its nightlife.

Norrebro Norrebro

We walked along Ravensborggade which was filled with antique shops with shopkeepers sitting out in the street in the sun. It was around midday and as we passed some nice cafes I thought we could get away with an early lunch. We ate Smørrebrød (open sandwiches) outside at Cafe Gavlen. Very tasty and filling.

Smorrebrod

Back on a bus to our AirBnB we packed up our stuff and dropped our bags into a locker in Copenhagen central station. With no plans we walked towards the shops, passing by City Hall (Københavns Rådhus) where there were a load of plant pots placed on the floor. We rested our feet at a Joe & The Juice (they are everywhere here!) and eyed up an Italian restaurant opposite that we thought would be great for dinner.

Copenhagen City Hall Joe & The Juice

We fancied a hotdog at a hotdog stand but thought we'd need cash so I tried to withdraw some but kept getting declined and thought my card might've been blocked. (I use the Halifax Clarity card when travelling and try to avoid cash.) Thinking we'd be without money the rest of the day, we walked to Rosenborg castle which was close by. The renaissance architecture was gorgeous and was set in lovely grounds. We didn't go inside just wandered around outside and found a spot for a short nap. As I woke up there were two swans walking straight towards us. Thinking they were about to attack we jumped up, they had no fear of us and sat right where we were sitting!

Rosenborg Castle Rosenborg Castle Swans Rosenborg Castle Rosenborg Castle

After an hour we crossed over to the Botanical Gardens for more relaxing in lovely surroundings. There were red squirrels running up and down trees together. One stopped right by my feet as Jon was snapping photos of them. By the glasshouses there was an ice-cream van and I thought I'd try my card and hope for the best. Thankfully it worked and so we both went for chocolate and nougat ice creams - delicious - though the cost was crazy at £4 each!!

Outside Rosenborg Castle Copenhagen Botanical Gardens Copenhagen Botanical Gardens Copenhagen Botanical Gardens Red Squirrels Copenhagen Botanical Gardens Copenhagen Botanical Gardens Copenhagen Botanical Gardens

We were told the gardens would be closing soon so we made our way out and back toward the Italian restaurant we found earlier. We passed the organic hotdog stand (DØP - we heard about it before our trip) and noticed they accepted card so we felt we had to get one after our disappointment earlier. We shared a regular hotdog and it was so good! Something we noticed about Copenhagen is everywhere we went accepted card - all of the street food stalls/markets we visited did and they also offered some kind of phone payment too.

Hotdog at DØP Copenhagen

I called our shared hotdog a 'starter' so I didn't feel bad about going straight to the Italian restaurant. The restaurant was called Ristorante Italiano, and has been there since 1952 (apparently the first Italian in Copenhagen). We sat outside where there were blankets and heaters, though it was still sunny and warm when we were there. We both ate pizza and Jon had his last Danish beer of the trip.

Ristorante Italiano Copenhagen

Feeling like we'd eaten all we could during our time here, we walked for our last time through this wonderful city to central station for our train to the airport. We had a fantastic 72 hours in Copenhagen, Jon said it was his favourite city break so far and it was up there for me too. The public transport was easy and the people were lovely and friendly. The prices weren't as high as we thought they could be (depends where you go like any city), though we noticed desserts were ridiculous - in restaurants they were the same price as the mains.

Tivoli Entrance Copenhagen Trip

Thank you for an amazing break Copenhagen!

S. xo

72 Hours in Copenhagen: Day 2

Sunday // Day 2

After a little lie in and still feeling full from last night's meal, we shared a leftover danish pastry that we brought back from Laura's Bakery yesterday to start us off for the day.

The sun was shining and the forecast showed it would be warm all day so we planned to be outside till late. We walked through Frederiksberg to the Forum metro (we wanted to try the underground), and hopped off near Nyhavn.

Forum Copenhagen

Nyhavn was just like the postcard photos, beautiful brightly painted buildings and busy cafes along the harbour. We walked a slow loop around the harbour. The Copenhagen marathon was on too so it was very busy but there was a great buzz around.

Nyhavn Nyhavn buildings Nyhavn harbour

We started to get thirsty but thought it would be cheaper to avoid the expensive places on Nyhavn so we headed toward the Designmuseum cafe. We passed Amalienborg by chance, and were lucky enough to be there just as they were doing the changing of the guard. The Designmuseum cafe was a much needed break - a slice of chocolate cake and lots of water - and we sat outside in the gorgeous courtyard in the sun.

Amalienborg Copenhagen Marathon Designmuseum Copenhagen

Carrying on northwards our next stop was Kastellet. We had a sit on the grass by the water whilst watching the marathon runners go past. We walked through the star-shaped military fortress. The buildings were painted red which looked great against the blue sky and we stumbled upon the windmill which was cool.

Kastellet windmill Kastellet windmill Kastellet red building

Since we were so close to 'The Mermaid' we wandered over on the way back. It was as expected, with lots of tourists. Next up was Christianshavn - in particular the Copenhagen Street Food market on Papirøen (this was one of the first places I found when researching Copenhagen). We looked to jump on a boat bus across but it was a 40 minute wait so we walked most of the way with a one stop hop on the metro.

Christianshavn

There was a LOT of choice at the market and we must have walked 5 laps before deciding on Korean food (bibimbap), followed by nutella cheesecake and vitamin boost juice. All very tasty! The prices were pretty high though, I think I slightly preferred the meatpackers market yesterday. We did get to eat the cheesecake sitting on the edge with our feet dangling over the water, watching the boats pass for around an hour. There was also a duck fight on the water which people tried to split up - they were vicious!

Korean Street Food Copehagen Copenhagen Street Food

Feeling rested and full, we were ready to move again and we wandered in to Christiana (aka Freetown Christiana). It was an interesting place to explore, with DIY houses and an interesting mix of people. Christiana is described as a large commune which is regulated by a special 'Christiana Law'.

Christiana

It was now late afternoon and so we decided it was time to catch a bus to Tivoli. I was super excited about this part of the trip as I love rides and had heard this was a must-do when in Copenhagen. The tickets were quite pricey (we went with the unlimited rides ones), but I think it was definitely worth it. The first thing we did was find the nearest grassy area and had an hour long nap! We needed an energy boost before going on the rides ;). One of my favourite rides was 'The Roller Coaster' - one of the oldest running wooden roller coasters in the world. We went on the Star Flyer at sunset, which had spectacular views swinging round from 80 metres in the air! We ate burgers for dinner and went on all of the rides multiple times (no queues!). We stayed for the light show, which I think is run every night, it was a great end to a fantastic day.

Tivoli Tivoli Pirate Ship Rollercoaster Tivoli The Demon Tivoli Tivoli at Night Star Flyer Tivoli Tivoli Lights Light Show at Tivoli

Tomorrow was our last day, but since our flight wasn't until the evening we had a full final day of exploring to do (and of course more eating).

S. xo

72 Hours in Copenhagen: Day 1

Our long weekend trip to Copenhagen began with a flight from Edinburgh with Ryanair. The flights were under £50pp return, and took less than 2 hours (enough time for a couple of podcasts).

We arrived around 10pm and bought a 72 hour city pass, which came in really handy, and used this to get the train to Copenhagen central station. After a short walk, passing lots of restaurants and bars filled with people sitting outside, we arrived at our Airbnb in Vesterbro, just off the pretty 'small Paris' Værnedamsvej. The apartment was lovely and our host gave us some great recommendations. We crashed out not long after, looking forward to waking up here and dreaming of breakfast.

Saturday // Day 1

We started the day at Granola. It was at the end of the street we were staying at, and I'd read about it online and in the lonely planet guide so it seemed a good first spot for breakfast. It was pretty early and already very busy; we had seats at the bar with a view in to the kitchen. I went for Skyr with honey and granola and Jon chose scrambled eggs with rye bread. Since it was so busy we had a very long wait (even for our coffees), and when the food did arrive Jon was missing his bread and it wasn't till we'd finished eating that they brought it out. The food was great but unfortunately the service not so much.

Granola Granola Bar Granola Kitchen

After feeling fuelled up, we popped in to a couple of shops and took a stroll along the three lakes in to town. I've been wanting to buy a Fjällräven Kånken for a while, and planned a stop in to the flagship Copenhagen store for our trip. I came out with two rucksacks - the Kånken and also the High Coast 24 daypack (for light hikes). Jon encouraged me to get the second ;).

Vaernedamsveg Shops Three Lakes Fjallraven Bags

We were right by Trovehallerne and made a stop to wander around the stalls. Everything looked so tasty. We went for a coffee at The Coffee Collective and our first danish pastries (three Snegls - so good!) at Laura's Bakery. Wow Danish words are so difficult to pronounce!

Trovehallerne Trovehallerne Flowers Trovehallerne Bakery

With a caffeine buzz we carried on walking in to the centre towards Rundetaarn (the round tower). We paid around £5 for entry, and made the spiral ascent (no steps!) to the top for the views. On our way back down they were getting ready to close as there was a unicycle race to the top starting soon after. We wandered in to a few shops (Weekday, Tiger, etc) and jumped on a bus to the Meatpacking District.

Rundetaarn Views from Rundetaarn

It was around 4ish and we were getting hungry. The sun was shining and there was a great buzz in the market (Kødbyens Mad & Marked). We bought some drinks, Belgian fries and Vietnamese spring rolls from the stalls and sat on the benches listening to music and people watching. Our Airbnb host recommended this market and we were so glad we went.

Meatpacking Market Meatpacking Market in the Sun

A short walk back to our apartment and we ended up napping for an hour or so, before freshening up and catching a bus out to Höst for dinner. We made a reservation a few weeks ago and we were super excited to try new Nordic cuisine. We decided to treat ourselves to 'An Evening at Höst', which came with wine pairings and lots of surprise dishes in between courses. The food was incredible and the atmosphere was beautiful. We caught a bus back to our apartment and slept very well!

Hoest Vesterbro at Night

Tomorrow was a visit to the colourful Nyhavn, and a LOT of walking, food and spinning around in the air.

S. xo

Lemon Cupcakes with Pistachios

At the beginning of the year Jon & I decided to go sugar-free for a couple months before our wedding. I was given Madeleine Shaw's Get The Glow book for Christmas, where she talks about ditching sugar completely and the health benefits in doing so. We saw it as a good challenge which would also be good for our health. The day we decided to do it we checked the food we had and made sure none of it contained added sugar.

It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be to cut out. Green tea with lemon and Nakd bars kept any cravings away, and it felt good to not have sugar crashes. Plus both of us were doing it so we could encourage each other and make sure we didn't slip up.

After our wedding we've been eating sugar (lots of wedding cake and champagne started it off), though we don't drink squash or eat cereal anymore and still snack on Nakd bars. Although I don't think I will completely cut out sugar again right now, I will aim to cut it out the majority of the time and save it for special occasions only (eg birthday cakes).

Today I baked lemon cupcakes with pistachios as a weekend treat from Get The Glow. They contain honey as a sugar substitute and I chose to use coconut oil as the fat. I followed the recipe but they came out a little dark on top so I think for my oven the temperature could be lowered. The cupcakes are delicious with the zing from the lemon and the crunchy pistachios, and super easy to bake.

Lemon cupcakes with pistachios from Madeleine Shaw's Get The Glow (makes 8):

  • 170g ground almonds
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch salt
  • zest of 3 lemons, juice of 2 lemons
  • 70g honey
  • 70g coconut oil
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 50g raw pistachios, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Place 8 cupcake cases in muffin tray.

Mix the ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda, salt and lemon zest in a bowl. Separately, mix the honey with the coconut oil, then add the eggs one at a time, then the lemon juice. Pour this on top of the ground almond mixture, and mix together. Divide the cake mixture into the cupcake cases, then sprinkle the pistachios on top.

Bake for 18 minutes.

Hope you've had a great weekend!

S. xo

Honeymoon in the Maldives

Honeymoon

The Maldives was exactly what we wanted for our honeymoon. Full relaxation on a beautiful tropical island, with blue skies and the clear Indian Ocean. It was even better than I imagined it would be.

We flew from Glasgow to Male with Emirates, with a short stopover in Dubai. We watched a lot of movies during the flights and the food was pretty good - especially the afternoon tea with scones on our flight home. We booked our honeymoon a few months back with Purely Maldives, who were fantastic the whole way through and offered us the best deal on flights and accommodation.

Our first two nights were spent in a deluxe beach villa at the all-inclusive Oblu by Atmosphere at Helengeli. It was just a short speedboat ride away from Male which was lovely and refreshing. The island was beautiful, with the added bonus of a house reef so we could snorkel from the shore. It's quite a small island which was nice, and all of the staff were excellent. We ate nutella waffles whilst watching the fishes and rays in the sea, snorkelled alongside a blacktip reef shark, drank cocktails, played outdoor table tennis, ate wedding cake, and said 'this is incredible' a lot.

Oblu Maldives Villa Oblu Maldives Trees Oblu Maldives Jetty and Food Oblu Maldives Table Tennis Oblu Maldives Beach Heron

After Oblu we moved to Atmosphere Kanifushi for five nights. The island is only accessible by seaplane and it was a great experience (though very hot!) and made the greeting on the island even more special. Champagne was waiting for us at reception and in our sunset beach villa. The island felt very luxurious, and it was quite different to Oblu as it was a fair bit bigger, though it still felt very quiet and secluded. The all inclusive here was fantastic, with a mini bar filled twice a day with food and drinks and a choice of places to eat and activities. The outdoor whirlpool bathtub was perfect to relax in and it was lovely to have a private bit of beach tucked away in front of the villa. We watched the sunset in the sea or on the beach each night, ate lobster, went on a sunset cruise, visited a nearby island dedicated to coral research, had a couples massage, snorkelled with fish including lionfish and unicornfishes, drank mojitos, went sea kayaking, and couldn't get over how beautiful these islands are.

Seaplane Maldives Kanifushi Maldives Kanifushi Maldives Kanifushi Maldives Kanifushi Maldives Kanifushi Maldives Kanifushi Maldives Kanifushi Maldives Kanifushi Maldives Kanifushi Maldives Kanifushi Maldives Kanifushi Maldives Kanifushi Maldives Kanifushi Maldives Kanifushi Maldives Kanifushi Maldives

The Maldives, you were paradise.

S. xo