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Monday, 15 February 2016

Three nights in Copenhagen

So, on a city break, how do you decide where to eat? Do you rely on Trip Advisor or wander around, peer through restaurant windows, and hope for the best?

Perhaps you read blogs, read up on the local tourist information bureau website or ask the locals?

Well,  in all of the city break adventures my daughter and I have had so far, in Florence, Prague and elsewhere,we try everything.

On our first night in Copenhagen, we were tired, oh so tired after being on the road since 4am. A bitterly cold night, we didn't want to go far from our hotel close to the Forum on the metro.

Our first choice, from reading up on the internet, we found to be closed so we decided to ask advice from one of the receptionists at our hotel.

"How far and how much? " she asked.

" As close by as possible and not too expensive" was our reply, and we struck gold with a restaurant we wouldn't have found ourselves but only a minute's walk away.

Scarpetta just off the in Norrebro is a gem -warm and full of locals eating a civilised Sunday supper. Beautifully polished wine glasses and cutlery, and friendly waiters also made a good impression.

So did the menu...I'd started salivating reading the five course taster menu which is a fusion of Italian knowhow and Danish ingredients.

Intriguing and tempting, but on the other side of the menu were some of the same dishes, in small portions which other diners were ordering three each of and sharing them, so we decided to do the same. We enjoyed the softness of the leek risotto with crisp buckwheat , fresh pasta with mascarpone, salsiccia and spinach , and fried cabbage with  crispy chicken skin & pecorino . All delicious, with a glass of crisp sauvignon blanc, we were warm, full and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere.

The following night, we went somewhere different. Reading up on the eating out scene in Copenhagen, the meat packaging district in Vesterbro is THE popular area at the moment . But as our taxi pulled in, early on a dark,mid week winter's night, the area looked deserted, cold and it was as if we'd wandered onto a film set of some East German Cold War film set in the 70s.

Lucy and I looked at each other , but then we saw the lit up sign, Warpigs. Lucy had decided she needed meat so here we were to visit the place where an American whose mission in life is to smoke and cook meat.  there's a microbrewery at the opposite end to the kitchen.

It was heaving inside, and we were lucky to get seats at one of the long tables set in out rows. It's a question of squeezing in and asking if you can join the others. Very useful as it happens, because you could see what  they had chosen from the menu.

Meat obviously, you choose what meat you want, how much of it, (it's weighed in quarter pound, half pound and pound servings. Order mac and cheese and coleslaw on the side, and that's basically it, served on a tray with paper towels to mop up the mess afterwards. We both went for the pork, and Lucy decided to get some barbecued ribs too. I've never eaten such densely flavoured ribs in my life's the Texan way I'm led to believe.

We washed our meal with a half pint of a light ale....fruity, full bodied and brewed in one of the tanks here.

But the night was still young and lovely though the beer was, I couldn't manage another. Lucy and I fancied a glass of something different,  so it was on to Pate Pate., a restaurant about 35 yards down the road.

A completely different vibe here....starting with the lighting. From the harsh industrial lighting of Warpigs, to warm candlelit tables of couples and groups of friends  sitting quietly chatting. Obviously we didn't eat, we were still digesting  all that meat, but we perched on a couple of stools and had a glass of prosecco each whilst reading the extensive wine list on the chalkboards, and gazing at bottles and bottles..

It would have oh so easy to order another and another, but prosecco doesn't come cheap in Copenhagen so we ubered back to the hotel....

For our last night in Copenhagen, we decided to stay close by in Norrebro and eat at Bodega. We'd read good things about this tiny restaurant with an equally small menu.

 As we walked through the dark streets we passed by little bars and eateries full of people and candles. This is the most multi cultural area of up and coming area, which is not afraid of showing its working class roots, but so different to ten  to twenty years ago when the dealers and gangs were around here.

We like Norrebro and we loved Bodega. It may be small but we received a huge, friendly welcome. A dark grey interior, lots of candles, and intimate little tables. We sat in the window and had a glass of wine while we decided what to eat.

We shared a starter ...a duck terrine with a layer of fat...."that's to keep out the Copenhagen cold "said our lovely chatty waiter. It looked like pure stodge, tasty stodge, but with the accompanying bitter sweet jam, and spiced cream,  it blossomed into a something completely different.

For a main, Lucy chose a burger as had quite a few people here....juicy, huge, tasty , she couldn't finish it, while I had pasta with smoked salmon .This was creamy, comforting, and yes, I managed the lot!

 We were the only tourists there and as we sat with another drink, we really enjoyed the background  music. So many good tracks to listen to....we wished we could have been there at  the weekend when a  DJ is on the decks.

So, three very different nights out and places to eat in Copenhagen...and the bills were very similar spending about £25 a head on food and a couple of drinks. All with a really good atmosphere, excellent friendly service and not breaking the bank. And there's so many others to choose from. So, next time Copenhagen, next time.....

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