Copenhagen – Stepping off the rollercoaster.
Last month on a Sunday night whilst eating a plate of scrambled eggs on my lap and ‘trying’ to wind down watching House I did something that some might consider slightly radical.
Becoming very aware of how fidgety and wound up I was I decided I needed a break. A weekend away, away to Copenhagen in fact – I’d always wanted to go and why ever not? Within ten minutes I had booked to go the following Saturday.
Truthfully perhaps it took a little longer than ten minutes as I may have had some trouble trying to decipher Danish websites but the point is that I leapt on my instinct or ‘rash thought’ and just did it.
Afterwards I felt an immense sense of relief.
The past year has been nothing short of a rollercoaster. My world has been turned upside down, accelerated to what at times feels like a million miles an hour and although I have absolutely loved it and laughed along the way there have definitely been some days where I felt a little loopy.
It’s difficult not to get caught up in the demand to be successful. From an early age we are taught that to be happy we must be successful; in our careers, our personal lives, our relationships, our fitness regime. The list goes on. But sometimes, at least in my case, I find it becomes very easy to lose sight of what real success means and what really matters.
I’ve always maintained the belief that to be happy one must do what they love. If you have a dream within reach then reach for it and if it isn’t within reach, reach further.
At the moment I am reaching for my dream and I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t loving it. I have met the most fantastic people, people who are truly inspiring and passionate about what they do. I’ve taken part in wonderful events and I hope I am doing my bit to make the world that bit better, one Superseed at a time! What still never ceases to amaze me and sends me over the moon is when I hear that people genuinely love my Superseeds. Of course I believe in my product but those who know me know I am a worrier so when I actually hear positive feedback I generally cannot help but blush and squeal! Of course there are days where the world seems to be crashing down. It comes with running a start up and I don’t think there is one small business owner out there who hasn’t wanted to pull his or her hair out at one time or another. I suppose this is why running a start up is often compared to a rollercoaster.
Sometimes though, I think it is important to get off. Sure your legs might wobble but you will see the ride from a different angle, perhaps even appreciate it even more.
And so I went to Copenhagen. I got off the rollercoaster and spent a few days losing and finding myself through Danish streets. To anyone feeling a little motion sickness I say take a break! Step off the rollercoaster and look at life differently. If you can get away even further I urge you to visit Copenhagen. I wanted to share some of the places I visited and things I found.
The ‘living entrance’ to my hotel – The Babette Guldsmeden. The hotel prides itself on being a sustainable hotel. Everything from the eggs to the toiletries are organic and there is a heavenly spa area with a sauna perched right on the roof. I spent some delightful hours up here overlooking the city whilst stretching out my limbs in the heat before scrubbing myself down with an in-house scrub made of coffee and coconut. It seems they also have magic elves as when I came out of the sauna I noticed a plate of freshly chopped fruit along with jars of nuts and seeds and cool lemon water. Utter bliss.
Although not as gargantuan as in London the health scene is quite prominent in Copenhagen. There were several delicious health hubs. One of which I rather enjoyed the atmosphere of was Paleo. This one was on the Pilestrade but they also have locations dotted about the city including one in the Torvehallerne which is an absolute must.
I even managed to find a juice bar within a super trendy store that also had an indoor pond complete with giant Carp. It is true what they say about the Scandinavians being effortlessly cool.
The Torvehallerne has to be my favourite place in Copenhagen. I am a bit of a market junkie but the atmosphere here in particular was even more special than most. One is spoilt for choice with an array of Danish delicacies as well as quirky concessions selling natural beauty products, caramelised nuts and cinnamon buns. The market is split between more pantry style goods coupled with artisan coffee and then eggs, organic meat and the most amazing fish stalls you will ever see.
I bought a whole smoked mackerel which I ate with a salad from a wonderful salad bar called SMAG. Outside you can sit on communal picnic tables and there is occasionally some live music. Winter was creeping up on us when I was there and I was lucky to find a spot near the coal burning fire pit.
Food in Copenhagen is famous for its excellence as well as for being notoriously expensive and whilst as a solo traveller I ate most of my meals at the markets and less extravagant eateries I felt that it was a must to sample some of the culinary talent. There are more than several restaurants that are wonderful in Copenhagen; Noma, Kadeau, Relae are just a few but another two worth a mention are Oliver and the Black Circus and Restaurant Umage. I ate the most fantastic dishes of sea bass ceviche with coriander, lemon and local tomatoes followed by baked hake with black trumpet mushrooms and beetroot. The food was superb and when I go back I most definitely shall return.
It would have been foolish not to eat porridge whilst visiting Copenhagen. A case of ‘when in Rome’ I woke up early on Sunday morning to walk a fair distance from my hotel to the place where the love for an artisan bowl of ‘hygge’ began – Groed. Hygge translated in english means cosy. It is about creating and enjoying the good things in life with good people, it is the essence of Copenhagen and a way of being that is close to my heart. And so it was with chilled fingers peeking out from fingerless gloves (although beautiful and hand knitted, quite impractical for the harsh winds of winter) that I eagerly dug my spoon into my own bowl of hygge and watched as the rest of the city started to awake.
I spent the rest of Sunday meandering through the streets and poking my nose into little stores. There were countless ceramics that I had brief love affairs with some of which I may need to return to, next time with a bigger suitcase. The focus on organic food as well as real taste is just wonderful and for an organic loving foodie like me I really was in my element.
As an artist I begin to feel quite odd if I don’t manage to either make work or be in the presence of it for too long. Part of the reason I went to Copenhagen was to visit its famous museum of modern art: The Louisiana. The museum is like something out of a fairytale. Less than a thirty minute train ride from the centre you are taken to the coast where the museum sits amidst tall trees and green slopes. There was an icy mist when I went which made the whole place even more magical and it was here where I truly felt that sense of calm I had been searching for. The museum was showing retrospectives of Yayoi Kusama and Lucien Freud when I visited (two of my favourites), but it is also home to a fabulous collection including pieces by Bacon, Rothko and Pollock. Even if art isn’t your thing I urge you to go for the sense of peace. There is a beautiful restaurant there too which although I didn’t manage to sample I have no doubt it delicious.
The rest of my time was spent simply wandering, which when exploring a new city is the best means of transport.
The Little Mermaid
Finding simple spaces with simple things. Whilst searching for good coffee I stumbled across what has to be the chicest juice bar I have ever entered. MOSS Copenhagen is actually a designer where I may or may not have purchased some wonderful Christmas gifts as well as a few pieces from myself. MOSS EAT is right next door to the Nørrebrogade store and offers an array of cold pressed seasonal juices as well as snacks and nut milks. I had the creamiest cashew milk and took a few minutes to read a little of my book and be still in the simple.
I did find coffee in the end and it was one of the best cups I have had. Those who know me know that I am somewhat of a coffee ‘fuss-pot’, Starbucks just wont cut it. This place had the chocolatey aroma of freshly ground beans, creative natter and warming ‘life is ok as long as the coffee is good’ vibe that I love about an artisan coffee shop. They also had a drink on the menu called an ‘English Fog’ which was an earl grey tea infused with cinnamon and raw honey – how perfectly ‘hygge’ is that!
Although I went alone the city is incredibly romantic and somewhere I am dreaming of taking a certain loved one but I must say I am glad I visited solo for my first experience. It was a love story I shall never forget.