Great Danes: Copenhagen’s Gastronomic Renaissance
WHERE TO SHOP:
Torvelhallerne: Since 1889, Israels Plads (Square), an expansive plaza in the center of Copenhagen, has been a farmers’ market - but it was only after a decade-long renovation project that the square reopened in September 2011 with brand-new, covered market halls encompassing more than 75,000 square feet of exhibition space.
The result is Torvehallerne, an inviting food and vegetable market with 100 interior and exterior stalls housing purveyors of Danish specialties and high-quality produce from small farms. With numerous shopping and dining options, restaurants and cafés, juice bars and florists, as well as a branch of the Coffee Collective, Torvelhallerne feels as welcoming as the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco. You’ll be tempted to linger - and if the weather is inclement, you’ll happily pull up a stool at this modern realization of an urban square.
Magasin du Nord: Established in 1868, and located in its current location since 1871, Magasin offers the breadth of contemporary Danish life in a French neo-Renaissance, wedding cake of a building that emulates the architectural style of the Louvre in Paris.
When the department store’s entire silhouette is outlined in white lights during the holiday season, it’s nearly impossible to resist Magasin’s siren call. Succumb to the temptation and immerse yourself in Scandinavian high fashion. Magasin (also known as Magasin du Nord, for its predecessor, Hotel du Nord) also houses its own chocolate factory, which produces Magasin Chocolate, by appointment to the Danish monarchy.
Sögreni Cykler: Started in 1981, during Denmark’s "poor decade" when abandoned bicycles were littering Copenhagen’s streets, Sögreni now collaborates with the likes of Georg Jensen, Sir Terence Conran, and the Swedish design house, Källemo.
All Sögreni bicycles are built by hand and adjusted to perfection. Walk into the store and be seduced, not only by the beauty of bicycle design but also by Sögreni himself.
Sögreni bicycles are the pinnacle of Danish simplicity and attention to detail. As much a work of art as a means of transport, a Sögreni is, without question, the Rolls-Royce of the bike lane.
LINK: Sogreni Bikes
WHERE THE GAYS GO:
Oscar: Named for the Irishman who reminded us that anything can be resisted except temptation, Oscar’s is an establishment that befits Mr. Wilde’s sublime taste in both men and food. During the day, Oscar’s serves brunch (including a full English breakfast), as well as lunch, coffee, tea, cake, snacks, and dinner.
On the Friday evening that we strolled in, buckets of Champagne lined the 40-foot long bar, placed there for a surfeit of dazzling Danes and their elegant friends. You could almost hear Oscar marveling, as he murmured, "The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it."
Centralhjørnet: Arguably the oldest gay bar in Copenhagen, there’s little doubt that Centralhjørnet is one of the liveliest. As soon as you cross the threshold, you have the feeling that you’ve entered a party at Holly Golighty’s apartment. Located in the heart of the city, within sight of City Hall (where the first gay civil unions in Europe were performed), Centralhjørnet is a nexus of Copenhagen gay life. Just as with the End-Up in San Francisco, everyone ends up at Centralhjørnet.
SAS Scandinavian Airlines: SAS Scandinavian Airlines flies direct from Newark (or D.C. or Chicago) to Copenhagen’s Airport with a crew that is as professional as it is fun-loving. The pervasive sense of joie de vivre was completely in evidence during last year’s "Love Is In the Air" flight where the entire crew serenaded two newlywed LGBT couples with their own version of "I Am What I Am" before serving wedding cake at 38,000 feet in the air.
If you are fortunate enough to fly SAS Business Class, you’ll find yourself inclined to remain on the plane - even upon landing at your destination. The entire flight in SAS Business Class is a class in cosseting, enhanced by a self-massaging chair that’s more comfortable than most beds. SAS Business Class bathrooms have windows. Think about that. And there are fresh flowers and linens. Meal service in SAS Business features New Nordic cuisine paired with the sommelier’s choice wines.
Apart from SAS Business Class, there is also SAS Economy Extra, which was recently named the world’s best in a survey by nearly 40,000 travelers, all of whom travel in a class other than economy. Introduced in 2001, SAS Economy Extra was the first premium economy class offering wider seats and enough leg room to insure you remain flexible throughout the flight.
Upon experiencing SAS Economy Extra, the reasons for the award become understandable - for the rewards are ample. The duvets are plush and there are full meals (including Danish smørrebrød at 38,000 feet) with copious amounts of wine - and mid-flight treats such as gelato.
And certainly one of the best parts of flying SAS from Copenhagen is the SAS Business Lounge at Copenhagen’s Airport. A two-level capacious oasis, the SAS Business Lounge offers everything a global nomad might desire, including showers, entertainment, full meals, cafeteria service, and peace and quiet.
SAS Business Lounge is worth at least an extra hour at the airport - to decompress and relax in style before your flight.
LINK: SAS Scandinavian Airlines
For a photo album of 41 views of Copenhagen, click here.
For LGBTQ information, go to: www.visitdenmark.com/gay
For Wonderful Copenhagen, go to: www.visitcopenhagen.com
For Visit Denmark, go to: www.visitdenmark.com/usa
For the Denmark tourist newsletter, go to: www.visitdenmark.com/usa/en-us/menu/turist/nyheder/newsletter/usa-newsletter-tourist.htm
For a very cool smørrebrød app for your iPhone, go to: www.visitdenmark.com/smorrebrodapp
For a free cell phone/mobile guide to Copenhagen, go to Appstore or Android Market: VisitCopenhagen
For the Copenhagen Card, which provides free admission to more than 65 museums and attractions, as well as free transport by bus, train, and Metro (available in either 1- or 3-day increments), contact: email@example.com
This article is part of our "Summer 2012" series. Want to read more?
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