Travel Tales: The Winter Wonderland of Copenhagen

Leading the way in design, food, fashion and livability, this modern-majestic city calls for a visit. Caia Hagel wanders its cool-weather dreamscape.

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Old world meets new world: (Left) Nvhavn, a 17th-century commercial port turned entertainment district; (Right) The award-winning Mountain Dwellings, with stacked backyards.

Old world meets new world: (Left) Nvhavn, a 17th-century commercial port turned entertainment district; (Right) The award-winning Mountain Dwellings, with stacked backyards. Photos Courtesy of Tim Georgeson and Jens Lindhe.

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HAY Photo by Tim Georgeson

DESIGN-OPHORIA
The spare Danish modern mélanges of ergonomic louisecampbell.com and sensual mastery by Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner and so many more at the Danish Museum of Art & Design inspire me to call on the influential female designer Louise Campbell. We drink loose-leaf tea out of porcelain cups from her collaboration with Royal Copenhagen while she explains that long winters shaped the national urge to craft beautiful, functional things that make indoors a place to explore dreams. Her LC Shutters lamp, for example, is a happy-hibernation classic designed to soften everything.

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Book and Dish Images Courtesy of Phaidon Press

FAIRY-TALE FOOD & BEDS
Winter calls on our sweet tooth, and the Danes know how to satisfy it. I make a visit to one of the oldest cake shops, La Glace for sweets, hot chocolate and an exquisite 19th-century tele-transportation experience. Hotel Fox’s lush rooms, decorated by 21 different artists, and Hotel d’Angleterre’s elegant, newly renovated suites maintain the otherworldly, old-worldy charms of the city. Since it’s near impossible to get a table at Noma, I eat at Geranium, where Noma-trained chefs serve a tasting menu of local fare, while I sink into an Eames-Saarinen chair.

Copenhagen 3WALK & SHOP 
Emerging Danish clothes wizards capture winter in wearable art. I adore Henrik Vibskov’s boutique, where high fashion and Danish cow-field visions meet in comfortable, edgy clothes. I pick up some soft blue knits at Edith & Ella and linger at Bach Copenhagen, furriers for the Danish royals. Along the Jægersborggade I explore cafés, design shops, secondhand clothing stores and lamp shops alongside local hipsters, also hunting for treasures and organic fly-by meals. From there I stroll the cobblestoned Strøget, designed to be car-free. Storm and Holly Golightly, concept boutiques that mingle luxe creams with exclusive labels, are my final stops in Wonderland.

 

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Photography by Tim Georgeson.

NIGHTLIFE & BIKE LIFE
Cycling is sacred in Copenhagen, even in the snow. There are many parked outside Ruby, where the candles, sensual wallpaper and classic cocktails lend a boudoir feeling. After-hours at Jolene (Flæsketorvet 81, 1711) in the meatpacking district, the ambience is carried further with pink-washed lighting and sounds from local DJ gods like Trentemøller, spinning dance tunes from a circus-themed booth. Fairy lights lining the streets glow through the foggy window.

The Prada Marfa artists, Elmgreen and Dragset, made Han—a little brother for the beloved Little Mermaid—in 2012. Copyright of Anders Sune Berg.

The Prada Marfa artists, Elmgreen and Dragset, made Han—a little brother for the beloved Little Mermaid—in 2012. Copyright of Anders Sune Berg.

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