I was delighted to have been featured of the Expat Focus podcast talking about life in Denmark.
I was delighted to have been featured of the Expat Focus podcast talking about life in Denmark.
We had a lovely time at the ClubCrea pop up crafting workshop in Tivoli yesterday. The table is groaning with wonderful materials to make either a mask (inspired by Chinese New Year or another kind of animal mask) or a Valentine’s card and flower. Julie and Lone, the pair behind the event, are super friendly and helpful. The workshop is for children aged 4 – 8 (for younger children you may need to help out a bit more) and it is a great way to spend some creative, screen free time with your kids.
The workshop costs 60dkk per child and one accompanying adult and it is running everyday from 11am to 5pm until the 25th February. You can find the workshop in the Orangeriet behind the larger of the two carousels in the park.
To find out more about ClubCrea and any forthcoming events you can follow them on Facebook here.
We have just had Copenhagen Fashion Week and the international press have gone crazy for Danish homegrown fashion ( see this Vogue article) but recently I have noticed a strange street style phenomenon here in Copenhagen, which seems at odds with the usual Danish style. At first I thought it was just one person but then I started to spot it elsewhere. In fact yesterday there was a woman on my bus sporting this style and I wanted to ask her about it. It is the latest style of wearing a full winter work wear or army style thermal suit usually in a dark khaki, army green or tan. I was eaten up with curiosity as to the origin of this style. It is, of course practical in the wet, snowy and cold weather especially when cycling. One of the brands of these thermal work suits (Termoheldragt) I have spotted is Carthartt. Last year their woollen hats were popular. Did a woman enter one of these utilitarian shops to buy a hat and be suddenly taken with the shapeless but practical warm all over jumpsuits, thinking this will be perfect for the winter, buying it without a thought to a new fashion phenomena she was inadvertently starting? Has a celebrity worn something similar? Did someone put their partner’s one on the pop out on a cold day and thus kick starting the trend? Is it part of the current zeitgeist of the feminist movement? So many questions… It fasciantes me how something can just appear as if from nowhere – from the street and suddenly become ubiquitous.
Clearly I was not alone in my curiosity and had I not been recovering from my operation and written about this sooner I would have got there before the main stream media! I found this article on the BT written a few weeks ago about this very phenomenon and it appears to have stemmed from the designer shop Mads Nørgaard on Strøget and also from Danish designers Baum und Pferdgarten in 2014/5. It is deemed as a bit anti fashion and by the interviews in the article seen as very practical but not something everyone wants to embrace. So the mystery of the origin is solved!
I’d love to hear if you think this is a fashion you’d embrace or not?
If you have been down Strøget recently you will have noticed the lanterns hanging along its length the celebrate Chinese New Year, which falls on the 16th of February and is the year of the dog.When we lived in the UK we would often head up to Chinatown in London to enjoy the amazing spectacle of the celebrations there and tuck into a delicious meal. There isn’t an actual Chinatown here in Copenhagen but today I thought I’d do a round up of some of our favourite Chinese restaurants and places to buy ingredients to create your own Chinese feast plus a fab Chinese interiors shop.
The Royal Garden at Dronningens Tværgade 30 I believe is the oldest Chinese restaurant in Copenhagen. I took my husband there for his birthday this year and the food was amazing. We particularly enjoyed the sizzling dishes and the banana fritters! Not a cheap option for a meal but worth it.
Magasasa has four locations in the city, Istedgade, Kødbyen, Vesterbrogade and Amagerbrogade. This is another dim sum place which offers other dishes. We enjoyed a meal in the one in Kødbyen. Like Fu Hao above Magasasa is popular with the Chinese community, which to me signals it as a good place to eat!
The final place is Noodle House (Abel Cathrines Gade 23). I have not been here but it receives lots of positive reviews so I shall be heading there soon.
Want to cook at home?
There are a couple of Chinese/Asian supermarkets worth heading to for ingredients, fresh produce such as pak choi and also frozen dim sum. Den Kinesiske Købmand has a large store on Nørre Voldgade 54 and also a small stand in Torvehallerne. A bit further out in Østerbro (Østerbrogade 115, a short walk from Svanemøllen Station) is the Asien Supermarket.
For fresh Asian produce (not solely Chinese) there are a number of small grocers behind the main station in Vesterbro and also on Istedgade, as well as other locations in the city. Below are the ones I like.
China Town Market, Reventlowsgade 24, 1651
Kabul Marked, Reventlowsgade 22, 1651
Afghan Market, Reventlowsgade 20, 1651
Eveth’s Filipino Food Mart, Reverdilsgade 8 1701
Thai Asian Market, Halmtorvet 2, 1700
Kakshidi Food Import, Flæsketorvet 42, 1711
Thai Supermarket, Isedgade 134, 1650
Finally if you want your home cooked meal to look authentic with bowls, chopsticks, tea pots and cups etc after being prepared in a super duper wok or steamers then Den Kinesiske Butik at Rosengården 13, 1174 is the place to go.
Tivoli is opening for a special season this February to celebrate its 175 anniversary. The park is open until 25 February and it is looking very beautiful. It is worth noting that only the front part of the park is open so almost all of the rides are not open. Nevertheless there is plenty to see and do including a fabulous ice rink outside Nimb and a big igloo with a sled run inside. If you are feeling crafty you and you child can take part in a craft workshop in the Peacock theatre (this is an extra cost as it is run by an outside organisation called Clubcrea)
I am writing a book specifically about moving to and living in Denmark. There is nothing like this out there but my research tells me that people are searching for this information a lot, both as a book or just general information. Add to this the huge amount of misinformation available online – either in good faith or from people who want to mess with you a little – I felt this was something I should do.
So my second book (you can order my first, more general, book about relocation here) is going to be call “Moving to Denmark – All you need to know” and quite frankly it will do what it says on the tin. I didn’t want a fancy or clever title, just one that reflected what the book will offer you.
I have opened the book up for preorders and it will be published in late spring 2018. It will be a Kindle book first and then a hard copy depending on interest. You can preorder it via my website. If this sounds like a book that would interest you please do preorder, if you think a friend or colleague would find the book useful then please do share this post or the link to the preorder with them. If you want to hear more about this book, my services and exclusive content about living in Copenhagen you can join my mailing list (I promise not the spam you!)
Having a baby is one of the most exciting and scary things we do in life and that is when we are in our own countries. Having a baby in a new country can be even more daunting as you are navigating a different languages, process and culture. This was one of the reasons I decided to write a ebook guide to having a baby in Denmark (and it covers the first year too).
For many expat parents to be in Denmark this may be your first baby and you need a lot of help, advice and support in the journey through pregnancy and into that first year. Equally you may have other children but had them in your home country or somewhere else completely.
Almost nine years ago I had my son Frederiksberg Hospital. He was one of the last babies born there before they closed the maternity unit. As he was my first child I had no idea about anything really, not having been a particularly maternal young woman and being one of the last of my friends to have a baby. I muddled through in some parts of my pregnancy and in others I was led by the medical team around me and the rest of advice from books, the internet and friends and family. I enjoyed my pregnancy and despite a difficult birth, my experience in the hospital here was also excellent. I found the first year a little tough but then who doesn’t?
Things have moved on a lot from those days all those years ago, both in the consumer landscape of Denmark to the services that are offered to pregnant women and young families. In some ways this makes things a lot easier but in others there is more information to find and to know where to look.
In preparation for this guide I thought about all the things I learned when I was pregnant and a new mum but I also had a great focus group of expat mums and mums to be who really helped me out, both endorsing the information I was including but also sharing with me the things they had found tough or information they had wished they’d had. So a big thank you to those women.
If you are expecting a child here in Denmark or have just had a baby then this guide will be an enormous help to you, I wish I’d had something similar myself all those years ago. If you would like to get hold of the guide you can visit my secure shop here.
I have just finished the first season of my podcast and you can listen and subscribe to the Dejlige Days Podcast over on Apple Podcasts – here is the link
Episode 4 (5 Feb 2018)
Today I am joined by Jenni Fuchs. Jenni has an unusual expat story. Jenni and I met through an expat mum and toddler group soon after we had both moved to Berlin. I am inspired by Jenni’s tenacious nature and her passion for museums. In the podcast she shares how she established a number of successful projects which enabled expats, both with families and without, to enjoy the amazing museums in Berlin as well as excellent advice about finding your place in a new city.
Episode 3 (28 Jan 2018)
Today we are joined by Charlotte Larsen the CEO and founder of Charlies Roof, a company which helps expats find their new home in Copenhagen or Arhus. Charlotte is Danish and has worked in home search for many years. Today she and I discuss how new expats can get the most out of using a smaller home search service and she gives tons of useful advice about how to approach searching for a new home, whatever city you are moving to. Without further ado lets get into the interview
Episode 2 (22 Jan 2018)
Today we are joined by Melanie Fieseler. Melanie and I met some years ago in Berlin where she was the driving force behind an expat parents meetup group. Since then she has gone on to launch Work Happy Mums and her own consultancy as well as being involved in a number of other projects.
Episode 1 (16 Jan 2018)
Today we are joined by Michael Barrett, who is the editor of The Local Denmark, an English language news website. We talk about his experience as an expat in Denmark but also the role English language news has for expats settling in a new country.
You can also listen via SoundCloud
Moving to a new country means the introduction to new traditions. Fastelavn is another Scandinavian tradition that was new to me when we came here and the first year I was very curious about why supermarkets were suddenly selling small wooden barrels. In England we traditionally eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday before Lent begins but here the Danes celebrate Fastelavn. It is a real ‘go big, or go home’ kind of celebration. Fastelavn is celebrated on the Sunday or Monday before Ash Wednesday (seven weeks before Easter Sunday) and is a real carnival for children.Children dress up in costumes or cat masks, and a big wooden barrel with a black cat on the outside is suspended, which they can bash with impunity until the bottom falls out scattering the sweets inside. Being Denmark everyone is a winner! The child who administers the final bash before the bottom comes out is crowned the cat king or queen but everyone takes a share of the booty.
This is known as slå katten af tønden (hit the cat out of the barrel) and in olden days the barrel actually contained a cat, which would then be chased away signifying the banishment of evil.
Great fun nowadays for everyone, including cats!
But my favourite thing about this celebration is Fastelavn Boller. Imagine a huge choux bun filled with a custard cream with chocolate and more whipped cream for good measure on top? You are? Well that is what is eaten as a Fastelavn bun here in Denmark before Lent begins. There are variations with raspberry cream and icing too.Generally I don’t like to see seasonal items in the shops too early but I make an exception for something like this and am delighted when they first start appearing in bakeries during the run up to Fastelavn. Now I understand there is a more old fashioned version which is much more moderate but I have never tried one (and why would you when there is a cream bun on offer?). So there is something for children and of course, something for everyone at Fastelavn!
Using a multitude of different apps on your phone opens up many opportunities in Denmark. I thought today and next week I would share some of the apps I use and also ones I think would be useful to new expats. I’ve not listed international ones but more ones that are specific to Denmark. Where I can I have linked to the website of the provider so you can choose the app appropriate for your device. Where that wasn’t possible I have linked to the iPhone app (if you use Android or other you can search in your own app store). (see part one here)Shopping
Reshopper- you can use this app to buy and sell used children’s items, easily and safely. An excellent way to save money.
COOP member app- You collect a bonus in kroner and use it when you shop in a Coop supermarket. You can choose to pay with your bonus when you are at checkout. You can also choose to save your bonus and instead pay with your payment card.
Nemlig.com Online grocery shopping either via their website or the app.
Your Local (food waste app)– get delicious food offers from your favourite neighbourhood shops. Save money every time they offer food that would otherwise have gone to waste.
Pricerunner– compare prices for many items to make sure you get the best deal.
Food Delivery Service
Apps to order take away food to your door.
Dog Parks in DK– the official “Dog Parks in Denmark” app from Hundeskove.dk gives you an overview of Dog Parks and other dog friendly areas in Denmark.
Spotted by Locals-crowd sourced recommendations from a selection of local insiders in Copenhagen.
My City Highlights – another app with insider recommendations and resources.