Exploring Frederiksberg

I thought I’d go into some more details about the places featured in this video. So in order of appearance, here we go.


We start in Værnedamsvej, which is also know as Little France. This street is full of many French inspired shops and cafes as well as some really interesting boutique. In the video and here I share my favourites but I would urge you to explore yourself to find your favourites.

Granola 

This is a really gorgeous little cafe on Værnedamsvej. It does get busy and it isn’t possible to reserve a table but it is definitely worth it. The decor Granola is inspired by the 1950s and also has a little bit of a French vibe, especially on the menu. The brunch menu is delicious as are the milkshakes.

Dora 

I have been a fan of this shop for a long time. I love the combination of new interior pieces and the vintage items they have. Everything has been selected and curated with an enormous amount of care and taste. Every time I go in here I want to buy everything! Such a wonderful place to buy something unusual for your home.

Blomsterskuret

This little florist located under one of my favourite murals in the city is an oasis of beautiful flowers and plants. I love how they really capture every season with the flowers they have. This is a real Instagram pretty spot.

Kluns

Whilst Danish fashion is often very monochrome this little clothing boutique breaks to norm on this. They clothes are bright and funky but not just for young people. I bought a jumper from here a few years ago and I wore it constantly. It was a bit more expensive than I usually spend on a top but the cost to wear ratio was extremely high!

Central Hotel and Cafe

This tiny coffee shop has only five seats and upstairs in the city’s smallest hotel with just one room, the perfect place for a romantic getaway. Unique and usual, a great place to stop off for a coffee.

Next we move onto Gammel Kongevej or the Old Kings Road. Hundreds of years ago this was the carriage route to the King’s country residence but now is a thriving street full of businesses. There are a lot of new and fashionable places opening up. In some cases they have replaced older established places which have sadly closed down due to aging owners or lack of interest in the kind of business , which I think is a shame new places are unlikely to have the same kind of longevity.

Redesign

This is a charity shop which is looking at tackling how secondhand clothes are sold. Run by the Salvation Army, they sell high end secondhand clothes at realistic prices. So you can get your hands on a Ganni dress for 350dkk rather than the original price of three times that. Bargain for the customer but also a win for the charity. The thing I like best about this place is the repurposing of old clothes. Sometimes they have donations which have wear and tear which means they can’t really be sold as they are so the volunteers and staff here take the good parts of the fabric and create amazing bags and other items from them.

Vinstue 90

This brown pub (one in which you can smoke) has been here since 1916 and the owner tells me he’s not planning on going anywhere soon, despite various offers to buy the place.  It attracts a very mixed bag of local residents and is something of a treasure in the street. If you don’t want to sit inside they have a small outside seating area where you can enjoy a slow beer (something this place is famous for).

Alhambravej Antikvariat

This is a tiny secondhand book store just off Gammel Kongevej. It is really eccentric and a little spot of nostalgia.

PrikThis Aladdin’s cave of toys is just such a delight. It reminds me of a shop in London’s Chelsea that my Nan would take me to in the early 1980’s called Tiger Tiger. This place sells the kinds of toys that adults remember and that children of today still get joy from. There are dressing up clothes, toy kitchen paraphernalia, handmade dolls clothes and tons of sparkly things. I love that they have lots of little pocket money bits and bobs.

Sans Souci

This is another old establishment in the area, having been here since 1902. They have very old advertising painting on the outside covered with perspective to protect them from the elements. The restaurant offers traditional Danish meals and a lovely places to experience this kind of food and drink.

Sticks and Sushi

This is one of the ubiquitous sushi chains but my favourite location. I live just around the corner when we first moved here and I have many memories of this place from sitting here in those early days watching Danish life go passed, to introducing my son to sushi aged 7 months, his fifth birthday celebration here to the less fun experience of him starting to have an adverse reaction to his MMR vaccination whilst we were collecting a takeaway.

Creative Space

This was the original location, which opened in 2011 of this lovely ceramic painting cafe. Unleash your creativity here and collect the finished item a week later. Also now in Østerbro and coming to Århus soon.

Maude’s

Another place with a soft spot in my heart. This unique coffee shop opened in 2013 and has quickly become a jewel in Gammel Kongevej’s crown. The coffee and food here is wonderful but it is the atmosphere that makes it special. The decor is inspired by the parlour of the matriarch, Maude, from the popular Danish TV show Matador. It is unapologetically feminine but so cosy.

Finally we head to some of my favourite green spaces. First the small park by the Rådhus named after the founder of Tivoli, Georg Carstensen. This place was where my son learned to ride his bike, laid in the sun when he had chicken pox and needed some fresh air away from the general population, built snowmen and enjoyed the late spring blossom whilst listening to the bells from the tower at the Rådhus, which marked his bedtime at 8pm.

Then onto Frederiksberg Have and the secret garden of Haveselskabets Have.

You can find all the places here on this map.

I hope you enjoyed the video and this little personal run down.

 

 

 

 

 

Cisternerne – Jeppe Hein “In is the only way out”

As we all know this summer has been a scorcher but if you want to cool down and relax I can recommend the current exhibition at Cisternerne in Sondermarken. It is created by Jeppe Hein and called In is the only way out.

IN IS THE ONLY WAY OUT is a total installation taking up the 4320 m2 of Cisternerne and inviting the visitor onto an underground journey from the darkness into the light, on the way experiencing both challenges, surprises and disorientation. The cold and moist climate of Cisternerne forces itself on you and insists that you are present in the now. In the same way, Hein’s artworks enable visitors to feel: I am right here right now.

In the first room of the exhibit, the underground stillness is torn by the violent sound of a flame activated when a visitor approaches. When moving deeper into the underground the visitor is met by a series of round, rotating mirrors which heightens the sense of disorientation found among the dark colonnades.

Deepest within Cisternerne, a concert takes place. Every visitor activates a sensor sending a ball on a dynamic route through the colonnades where it hits Tibetan singing bowls on its way. The more visitors are present in the room, the more tones sound at any one time. The tunes connect the visitors who, unconsciously, create music together.

With this exhibition the artist unfolds a general theme: to be able to experience the light, you sometimes must confront and overcome the darkness: IN IS THE ONLY WAY OUT.

Above taken from the Cisternerne website

I found the Tibetan singing bowls remarkable and found myself going into a very relaxed state. In fact I could have stayed there all day. The exhibition runs until the 30th November and there are a number of exciting events scheduled in the space – this is the link to the event page but be aware the events sell out fast.

 

 

Under the world at Cistererne

I have lived here a long time and I have lost count of the times I have said that we must visit the Cisterns in Sondermarken. So this summer we finally did it.

The Cisterns (Cisternerne in Danish) are a former subterranean reservoir which once contained the sole supply of drinking water for Copenhagen and could hold as much as 16m litres of clean water. As the city expanded and other solutions were found for water supply it is no longer used in this way. For many years it has been a venue for art exhibitions and events.

It is an interesting space to visit and at the same time fascinatingly creepy. It takes a little time to adjust to the darkness when you first enter but there are sections of natural light in places, which are often utilised by the artists. You should remember to bring a warm layer as it is chilly in the caves.

When we visited the current exhibition was The Cisterns X Sambuichi, a Japanese artist (you can read more about the exhibition here) and this runs until February. In conjunction with the exhibition there are also associated events.

We walked around three times when we visited as the first time you need to get yourself adjusted to the darkness and also the pathways. We noticed different parts of the exhibition each time we went around. We will definitely be returning to see the next exhibition.

For more information visit their website here

Photo credit for photos 1 and 3: Jens Markus Lindhe

Spring in the Landbohøjskole Garden

Remember last week when the sun shone? I spent the morning working outside in the sunshine in the Landbohøjskole Garden in Frederiksberg. The joys of being your own boss and mobile internet. This park is my most favourite in the city and I have such fond memories of it. Whatever the season, it never disappoints but spring is the best.DSC01691

I thought I’d share a few photos whilst we wait for the summer to come back.DSC01692 DSC01693 DSC01695 DSC01696 DSC01697 DSC01698 DSC01699

More than a park to me

After a couple of days cooped up with my poorly son, on Friday I had a couple of hours before I had to get back to my desk to wander around my most favourite park in the city. This place holds so many memories for me and I love how the flowers and seasons change in this place.DSC01273

I have so many memories of this place. It was the first park we explored all those years ago when we moved to Bulowsvej. We would sit in the evening sunshine and enjoy a cold beer. I sat with friends and studied for our language school exams (read gossiped and sunbathed).  I sat under the trees the summer I was heavily pregnant reading trashy magazines and stroked my belly. I would walk my son around the paths as he slept in his pram as a tiny baby, thinking about how huge being a mum was. We used to take him here to try out his new talent of walking and the massive triumph of walking to the little viewing area over the duck pond. We would spot red squirrels, when they were still a novelty for me coming from the land of big bruiser greys. I wandered around the park with a friend from England looking for a famous tree (we never found it). It is place I always love to take my camera to, in every season. The rose garden holds some of the most fragrant roses in the city outside Tivoli. My son threw his water bottle in the pond when he was eighteen months old and discovered the first time his mummy couldn’t solve everything (although I came back later with a stick and fished it out). It was the place I went to four years ago almost to the day today and wept about leaving Copenhagen to move to Berlin…and one of the first places I came to when we returned two years later to reconnect with my city.

So many more memories. Definitely more than a park to me.DSC01277 DSC01280 DSC01281 DSC01282

New pink in town

After the massive pilgrimage to Bispebjerg for the cherry blossoms last month, there are some new pink blossoms in bloom right now that get a lot less footfall in Frederiksberg on Allegade. These blossoms are also shortlived but still really beautiful. We used to live right next to them and last year our neighbour’s daughter had her confirmation party under the trees with the blossoms gently falling down – what a perfect way the celebrate a rite of passage.DSC00725

Although the blue skies didn’t play ball, the pink of the flowers was still wonderful. Two Kommune park workers were taking a break whilst I shot the photos and we got chatting over the shared love of nature. I find you often have the most surprising conversations when you least expect it. These guys love their jobs working outside (despite the aches the winter brings) but what surprised me was their genuine love of nature. The more chatty one told me that every spring he visits (at least one) a beech forest outside the city when the leaves are pale green and new before they deepen into summer dark green. He said that he needs to do this as it ‘fills his soul with joy’. This big burly man openly spoke about this with emotion in his voice. It made me think about how much closer to nature and the seasons I feel here in the city. I used to feel like this as a child growing up on the North Downs in Kent where our year would be marked out by the coming of bluebells in the woods around our house, the purple rhododendrons along the roads, the blackberries to collect and stain our fingers with, cobnuts along the lanes and then the large juicy chestnuts to roast. Whilst the nature is different here in Denmark, I feel this same momentum of the year here and it brings me joy.DSC00726 DSC00732 DSC00733 DSC00737Last year the weather was warmer and I used this location to share my love of koldskål – you can read that post here.

 

Prik – a unique and nostalgic toy shop

DSC00686The first time I walked into Prik, a unique toy shop on Gammel Kongevej, I felt as if I had been transported back in time and a wave of nostalgia washed over me. As a child my grandmother would take me to a little toy shop called Tiger Tiger on the Kings Road in London and some of my most treasured toys came from this shop, including a now very tatty and well loved Snoopy. Prik is full of the kinds of toys Tiger Tiger was all those years ago. Little bright pocket-money toys, toys that I remember from my childhood (and some my mum remembers). Traditional toys that still please children today.DSC00664 This shop is a treasure trove of things for every child. Bright beads, pencils, hand knitted dolls clothes, wooden toys, jigsaws, dressing up clothes, play food and kitchen utensils. The list could go on forever. This toy shop is a unique gem in a city dominated by BR. And in a world of strict gender directed toys, Prik seems to avoid that.DSC00665

Whilst there are more expensive items in the shop (and these are all great quality and in most cases made from wood not plastic), the vast majority of things are pocket-money prices and the kinds of things that really entertain children, grow their imagination and skills without any sounds and flashing lights. DSC00666 DSC00670 I have bought toys and bits and bobs from this shop for my son ever since he was a baby and they have always been enjoyed and treasured. In the main (except for Lego) we are generally quite careful about how many toys my son has, although as he gets older this is becoming harder, but the kind of things in this shop will keep your child’s interest for a lot longer than a flash in the pan must have toy. My son has owned and played with a wooden parking garage for years and it still gets played with now, ditto for his toy kitchen and all its paraphernalia, his doctors kit and dressing up clothes, and jigsaws. All toys I had as a child and loved and all things you can buy here.DSC00671 DSC00672 DSC00673 DSC00674 DSC00678 DSC00680

In a world of plastic and junk toys, Prik offers the perfect antidote. So next time you need to buy a present for your child or for another, you need things for party bags or just something different for your child to play with – don’t just head to BR but try something more unique.

Address: Gammel Kongevej 130, 1850 Frederiksberg C

The new Frederiksberg Centret – thumbs up or down?

When we first moved to Frederiksberg seven years ago we found our local shopping centre small and quaint compared to the Bluewaters of the world. Fast forward five years and this place ticked all the boxes for my converted approach to consumerism. I had all the shops I needed. Around that time they started work on updating Frederiksberg Centre. A more modern face lift was on the cards and a new floor with twenty five new shops. The transformation seems to have taken a long time and in fact I was in the centre the day before the Grand Opening last week and some shops were still pretty much with saw dust on the floor. I heard a number of the new shops pulled all nighters to be ready in time.

DSC00523Was it worth it? Copenhagen has two large central malls (Fields and Fisketorvet,) which on a general basis I tend to avoid. I enjoy shopping in the city centre and individual streets in Vesterbro and Frederiksberg but nowadays malls leave me pretty cold.frb

I have always liked Frederiksberg Centre and on the opening day I felt a little sad. It was very glossy, new and didn’t feel like my place. Plus there were more people than I have ever seen in one place in this city (barring special events such as the vigil after the shootings) and I feared there was that feeling of rabid consumerism I hate. People queueing outside a sports shop to buy something at knockdown price didn’t feel very ‘Danish’ to me. Plus the slightly scary woman dressed as a celebration cake wandering around randomly bursting into song was a little bizarre. The DJ however was a very good move.DSC00537

I was prepared to give it a chance though. I returned the next day when the level of crazy had been dialled down a little and I had a chat with one of the people at the information desk and I started to get more of a handle on what they were trying to do. The new shops are mainly high-end fashion chains and I welcome  & Other Stores, Cos, Ganni and a super big H&M. I love Hay and Bahne so these are good additions. I thought it was very Danish not to have the usual food hall suspects serving burgers and junk but Paleo and 42 Raw (not my taste but can see the link between these places and the new stores). I looked around and realised that this wasn’t another Fields and is still my kind of place (and somewhere my bank balance is not going to welcome!)

DSC00525 DSC00528Have you been yet? What do you think?

 

Brødflov – organic loveliness in Frederiksberg

Every morning I cycle along Falkoner Alle and for as long as I can remember there has been a big florist on the corner of Hostrupsvej. It was somewhere I would infrequently stop for flowers but always liked the display outside. I went away to Florida for ten days and then had my mum to stay for another week and the next time I cycled along here I did a double take – in the place of the florist was a new coffee shop, which looked pretty well established. Had I entered an alternate universe?brødflovIt seems not and there is now a great addition to the coffee shop scene in this area which is quite dominated by Danish chain coffee shops and bakeries. Brødflov was first here in 2013 as a bakery at number 34, which is still in operation across the street from the coffee shop at number 36 and in November in the space of just over two weeks they converted the florists into an operational bakery and spacious coffee shop with long trestle tables, and a bright, inviting interior. All the food and drinks are organic and delicious. They are baking bread in the original bakery and cakes in the coffee shop, both in open bakeries so you can see them at work.DSC00308

It has been a learning curve for them. When I first came in here they were serving food on little white, heavy ceramic chopping boards and the drinks in cute little white beakers. These are no longer in use as despite how good they looked, the staff found the plates too heavy and impractical and the cups couldn’t take the heat. In have come Weck jam jars and environmentally friendly recycled materials for the plates – all equally pleasing.DSC00313

I have mainly eaten breakfast in here and it was lovely. Crumbly croissants with Skagen ham and Danish cheese and the skyr with their own made lemon curd (which can be purchased from their bakery) have both been winners for me. My son, the hot chocolate aficionado, has given theirs the thumbs up.  This place is shaping up to be a notable addition to this area.DSC00317

brødflov bakery

Early autumn in my favourite park

Last week I needed some time to relax and the first place I think about going is Landbøhøjskolen Haven. As I have written before this place has such a special place in my heart and I love it at any time or season. It seems perfect to share this on the first day of autumn.

It was a lovely sunny day and the plants were a mix between real autumn and the last throes of summer, especially in the rose garden. I wandered, sat in the sun, people watched and took photos. The best moment was when one of the beautiful butterflies walked straight onto my hand. Some times the simple pleasures are what keep us sane.

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