Valby and Sydhavn coffee shops

Since the start of this school year my son’s school is now located in Valby. It is an area I know from when he was at preschool here but a lot has changes in the area since then. Our route in from home also takes us through the older, more traditional part of Sydhavn. In my quest for my second morning coffee and perhaps the odd pastry, I have been discovering a few coffee shops in the area. Here are a few I like in case you are also in this area.

First is Snabel B located close to Valby Station. This is a retro, grungy cafe which reminds me a lot of the Berlin aesthetic. Friendly staff, comfy seats, great music and reasonable coffee. 

Next is the Valby outpost of the Emmerys chain, located at Trekronergade 147b. Not a big fan of their coffee as I find it a little strong but if you like it that way then this is the place for you. It is a short walk from Sjælør Station. Their avocado on rye bread is very good.

Saving the best for last is Rallys, located just off Mozarts Plads in Sydhavn. A cosy place with great coffee, pastries and breakfast plates. It is also very reasonably priced. This is certainly an area on the up and Rallys has got in before the area gets too gentrified.

Also worth another mention is South Harbour Cafe (close to Sydhavn Station) and Wild Kiwi Pies (close to Valby Station).

Mini street food place in Teglholmen

There is a new street food pop up market in Teglholmen for the summer before the area will inevitably be built on with more new apartments. There is a small beach area outside with deck chairs, picnic tables and the old warehouse behind has a number of food trucks (and it looks like more are coming) and a bar. It has only been open a few weeks and as the Danish summer has gone AWOL, it has been a little quiet over the last week or so but there is definitely potential there for when the sun does shine again.

It is not on the scale of Copenhagen Street Food and probably isn’t a destination for those living beyond Teglholmen and Sluseholmen, however this is an area with a lot of high density apartment blocks but with very little amenities as yet so this place is certainly meeting a need in the area. Why not stop off here after a swim in the harbour baths at Sluseholmen?

To see more about the place and what is coming on their calendar visit their Facebook page here.

Moroccan hygge at South Harbour Cafe in Sydhavn

For some months we have been walking past a potential new cafe in Sydhavn, close to the station (come out of the station and walk towards the big crossroads). The type of place it was going to be was shrouded in window covers with not even a little gap for nosey people like me to peer into. One day I saw a man unlocking the door and although I picked up the pace to see what was inside the door was already closed by the time I got there. So on Monday morning as we walked out of the station in the early morning dark, there it was open with a man handing out delicious samples of tiny croissants. At last!img_7565

After dropping my son at school, I headed back to try out South Harbour Cafe. I have been saying for the last year and a half that we need a coffee shop here but I had no idea my wishes would be answered by something so amazing.

The cafe is owned by a local woman, Jamila, whose family are originally from Morocco, so much of the food and drink in here is inspired by that. They serve the most amazing fresh mint Moroccan tea, there is a soup of the day (only 39dkk), traditional pancakes (savoury and sweet), couscous salad and some outstanding savoury pastries called pastilla (I think) filled with meat flavoured with delicate spices. Of course there is the usual coffee menu, juices and bread rolls with cheese. All very affordable.img_7564

But what about the hygge factor? Well it is there in spades with a couple of hyggekrog, candles, and board games (my son and I sat for about an hour with our tea and a chess board, with two twenty-something girls next to us playing backgammon and then crocheting).img_7556

It is also the attention to detail I love. Jamila’s husband fitted the place out and it is just lovely. On a practical point of view they made sure there were plenty of plug sockets for laptop users and hooks under the high tables for coats and bags. The local history society helped them out with old photos of the place when it was a bakery and other wonderful shots of trams on the streets nearby. You must check out the table tops near the front door and the inspiration quotes in the bathroom.img_7582

I have been in here every day since it opened and I can see it become a regular place for me to work, read or hang out with my son. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly and it has been busy with a real mix of local people so far. If you are in this area you must pop in, in fact I recommend you make a trip here regardless and enjoy some Moroccan hygge!img_7580 img_7587

Follow them on Facebook and visit at Hørdumsgade 1, 2450 Copenhagen.

RIP Hall of Fame – last chance to see this urban legend

The semi legal graffiti gallery in Sydhavnen known as the Hall of Fame, behind the Dong power station at H.C. Ørstedsværket, is currently being demolished literally as I write. I took these photos yesterday as teams of workers cleaned the paintings off the walls and others were knocking them down. This place has been in existence since the 1990s and has amazing examples of proper street art.

The section below called Evolution was legally created by Ulrik Schiødt in 1999 and 2000. It originally was 170 metres long and shows evolution from the Big Bang to the Ice Age. The detail is amazing and there is a group of activists who are trying to save at least some of this. To find out more about this visit here and to watch a video made recently on the site here.

There is a sign propped up by a workman’s spade asking for the mural to be respected but judging by the effective speed of the workmen yesterday getting close to it, it will soon be almost completely destroyed. To see what it looked like before now visit the artist’s website here.DSC01708 DSC01709

IMG_4888

DSC01739

DSC01741DSC01742

As this area was a semi legal place for street artists and there was some previous commitment from the city to try to preserve it, it is a tragedy that Big Money is ripping it up to build more apartments. I understand we have a housing shortage in the city but there must be a way that the developers could have worked harder to keep this historic spot. The history of Copenhagen is a lot more than old buildings, pretty coloured streets and towers.

This weekend could be the last time to see this place , there is a tour organised by Urban Explorers on Sunday but you can easily walk here from Fisketorvet and see it for yourself if you want to go before that (here is a map to help you find it) If you do one thing this weekend visit here and at least preserve this small bit of originality and anarchy it in your memory as the south harbour slowly becomes homogenised !DSC01710 DSC01713 DSC01714 DSC01715 DSC01720 DSC01723 DSC01725 DSC01734 DSC01735 DSC01736

Coffee and books in Sluseholmen

There are two things in life I enjoy – a good cup of coffee and a good browse in a bookshop. Sadly living in a country where the native language is not my own, finding browsing opportunities is hard. There are some English bookshops here and they offer a reasonable selection (such as here, here and here) but I really want to see a bookshelf that looks like the one below to really delve into.DSC01215

So you can imagine my delight when I discovered this one at the back of Riccos in Sluseholmen. My new morning beat is completely new to me and all my old haunts for coffee after school drop off are not so convenient anymore. One of the mums at my son’s new school told me there was a coffee shop close by to the school so I headed off in the right direction and sure enough there it was. DSC01218

First of all some thoughts on the coffee shop itself.  Like most of you I was familiar with Riccos and have a few favourites already. such as the one on Strandboulevarden, so I knew the coffee would be good. This place has only been open since March this year and is currently the largest Riccos in the city. I like the way that each Riccos is different and fits with the vibe of the area and the building it is located in. Sluseholmen is a newly built area so they had a blank canvas to work on for the coffee shop and I love the cosy, arty but industrial feel of the place. It fits with the variation and modern feel in the area but also still manages to be hyggeligt (the most important box to tick in regard to Danish coffee houses!)DSC01221

But let’s get back to the vast floor to ceiling bookshelves. They are not for decoration but an enormous selection of new and secondhand books to buy. There are many shelves of English language books and loads I have never seen before but really want to discover – plus they are reasonably priced. I came away with this book, which I have never seen before but thought sounded interesting. The bookshop is operated by a third-party called Næste Runde, which was formerly a bookshop on Jægersborggade and still has a presence there in Rubæks Bøger, and the coffee shop staff take the money on their behalf.

IMG_1756Sluseholmen isn’t difficult to get to from the city centre and the number 14 bus stops almost outside Riccos or why not get the boat bus and enjoy a harbour ride on your way to get your next new read?

Address: Sluseholmen 28, 2450 Copenhagen

 

A Lone Wolf(ie)? {now closed}

The older part of Sydhavnen is usually somewhere I go through on the way to somewhere else. My husband used to work close to Sydhavn Station and on some of our first visits to Copenhagen we stayed in some of the business hotels in the area. It has always struck me as a slightly rundown part of town unlikely to be touched by gentrification. And that may still be the case but there was something new on my radar in this area I wanted to check out – Wolfie. This new cafe is located in a blue and white wooden hut in the middle of Mozarts Plads (see what they did there with the name of the cafe?), the centre of what is known as the composers quarter (komponistkvarteret) and close to what I discovered as some interesting residential areas. The hut has had various lives as a hang out, and a cafe called Monster Times before Wolfie moved in. The square attracts a variety of local residents from families with young children to weather-beaten drunks and their dogs. Until now there was just a small supermarket and a kiosk in the area. DSC00495 Wolfie is the new opening by Grød founder, Lasse Skjønning Andersen. Sydhavnen is not the place for another Grød, he has said in media interviews but as it is the area he grew up in and knows well, he wanted to open a cafe that would be for the local people and to help revitalise the area. On the morning I went in I can see that this is working thus far. There was a local man, who lives in the nearby haveforeninger (an area of wooden built homes similar to kolonihaven but permanent), enjoying his paper and a coffee. A skinny older chap sitting alone and a couple of young men who live out on the nearby coastland popped in, curious about the new place. No one was especially hip, just folk enjoying their breakfast.DSC00496 And the breakfast was great. I had the generous portion of greek yoghurt with muesli and a great cup of coffee. I was tempted by the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, maybe next time. The menu is simple but interesting. I was delighted to hear the bread they serve comes from one of my favourite bakeries, Brødfløv in Frederiksberg. There is a small delicatessen area selling organic ingredients and of course porridge oats from Grød. Bjarke, who was working that morning, also lives locally and can see the need for this kind of cafe in the area. There are a lot of young families here and the play area in the square gets busy and people like to get something to eat and drink; there are the mums on maternity leave walking their babies in prams who welcome a comfy spot for a coffee whilst the baby sleeps outside as is the Scandi way.  And then there are people who just want a decent cup of coffee to go.DSC00498 I don’t think this cafe will start a hipster wave in Sydhavnen, but I may be wrong, time will tell as the city gets fuller and fuller and people are looking for cheaper, more available residential areas. But right now it is  just offering an unpretentious place for great coffee, breakfast or lunch for locals and bringing new life to this old square. Leave your preconceptions of Sydhavnen at home (many recognise the area from scenes in Danish crime programmes) and give Wolfie a visit.DSC00500 DSC00505 DSC00507 DSC00510Address: Mozarts Plads, 2450 København Facebook page