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).

Valby – the new alternative to city living

Increasingly people looking for rental apartments in the more central areas of Copenhagen are finding the market is getting tougher and tougher. Families are competing against groups of young people looking to share larger apartments and the number of properties of a suitable size for families are thin on the ground.Valby-StationMany people are looking at moving to areas further out of the city in a bid to find affordable but decent accommodation. Valby is certainly a district of the city that offers a great alternative to living in Frederiksberg or Vesterbro (both competitive and increasingly expensive areas). So what are the plus points of Valby?

Firstly public transport there are regular buses from the centre of Valby into Frederikberg and beyond and out towards Fields. The trains from Valby station take just 11 minutes into Nørreport and it is located in Zone 2 so no extra fares if you have a normal two zone travel pass.

Valby is well served for shopping with a number of supermarkets (Irma, Kvickly, Netto, Meny and Fakta) to choose from and the small shopping centre, Spinderiet, with all the usual suspects you would come to expect from BR, Tiger, Søstrene Grene, H&M etc. There is also a great, thriving high street with a number of individual shops including bakeries, butchers and fishmongers. Valby is not the place for hipsters or trendsetters but it certainly offers everything you need.CIMG3071There are lots of lovely little coffee shops and cafes, mainly centred on and around Valby Langgade. For entertainment there is a small cinema, Valby Kino, a number of restaurants both local and smaller chains such as Halifax Burger and Sticks and Sushi. There is a Big Bowl bowling centre close to the station.

There is a small library with a borgerservice (kommune advice centre) and for children there are a few small playgrounds. If you are English-speaking and looking for private daycare for your under six year old there are two options in the area (both possibly with waiting lists), The International Montessori Preschool and Kids r Os.

The huge park Sondermarken is an easy walk from Valby and offers a large children’s playground and lots of space to run around, exercise or just have a picnic. Through the park it is just a short walk to the Zoo and Frederiksberg Have. At the end of Valby furthest from the city is the vast Valbyparken which offers the largest nature playground in Denmark. The park also has a beautifully laid out rose garden and other themed gardens. You can easily reach this park by bus or bike from the centre of Valby.

Valby Hallen is a large multi purpose leisure complex and next to this is Valby Vandkulturhus (water culture centre). This is a swimming stadium for the whole family, which also offers a large wellness area. It is also renowned as a low-energy pool which uses 25% less energy than other similar places in the country.

Cisternerne is also located in Sondermarken and offers interesting exhibitions.  The film company Nordisk Film is located in Valby and offers guided tours of their studios. Carlsberg  Visitors Centre and TAP1 are also very close.

A downside of Valby is that is feels a little tattier and older than its trendier or posher neighbours of Vesterbro and Frederiksberg. There is more mindless graffiti here than in the neighbouring districts.  As an expat you may feel that it is a little too old school Danish for you – there is certainly a genuine mix of older Danes, working class people as well as newer immigrants and young families. It is not a slick and trendy part of town but it feels as if it has a heart. Here’s what Visit Copenhagen has to say about it.

In the next few years the area around Carlsberg will undergo massive redevelopment under the name of Carlsberg Byen. This will result in more commercial, residential and academic locations opening up and will change the face of this area. There will be a new metro station at the bottom of the hill on Frederiksberg Alle and Enghave Station is in the process of being moved closer to Carlsberg.  I believe this will impact on Valby and will perhaps bring it more to people’s minds as a destination or a place to live, perhaps it may yet become a hipster haven, in the meantime it is a great option if you are looking to rent a larger family apartment but still enjoy the benefits of the city.

Photo 1 credit plus interesting facts about Valby.

Wild Kiwi Pies – the answer to your {meat and veg} pie prayers

About a week or so ago an interesting thing popped up on my Facebook feed. There was a new pie shop opening in Valby. Now when I say pies I don’t mean American pies full of fruit, I mean proper meat pies – a very British and it seems an Antipodean thing. I will be up front and say that although I am pretty much integrated into Danish life I really miss a good hot meat pie. So last Friday I made my way to Valby to find out of this new place, Wild Kiwi Pies, would be the answer to my pie cravings.

Wild Kiwi Pies has only been open for a couple of weeks. The interior looked great but they are still waiting for their new fancy signage outside. As you know I am a big fan of raw brick walls so I already felt good about this place but did the pies match up to the interior? I looked the menu and I wasn’t quite sure where to start in choosing (you can see the full menu here). There were some interesting combinations but I wanted to go a bit old school beef pie. Stuart, the owner of Wild Kiwi Pies and the creator of the pies was happy to come out from the kitchen in his floury apron to talk me through the pies and also a bit about the shop.DSC01601After years of corporate life he decided to give his own business making and selling pies a go and the motto on the website is “Slowly changing Danish food habits one pie at a time.” It’s not enough to attract the expat market, Stuart wants to get Danes on the pie train and become converted to pies. I love it when there is a real person with passion behind a business and it is great to meet them too.  A pie shop like this is a unique thing here but in New Zealand there would be as many pie shops in an area  as we have pizza takeaways – this was something new that I learnt as I had always thought of meat pies as being a very British thing. A culture lesson as well as a lovely lunch.

But back to the pies – in the end I went for the NZ beef, red pepper and caramelised onion pie. The pastry has the right amount of puff to it but was perfectly structured. I was a little apprehensive about cutting into the pie, especially as Stuart was still chatting to me and I didn’t want to offend him. I feared that the meat filling would be too dense and the gravy wouldn’t ooze out a little – for me the ooze is very important.

DSC01599Thankfully this pie has the right amount of ooze for me as you can see. The filling was delicious – sweet from the onions and red pepper but with a kick of black pepper and Worcestershire sauce. The beef was tender and there were no chewy or suspicious bits (another pet pie hate of mine). All in all I would say from my pie expert’s point of view this was the perfect pie. Good pastry structure, oozy filling, delicious gravy and tender meat. It was also very filling.

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If you are already a meat pie lover get your pieface down to Valby as soon as possible and try one of Stuart’s delicious pies (or sausage rolls). If you haven’t tried this kind of pie before then this is the perfect place to have your pie initiation. DSC01605

Some practical details – you can buy hot pies in the store to take away or eat there and there are a number of price combos making it the perfect stop for lunch. A single pie is 49dkk which is a pretty good deal if you ask me. You can also buy some of the pies chilled or frozen to cook at home. Wild Kiwi Pies also offers wholesale catering options. The shop is located minutes from Valby Station.

Also a note on the menu on the website. each pie has a little profile about it including all the ingredients and also a spice index to aid you in choosing and is especially helpful if you need to avoid certain ingredients such as gluten and lactose. There is also a vegan pie. You can, of course, check these details by asking in store.DSC01606

Address: Toftegårds Allé 43, 2500 Valby

Website

NB this is not a sponsored post I just genuinely loved the pie and want try them.

Exploring the city – Old Valby

Old Valby is defined as the area close to Valby Langgade and was once the countryside outside the city until the Carlberg Brewery was founded on the top of Valby Bakke. Much of Valby now is very modern and not particularly attractive but I enjoyed a morning stroll around the yellow terraced houses that constitute Old Valby.CIMG3071

There is a story that when the country people came into the city to find prosperity centuries ago they scrapped the country mud from their clogs and created the only hill in Copenhagen, Valby Bakke. Every morning as I cycle my son to school up it, I wish they had come into a different part of the city!old valbyold valby 2 CIMG3077