The view from the Mærsk Tower

One of the things I love about Copenhagen (and something I hope will continue) is the democratisation of spaces. There are many cities where the waterfront is exclusively for rich people who can afford to live in prime real estate, not so in Copenhagen. Likewise most educational building offer access to the public, whether it is to use sports hall and playground after hours or in the case of the new Mærsk Tower on the edge of Nørrebro to be able to enjoy an amazing vista for free.

Mærsk Tower is the new 15 storey building in the heart of what is known as Copenhagen Science City and houses the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences of the University of Copenhagen. The architecture of the tower is based on an idea of creating communities – between the researchers, between students and the city.

I was delighted to hear that is possible to visit the viewing area on the top floor of the building as a member of the public without prior arrangement (there are tours organised and sometime the area is closed for private functions but it tells you at the lifts if this is the case). The public view faces towards the city and across to Sweden, down to Vestamager and the height of the windows means you get an undisturbed view. The view from the other side of the building is not open to the public as this side of the floor is the faculty lounge. You can read more about visiting the tower here and here

The ‘Rules’ of Smørrebrød

There are strict rules about Danish open sandwich or Smørrebrød toppings and people even seem to stick to them when they are making their own from a selection of toppings in their work canteen, where they will carefully arrange them in the correct way.


Firstly is what bread is used as the base. For most smørrebrød it is rugbrød or Danish rye bread but if you are using smoked salmon or prawn topping it is white bread. But please be careful, this only applies to a prawn only topping and not prawns in combination with other toppings.

Next comes a piece of lettuce and then the meat  or fish of the topping (included in this category is potatoes) and then finally the extras on top. Here is a quick guide as to what goes with what on the most popular smørrebrød and never deviate (more than anything it probably won’t taste as good)….

  • Smoked salmon on top of white bread with lemon and dill on top (and when in season white asparagus)
  • Prawn on white bread with a dollop of mayo and maybe an egg, sliced and a carefully positioned cucumber.

Some sandwiches have fancy names which befits the complexity of the toppings..

  • Shooting star – white or rugbrød with a piece of breaded baby plaice, mayo, little prawns, lumpfish roe finally topped with asparagus and lemon slice.
  • Veterinarian’s midnight feast – rugbrød at the bottom, a sliced of leverpostej (Liver pate) covered with a slice of ham or tongue topped with onions and a little rectangle of  beef aspic
  • Rare roast beef (cold) on rugbrød topped with remoulade, grated fresh horseradish and crispy onions. This is my favourite and comes with a funny story for me. On my first visit to Copenhagen we ate lunch in one of the cafes in Nyhavn and I chose this sandwich. I looked at the topping and assumed, wrongly, that the grated white stuff on the top was remoulade. At that time I thought remoulade was some kind of coleslaw and shovelled a huge mouthful of fresh horseradish into my mouth. As I almost exploded I caused great amusement for the Danes sitting nearby!

So that is a guide to the most popular smørrebrød and how you can create them at home.

Shapes and forms at the Glyptoteket

I have visited the Glyptotek many times and I have a yearly pass so we can enjoy it whenever we wish. I wanted to see the current Degas exhibition (running until 1st September 2013, I can recommend it highly), which I very much enjoyed but I found my eyes (and camera) drawn to the shapes and forms elsewhere within this beautiful building. 
I hope you enjoy this slightly different view…