Shamyat – amazing baklava on Amager

Thanks to an instagram post from some people I know who have just moved to an apartment on Amagerbrogade I found out about the most amazing baklava shop called Shamyat. It is the kind of place you might miss as it is located on Amager Boulevard, a little before the main parades of shops start on Amagerbrogade.

On Sunday I decided that it was time to try this place and I was not disappointed. As soon as I walked in the door the man behind the counter offered me a taster and that was enough to know that this was the place to get some delicious Mediterranean delicacies.

I asked the man for a selection box and he popped in two of each type. In my excitement to order I hadn’t really looked closely at the prices. As he presented me with the box below I was astounded only to be charged 50dkk. And it was 50dkk well spent!

They went down a storm at home so we’ll definitely be back! Shamyat also sell a selection of more generic (and not doubt delicious) petit fours and boxes of little Dannebrog cake/cookie type things.

So if you don’t live on Amager pop on the 5C bus, which stops almost directly outside and get the taste of the Mediterranean this autumn. (Address: Amager Boulevard 127)

On another note, I am starting to record the first interviews this wee, for my forthcoming podcast, which will be launched in October. If you are interested in hearing more about the podcast and other Dejlige Days news please sign up for my newsletter here.

Got milk? – Quick guide to main dairy products in Denmark

Ok, so today I am going to write about milk. Ever since I moved here (and probably a long time before) milk, milk products and yoghurt have been baffling newly arrived (and not so new) expats. Everyone has a tale of either themselves or someone they know who inadvertently bought a litre of yoghurt thinking it was milk and ruined a very decent cup of tea! 

So this is the quick and dirty on milk etc

Milk (available as organic (økologisk) and non organic)

Sødmælk – this is one of the highest fat milk sold here at 3.5% fat. You may find variations of this made with Jersey milk or especially formulated for coffee.

Letmælk – next one down in fat content at 1.5% fat.

Minimælk – milk with 0.4% fat

Skummetmælk – the lowest fat one at 0.1%

Gårdmælk – this is literally translated at farm milk. It is high in fat, between 3 and 4.5%. The fat levels vary as this milk is not regulated for fat content and it fluctuates depending on calving times, weather, season and the cows’ diet.

A38

This is a milk with acidophilus added along with another milk acids, which are reportedly good for your stomach. This comes in various fat percentages are well. It is usually used for breakfast with muesli and porridge.

Ymer

Another baffling one which I have stayed away from. It is a milk with concentrated milk proteins and is therefore very protein rich. It takes a little acidic and is used at breakfast.

Tykmælk

Another breakfast milk, this time with a high fat content as it is made from 3.5% sødmælk. It is creamy and also contains added milk acids (lactic acid).

Kærnemælk

Buttermilk, this is high in protein, low in fat and has a sharp taste. It is used as the basis for koldskål (sweet thick milk dessert served in the summer with little biscuits, which can be bought everywhere over the summer months). If you need buttermilk in recipes this is the product to buy.

Yoghurt

This is called yoghurt and comes in various fat percentages again. It can be plain but also with fruit flavours (but not that many to choose from – pear and banana being a popular one). These kinds of yoghurt come in litre cartons a lot like milk and not very often in single serve pots, hence the confusion with milk.

Skyr

This is a thick, sharp tasting yoghurt from Iceland. Generally high in protein and low in fat. Use as you would greek yoghurt.

Cream

There are around three main varieties of cream. Kaffefløde, which is coffee cream; piskefløde, with is whipping cream but not double cream (for UK readers); and madlavnings fløde, which is cooking cream and has a thickener added.

Other milk products should be familiar to expats such as fromage frais, græsk (greek) yoghurt, creme fraiche (best substitute you will get for sour cream), and Kvark (quark).

This guide in Danish is helpful too.

 

 

Winter is on the horizon – time to prepare

It may seem early but it is time to really start thinking about preparing for winter. I wrote a couple of posts over the years about this so I have linked below.

Getting ready for winter (Health)

Getting ready for winter (with kids)

Quick lowdown on lost property

I regularly see posts on expat forums where people have lost something and want to know how to find out where it might be or people have found something belonging to someone else and wonder what to do with it. I thought I’d gather some links and information here to help with those questions. I spent some time with a Copenhagen Police Officer at the main station police station finding out exactly what they recommend.

So if you find something you think is lost such as a wallet or keys what should you do?

The obvious one is to simply hand it in to a police station (you can find your local one here) and they then deal with it. If you find something in a public institution, Tivoli, shop or on public transport, you should hand it in there as they will have a place where they put lost things and often the owner may be retracing their steps to find the lost item.

If there is a name and address on the item you may wish to return it directly but this must be done straightaway.

Post CPR cards and keys can be put into post boxes and they, in theory, should find their way back to their owner or an official lost and found.

If you find a named Rejsekort, hand it into any DSB office or a 7 Eleven with a DSB counter and they will return the card.

How about if you have lost something?

You can call 114 (non emergency police number) and it will be logged and you receive a note about it via your E-boks.

You can also visit the Police lost and found office (you can find your local one or the one local to where you lost the item here.) They keep items for three months (one month if it is a bike). You can email them in advance if you are looking for something very specific. They will ask for serial number or unique identifiers where relevant.

If you have lost something on DSB they have a helpful page of FAQs about that here.

I hope this helps!

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

How to fly the Dannebrog

You don’t have to live in Denmark for long to notice how much the Danes love their flag, the Dannebrog. It is used for almost all celebrations and you can get hold of a variety of little flags for parties, napkins, bunting, etc,  and wooden flags on stands for the table at a special dinner or meal. In restaurants if you tell the waiting staff you are celebrating a birthday they will often bring a little flag for the table. I think we are fairly lucky here in Denmark that the flag hasn’t been appropriated in a negative way.Since we moved to a house with a flag pole out the front, like most of our neighbours, we decided to look into the rules about flag flying especially after I read this article .

I also recall a funny chapter in Helen Russell’s book, The Year of Living Danishly,  about how she fell foul of the local flag ‘police’. So what are the rules about flying the Dannebrog?

There is an organisation called Danmarks Samfundet who are in charge of the flag rules here so here goes!

  • The flag must be of the correct proportion and this is related to the height of your flag pole.
  • You must face the flag when it is being raised and it must never touch the ground.
  • It must be lowered before sunset unless you have a light to illuminate it. If you fly the flag after sunset it is known as flying the flag for the devil (at flage for Fanden). If you have a flagstaff and you want to fly the Danish flag but you can’t be doing with raising and lowering it everyday you can use a Danish streamer (see picture below) and this must be half the height of your flag pole in length.
  • No other flag must be flown from the same flagstaff at the same time.
  • Other Scandinavian flags, the UN flag and the EU flag are also permitted to be flown in Denmark, but require special permission from the local police.
  • If Dannebrog is to be flown alongside nearby flags, it must be raised first, and from the left side. Following that, the other flags are raised in alphabetical order (so the Norwegian flag would be raised before the Swedish one, for instance).
  • When the flag is worn out and needs to be disposed of, it must be burned.
  • The flag must be raised and lowered slowly.

Want to know more? Danmarks Samfundet have produced some helpful guides in English here and here.

NB This post contains an affiliate link.

Fields of wild flowers all for the taking

As we are seeing out a rubbish summer weatherwise and autumn begins on the 1st September, we had one last sunny Saturday of summer this weekend. It was the perfect time to drive out to Selinevej on Amager to visit the much Instagrammed wild flower field.Copenhagen Kommune is preparing the area for the creation of a city forest (Byskov) and they have planted acres of wild flowers which help prepare the soil for the forest. The very pleasant by-product of this is the wonderful wildflowers which you can pick as many as you can carry.Many of the flowers had been picked but there were still a lot to pick and they will continue flowering for a while longer. You can find the meadow at the end of Selinevej, up a gravel slope or follow the other people walking and cycling down here as there is very few other reasons to be there. This article can help you pin point the spot and also read more about the project (it is in Danish).

New English Sing and Sign classes in Copenhagen

I was recently approached by a lady called Maya who is launching an English language Sing and Sign class in Vesterbro starting on September 7th. Sing and Sign is a baby signing course. I asked her to share a little bit about Sing and Sign here as I thought it would be really interesting to a lot of readers.

Learn baby signing with Sing and Sign

Both I and my children loved Sing and Sign! Because it teaches all the signs through songs and music, it makes learning them seem easy and lots of fun. Some of the songs are written especially for the course which makes it easy to include signs which relate to your everyday life with your baby, and that’s what makes it so useful; there’s a lovely song about changing your baby’s nappy, about bath time, about going to the park etc. The classes are themed, and the signs are introduced gradually. This way, by the end of the 10 week course, you have actually covered more than 100 signs without really thinking about it. However – and this really appealed to me at times – each week also focuses on just a couple of essential signs (such as ‘eat’, ‘drink’ or ‘help’) so that even frazzled parents who haven’t slept for two days feel they can walk away from class with something.

The S&S approach is that baby signing is meant to be simple, relaxed and fun, and each class always follows the same pattern so that your baby quickly feels comfortable with the format and start to anticipate what exciting thing happens next …..perhaps the instruments, the peek-a-boo box with Jessie Cat, the props bag or the picture board.After moving back to Copenhagen last year, I met several English speaking mums who said they would love to do a baby signing class if only classes were available in English. At home we were still listening to the Sing and Sign CD, and my three-year-old daughter would from time to time ask for the DVD, and as I still found myself singing along to the songs and throwing the odd sign in, I decided to look into buying the franchise. I am now the proud owner of Sing and Sign Copenhagen and will start classes in early September 2017. I’m so excited to be able to share my passion for baby signing with other parents this way, and hope to see lots of lovely mums, dads and babies in my classes!

First class: Thursday 7th September 2017 for 10 weeks (school term time only) at Idrætsfabrikken, Valdemarsgade 12, Copenhagen V.
All classes are taught in English.
Two classes available; Thursdays at 9.45am-10.45am and 11.00am-12pm. Age group 6-14 months.
Price; 950kr including a year’s membership of Sing and Sign Online.
Lovely small classes – only 10 mums/dads/guardians plus babies per class.

For more information please visit facebook.com/singandsigncopenhagen or www.singandsign.com then choose Copenhagen under Classes near you.

City Break to Oslo

Before moving to Denmark I don’t think my city break ideas would have included cities in Scandinavia but since moving here my horizons have been expanded beyond southern Europe. This summer we decided to spend a few days in Oslo, Norway’s beautiful capital city. Once I got over the disappointment the city isn’t ringed by mountains just high hills, I fell in love with it.

We were lucky enough to be given some Oslo Passes by Visit Oslo so we could enjoy everything the city had to offer. I would heartily recommend getting these passes as they offer free public transport in the city, entry into many of the museums and sights and discounts in various shops and restaurants (read more here).

So today I thought I’d share our highlights of the trip. We are into museums so this dominated what we chose to do.

We arrived  at our Airbnb in Grunerløkka at lunch time after taking the speedy Flytoget into the city. This is a trendy area a few tram stops from the main station and a perfect place to stay with plenty of cafes and restaurants but relatively quiet. We pottered around the area for a bit and then went back to the city to look at the famous Opera House. It was really hot so we paddled in the water right in front of the Opera House. I love to see buildings designed in a way that enables people to enjoy them inside and out and the Opera House is a perfect example of this. First up on our first full day was the Viking Ship Museum on the Bygdøy peninsula (if you have an Oslo Pass you can use the ferry to the peninsula for free). This museum has some of the world’s best preserved examples of Viking ships. Housed in a former church the presentation of the two ships is breathtaking. There is an amazing film screened all day on the walls and ceilings around on of the ships. I thought this was worth the entry to the museum alone. We had a quick lunch time pitstop of Viking hotdogs here before heading onto The Fram Museum, about a twenty minute walk further along the peninsula.

I will say I am not a massive maritime history fan but I found The Fram Museum fascinating. I didn’t really know what to expect so the fact the actual ship is housed in the museum (I believe the building was build around the ship) and you can go on board and experience what life would have been on one of the ship’s famous voyages was a lovely surprise. The ticket office lady directed us first to the small cinema to watch a film about the ship but I would recommend that you head straight to the ship itself. If you are travelling with children there is a great interactive section where you can experience what it would be like to pull a laden sledge across the Antarctic and hunt for your food.

We had a little bit of time left after this museum so we went into the Norwegian Maritime Museum. I don’t think we would have bothered if we’d not had free entry. This is a museum for real maritime history buffs. In hindsight we should have gone to the Kon Tiki Museum next door instead – may be next time.

Next day we spent the whole day in Norwegian Folk Museum. This is one of the oldest and largest open air museums in the world. We loved exploring the small town area especially the apartment building with each apartment from a different era from the last 100 years or so. The old fashioned sweet shop was also a big hit. We then took a horse and carriage ride around the museum and then spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the farm yard area, watching Sami dancing, eating sweet flat breads called Lefse smothered in butter and being wowed by the wooden Gol Stave Church dating from around 1200. I think this museum was the highlight of our trip to Oslo.There is a lot to do in Oslo and as we were only there for two full days we had to narrow down what we could do. If we’d had more time I would have loved to have headed out to the Holmenkollen Ski Museum and Tower.

Practical Tips

One tip I will give you is not to bother with buying wine to drink whilst you are in Oslo. Due to strict licensing laws wines and spirits (but not beers) have to be sold from Vinmonopolet shops which are few and far between unless you are staying in the very centre of the city where there are four. Plus the price of an average bottle of wine is about three times that of the equivalent here in Denmark.

We flew to Oslo on Norwegian Air and as I booked in advance it was good value and only take less than an hour. Many people with better sea legs than us chose to use to do the Mini Cruise with DFDS and say it is a fantastic experience.

Children do have to pay on public transport even when travelling with adults.

You can use Ruterbillett app to buy transport tickets including 24 hour tickets (but not tickets for the ferry to Bygdøy peninsula) and RuterReise app to plan your journeys. There is also an app for the Oslo Pass.

I hope this has given you some inspiration to experience this beautiful city, I’m sure we will be back!

NB I was gifted three 24 Hr Oslo Passes for us to use to enjoy and experience the city. However this post is all my own opinions and thoughts.

 

Fishing in Denmark

Now I will start this by saying I am not an angler so the limit of my knowledge is shared below. My dad, however, is a keen fisherman who normally does lake fishing but this summer when he visited us he wanted to try his hand at sea fishing here. So as I did a fair bit of research for him, I thought I’d share it here. Fun fact – there are 2-300,000 pleasure anglers in Denmark!

First the law. You need to get an annual hobby fishing licence which costs 300dkk per year but if you are like my dad and over 70 years old you don’t need one. All the information about the licence including how to purchase one plus the rules about how, when and where you can fish can be found on the Landbrugsstyrelsen website. There is some information in English but as usual Google Chrome does a pretty good job of translating the Danish. There are also rules about how many of a certain fish you can land (which would be great for many hobby anglers to actually catch this many!) There is also a mobile app you can use to buy the fishing licence and also to check if the location you wish to fish in is outside a protection zone. The link to the app is here

Next where to fish. I asked for some advice on this and there were a few places that were recommended. The Sluse at Sluseholmen, Oceankaj (or Terminalen) at the very tip of Nordhavn (not sure how legal it is to fish here but there is a friendly vibe and plenty of mackerel and flatfish to be caught here. They have a private Facebook page you can join.) and along the coast south of Køge. It is possible to fish off Amager Strand between October and April, there are rules about the beach including this on boards all along the front there). This page on the By Og Havn’s website has a link to map which shows where it is permissible to fish in Copenhagen.

So where do you get your gear in Copenhagen? There are a few pretty good fishing tackle shops in the city and they are run by helpful and very knowledgeable people. I can recommend Jagt Fiskeri Magasinet close to Nørreport Station. Thor who works there took the time to write me a long email with tons of advice for my dad. It is a very well stocked shop. There is also Hunters House in Frederiksberg which gets good reviews, although we didn’t go to this place. Finally there is a tiny shop, Billigt Fiskegrej on Amagerbrogade, which also bizarrely sells X box games and Fidgetspinners, but my dad was very impressed with it and the prices were lower than he expected. The chap in here was also super friendly and helpful. There is also a reasonable selection of fishing basics in Bilka at Fields and on their website.

So happy fishing!