a wet and cold half day tour in copenhagen

… with and royal smushis, palace and porcelain.

Become head over or heals when my Scottish friend, Sandara and her daughter, Kimmi was coming to Copenhagen for a long weekend. A chance to spend some time with them in one of the nicest cities in the world. 

The weather wasn’t on our side, the forecast wasn’t great and just as it promised did it start raining after 2pm. And rain during winter months is not the most pleasant to be out and about in, especially not in Copenhagen. 

Had quite an early start, had to take the bus already 9.25am. It was a lovely mild morning in Landskrona. Had to refill my travel card and of course when I had forgotten at home, but the young man at the newsagent gave me a new card for free and refilled. It cost me 320SEK/€31/£27/$35 for a 24hrs travel pass for Copenhagen, for that I can go by train from Landskrona return and travel so much as public transport so much I need/want in Copenhagen. Brilliant offer.

Also had to visit the post office, that is really the supermarket next to the station. Had plenty time left over for Oscar and me to play around at the station before my train, 10.25 departure.

At Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup I change to Metro M2 (yellow) and I had time for a cappuccino and an almond croissant at Pret in the arrival hall before.

We had decided to meet at Nørreport Metro and from there we were making our way to my favourite spot, the Royal Smushi Cafe for lunch. The best way to start an afternoon tour in Copenhagen. A well-hidden gem where I been coming for about nearly 6 years now. Very popular with the local and some tourist are finding their way there. Hidden in small courtyard between The Royal Copenhagen Porcelain and George Jensen shops on Strøget, one of the worlds longest pedestrian streets and also one of the oldest, 1,1 km/0.75 miles long.

Before lunch, the girls want to visit the Royal Copenhagen flagship store just next door to the cafe. I dare to say it’s the most expensive and most delicate porcelain in the world, sorry Wedgewood, Royal Dalton and Villeroy & Boch. Handpainted porcelain since 1775 and with a passion for blue.

Even their modern porcelain mainly has a blue pattern. In their Danina room, they have magnificent pieces on show from all the years of hand painting and for some the price on some pieces I could buy me a house.

Their most famous pattern is “Blå Måsen” (Blue Seagull), which they don’t produce anymore. They only had one piece on display, a big terrain but no price tag!!!

©Auctionet

The Royal Smushi Cafe is the place I drag all my foreign visiting friends to when we are in Copenhagen, it’s a MUST! On our way to the cafe I tried to introduce the best cake in the world to the girls, but when we came to the bakery that makes them, they informed me that they are only in season.

I wonder when it is the season for the kartoffelkage (potato cake)???!!! I became really upset by that information. They were always in the season the year around when I lived in Denmark. Couldn’t believe it. 

A smushi is a made to order mini upmarket Smørrebrød with a modern twist. Smørrebrød is also a MUST when you visit Denmark, their famous open sandwiches.

“Smørrebrød; originally smør og brød, (“butter and bread”) usually consists of a piece of buttered rye bread (rugbrød), a dense, dark brown bread, topped with commercial or homemade cold cuts, pieces of meat or fish, cheese or spreads, and garnishes. There is hundreds of combinations and varieties of smørrebrød are available.” (text: wikipedia)

They are truly a piece of art … plus they are absolutely delicious. When I started my journey as a chef … I started off in Copenhagen in 1968 and got my “degree” in Smørrebrød and that meant I could put  Smørrebrødjungfru (which literally means “open sandwich virgin”) to my CV. It toke me 2 years to become a Smørrebrødjungfru. but it can take up to 4 years all depending on where and how you do your apprenticeship.

The smushis where excellent and the hot apple juice with ginger very tasty and served in Royal Copenhagen cup (Sandras and mine were chipped – NO GOOD!!!!).

After my first visit, I made a post here on my blog: “kartoffelkage”, to be or not to be???!!!!!!!  and I sent the link to the cafe and the owner told me to get in touch when I visited the next time, but I never had … but this time I went up to the lady and introduced me.

She remembered my article and my blog. As an appreciation, she gave us all 3 one of their speciality cakes, a lemon meringue cake. That we all enjoyed while walking in the rain through Nyhavn. 

After lunch, we made our way to Nyhavn which is a 17th-century waterfront, canal and entertainment district in Copenhagen, Denmark. Stretching from Kongens Nytorv to the harbour front just south of the Royal Playhouse, it is lined by brightly coloured 17th and early 18th century townhouses and bars, cafes and restaurants. And as a tour leader, I should have to know the direction, been there so often … of course, I went the wrong direction so we walked 1km in the chilling rain too long because of that.

At the Nytorv I was back on track again and the Nyhavn is just around the corner. A very busy area even with the rain and there was even a couple of brave that was going to eat and drink al fresco under the umbrellas. As we just arrived to Nyhavn I got a phone call … of my best friends, Paula … has passed away. It was truly a shock for my system and it didn’t really sink in until I was ready for bed, 7 hours later.

We walk through the picturesque Nyhavn down to the Playhouse on our way to the Royal Palace, Amalienborg and the opposite side of the canal is the Copenhagen Opera House, that is one of the most expensive opera houses ever built with construction costs well over US$500 million/€ 437 million /£383 million/4,5 billion SEK. The foyer The building was designed by architect Henning Larsen in close and often problematic collaboration with Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation.  When they planned to build the opera house Mr A.P Møller said he wanted it finished in 3 years, the construction company said it was impossible to get in ready in 3 years. Than Mr Møller said; just give me the price!!!! And the opera house was finished in 3 years. The work started in 2001, finished 2003 and inaugurated 2005.

I have never been inside, but they say its absolutely spectacular and they hold tours that have to be booked online Copenhagen Opera House.  On my bucket list!!!

The Amalienborg Palace is the home of the Danish royal family. It consists of four identical classical palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard in the centre of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg’s founder, King Frederick V.

Amalienborg was originally built for four noble families; however, when Christiansborg Palace burned on 26 February 1794, the royal family bought the palaces and moved in. Over the years various kings and their families have resided in the four different palaces. Amalienborg is guarded day and night by Royal Life Guards (Den Kongelige Livgarde). Their full dress uniform is fairly similar to that of the Foot Guard regiments of The British Army.

The guard march from Rosenborg Castle at 11.30 am daily through the streets of Copenhagen and execute the changing of the guard in front of Amalienborg at noon, which we miss completely.  In addition, post replacement is conducted every two hours and we that felt sorry for the guards standing in that cold weather, two hours ???? Not to bad for them.

What is amazing with Amalienborg Place is that you walk everywhere around the buildings and drive over the square. 

When the monarch is in residence, the King’s Guard (Kongevagt) also march alongside the changing of the guard at noon.

After the wet visit to the palace, we had our way to the closest metro station for me, Kongens Nytorv  … where department store Magasin du Nord is located, in the most beautiful building, and on the short walk, we passed the Charlottenborg Art museum and the Royal Theater.The department store once was a hotel, they opened first a shop in the hotel 1870 and it 1889 they took over the whole hotel, Hotel du Nord.

We decided to finish our time together with a cup of coffee there. Magasin du Nord has 7 stores in Denmark, founded in 1868.

We said goodbye … after the coffee, my feet wanted to go home. It was around 6pm. And I was home in my apartment 8mp, then the girls were enjoying mussels in Copenhagen and I went for a big mug of coffee and toast with Philadelphia cheese and rose hip jam (not home-made).

It was a wonderful wet and windy afternoon … with a lot of laughter, great food, walking, togetherness and friendship.

Welcome back anytime, Sandra and Kimmi. I hope it will when it is the season for the kartoffelkage ???!!!!

“Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen
Friendly old girl of a town
‘Neath her tavern light
On this merry night
Let us clink and drink one down
To wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen”
Danny Kaye

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