Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A long weekend in Copenhagen

Copenhagen was voted the world's most liveable city in 2014 and once you're there it's easy to see why. Even the most 'conservative' of voters in our travelling party came away from the trip thinking a 55% tax rate could be worth it if your city was as beautiful, clean and just downright liveable as Copenhagen is.

We spent 3 nights, four days over Easter in this beautiful city with almost 20 pals from London spread amongst 4 AirBnB apartments. Below are a few highlights I have compiled for anyone jetting off there soon.




Accommodation
  • We stayed in an AirBnB apartment opposite Frederiksberg metro. 
  • The apartment was amazing and I would highly recommend it to anyone. It sleeps 7 and looks like it is straight of a pinterest board. No idea how a family with two children can live in such a cool & immaculately decorated house, but we felt equally as cool staying there. Check it out here
  • In terms of location, anywhere near a metro is great. 





Bikes
  • Copenhagen is very cycle friendly with cycle lanes throughout and very flat. Hiring a bike is a great way to get around.
  • Before you go google some bike hire places near your accommodation to make hiring easy & check opening hours.
  • I can't recall to the £ how much we paid for bikes, but I think around £12 - £15 for a day. If I went back I would hire one for the entire duration of my stay though.




Metro
  • We bought a 72 hour pass for transport (train & bus) which we definitely got our use out of. If the weather is good and you're hiring a bike for the duration this may not be a good value option though.

Food

Overall the food in Copenhagen was amazing, get excited.
  • Torvehallerne Market is a must visit (if not multiple visit) for everyone. There is a big selection of food on offer including mouth watering smorrebrod, bahn mi, tacos, wood-fired pizza, a delicious cheese shop (get the creamy blue - I voted this one better than Kikorangi Blue from NZ which is a big call for any blue cheese lover). There's heaps of outdoor seating and a couple of bars so it's great for a lunchtime pitstop.
  • We had brunch at a cafe called Granola one morning which was authentically Danish. We ordered the granola and would only recommend doing so if you're ordering an additional dish as the portion was child size.
  • Copenhagen Street Food Market - the food wasn't as good as Torvehallerne, but there was a bar & good music and it's right on the water. Great spot in the sunshine also.
  • Coffee - We had some fantastic coffee from both: The Coffee Collective & another cafe in Torvehallerne market. It's expensive at around 400KN but well worth it.
  • Our apartment was opposite a bagel shop and there seemed to be a lot dotted around the city. We had some delicious filled ones from the shop near our house.

Other recommended places we didn't get to but heard great things about:
  • Istid - ice cream parlour where you select your flavour & they make the ice cream in front of you using dry ice. 
  • Mother - Pizza restaurant in the meatpacking district
  • Gorilla - also in the meatpacking district
  • Mirabelle Cafe - in Norrebro, the sticky cardamon bun was recommended 
  • Madklubben & Gran Torino
  • Grod - Porridge Cafe 

Writing these out has made me seriously want to go back!


Smorrebrod at Torvehallerne




Drinking


  • Although touristy, a beer in the sun in Nyhavn is just delightful.
  • Mikkeller & Friends - microbrewery
  • Jolene - a fairly grimy bar in Vesterbro - the meat packing district, industrial feel - we had a fun night out here. There are a few bars & restaurants in the area it is in so definitely worth checking out.




Shopping
  • There are so many design and homeware stores to explore and fall in love with. Although we didn't get to visit it, the Hay design store in the centre of Copenhagen is apparently fantastic.
  • There was a huge mall opposite our apartment in Fredriksberg but it was closed all Easter weekend. To be honest I don't think there were any shops we don't have in London in there so I would focus on the small boutiques dotted around.
  • The Acne Outlet store had some great bargains & is definitely worth a visit. Address is: Elmegade 21, 2200 KĂžbenhavn N, Denmark




Day trip to Louisiana Gallery

  • One of the highlights of our visit was a day trip we took out to Louisiana.
  • You'll need a different train ticket than your metro pass as this is 30min out of town. We bought our tickets & departed from Norreport station which is near Torvehallerne Market.
  • The exhibitions were amazing, and the gallery sits on a cliff overlooking a beach so a stunning outlook.
  • Smorrebrod from the cafe were delicious & the gift shop has a lot of great posters for sale.
  • We also got free posters at one of the exhibitions we visited there so keep your eyes peeled!
  • Trip Advisor page here












Canal Tour


  • It was a great way to see the city from a different perspective. 
  • The Netto tour is half the price of the standard boats.
  • You can catch this one in Nyhavn and the jetty is only 50m or so away from the nicely branded, expensive boat tour place. 
  • Make sure you get a seat on the edge of the boat (window seat) for better viewing!
  • The Little Mermaid statue is one of the tour drive-bys - definitely underwhelming, it's tiny! I could barely see it!

Christiania 
  • This is a hippy / free-town within central Copenhagen.
  • We went on a sunny afternoon and had beers from Nemoland on a bank overlooking a lake - just delightful.
  • Weed is available to purchase via masked men in the area. Although this is still technically illegal, the police turn a blind eye to this area.
  • Some people told us not to go to this area at night as it was dangerous. There were a few odd people about but overall a friendly, chilled vibe.
  • We didn't explore the whole of Christiania - but the apartment we stayed in had a book which included photographs of some of the amazing houses there. If I went back a walk into the depths of the area would definitely be on the cards. 
  • You can do walking tours of the area, but it pays to plan and book ahead.






Other 
  • A walk through Assistens Kirkegarden is nice on a sunny day 
  • Dome of Visions - a glass / glass like dome building on the water front which we stopped off at on our bikes one day. Inside there was a bondage ritual going on as part of an art performance. Definitely worth stopping and and investigating.
  • This guide has some great suggestions too - click here

Enjoy & feel free to add any additional recommendations in the comments.






Saturday, May 9, 2015

Glastonbury Packing List

With the best weekend of your life fast approaching, I have put together a wee packing list to help you all with your organisation of the big event.

Please note this is not an exhaustive list where I have indicated the number of t-shirts required, rather a few items you may have otherwise forgotten.

Feel free to add any other items I may have forgotten in the comments.



Which bag to take?
  • One you can put on your back. The ground might not be muddy on your way in but it most definitely will be on your way out.

Tent
  • If you’re taking a tent it’s best to go for a small one to fit into gaps rather than trying to fit an 8 person tent somewhere.
  • Read the reviews before you purchase to ensure it's 100% waterproof.
  • When choosing a tent location, it is very important to consider:
  • Being on a hill (high) so that in case of flooding / mud you are relatively safe.
  • The paths that are mapped out expand over the weekend and turn into giant mud slides. One festival goer grabbed our tent at one point whilst screaming as she slid down the hill. Be as far into the non path area as possible. Example below.
  • Ensure you have a wee opening which is sheltered and you can leave your gumboots etc. in and take them off before getting into the tent.



Sleeping
  • Self-inflatable airbed (in-built pump)
  • Sleeping bag, it gets quite chilly at night
  • Sleeping bag liner if you have one
  • Travel pillow or small pillow you can fit into your bag



General
  • Rubbish sacks for putting dirty clothes and shoes/gumboots in
  • Some cash – there are ATMs on site but from memory there was big queues and a charge for withdrawals.
  • Phones – there was barely reception in 2014, but EE ran a service where you could buy a battery pack (about £20) and then swap it for a fully charged one whenever you ran out.
  • Snaplock bag for phone in case of heavy rain
  • Torch / Head torch for rummaging through your tent in the dark 
  • You'll receive a lanyard with a programme and lineup in it when you arrive.
  • Glastonbury has so many shops selling everything so if you do end up forgetting something, chances are you can buy it there.
  • Flags are a great way to find your friends. Meeting front left speaker is no longer possible when you have over 100,000 people to navigate through. These can also be bought on site.



Clothing
  • Waterproof raincoat – like a really waterproof one.
  • Gumboots
  • Jandals
  • Knee high socks to stop gumboots rubbing on legs, you can also buy these on site.
  • Thin merino jumper is a good call to tie around waist and pop on when cold.
  • Sunglasses & sunglasses case
  • Earplugs & eye mask
  • PJs for being clean in your sleeping bag at night.



Toiletries
  • Face wipes
  • Baby wipes – if you’re in the general camping area a shower is a highly unlikely event. Your legs will be covered in mud and a pack of these is essential.
  • Towel
  • Toilet paper or even better mini packs of tissues to carry in pocket for use in the portaloos. There is no toilet paper in them, they're open-air.
  • Panadol & Nurofen
  • Berrocca
  • Compact mirror
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Plasters
  • Tooth brush & toothpaste




Food & Alcohol
  • You’re allowed to bring in alcohol but it must be in plastic bottles.
  • We didn’t find any ice in 2014 so be prepared for some warm drinks.
  • Plastic cups, utensil for mixing.
  • My favourite warm alcoholic beverage was Vodka & Cranberry. The Pims cocktail didn’t go down well at its 25 degree temperature. Something to consider when choosing spirits for the weekend.
  • There are bars throughout the festival selling cold beverages too.
  • Snacks are great to have on hand – nuts, lollies & chocolate.
  • Last year I made the mistake of taking Belvita breakfast biscuits. I can assure you there's nothing you want less than a dry biscuit when you wake up there. Nor any day to be fair.
  • Couple of bottles of coconut water.
  • The food stalls at Glastonbury were absolutely amazing last year and made every meal choice quite an ordeal.
  • Top pick in 2014 went to Buddha Bowls – vegetarian massaman curry with brown rice, halloumi on top and steamed greens. Just what you need after a night that ended at 7am.
  • Water taps are widely available throughout for water bottle top ups.



http://wholefoodheaven.co.uk/buddha-bowl-van/