Clunk, clunk, hic. Hic, clunk, clunk. Undeniably the best way to see Copenhagen is by bike, but whether it was the most sensible way on a caviar and champagne safari was proving questionable. Hic!
The accidentally-trendy, vintage-looking bike the hotel had lent me free of charge was in need of a little TLC, or at least some oil. In London a less than perfect bike would have worried me but it seemed that in Copenhagen this was the norm. This compact, water-lined city has bicycle highways, 2 lanes for 2 wheeled traffic on either side of the road – and their own traffic lights. Road traffic and pedestrians are aware and courteous of the riders, perhaps because they too understood what it is like to ride in the city, they probably commuted to work on 2 wheels that morning. With this level of respect on the roads I decided a bit of clunking was nothing to worry about. The champagne and aquavit consumption however…
We were on a lumpfish roe safari, an event organised as part of the Copenhagen Wondercool festival. Wondercool is a fairly new event for the city, this year’s was only the second of its kind. It involves a snippet of all the lifestyle events Copenhagen hosts throughout the year, amalgamated into an event to attract tourists to Copenhagen despite the cool climate in the winter. Last weekend I sampled the Wondercool version of Copenhagen Cooking, as well as music, fashion and architecture events. The roe safari begun with a champagne reception in menswear shop Herrernes Magasin, here we were handed out the route our team would take on bikes around the city. At four different restaurants around town freshly prepared dishes of the Scandinavian caviar were waiting for us.
After a wobbly, clunky ride we pulled up at Orangeriet – a stunning, white summer house in the King’s Garden. A caviar and avocado concoction was waiting for us, along with some well selected Rose wine. I would have been content to wind down here for the afternoon but another restaurant was waiting. On we rode to the blustery waterside where historical Lumskebugten had prepared their roe with sour cream and blinis. The chef was quite insistent we washed down the food with aquavit but after the first sip blew my head off I palmed the rest off onto someone else! Luckily the next stop at Gronbech & Churchill was just across the road and they had opted to serve iced tea with their roe and rye bread dish, very wise considered the way we stumbled in. The last stop was back in the centre of town, amongst designer boutiques and cosy looking cafes. Restaurant L’Alsace served even more delicious roe with even more wine and that was when the hiccups set in. Even with a tangy lemon twist and freshly baked bread it was a bit challenging to finish the roe in our fourth dish of the afternoon. I think I may have consumed a years worth of fish eggs in one day, but it sure was a novel and tasty introduction to Copenhagen.
That night we went to a nightclub in a greenhouse. The Botanical Gardens were holding a Wondercool electro musical extravaganza amongst the leafy conservatory. It was a little unusual to begin with, not least because of the hum emanating from the sound system which was said to be representing the the sound of the green inhabitants. The white noise was soon replaced by the band who played a mixture of pipes,a keyboard and drums. A make shift bar was set up to sell fruity cocktails at reasonable prices and clutching my beverage (complete with cocktail umbrella) we scrambled up the winding staircase to the conservatory viewing platform. Here in the balmy, semi-darkness you could feel the full force of the band’s beat in this quirky, distinctive venue. It was certainly the warmest cool thing I’ve ever done!
I attended the Wondercool festivities upon invitation from Wonderful Copenhagen. All opinions (and hiccups) are my own. For more details on Copenhagen’s cool events visit www.visitcopenhagen.com/events.