Up until recently, I had never heard of the phrase “Hygge”. Pronounced “Hooga” this Danish phrase means cosiness or comfort or little pleasures. It is that warm blanket in the winter, the good book, the laugh with friends or any of life’s simple pleasures. On my recent trip to Copenhagen I began to learn more about this concept and how Hygge can help get Danish people through the cold harsh winter.
I fell in love with the simplicity of Danish life in a very short period of time. How bland mundane items can be made into a piece of art, the interesting and unfussy interior design and how cycling is the transport of choice. I loved the laid back coffee shops and honestly and most importantly, the unbelievable food.
If Hygge means comfort then Hygge food is where it’s at. Whether I like to admit it or not, eating is a huge part of my travel. The food in Copenhagen, while very pricey, was top notch. We did not have one bad meal the whole time we were there. Standards are high and attention to detail is key.
On our first day we ventured to find some street food. Copenhagen Street food at Papoiren, or Paper island is one of the coolest, hippest areas to grab a bite in Copenhagen. Situated in a old warehouse, we could hardly believe that it was packed full of culinary delights.
A World of flavours meets you inside from India, Spain, Brazil, China, Italy and anywhere else you can think of. Now I was feeling pretty healthy on this occasion and traveling with my best friend who is vegan, so having scouted around the stalls, I eventually opted for a vegan burger from the Protein Kitchen.
Of course I needed something to wash it down with so we found a vast array of Mojitos and sampled both a Raspberry and a Pineapple Mojito. We set ourselves up outside along the giant deck chairs and old freight containers that seemed effortlessly shabby chic and waved at cruise tours passing.
All the hipster food
The next day we decided rise a step above street food and went to the uber-cool Union Kitchen close to the Amalienborg Palace. Complete with tiny circular tables, so small that a couple beside us needed two, this place felt polished and purposeful in its design.
Regardless, the Salmon balls and avocado salad was probably my favourite meal. Again going for a healthy option, I undid my good work by chasing it down with a sharp tequila based cocktail!
Your Granny’s Kitchen
On another evening we found the quirky little café and diner Kallaset. I had read about this place on a few other blogs and so it came well recommended. Kallaset is a retro space, made to feel like your granny’s house and it almost doubles as an antique museum, with record players and old furniture and ornaments.
The menu was straight out of an ancient cook book too. We sat at the “bar” having some drinks and eventually ordered a few snacks in the form of hummus and pesto. We spent far longer than intended in this odd little restaurant, but perhaps we were beginning to feel the Hygge!