A small guide to Copenhagen

A small guide to Copenhagen

Tramonto Rooftop at the top of Hotel Ottilia
Tramonto Rooftop at the top of Hotel Ottilia (photo credit: Jonathan Vivier).

I started the new decade with a long weekend trip to Copenhagen. Having heard nothing but positive talk about the city, I was ready to go and explore the Scandinavian dream for myself.

Thanks to Ryanair’s (LON:RYA) Black Friday sale, me and my partner snapped up flights for a ridiculously cheap £14 return. We found an equally good deal on our hotel, securing roughly 50% off in yet another Black Friday sale.

This brings me onto my first point – when to book. Like many places in Scandinavia, Copenhagen is a stunning little winter getaway. Granted day light is limited, but the city is the perfect place to wrap up warm and explore in the cold wintery months.

Visiting during the second week of January was a great thing to look forward to in the New Year after the Christmas festivities. Regardless of whether you’re visiting Copenhagen or not, I recommend you take advantage of Black Friday travel sales and book just a few months ahead for some fantastic deals on flights and hotels.

Where to stay:

We stayed in Hotel Ottilia; a quirky 4-star hotel located in the vibrant Carlsberg City District. The hotel is surrounded by quirky cafés and urban restaurants, and it is just a metro ride away from the touristy city centre.

Hotel Ottilia is part of a chain of luxury boutique hotels named Brøchner Hotels. These hotels are scattered around Copenhagen and provide both quality and comfort. My favourite feature of these hotels was wine hour! Between 17.00-18.00 every day guests can have a few glasses of wine on the house. Red, white or port wine, take your pick! The best part? You don’t have to be at your specific hotel for the wine hour; you can pop into any one of the Brøchner Hotels.

Where to eat:

Our stay in Copenhagen was only short, but two restaurants stood out in particular. The first of these was recommended to us by reception, as we were after typical Danish cuisine. We were recommended to try Carl’s Beer & Eatery, which was just a stone’s throw from our hotel. The restaurant offers a social dining concept where you pick and share several plates between you. We went for the veal shoulder braised in dark beer, creamy pearl barley with mushrooms and walnuts and potatoes caramelised in cream. The food was exquisite and reasonably priced; I highly recommend this restaurant for an understated yet elegant dining experience.

The second which stood out is a rooftop restaurant located on the top of Hotel Ottilia; Tramonto Rooftop. The restaurant is designed as a combination of industrial and classical modernism, boasting 360° views over Copenhagen and Carlsberg. Guests can roam along the outdoor terrace and enjoy Italian cuisine, all in a chic and sophisticated atmosphere.

As a starter I enjoyed a dish made up of fried scallops, cream of celeriac, salmon roe, bottarga and Jerusalem artichoke chips, whilst my partner had the burrata with cauliflower cream, malt crumble and chervil oil. Next, we ordered the homemade pappardelle pasta in a beef tenderloin sauce with truffle flakes and porcini. Being Italian myself, I can confidently say that this was one of the best pasta dishes I have ever eaten. Often, cooking with truffle runs the risk of overpowering the rest of the flavours, but this plate of pasta used the perfect amount, complementing every aspect of the dish. We finished with a small dessert made of hazelnuts, salted caramel and 70% valrhona guanaja chocolate cream. The evening was enjoyed alongside a bottle of red wine, and it was perhaps one of the best dining experiences I have ever had.

Like most cities, I suggest avoiding touristy restaurants in the centre. These are often very overpriced and do not offer the best quality food. The two restaurants I have mentioned are both located outside of the centre and were extremely delightful experiences. If you are after more relaxed dining options, I recommend one of Copenhagen’s food markets. There are a few dotted around the city and they offer a wide range of different street food. We often popped into these food markets for lunch as they were very convenient and offered food on the go. The Tivoli Food Hall was my favourite and, if you visit, I recommend trying a traditional Scandinavian open sandwich.

Please note that I have not been paid to write about any of the companies mentioned above, nor were any of these experiences “gifted” to me.