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City guide: Copenhagen

Mixologist Gromit Eduardsen prepares a Copenhagen cocktail

Mixologist Gromit Eduardsen prepares a Copenhagen cocktail

  • by CLAIRE HAY
 

COPENHAGEN is well known for world-class design but it is the city’s sense of style that is making it an emerging global fashion centre.

Copenhagen Fashion Week comes to town twice a year (February 1 to 5 and August 8 to 12) and attracts thousands of the stylish and the styled. The City Hall is the official show space, with large screens to broadcast live designer shows and backstage interviews. You can read all about the goings on in the fashion week newspaper, Dansk Daily.

Running concurrently is the Copenhagen Fashion Festival, an opportunity for everyone to get in on the fun with trend shows, exhibitions, designer clearance sales and, of course, plenty of parties. Fashion addicts with a habit to feed should head to Stroget, the longest pedestrianised street in the world, home to ubiquitous international brands such as Karen Millen, H&M and Gap, big hitters such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs, as well as popular department store Illum. Wander off the main drag and that’s where you’ll find the cool independent Danish stores.

ST PLACE FOR A FASHION FEED

EVERY fashionista worth their salt loves a little bit of sushi. The fact that you can swim in the city’s inner harbour tells you how good the water quality is around these parts, and in turn how good the seafood from Scandinavian waters is. Japanese restaurant, Bento (www.uki.dk) is in Vesterbro and is run by mother and son team, Hiroko and Daisuke Uki. Expect an authentic mix of sushi, nigiri and maki rolls, plus plenty of other tasty Japanese dishes, including teriyaki chicken, makunouchi bento and miso shiru. Like the food, the restaurant is small so book in advance.

BEST VINTAGE GEAR

COPENHAGEN is one of the most environmentally-conscious cities in the world - thirty-six per cent of citizens cycle to work – and they are just as savvy when it comes to their fashion. There are some great vintage and second-hand boutiques and Time's Up (www.timesupshop.com), in Krystalgade, is one of the best. Not only does it have the city’s largest vintage shoe collection, it has rails full of gear from every decade from the recent past. Whether it’s a 1970s Missoni sweater, a Christian Dior woollen dress, some 1980s Chanel clip-on earrings or some Prada stilettos, take your pick. There are also rare non-designer pieces too. For more vintage finds head to Carmen and Fantasio in Larsbjørnssstræde, Fisk in Sankt Peders Stræde and FN92 (www.fn92shop.com).

BEST COCKTAILS

THE city is probably best known for its beers, Carlsberg and Tuborg, but there’s been something of cocktail culture boom recently, helped along nicely by 1105 (www.1105.dk), whose cool lounge bar vibe and slickly-dressed bartenders saw it feature on Condé Nast Travellers hot spot night list 2010. Take a seat at the bar and ask for a Copenhagen, the creation of the bar’s British mixologist, Gromit Eduardsen. Containing Cherry Herring liqueur, Bols Genever, lime juice, sugar syrup and a dash of Angostura Bitter, it was the winning entry in a 2009 competition to find the city’s cocktail. If it doesn’t float your boat there are plenty more to choose from, with a mix of classic and well as modern cocktails to tempt you.

BEST HOTEL/HANGOUT

WANT to hang out with the beautiful people? The First Hotel Petri (www.sktpetri.dk) is a popular spot during Fashion Week. Thanks to its classic Scandinavian minimalist design and chic furnishings, the five-star hotel is the only Danish hotel in the Design Hotels Group. The 1928 Functionalist building has 268 rooms, as well as a cocktail lounge and a brasserie. During the fortnight this is where it’s at with fabulous designer parties and if you’re a guest at the hotel you’re often invited to the private parties! Located in the heart of the Latin Quarter, it’s the perfect base for shopping too with Time’s Up vintage designs and hip Danish designer Henrik Vibskov just up the road.

BEST SHOPS FOR KNITWEAR

FANS of The Killing will be disappointed to learn that Gudrun & Gudrun (the Faroese brand responsible for Sarah Lund’s famous black and white jumper) don't have a store in Copenhagen, however, there are plenty of other yarn stores plying their trade. Members of the Kaffeslabberas knitting club (www.kaffeslabberas.com), which draws on the heritage of its expert pensioner knitters have been collaborating with some of Denmark’s artists and designers to produce unique sweaters, socks and scarfs. They’ve worked with Henrik Vibskov (www.henrikvibskov.com), a Central St Martin graduate whose boutique is in Krystalgade, and menswear designer Mads Norgaard (www.madsnorgaard.dk) on Strøget. The club meet every Tuesday to knit so this isn’t conveyor belt fashion by any means.

BEST FLIGHTS

RETURN flights from Edinburgh to Copenhagen start at £130 through Norwegian (www.norwegian.com).

 

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