If you’ve ever been to Copenhagen you’ll know what an incredible city it is. The Danish have such a minimal approach to everything, lifestyle, food and design. In fact the Danish are renowned for their design and are home to some of the biggest names in the interiors world, providing us with timeless iconic pieces from the likes of Hans Wegner, Jens Risom and Verner Panton. Before going to Copenhagen we did our research to make sure we utilised our time efficiently from a design point of view. We were sure to book a few restaurants and map out a route that meant we would intersect with interesting and inspirational interiors along the way whilst also giving us the flexibility to stumble on the ones that didn’t pop up on the first few pages of our google search…(okay…just the first). Luckily for you we’re prepared to divulge the information that google won’t and give you an insight into cool places to visit, shop and eat, so enjoy sharing our experience of 48 hours in Copenhagen.
Our first venture was to further broaden our knowledge of Danish design. So we took a trip to the not so local DK3 factory to see one of our favourite suppliers at work. We arrived at the factory after a lovely seaside lunch to a small, but impressive workshop. Not the usual sparkly, metal jungle you’re used to seeing these days. Instead crafters and skilled professionals at work, utilising god’s greatest gift…their own hands. Cutting, shaping, sculpting and creating each individual piece as per the order of the client, scribbled out, on a small piece of paper, of course. The tangibility and realness of it all reminded us of how far removed you can be from an entire process from conception to completion and it was refreshing to see that behind the scenes are old school methods and real people. It is obvious that every employee is a dedicated individual to the ethos of the company, committed to providing the highest finish and standard they can.
Walking through the workshop, we found out more information about the history behind the designs, how they carry the brands ethos and the legacy that each unique piece brings in to the 21st century. The Tree Top table designed by DK3’s founder, Jacob Pledjrup is remarkable from a design perspective, formed of one giant slice from a tree it creates a stunningly seamless piece. DK3’s most notorious piece, the ‘Royal System’ carries a legacy of the world’s first wall- mounted shelving system from the 1948 furniture designer Poul Cadovius. Gaining rights to such a momentous design we’re sure weighed a heavy responsibility on Jacob’s shoulders. A risk that has ultimately bolted DK3 into the forefront of the design world and paid proud tribute to Cadovius. We couldn’t help but fall more and more in love with DK3 as every minute passed.
Our stay at Alexandra Hotel in the city centre was an experience we were not fully prepared for! Filled with carefully curated Danish Retro design, the hotel’s 100-year-old walls are dressed in modern Danish art and staying in any of unique rooms is almost like immersing yourself in a 60’s design classics museum or knocking your head and waking up in a time when your grandma rocked a perm and coloured tights. A surreal experience to say the least, each room furnished to recognise an iconic Danish designer provided an insight into just how influential their designs were and still are to this very day. Not to mention that the hotel also implemented DK3 furniture – a sure way to win us over and remind us that iconic design and timeless design goes hand in hand. The relaxed atmosphere was appreciated in the middle of the busy city centre, providing 60’s styled chill zones and most importantly mentioning… an honesty bar. It reignited our passion for 60’s design and we were able to take away inspiration to bring home to our clients in London.
Manon Les Suites
If hotel Alexandra isn’t for you, then we definitely suggest staying at this insane boutique hotel also located in the city centre (about a 5 minute walk from Hotel Alexandra). Even if you don’t stay, then you can freely pop in to take a look at the breathtaking interiors, grab a drink by the pool or head to the terrace bar for a cocktail and some lunch! The hotel is called Manon Les Suites and is discretely hidden down a main road into central Copenhagen. You would have no idea that this incredible place exists let alone that it holds a hotel compromised of a number of rooms that centre around this insane lounge & pool area. With fresh smoothies and alcoholic drinks on tap complimented by a selection of snacks and vibey music there’s no way better to spend a late afternoon. Either that or head to the roof bar and terrace when the sun is out for an escape from the busy city.
Dinner was a spectacular treat, we had already been pre-warned that the Danish food was expected to be as minimal and interesting as their design and we were not dissapointed. With a fresh starter of raw vegetables in a tagine, which came both as a surprise and for free alongside an order of their delicious homemade gin & tonic (which bears absolutely no resemblance to a gin & tonic) we were set.
All the excitement of the day and the 5am start was taking it’s toll but the elegant and whimsical interiors were a perfect end to the day. A warm and inviting ambience was created by the soft woods, extensive selection of candle lights and the charming green house filled with fresh hanging plants.Presented with a menu of fresh and healthy options we ordered the fresh grilled beef tenderloin with smoked marrow and tarragon sauce and the fried pork breast with kale and apple salad to share. The food was exceptional and was presented beautifully. So much so that we couldn’t help ourselves but to order dessert opting for the delectable strawberry sorbet with buttermilk & vanilla cream, verbena & caramelized white chocolate.
We also visited Pilestraed which is the ‘cooler’ street in Copenhagen and will save you aimlessly walking around the same shops we have riddled in the streets London H&M, Zara etc etc. Instead this street compiles of a collective of individual and unique Danish shops, interiors, clothing and accessories you won’t find elsewhere. A few streets adjacent you will find some of the bigger names in design, Gubi & Hay were one’s we decided to pay a visit to! Gubi is without a doubt a good place to shop for interiors, their style is muted, iconic and oozes with elegance, but in a cool way. Gubi chair’s are everywhere and we particularly enjoyed this Japanese-esque fabric we spotted in the showroom!
Overall Copenhagen was a massive success and we can’t wait to share everything with you. If you visit any of the places we’ve recommend let us know in the comments below!