A (Fairly) Relaxing 48 Hours In Copenhagen

Last weekend saw us take a quick hop and a flight over to beautiful Denmark and its capital, Copenhagen. We only had a brief amount of time to spend seeing what this city has to offer, but being so close, just a short one hour and twenty minute flight away from London, we wanted to get on that plane and explore as much as we could as well as catch up with friends and make some new ones! For anyone planning a similar trip I thought I'd share some highlights in the form of my five things to do on a quick visit to Copenhagen, and some photographs to get you inspired before you travel. I hope that you enjoy.

Copenhagen Nyhavn

FIVE THINGS TO DO ON A WHISTLE-STOP TOUR OF COPENHAGEN

1. Chill Out Beside The Water

One of the most iconic sights of the city of Copenhagen has to be the brightly coloured, historical beauty that is Nyhavn (New Harbour). Here you can stroll alongside the 17th century waterfront and get your first taste of the city. Many restaurants and bars dot this canal side spot and although the tourist draw of this part of town means they will probably catch you out slightly on the price side of things, it's a stop not to miss for a sunny drink or two by the waters edge. It's also a good place to sample a traditional Danish open faced sandwich on rye bread or Smørrebrød as it's known - but more on that to come below.

We popped into a restaurant at Nyhavn for a quick and cheeky pizza before we flew home, from a restaurant called La Sirene and it was one of the freshest, tastiest pizzas I've had in recent years! Not too bad on the price front either so I'd recommend checking this place out if you're in the mood for pizza with a view.

Copenhagen Nyhavn

There are many and plentiful waterfront, canal side strolls to be taken and fresh and beautiful food to be sampled in Copenhagen. Spend a morning strolling serenely by the water, take in the sites and do your best to avoid the many cyclists! Stop somewhere along the way to nibble on something tasty and traditional. Here a notable mention must go to this tasty Smoked Salmon Smørrebrød that tickled our tastebuds at the peaceful Christianshavns Faergecafe alongside Christianshavns Canal.

Copenhagen Open Sandwich
Copenhagen Christianhavns Harbour

2. Stroll Around The City Sights

One of the most famous sites in Copenhagen has to be the bronze sculpture of The Little Mermaid seated on a rock by the waters edge alongside Langelinie Promenade. Based on the Hans Christian Anderson tragic fairytale of the same name and now over 100 years old, the sculpture itself has seen its own fair share of tragedy and mishap having been beheaded and restored twice as well as having been vandalised many further times for various reasons. She's worth popping by to see, although you will be greeted by huge crowds of tourists doing the very same thing, all trying to grab a selfie with the famed figure. Still it's a classic sight not to be missed on any first time trip to this city.

Copenhagen The Little Mermaid

Keep an eye out for many other intriguing as well as more modern sculptures as you walk around the city. One such, much newer work, is The Global Visionary or Zinc Global, seated at Nodre Toldbod. Based loosely on the famous Auguste Rodin sculpture called The Thinker this version, made out of machine parts by artist Kim Michael, is quite a sight to see and has proved controversial in Copenhagen with some locals loathing it and others loving it. So take a look for yourself and see what you think!

Oh and if you're looking for a cheeky stop to take the load off and grab a bite to eat then there's a cosy restaurant right by this sculpture called Toldboden which is worth a moment of your time - although be warned, if you miss the brunch cut off point then you'll be faced with a lay out of lots of beautiful food right before you yet not be allowed to taste it! Their fish and chips are worth a bite though so all in all not a bad stop if you have some time to while away, again by the waters edge and with a beautiful and classic Danish style interior to boot.

Copenhagen Sculpture
Toldboden Fish And Chips

You cannot fail to notice as you walk around the city, the many unusual and beautiful buildings that make up the uniqueness of the city's landscape. There are some really stunning examples of architecture both old and new dotted around Copenhagen from the more recently built Danish Opera House to many beautiful historical palaces, galleries and churches that capture the eye. Sadly we didn't have time to visit many although we took in a great few of them via the view from the top of The Round Tower (coming up below). But if architecture is your thing then this list of famous buildings in the city would be a great place to start for anyone wanting to explore this side of Copenhagen further.

Copenhagen Opera House

3. Eat, Eat And Eat Some More!

So I realise I've already mentioned food quite a lot! Well the truth is I love to eat and I love to take photos of my food so stories of my travels are usually filled with oodles of foodie photos. This post continues that theme and as well as the places I've mentioned already I wanted to focus on a few other, very notable and chomp worthy places that we stopped at in order to take in some of the best food (I personally think) that this city has to offer.

Copenhagen Host

One of the best meals that we had has to be the delectable tasting menu at Höst where a delight of contemporary Nordic food graced our palates during a lovely evening of food and wine in cosy, cool and chic surroundings. Eating here really is an event in itself that takes all evening, a way to unwind, chat, eat and drink as you are served not only a starter, main and dessert but a pre-starter, pre-main and a pre-dessert as well! All paired with well thought out wine selections making it a meal to remember. I'll let the mouthwatering photos below tickle your tastebuds and do all the talking, but I'd definitely recommend an evening here for something very unique and memorable.

Copenhagen Host
Copenhagen Host
Copenhagen Host
Copenhagen Host
Copenhagen Host

Sunday, our last day in the city, was all about the meatballs and so we turned to The Union Kitchen to get our fix of their delightful balls of the day! Beef meatballs with mash and gorgonzola sauce did the trick at fixing both hangovers and hungry belly's as did their delightful bloody marys with added bacon. The vibe here is cool and relaxed and it's a lovely spot to spend a Sunday brunching with friends, recovering from the night before. I'm reliably informed that their hangover burger is well worth a bite as well!

Copenhagen The Union Kitchen
Copenhagen The Union Kitchen
Copenhagen The Union Kitchen
The Union Kitchen Bloody Mary

Another very notable food and drink suggestion, especially good for a Friday night, goes to the stylish PS Bar and Grill. We ate here the night we arrived and the food was delicious, small plates and bigger bites all washed down with pitchers of unusual cocktail combinations. Sadly none of my photos really came out because the low lit evening vibe that kicked in shortly after we arrived didn't allow for my usual snappy shots! However this was a very cool venue full of very beautiful people and with tasty food (the tuna was amazing) and top cocktails (try a sloe gin and tonic, you won't be disappointed) making for a very cool place to begin the weekend.

PS Bar And Grill

4. Take In An Aerial View

Whenever I visit a new city I like to find somewhere high up from which to get an aerial view and understand the lay of the land. I'm not altogether that good at directions! So this always helps me get a feel for a place and gives me some bearings on which to go by. The Round Tower in Copenhagen looked likely to do just the trick so I knew it was somewhere I'd like to visit should we get the time.

Before visiting Copenhagen I read quite a few posts from fellow bloggers to get inspiration for the trip and this one from Carolin over at Style Lingua was probably the first that brought the tower to my attention. So I'm glad we found a few spare moments to make our way up the unique 209 metre spiral ramp to take a look out over the city from up at the top. The tower, dating back to the 17th century, is also one of the oldest functioning observatories in Europe and is still used today by many visiting amateur astronomers.

It proved a lovely way to take in the city landscape below, even though it's actually only 36 metres tall, so not that high by todays city tower standards, it still gives you a chance for a beautiful perspective of the red and green roofed city laying out at its feet. I'll leave you with a few photos to show you just what I mean.

Copenhagen Round Tower
Copenhagen Round Tower
Copenhagen Round Tower
Copenhagen Round Tower
Copenhagen Round Tower
Copenhagen Round Tower

5. Take A Trip To Christiania

I think it's probably fair to say that no first time trip to Copenhagen is complete without a stop at Freetown Christiania. This unique and controversial part of the city has existed since 1971 when hippies decided to set up camp amongst some old abandoned military barracks and established their own autonomous neighbourhood, with their own self rule and way of life that is completely separate to the rest of Copenhagen. Now it has around 850 residents and functions utterly independently of the Danish government. 

It hasn't been without its problems though and since 2004 has been the subject of regular police raids leading to some conflict and much discussion about the area, especially about its open cannabis trade which is illegal in Denmark but active in Christiania.

To my mind the jury is out on what I feel about such a place, though it was interesting to take a look around and the local residents welcome regular visitors. Just make sure to heed to the do's and don'ts when it comes to photography. For your own safety it is definitely best to follow the rules as clearly indicated by the many signs visible around the area when you visit. Below are just a couple of snaps I took before entering the community itself but once inside keep those phones and cameras well away.

Copenhagen Christiania
Copenhagen Graffiti

I hope you've found this beginners insight into a quick trip to Copenhagen useful, especially if you're planning a visit there yourself.

Where We Stayed: We stayed at Hotel Skt. Annae (pictured below) which was a lovely spot, very conveniently and centrally located and perfectly comfortable - although the room was very stuffy and the air-con was broken but staff were quick to fix this with a well placed and competent fan!

Copenhagen Hotel

If you're looking for further reads on the city before you go you may find these additional posts useful, as I did, when planning your trip:

Thanks for reading and happy travels!

Louise

 


Finding Happiness At Work With Samantha Clarke

WHY IS HAPPINESS AT WORK IMPORTANT AND HOW CAN WE BUILD BETTER RELATIONSHIPS AT WORK AND IN LIFE?

Earlier in the year I attended a Guardian Masterclass that saw a day full of inspiring speakers take to the stage and share with us thoughts on how to live a healthier and happier life. It was a day full of thoughtful ideas and wisdom that left many of us in the room motivated to go forth and put some of the positive tips and advice into action both at work and in our daily lives. One of the speakers was Samantha Clarke who spoke on the subject of building better relationships in work and life. Her ethos for finding happiness at work through aligning with your values, communicating better with those around you and working out what motivates and challenges you rang some definite bells with me so when she agreed to an interview for this blog I was really excited to have her pass on some of her ideas and work wise wisdom. 

Photograph: Chiron Cole www.chironcole.com

Photograph: Chiron Cole www.chironcole.com

Samantha runs her own company Samantha & where she works as a 'Happiness Consultant' guiding companies and individuals toward happier working lives. Today she shares a little about herself as well as some tips for happier work and healthier relationships ...

Hi Samantha. Please could you tell us a little about your own career to date as well as what your current role involves?

In my lifetime I've worked as a brand and strategy consultant, trend and innovation researcher, emerging markets connector, style and personal brand educator and lecturer on personal and work development. My journey has finally led me to a happy place and I want to help others be the founder of their own lives, dreams and work happiness. Samantha & was born as a result of my fascinations with travel, people, culture, relationships, the joys of flexible and remote working, crafting your own path and what it means to be ‘happy @ work’.

Through my quirky coaching, workshops and retreats I help to:

  • join the dots

  • be a catalyst for great ideas

  • support and inspire change

I can also be found delivering talks and workshops for The Guardian and Soho House as well as being a faculty lecturer at The School of Life. There I inspire changes in diverse areas like; authentic leadership, realising your potential, enhancing communication at work, building a portfolio career, presentation psychology, happiness, increasing emotional intelligence and confidence building.

Photograph: Samantha &

Photograph: Samantha &

What led you to this kind of work and why is what you do so important to you?

I’ve always found peace and felt in flow when I can see transformations take place. My natural default is to want to help people, to spread information and to springboard people into new areas or ideas.

I also know exactly what it’s like to be:

  • pulled in different directions in work

  • be held to external expectations of what my life and work should be, look and feel like

  • be plagued by self-doubt, analysis paralysis, lack of confidence, imposter syndrome

  • multi-passionate with multiple potentials and no real guidance on how to embrace it all

  • constantly trying to fit in before a time when it was cool to embrace difference and less rigid work lifestyles

  • to be disillusioned with what ‘work success’ means…. is it innovating a new product, finding that ‘one’ idea, getting millions of pounds of funding for a business and cashing out at 40, climbing the corporate ladder....

So for me it was important to meet companies and people where they are, with a level of understanding and help them sculpt the bridge that is needed to take them to where they want to go.

Photographs: Samantha & and Chiron Cole

Photographs: Samantha & and Chiron Cole

What is it that you love most about the work you do and what motivates you on a daily basis?

Helping navigate the tricky minefield that is either creating an environment that people want to work in and that company owners feel capable of delivering, to helping an individual identify what’s really right for them and making sure they feel authentic in their work.

Are there any key points that people reading this right now can consider to help them find more happiness in their own working environment?

To find more happiness in your working environment: 

  • Identify what’s authentic - take time to distil what really matters, what you need. Educate yourself or your team on your core values to make sure you are consistently embodying and aligning yourself accordingly. When things feel out of sync pay attention to it, interrogate it and hold yourself accountable to the changes that you need to make to put things right.

  • Build the right support framework around you - once you have clarity on your goals, there is no shame in reaching out and connecting to get help to take you closer to where you want to be. Either by getting a consultant into your business or investing in your creative learning or growth, perhaps on a retreat or workshop. Also look to see how you can help others, it’s a two way street.

  • Don’t be scared to challenge the status quo - without innovation your work life will become stagnant and not a true representation of the evolving individual or your company. Embrace change head on and any challenges to seek new opportunities.

  • Know your goals - map out the vision you have for your work/life. Is this path you are on taking you closer to, or away from these goals? How much progress are you making? Focus on noting down your wins and successes towards this goal as well as identifying where you might need to pivot, readdress, get creative and move through the friction and resistance that comes with change and action.
Photographs: Samantha &

Photographs: Samantha &

I suppose it might seem like an obvious question but in your opinion why is happiness at work so important for us?

We spend so much of our lives at work and it’s a shame that for many of us, it’s not a happy experience. So I feel it’s my duty to change this to help companies make sure their staff are nurtured, productive and happy and to help individuals navigate their own version of work happiness that's right for them and their lives even when it seems like an insurmountable task.

You are also an advocate of better relationship building within the work environment, and in everyday life too, can you offer any simple advice for dealing with conflict with others and how to build the foundations for a better relationship in that kind of situation?

It’s important to remember you are the constant in all your relationships. Do the work within yourself first to identify your blind spots, weaknesses and where you might be negatively affecting a relationship if you want the relationships around you to change.            

We are all trying to connect with each other for attention, affection, help in some form or another. It’s important to be mindful and notice an individual’s call for help and respond to them in the right way. Conflict and disagreements arise when we choose to reject or ignore a call for connection. It makes people feel unwanted, hurt, offended and less likely to look to you for support in the future. It’s important to see the whole person, be consistently present in the moment and appreciate each other even when we are rushed for time, caught up on our phones or deadlines. It’s also important to build emotional currency in your work and personal relationships to provide you with insights on how to respond better to others. Consciously look for opportunities to connect, actively seek the adventure of building a relationship - when we get lazy with this we don’t build great foundations for strong relationships.

Educate yourself on your own emotional health and make-up to identify how to better regulate conflict with others. Behind every complaint, disagreement or conflict is a disappointed idealised dream, vision or hope. We need to be authentic with our needs and wants and communicate this with others so that we can compromise, meet each other halfway and be respectful of other people's needs and wants too.

Finally if readers are keen to learn more about the work that you do how can they get involved?

Whether you are a business owner, an entrepreneur or an individual seeking a career transition head over to my website www.samanthaand.co for information about all things ‘happiness @ work’ related. Plus you can find out details on my latest Founder In You creative workshop to be held on October 22-23rd for 12 lucky professional or entrepreneurial individuals.

 

Thank you so much to Samantha for sharing her wisdom when it comes to uncovering more happiness at work, better relationship building and ways to really improve work and life wellbeing more effectively. If you would like to catch Samantha in action make sure you check out her speaking page which is updated regularly with upcoming talks and events or check out what she's up to over on Twitter or Instagram.

Thanks for tuning in everyone, have a great end to your week and hope to see you here again very soon!

Louise

 


Seeing The Colour When It All Feels Very Grey

"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness." Desmond Tutu

The world can certainly seem like a very unfriendly and unhappy place to be. In this post I don't want to dwell on the unsettling events and uncertainty that we all feel especially at the present moment. Neither do I wish to brush all that under the carpet in a frivolous way. However I have been thinking about how to face the world with a little more brightness and colour when it all feels a little too dark. Finding colour and positivity can be done - plus it even seems as if the sunshine is also on my side today as I get my thoughts together and start to write this!

Image Source: Pexels

Image Source: Pexels

Here are some thoughts for staying on the brighter side of life despite what may be happening around you. I'd love to hear any further tips you have for staying positive and motivated even during difficult times.

 

1. Focus On Positive News Stories.

I'm not saying we should bury our heads in the sand and not take notice of world issues and events, but the truth is that we just weren't designed to be able to cope with all of our own ups and downs in life as well as those from each and every corner of the planet. There comes a time when enough is enough. You have to switch off the negative replays and focus on something more positive. If you need a daily dose of news in your inbox then why not seek out positive news stories to help you see more of the good in the world. Don't dwell too deeply on the sadness that inevitably grabs our attention on a daily basis. Why not try taking a look at these for something a little more constructive: Good News SharedHuffington Post Good NewsPositive News.

2. Reconnect With The Special People In Your Life.

We all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and no doubt have many a friend or family member that we haven't caught up with for weeks, months or perhaps even years. Making an effort to reconnect with someone that you care about can be so uplifting and incredibly important. Maybe you've been meaning to head out with one of your dearest friends for a glass of wine and a catch up and you keep putting it off because you're feeling bogged down with other commitments. Get that date in the diary and spend some simple but rewarding time with those that know you best. The feeling of being truly known and connecting with people that mean the world to you can really help put the rest of the world into much better perspective. Don't be tempted to switch off from others and run and hide, make that all important connection.

3. Help Others And Give Them Something Positive To Believe In.

Helping others to learn and grow is not only helpful to that person but has a knock on effect for you too. You may not be able to solve all of the worlds problems but perhaps you can do smaller things either at work, home or within your community to bring a little colour and brightness into someone else's life - give someone else a reason to feel positive in this world. Perhaps you can help out a new colleague at work by offering them your time, training, support or advice without actually having to be asked or prompted. Maybe you can be a positive influence to a family member or friend, or could you do something useful within your community? Perhaps you have some items you no longer need that you can donate, or some time to offer on a voluntary basis. Or perhaps, just simply, you can remember to offer up a smile to a fellow human being as you walk home from work today. Even the smallest of things can have the brightest of impacts.

 

So please enjoy the rest of your Monday folks and don't give up on the brighter side of life. It's still there, you may just have to look a little harder at times in order to find it.

Louise

 


Summer Season Blog Inspiration: Three Top Picks

I love reading other blogs for ideas and inspiration or just to connect with a voice that is able to motivate or relate to myself, my life, perhaps my fears and my personal aspirations. That's the beauty of blogging, the voices that get heard in a way that they might not previously have done so and the ideas that we can find in an instant and use to explore, learn and excite in our own lives.

Image Source: Pexels

Image Source: Pexels

Whilst I know there's a lot of discussion out there in the blogging world about how much it has changed, the commercialism in some instances and the general number of us all and the wave of content coming our way, I still think that blogging is a wonderful tool both for the reader and the author. Recently I posted about cutting back and being more discerning about what I consume online, but that said (!) today I wanted to share some inspiring blogs that are currently making my personal cut. I hope they also offer something for you to enjoy as well. I've picked three of my current favourites, blogs that are bringing me ideas especially right now during the brighter summer months.

 

SUMMER BLOG INSPIRATION: THREE TOP PICKS

1. For staying stylishly inspired during the summer months (and all year round) I've been loving the blog Fashion Me Now by Lucy Williams. Lucy doesn't just blog about fashion, there's plenty of beauty, travel and lifestyle to feed on as well, but I do so love her style - she is a fashion editor after all. I have to admit I can often be found coveting her Instagram feed for outfit inspiration, especially if I'm about to go away somewhere as she seems to have that effortless beach chic and travel style down to an absolute t!

One of my favourite style posts of late has to be Return of the Noughties sharing some love for this forgotten fashion decade.

2. When my inner explorer is in need of new ideas both at home and away then I love to turn to A Lady In London by Julie Falconer. An award winning blog written by Julie who is originally from San Francisco but now based in London. Julie explores the world as well as her love for her new(ish) home town of London and I always enjoy her posts for the wealth of places to explore and discover. It's usually the London posts that inspire the most for me - top 10 lists of everything from beautiful museum cafes to famous and historic London toilets! 

This summer I'll certainly be looking to explore these 7 Best Summer Gardens to Discover in London.

3. When I'm feeling hungry and in need of incredible edible delights it has to be Eat Like A Girl by Niamh. The food photography on this blog will have you drooling from the outset and will inspire you to get into your kitchen and cook - or to get out and about and sample some of the delectable delights available in her favourite restaurant finds the city and far beyond. Recently Niamh has been sharing some unbelievably tasty looking BBQ recipes ready for the sunshine to make an appearance. The perfect pit stop for foodie inspiration all year round.

One thing I'll be cooking this summer is this Asparagus, Pancetta, Egg and Tomato Summer Tart.

 

Which blogs are you currently craving a daily dose of for finding summer motivation and inspiration? Let me in on your secret picks too and enjoy the sunshine - it's actually out here today so I'm off now to enjoy it!

Louise