From street food to smørrebrød, here are some great places for eating and drinking in Copenhagen…
Kødbyens Mad & Marked – Located in the Meatpacking District of the trendy Vesterbro neighbourhood, this street food market buzzes at the weekends throughout the summer (there are occasional winter markets too such as Christmas – check the website for details). Here you can pick up culinary treats such as Korean bourittos, meatball wraps, Scandi snacks, mac ‘n’ cheese, truffle fries, gourmet burgers, Brazilian barbecue, Spanish tapas and so much more! Inventive cocktails and craft beers are also on sale, alongside gift stalls – DJs provide the tunes.
Kødbyens Fiskebar – In the same area is this specialist fish restaurant and bistro serving some of Copenhagen’s best seafood (it’s been awarded a Bib Gourmand in the Nordic version of the Michelin Guide 2015). The industrial interior harks back to its old meat hall days. Pull up a stool at the bar, take a seat outside in the summer, or go the whole hog with a slap-up dinner.
To be honest, head to Kødbyens and you’ll encounter enough inviting bars, cafes and restaurants to keep you going for a whole week or more. Regular new openings and old favourites keep this trendy ‘K’ zone one of Copenhagen’s most vibrant areas.
Mikkeller Bar – Located on the cosy Jægergårdsgade in Vesterbro is the bar of the famous Mikkeller brewery. All exposed bricks and filliment lightbulbs, this cool bar is small (very busy in the evenings) but with plenty of outdoor seating in the warmer months. As expected, the beer list is extensive with 20 rotating taps of Mikkeller’s best beers and brews from some of the world’s most interesting craft breweries. Snacks from Warpigs Brewpub and artisanal cheeses from Arla Unika are also available to soak up the booze.
The district of Norrebro, another hip neighbourhood, is also a food and drink hotspot. Turn into the boutique-heavy street of Jaegersborggade and you’ll find yourself in a foodie oasis. At no.41 is Relae, a restaurant opened by a former soux chef of Demark’s famous Noma, which itself has a Michelin star and is no.75 on the ‘World’s Best’ list. But for a quick drink and bite to eat, we tried…
Crate– This teeny tiny record store is also a craft beer bottle shop. Browse the vinyl then buy a beer (bottles or a few guest beers on tap) to drink on the rickety bench outside (oh how Copenhagen-ish…).
Grød– This is (wait for it) the world’s first porridge cafe! Yes, you can eat porridge for breakfast, lunch and dinner here, but don’t assume that just means the classic breakfast staple. This place serves all manor of imaginative porridge-type dishes from around the world – we tried a delicious and fragrant Vietnamese congee, washed down with a local beer. A quick, tasty and (rare in Denmark) very cheap dinner.
Cafe Wilder– A trip to Copenhagen wouldn’t be complete without eating smørrebrød, Danish open sandwiches. We tried some traditional smørrebrød at Cafe Wilder in the old town of Christianshavn. Typical Nordic combos of creamy cod with cucumber and red onion, or beef brisket with pickled vegetables were presented beautifully (small but filling), and salads (a sizeable toasted goat’s cheese and walnut salad was good) make up the lunchtime menu.
The 17th century waterfront of Nyhavnis a pretty location for dinner. The fairylight-strewn cobbled street is lined with restaurants all with outdoor seating (and heating!). Grab a table and watch the old ships bob up and down in the water. It’s a much more traditional tourist hotspot than Vesterbro and Norrebro so the restaurants and bars aren’t as different or exciting as other potential choices. However, it’s a romantic spot with plenty of decent food choices.
What’s thought to be the first ever Northern Lights wellness and yoga retreat will open this March in Kilpisjärvi, Finland. The ‘Northern Lights for the Soul’trip, launched by Aurora specialists Off The Map Travel, combines yoga, meditation, relaxation and healthy eating, with spectacular opportunities to watch the Northern Lights.
Based in a remote lodge surrounded by the fresh Arctic air and pristine landscape, this new retreat is a fantastic location to rejuvinate and revitalise body and mind. Running from 7th to 11th March 2016, the 4-night stay will be led by Europe renowned Mindful Journeys and leading yoga instructors from the UK. Guests on the trip will also be accompanied by Northern Lights guides and experts.
The program will focus on encouraging healthy physical and emotional habits. With yoga, exercise and relaxation techniques; a hot tub and ice hole; a nutritionally designed diet focussing on the health benefits of local recipes and produce; and a delve into local and international beliefs around the Aurora, this is an opportunity to not only see the Northern Lights, but connect with them in a deeper and more meaningful way.
Jonny Cooper, Director of Off the Map Travel and Northern Lights Travel expert said; “Anyone who has experienced the Arctic night sky and the Northern Lights will confirm that you instantly feel in awe of our place in Space. Combine this with the isolation and beauty of the Arctic tundra, experts in meditation, yoga and mindfulness and you have a perfect platform from which to dedicate time to physical and emotional wellbeing.”
A four night, full board exclusive Northern Lights retreat with Off the Map Travel costs from £1399 per person. This includes a private room sharing a Saana chalet, return airport transfers, daily yoga and meditation sessions, access to the spa, hot-tub and ice hole, optional 1:1 meditation sessions with experts, daily Northern Lights hunts and a traditional kota evening with a meal cooked over an open fire. This price excludes flights and additional activities.
For more information about Northern Lights for the Soul and other Aurora holidays visit www.offthemaptravel.co.uk, call +44 (0) 800 566 8901 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glasgow gets ready to host VegFest Scotland, Europe’s largest eco veggie festival this December…
The inaugural VegFest Scotland, taking place 5-6 December at Glasgow’s SEC, is all about going vegan. This family-friendly event will include lots of ideas and inspiration to get healthy eating and vegan activism high on the agenda, including dozens of talks on nutrition, health, lifestyle and campaigns.
As food is top of the agenda (obviously!), you can grab lunch at the in-house Levy’s Restaurant and their all-vegan menu, or choose from 12 other specialist caterers and around 140 stalls.
Visitors can enjoy vegan cookery demos, kids cookery classes, family entertainment, live music, comedy, a Hemp Expo on the medicinal benefits of hemp, and more.
Vegfest Scotland organisers added, ”Vegfest Scotland is all about going vegan. It’s not about eating less meat, or choosing eggs over fish, or anything like that. It’s about going vegan, pure and simple. It’s a single issue campaign. Go Vegan. For the planet, for the animals, for your health, and for sustainable global food production. And it’s so easy. Vegfest Scotland will demonstrate just how easy it is to go vegan and stay vegan.”
Glasgow initiative The Only Way is Ethics is behind a number of events around Glasgow City Centre in the week preceding Vegfest.
Tickets and booking: Admission to Vegfest Scotland is by advance tickets as well as payment on the gate. Advance tickets are £5 a day or £8 for the whole weekend. Tickets on the gate are £8 for adults and £4 for claimants. Kids under 16 can enter for free.
Many experts believe the Northern Lights is best viewed during a full-moon. This new trip is geared towards seeing the Aurora Borealis in the Arctic moonlight…
The Moonlight Aurora experience, created by Arctic travel specialists Off The Map Travel and Aurora experts, gives guests an alternative experience in hunting the Northern Lights in January 2016. Contrary to popular belief, many Aurora experts, from leading guides to world class photographers, believe that the full-moon enhances the Northern Lights rather than detracting from it.
Jonny Cooper, Director of Off the Map Travel and Northern Lights travel expert said; “In our experience, a full-moon only affects really weak Aurora, and then only when the moon is directly behind it. For me, a good full-moon can add a different dimension to experiencing and photographing the Aurora. I love it and am more likely to spend the night looking skyward under the glow of a full-moon.”
Rather than the moon, the thing that can most spoilt a good Aurora display is thick cloud cover. Therefore, the Moonlight Aurora experience takes place in Bjorkliden and Abisko, Northern Sweden, which, due to its surrounding mountains, has special weather patterns that deliver more clear nights than other areas across the region.
Off the Map Travel’s Jonny Cooper continues; “The Arctic moon is a spectacular sight in its own right and gives guests a superb focal point when hunting for the Northern Lights to enjoy the Arctic by moonlight.”
Many photographers say that they prefer to capture the Aurora when there’s a full-moon. Chad Blakely, world class Aurora photographer and owner of Lights over Lapland, added; “I love photographing Aurora in moonlight as it gives pictures a completely different feel by lightening the foreground, and instead of the pitch black background, the moonlight gives the sky a rich blue colour which compliments the green of the Aurora. Moonlit Aurora are spectacular – I love them.”
The Moonlight Aurora experience will be held during the full moon from the 22nd of January 2016 and will give guests the chance to enjoy a range of the Arctic winter activities under the full-moon and, hopefully, under spectacular Northern Lights displays.
A four night Moonlight Aurora adventure to Bjorkliden and Abisko in Northern Sweden with Off the Map Travel costs from £1749 per person, excluding flights, based on two sharing. This includes:
four nights in a spectacular 4* hotel on a full board basis
a private specialist guide
a visit to the ICEHOTEL
private Lights over Lapland moonlight photography tour
dog sledding as the moon rises
visit to the Aurora Sky Station
guided moonlit snowshoe walk
Norway fjord trip
Ice-fishing and cooking under the moon
For more information about Moonlight Aurora adventure or Northern Lights holidays visit www.offthemaptravel.co.uk, call +44 (0) 800 566 8901 or email email@example.com
As we gear up for the season of excess, it might be a good idea to book in your New Year re-boot now…
The White Goddess Retreat, a new yoga start-up in Mallorca, Spain, promises to leave you rebalanced, refreshed and rejuvinated. Retreat organisers and the team behind The Yard (a lifestyle centre and cafe in Alderley Edge) have teamed up with yoga teacher Claire Farman (who’s clients include Gwenyth Paltrow and Sting) to create this brand new yoga experience.
Accommodation – scenery to inspire poetry
The retreat is set in the foothills of Deia, a pretty coastal village on the west coast of Mallorca, and gets its name from the well-known book penned by Robert Graves who was inspired by the surrounding countryside. Guests will stay in a stunning former 14th century monastery, Son Rullan, which boasts a tempting infinity pool with unbeatable views across the landscape.
Activities – yoga and mindfulness
Throughout the holiday, activites on offer include:
Daily 1.5-hour yoga and meditation class – healing Hatha yoga led by Claire Farman
1 hour massage session
1 hour personalised nutrition consultation
30-minute astro-gemstone reading
Reflective “Mindfulness” workshop
A trip to the beach with a picnic
Dance play and poetry
Art trips visiting David Templeton, a Mansfield-born artist and singer who has lived and worked in Deia since the 60s
Full board, of a delicious organic menu, is provided over the six days.
Prices for this six-day yoga experience range from £860 – £925 based on two people sharing, with single supplements also available. Check for further retreats in the future, as plans are already underway to host these gatherings across multiple locations over the course of 2015/2016 including, Wales, the Lake District, Marrakesh and France.
For bookings or information on further dates please contact ask Alex or Sadie at The Yard on 01625 586962 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spectacular coastline, picturesque mountain villages and quaint seaside towns make the Istrian region of Croatia a stunning location for a holiday in the great outdoors. Guest blogger Manuela Kraljevic, of camping holiday specialists Arenaturist, picks four fantastic places to go camping in Istria, Croatia.
If you love the great outdoors…you’ll love Stoja
Stoja sits in a leafy area on one of the most picturesque stretches along the coast – a natural oasis of peace and tranquillity, yet only 3km from the town centre. Diving and sports are popular here due to the vast expanse of water surrounding the peninsula.
Wake up on the east side with the first rays of sun and a view of the fishing port, and head to the south and west sides in the evening for the sunset over views of the open sea.
A camping lot (or pitch) with capacity for 1-4 people starts from £9 per unit, per night and £6 per person, per night
If you’re taking the family…head to Medulin
Located in a peaceful area on the sea just 10km from Pula and served by numerous restaurants, bars and cafés, Medulin has over a 1,000 lots and 121 mobile homes spread across 300,000m2. The region’s only sandy beach, Bijeca, stretches along the camp and is the main attraction for families with kids. There is a fun pool with waterslides, hiking and biking trails, and the Arenaturist sports centre in the vicinity. A large family park is also a part of the camp, with entertainment for the entire family.
A camping lot with capacity for 1-4 people starts from £9 per unit, per night and £6 per person, per night
For the epic camping experience…visit Kažela
Camp Kažela Medulin occupies an idyllic location in Istria, with amazing views across the Adriatic Sea. Situated partly in a wooded area, and partly in an open meadow, Kažela is Arenturist’s largest campsite, with 1,100 lots and 176 mobile homes.
The camping village is known for its amazing view of the Medulin Bay, where guests can enjoy spectacular sunsets every evening. Kažela offers spacious lots and a wide choice of facilities, including various catering, entertainment and sports amenities as well as sun bathing areas, while the youngest ones can benefit from the small water park.
A camping lot with capacity for 1-4 people starts from £8 per unit, per night and £6 per person, per night
If you’re looking for peace and quiet…Tašalera is the perfect retreat
This small campsite is family-friendly with natural surroundings situated on the coast, opposite to Medulin. Guests can enjoy sunny lawns with sea views ideal for trailers and caravans, as well as more intimate pitches for tents in the lush pine forest. The coastline is rocky with many small coves providing sun seekers with their own private beaches. The facilities include a children’s playground and a volleyball court.
A camping lot with capacity for 1-4 people starts from £7 per unit, per night and £5 per person, per night
For more information on all campsites, including the Stupice, Indije, Pomer and Runke sites, visit: www.arenacamps.com
For those of you with a spare million pounds burning a hole in your pocket, you could consider splashing out on a state-of-the-art eco villa for when you need a luxury bolthole in Turkey.
The Oceanic Bayview villas are now on sale for a cool £1million. Located in Alkent, a desirable neighbourhood on the outskirts of bustling Istanbul, these villas utilise some rather flash technology to help keep them eco-friendly.
The villas are super-efficient. Each property:
Recycles rainwater from the concave roofs
Uses three solar collectors and wind turbines to generate power (saving between 30-60% on annual electricity consumption)
Include special profile panoramic windows
Uses a heat pump
Has LED lighting throughout
The smart house system throughout each villa means everything can be controlled through your smartphone to help save power
Built across three floors, the villas range in size from four to seven bedrooms. Each boasts four bathrooms, a dining room, internal suspended balcony overlooking the grand living room, kitchen, winter garden, a main games/cinema room, Jacuzzi room, and quarters for domestic staff (naturally!). The gallery style of each villa creates an immense sense of light and space as the beautifully-designed mezzanine over the main lounge overlooks the lake through large panoramic windows.
We think you really have to love holidaying in Turkey to justify the cost as a holiday home, but we are told that owners can use it as they wish (and we’re sure that if you’re spending more than a million on a holiday villa you’ve got the time to spend more than just two weeks a year there!). We can picture ourselves sipping a mint tea from our jacuzzi right now…
Oceanic Bayview Villas are on sale with prices starting at just over £1m (US $1,595,000). Visit Universal21 at www.universal21.com or call 0203 287 8700.
From educational eco-forest walks in Bali, to dining on nutritious organic cuisine grown in New Zealand, Paul Joseph, co-founder of wellness holiday specialists Health and Fitness Travel, picks five healthy eco-friendly holidays to make you feel more connected to yourself and nature…
These luxurious wellness retreats boast superb eco-design and green-friendly awards, meaning you can travel abroad happy in the knowledge that these retreats actively support sustainable tourism.
Situated on the shores of magical Lake Garda, this eco-friendly holiday destination values the connection between personal and environmental wellness. From the heat insulation and local natural materials used in the eco-designed architecture, to the use of renewable alternative energies, Lefay actively promotes eco-sustainability. Begin your holiday boosting your health and fitness by personalising your stay with activities from personal training to Pilates and Tai Qi. Ideal for a singles holiday, make the most of complimentary group fitness classes from yoga to circuit training, before unwinding with a relaxing spa massage.
Encircled by New Zealand’s stunning Southern Alps, luxury wellness retreat Aro Ha fuses eco-friendly accommodation with self-sufficient cuisine, using locally produced organic ingredients from their on-site garden. Enhance the connection between yourself and the environment around you with sub-alpine hiking and kayaking across the lake to the natural bird sanctuary of Pigeon Island. Complement TRX, yoga and meditation sessions with daily therapeutic spa massages and unlimited use of the water therapy suites, to ensure you return home in optimal wellness from this breath-taking eco-friendly holiday destination.
Escape to this luxury holistic and eco-friendly wellness holiday destination in Bali, surrounded by pristine tropical gardens. This green retreat offers a range of healthy cuisine, using only the freshest ingredients, with fish caught in the nearby sea and fresh fruit and vegetables grown at the on-site farm. Get closer to nature with a sunrise dolphin sail, rice field trekking and educational eco-forest walks to learn more about local wildlife, flora and fauna. Escape the stress of everyday life with sunrise yoga, sunset mediation and holistic spa treatments.
Working with environmental and wildlife professionals to restore the region to its natural splendour, the surrounding eco-system of the eco-friendly Karkloof Safari Spa in South Africa, is happily once again home to a diverse range of indigenous fauna, flora, wildlife and birdlife. The perfect destination for a luxury spa holiday, enjoy indulging with unlimited spa treatments using natural ingredients, from a Maldivian black pepper scrub to a coconut body polish. Explore your natural surroundings by hiking, fishing, mountain biking and spotting local wildlife with private guided safaris.
Make a healthy getaway to the white sandy beaches of northern Greece where this eco-friendly holiday destination boasts Blue Flag beaches and respected awards such as the Green Key Eco Label. Using natural ingredients for relaxing therapies, such as mud and clay treatments, pamper yourself at a choice of two luxury spa centres. Ideal for a fun-filled activity holiday, relish in the variety of sports and activities you can enjoy from tennis to windsurfing and meditation. Take advantage of complimentary group fitness classes, including yoga and aerobics, to improve your fitness levels and leave you feeling renewed and revitalised.
About the author: Paul Joseph is co-founder (with Adam Heathcote) of Health and Fitness Travel, the leading experts in tailormade healthy holidays worldwide. He searches for the rare and hidden gems around the world and puts together exclusive and trend-setting holidays for those who would like to improve or maintain their health and fitness whilst on holiday. As well as a love of all things travel, Paul’s other love is exercise, cycling and yoga. Paul also contributes to the travel pages of various high-profile newspapers and magazines where he offers his expert advice on wellness holidays.
I arrived at a romantic, luxury family farmhouse located in the heart of the Catalonian countryside, surrounded by green hills with a view of the outstanding Montserrat mountain range. I felt I was in an undiscovered fairytale far away from big city life, giving me the energy and inspiration that I was looking for.
I love the idea of family businesses and the beautiful farmhouse proved this to me once again – happiness is when you love what you do and when you are surrounded by such love. I really felt like part of the family when I arrived – welcomed by loving, happy, relaxed and charming people.
Go Barefoot partners with responsible tourism providers, and this trip includes accommodation (in my case the farmhouse) with double/twin occupancy. It feels like you have finally found a retreat on earth, offering high standards of service with the perfect touch of small details surrounded by tasteful decoration, candles, organic linen, wild flowers, and hand woven baskets, all which inspire you and put you in a relaxing and creative frame of mind.
Things to do
The ‘Grapes of Art’ trip is all about discovering Catalonia’s rich cultural heritage, including the work of Dali and Gaudi. I got busy writing and painting whilst tasting local wines and olive oil, exploring Costa Brava’s unspoilt beach coves, and visiting the quirky Dali museum.
Gastronomy is an incredibly important part of this region so this trip takes every opportunity to indulge in some of the best local cuisine. Several of the days include excursions to Catalonia’s vineyards and wine cellars with tours and tastings part of the experience. Sample some lovely cava (white Catalan sparking wine) or txacoli (Basque wine) with your tapas.
If you are a fan of the creative talents of Gaudi, you will love the time spent in Barcelona. Fans of the area can add a two day extension on to the overall trip and continue to enjoy the Barcelona region, its mountain ranges, beaches and vineyards.
You will spend much of the time exploring Catalonia’s medieval villages such as Peratallada, Besalu and Cadaques – full of cobbled streets, quaint houses and picturesque vistas. The trip also takes in the stunning city of Girona and monuments such as Pubol Castle, home of Dali’s wife and muse Gala.
This Catalonian experience offers pure rest and stimulation for your body and soul – you can absorb the silence of nature, taste organic local food produce, walk or go horse riding, enjoy art and creative writing, or indulge in a spa treatment and massage.
Like me, you will love it!
‘Grapes of Art’ trip duration/prices: 6 days (+ 2 extension). Year round departures. £895 per person (check latest prices online)