Saturday, 27 June 2009
This afternoon Hapsical arrived in Copenhagen for a short break, and we're already obsessed. We had been before about six years ago, but because we entertain an obsession in general with Scandinavia we thought it was high time we visited again. There are so many things we love about the Nordic countries (the landscapes, the people – mostly obscenely good looking tall blondes – the civilised way of life that isn’t madly rooted in consumerism and acquiring wealth, the cities, the fresh air, the beautiful light, the ultra-efficient public services, the lack of social divisions, and perhaps above all the general feeling of happiness and wellbeing), and Copenhagen ticks all the right boxes, meaning we’re already feeling really happy to be away from London for a while.
It cost no more than £5 each to get the train from the airport into the city (compared to the ridiculous £20 each or so charged in London for a similar journey on the Heathrow Express), and this (below) was the standard class seat which was better than the FIRST class offerings on most British trains... in fact, we’re pretty sure trains in Denmark don’t even have a first class, because they believe in giving the same high level of service to everybody which we really like.
We’re staying at the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel which is designed by famous 20th Century Danish designer Arne Jacobsen (one of our favourite non-fashion designers/architects). From the outside it is a monolithic tower block, in International Style (made famous by Mies van der Rohe’s Park Avenue skyscrapers in New York), although the interiors, designed and furnished by Arne Jacobsen, are less geometric and feature softer, organic shapes. We are totally, totally in love with this hotel and our Royal Club room because 1) there are amazing views of Copenhagen which we can enjoy from our beds 2) There are three Arne Jacobsen chairs in our room, the very chairs we spend hours fantasising over in design shops 3) The rest of the room is really nicely designed and all very high quality 4) Even the bathroom has windows with an amazing view 5) The AC actually works, unlike in most large hotels 6) The Wi Fi is FREE (since when has hotel internet ever been free? Love it.) 7) The lobby is also Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair heaven etc. etc. We can’t recall ever having stayed in a hotel that’s managed to get so many details right.
Views from our room:
When we finally tore ourselves away from the hotel room and the view we just wandered about, reacquainting ourselves with the city, reminding ourselves why at we times we entertain a serious fantasy of moving to somewhere like Copenhagen or Stockholm. By and large people are just so nice here compared to in London (not to mention the fact that *everybody* is startlingly tall, blonde, beautiful and well dressed), the air is so fresh and it’s so calm and civilised compared to London, the summer evening light is beautiful, the quality of life seems so high. As if you hadn’t realised already, we just love the way they do everything here (and indeed in other parts of Scandinavia), the way people live... it isn’t for nothing that Danes routinely top polls as the happiest people in Europe.
We walked up to Ørstedsparken garden (past the Henrik Vibskov store – closed for the evening; we will return), which is a tranquil, leafy park with a large lake in the middle. In Britain, a park like that in the centre of a city on a Saturday night would probably be full of teenage yobs drinking cider, listening to their music out loud, and junkies shooting up in the bushes, and then leaving the needles behind for children to come across, but here it was totally serene (and clean), and full of groups of friends having relaxed barbeque picnics, with candles and stylish Scandinavian tableware. And because this is Denmark, and people are less self-centred than in Britain, everybody had those portable/disposable barbeques, but on special little legs so they wouldn’t scorch the grass in the park, and everybody put their rubbish in the bin. Granted, more people live in London than in all of Denmark so it is hard to compare, but we just love that you can be right in the centre of the capital city, and yet find this totally calm park that people can just enjoy, as if it was there own back garden, in a civilised way. As we keeping on saying like a broken record, the quality of life here and the social wellbeing is quite extraordinary. We’re not even the biggest fans of socialism ideologically, but it seems to work so well here. People also really get fashion and style. We also can’t get over how quiet it is… the business of London is what makes it so vibrant and exciting, but at times it can get quite oppressive.
We’ve gone on quite enough now about why we love Denmark and Scandinavia in general, so we’ll shut up for now (until we probably start up again tomorrow…). We’ll post more when we get round to doing stuff tomorrow, probably with a more fashion-y angle, and we’re not neglecting this blog otherwise… Milan and Paris men’s fashion ss10 reports coming soon, not to mention more good stuff.
Enjoy the weekend everyone.
PS. Denmark is the home of Lego too! <3
Update: Click HERE for Copenhagen part 2 (opens in new window).