Exploring Copenhagen

I recently turned 40 and to celebrate this landmark, my single wish was to visit Copenhagen. Why Copenhagen? Had I researched it and found something I was dying to see? Was there some childhood draw to the place? Am I a massive fan of the literary works of Hans Christen Anderson? Well no, not really, it could have been Stockholm, Oslo, even Lillyhammer. I wanted to go to Scandanavia, and somewhere cold.

Every holiday that comes up, naturally you pick a warmer destination to Ireland. City breaks are primarily work related - trips to London (no real hardship there) but seeing as this was my choice and mine alone, I wanted to see somewhere a little different, culturally, geographically and from the norm. The first time you visit somewhere like New York, it all feels very familiar, theres a list of places you want to see, you have all this prior knowledge, for Copenhagen I knew nothing really and that was the attraction, to land there, rise early and go explore!

I did manage to get a wealth of information before going from a designer who had lived there, so we combined this with the get out and explore ethos. First impressions, its an incredibly pretty location, it reminds you of other European destinations from Germany to Holland but also it has its own thing going on. People kept telling us beforehand that we’d find it expensive. It is expensive but so too sadly is Ireland, so it didn’t blow our budget apart. For someone like me who loves his craft beer, new flavours, big flavours and the likes, all combined with the informality of a cracking burger and chips, this place was heaven, everywhere we went, there was a new way to combine a burger and a beer, what more could you ask for? Coffees were cracking, one thing that I love about Ireland nowadays, especially after being spoiled living in Melbourne is the quality of our coffee has gone up a notch from a cup of Nescafe, so I kind of expect it abroad and the Danes didn’t disappoint, especially as there were so many rain showers to duck out of.

 As designers we love seeking new inspiration, new colours, ideas and ways of looking at things, you only have to walk around London to soak that in, for the Danes interior design is king. We create a lot of branded environment for big corporates but we have even been known to do the odd private cinema in our time (that’s another story), so checking out the wealth of interiors, from shop fit outs to home furnishings was completely inspiring, not to mention wishing you could simply ship a load of it back. We capped the break with a trip to the Design Museum (but of course) where the only thing on display in this vast old museum were chairs! It sounds dull doesn’t it? my hopes were not high, but it turned out to be fascinating. An entire social history and a way of looking on society told entirely through chair design. I actually cannot do it justice, but if you’re ever there try and check it out, not only are they beautiful to look at, but the story of the people behind them, from the manufacture to their individual benefits was truly compelling.

Copenhagen is genuinely a beautiful place, (London Shoreditch meets Melbourne coffee culture). I always judge a place by my ‘would I live here test’? And I’d have to add Copenhagen to Cape Town, Palma and Barcelona as places I’d love to live in. Tak.

Adam Gallacher

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