Christmas is over, New Year was exhausting, and it’s time to drag that tree down in the lift and lug it into the enormous pile of sadness at the end of the street, shedding all the way. But don’t sweat it, those are all just the signs of January’s arrival, and that means a whole new year of holiday allowance, and that’s the best news ever!
First up, you need a winter weekend getaway to banish those seasonal woes. Somewhere warming for the soul, where hygge is high on the agenda. That means it’s time to head to Scandinavia of course, so here’s our round up of the best places to brunch, drink, dine and stay in the Scandinavian capitals.
Brunch at Mad og Kaffee
With three locations to choose from – in Amagerbro, Vesterbro and Frederiksberg – and with Copenhagen being a very walkable city, you’ll find a Mad & Kaffee nearby, wherever you’re staying. On the menu are fail-safe avocado options a-plenty as well as cinnamon buns topped with organic chocolate. You can’t book, so arrive in good time and embrace the people watching whilst you wait.
Drink at Ancestrale
A cosy wine bar of beautifully Scandinavian proportions, you’ll find plenty of hygge here. With small plates to snack on, they also have tastings from 4-6pm every day with three glasses for 100 DKK. You have been warned…
Dine at Nørrebro Bryghus
This little gem houses a microbrewery in a building that dates from 1857. With a bar in the basement and restaurant on the first floor, the menu is of course designed to go down a treat with a taste of whichever of the 10 daily options of ale you’re tempted by. Dry January? What dry January?
Stay at The Avenue Hotel
The Avenue hotel is in the chic residential neighbourhood of Vesterbro. You’ll encounter an organic breakfast spread, a spacious lobby lounge to hang out in and the kind of design-led rooms we’ve all come to expect from our Scandinavian friends.
Brunch at Pom & Flora
The menu here won’t fail to disappoint, from breakfast bowls and banana bread to patisserie packed with creative creams and Danish rye breads. Get your phones at the ready, both spots in the city are insta-worthy. You know what to do.
Drink at Vinköket
Literally meaning wine kitchen, there’s plenty to choose from in this designer den. Packed with classics as well as natural wines from smaller makers, settle in for the night, this is a dream little spot you won’t want to leave.
Dine at Meatballs for the People
You can’t go to Stockholm and not eat meatballs, with plenty of mash and lingonberry jam. So we suggest you do it here, where this classic dish has been brought up to date, and is off the tourist trail in the hipster Södermalm district. You’ll need to book a week in advance to guarantee a table for dinner, but you should be safe if you just drop in for lunch.
Stay at Berns Hotel
Built as a restaurant in 1863, this is now an 83 room boutique hotel that even has its own club, which hosts a resident as well as visiting DJ. There are several bars here too, so leave the children at home and pull up a bar stool. You’ve arrived.
Brunch at Gunners Generasjonsbar
This contemporary diner serves up the avocado brunch you just can’t get enough of, with a Norwegian twist. Be sure to try the fresh juices, like the cold pressed apple juice with ginger or rhubarb nectar. Mmm.
Drink at Fuglen
With outposts also in Tokyo, this is a coffee bar by day, until the machine shuts down at 6.30pm, and the cocktail menu comes into full swing at 8pm. With such chic Scandi interiors, whatever time you manage to make it, this little spot is well worth a visit.
Dine at the Grand Cafe Oslo
With an open plan kitchen so you can see what’s cooking, this is one of the city’s most famous restaurants. Open every day for lunch and dinner, the restaurant serves up Norwegian fare with a dash of inspiration from around the world.
Stay at boutique hotel Amerikalinjen
In the heart of city, this luxury stay is worth the treat. It’s individually designed and champions all things local, and you might struggle to find reason to leave, with a beautiful internal courtyard called Haven, where you can stop by for a coffee, as well as an intimate club inspired by New York’s jazz scene.
Wherever you choose, if you do head to one of these design-led capitals, make sure you arrive in style by taking a cabin suitcase along for the ride.