Copenhagen Day One, Finding Our Feet and Christmas!

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An English girl and a Welsh man, sitting eating Vietnamese street food in Denmark… There’s no punchline, this was the start of our Copenhagen holiday!

Okay, it wasn’t the official start, but it was the first meal we had there. It was at a place called Lêlê Street Kitchen which was attached to the hotel we were staying at on H.C. Andersens Boulevard 8 called Hotel Alexandra. (More on Lêlê Street Kitchen next time).

The hotel was very easy to get to. From the train station it was a quick walk round the block and we were on H. C Andersens Blvd. We selected the Superior Double Room which was 50s/60s in design and overlooked the main road. The room was on the fourth floor and I have to say that we never heard the road when the windows were shut, so that was a bonus! It had all the usual amenities like a kettle, hair dryer, TV, WiFi and imag1691_1.jpgeven an iPod dock. You also get money off vouchers from Lêlê Street Kitchen if you waivered having your room cleaned. It’s worth 100DKK per day, can only be used between 12:00pm and 9:30pm and can only use one voucher per person per day, so don’t think you can collect them all up throughout your stay and get a free meal, sorry!

The room waIMG_0675s small but clean and the bed was a double, (two singles pushed together) and the top sheets were also single sheets, which was a bonus for me, as Mr Travelstodge didn’t steal the sheets off me for the first time in our relationship. The staff were very friendly and helpful and any questions you had they answered like it was no trouble at all. We needed to print off our boarding passes for our flight home and they let us use their computer and print them off free of charge. You can book direct and see the rooms available here.

After this, we went and had a walk around to get our bearings. We here at Travelstodge HQ do a strange thing on every trip we do… We look for Christmas decorations. That’s right, we scour the internet to find Christmas shops in the places we visit, and Copenhagen didn’t disappoint! We found the Danish Art and imp-1098737_960_720Christmas shop  located at Knabrostræde 3, 1210 København. There is an absolute treasure trove of decorations here, from the traditional wooden ones, to beautiful glass ornaments and the gordy multi-coloured ones that I remember from back in the 1980s. My Nan had the original ones from the 1970s and these took me back to Christmas in her house. We picked a little one with a very impressive beard, known as a Tomar Gnome / Elves, and a Hans Christian Anderson one with the Ugly Ducklings on the front. The guy who owned the shop talked to us about the Hans Christian Anderson stories. He gave us a website link to visit for further information, including some of the stories which have been translated, which you can find here .

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The start of Strøget (street entrance is on the far left)

Once we settled on our decorations of choice we ventured out further and had a walk down the main shopping street in Copenhagen, Strøget, which is one of the longest pedestrian shopping streets in Europe. You will find luxury brands mingling with cafés and budget stores with bars, not to mention restaurants, Disney and Lego stores and even a Guinness World Record store! It’s an eclectic mix which, for me, was okay walking down a couple of times, but it just feels like any other shopping street in Europe. You can find more details about the street, including a list of upmarket brands that are available here .

 

In my last blog I mentioned about trip-ups. Now, being in the UK, we are used to Health and Safety madness and a mile radius exclusion zone to repair one tiny pot-hole just in case someone falls over and sues the council, so I expected something similar here, but oh how I was wrong! We encountered more open scaffolding than I’ve ever seen and roadworks which makes pedestrians walk into the road with no safety bollards what-so-ever. On our first day, me, Mr Travelstodge and four other people tripped over wooden blocks that were propping up the scaffolding! UK take note…. we never sued the Danish Council, and I suspect neither did the other four people. Travelling makes you appreciate and at the same time criticise your own country. We are lucky having the strict Health and Safety Laws we have, but it does make you wonder if we are too strict.

Next time, food and where to eat… nom nom!

Popcorn, Two Ways!

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I’ve always loved popcorn. The smell always takes me back to family nights out at the cinema, but as time has gone on the price of popcorn has gone through the roof, so I tend not to buy it anymore when watching a film at the cinema. These days, I prefer to snuggle up at home with my fiancé with a cup of tea and homemade popcorn that’s warm and sweet.

So, I have two versions of popcorn that I’m sure you will all love, but play around with the recipes and adapt them to your own taste.

Christmas Popcorn

Mincemeat Popcorn

No, before you say it, it has NO meat in it. It’s a recipe I saw on Kirsty Allsopp’s Crafty Christmas that makes good use of the leftover mincemeat from mince pies.

There is no actual measurements for this recipe I’m afraid. It’s just a case of heating oil in a large pan, throwing in some popcorn kernels and putting the lid on, and wait for the pop pop pop….. I would put in enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pan, or a couple of handfuls. Then once all popped, pre-heat the oven to 180°c – 190°c (gas mark 4-5) and put all the popcorn into a bowl, add a couple of tablespoons of mincemeat and stir it round with your hands so it’s mixed in well.

Spread it out on a lined baking tray and put it in the oven for about 6-10 minutes.

When it’s done, let it cool slightly. Remember, this will be a caramelised larva of heat! Only when it is cool enough to touch, break it all up into pieces, and there you have it!

You can also add other things into the mix like almonds, cranberries, more apple or sultanas etc, but I just love it as it comes.

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Sugar Coated Popcorn

This one is for the sweet toothed connoisseur. It’s sweet, buttery and in no way shape or form good for you, but oh my, it’s delicious!

You will need:

110g      Un-popped Kernels
225g      Sugar
2 tbsp   Butter
3 tbsp   Water
½ tsp   Vanilla Extract.

Pop your corn kernels as per packet instructions. Put in a clean large pan with a lid and set aside.

Next, melt the butter in a pan and then put the rest of the ingredients in. Bring to the boil whilst stirring with a wooden spoon. (BE CAREFUL OF HOT SUGAR!)

Leave on a roaring boil for about a minute. Don’t stir at this point.

Now, you must be very careful here, as you have to pour your sugar mix on to your popcorn. Put the lid on and shake the contents until it’s all mixed together. I prefer to use two wooden spoons and toss them like a salad bowl, but however you do it, again, please be careful.

And there you have it! You can make it less or more buttery or sugary by having a play around with the ingredients. Try using icing sugar, or for a not-so-buttery taste, use less butter.