> The Beesley Buzz: A weekend in Copenhagen (including our visit to Noma!)

A weekend in Copenhagen (including our visit to Noma!)

One of the things I love about blogging is the pure diversity of blogposts we find ourselves writing - yesterday I wrote up a recipe for a budget meal costing just a few pounds to feed the whole family and today I'm totally at the other end of the scale writing up about a visit to one of the world's best restaurants with meals costing over £150 per head!

I was the extremely lucky winner in a Cool Cookery competition and won a meal for two at Noma in Copenhagen. For various reasons it ended up making most sense for us all to travel to Copenhagen (along with Granny who came along as babysitter - thank you Granny!) so we actually ended up paying the additional costs for us all to visit Copenhagen.

It was back in November that we visited, but as time has a habit of flying by these days, I have yet to get around to writing up a blogpost about it. The Brilliant Chef, 7 year old D, did a fabulous job of doing his write up a few days after and gives a real foodie perspective describing what was so special to him about our trip to Noma.

Here, I just wanted to have a record of a few of my favourite photos and some notes about the beautiful city of Copenhagen which I had never visited before but do very much hope I will return to someday.

We were staying at Adina Apartment Hotel which contained self-catering apartments but with all the facilities of a great hotel. The boys had stocked up on books and magazines at the airport and soon made themselves at home settling into their hotel room.

 And so did mum!

The whole of Copenhagen is a pretty compact city and the Adina Hotel was situated near the famous 'little mermaid' statue. The main centre of the city was a short taxi ride away or just a few stops on the local buses.

As we were there for such a short time, we wanted to make the most of it, so we ended up on a night walk to see the Little Mermaid.

The weather was colder than in England and with the slight time difference and being slightly further north, nighttime fell earlier in Copenhagen.

 Being such a famous tourist attraction, we imagined the 'Little Mermaid' to be busy with people - but we were the only ones visiting her that evening. There was something so beautiful about the light reflecting off her and the peace and quietness of the night all around.

 Playing a game of hangman later that evening, we could see that D was getting very excited about his visit to Noma the next day. His choice of hangman words read "Noma Food Will Rock!"
 The next morning, it was time for a visit to the National Museum . Entry to the museum is free and there is lots and lots to see there. There wasn't much time for mummy, daddy and D to look around as we were due at Noma at lunchtime. Miss T and J stayed there longer with granny to see the exhibitions and collections at the museum.

Whilst me, Daddy and D made our way to Noma through the beautiful streets of Copenhagen.

It really truly is a beautiful city - postcard perfect with its pretty buildings and oozing with fascinating history. We had a fabulous taxi driver who told us about all the wonderful things to see and do and it left us wishing we had more time there to be able to do more and see more.

One of the first things that became apparent to us was the friendliness of the people of Copenhagen. When we looked momentarily lost on our way to the hotel on our first evening, a kind lady stopped to offer directions - I couldn't imagine that happening on our visits to London!

Then as we approached Noma, we were greeted outside by a Noma chef and a photo taken of us.
As we entered the building there was a whole bunch of the chefs and front of house staff waiting to welcome us and wave hello to D. It was so lovely to get such a warm welcome.

Getting excited about our meal about to commence!
The whole place was so down-to-earth and friendly which really helped us enjoy the experience so much. It actually felt kind of surreal as I kept reminding myself just how amazing it was to be sitting at a restaurant that has huge waiting lists and that can prove near impossible to get a reservation at.

We had seen Noma chef Rene Redzepi appear on James Martin's Saturday Kitchen a few weeks before and heard him explain that it is really hard to get a table for two booked at Noma but if you grab a few friends and make a booking for 3, 4 or more people then it is often easier to get that elusive table reservation.

This advice certainly proved true for us as the agency organising our prize had been trying to make a booking for two without success but when we made the decision for three of us to attend the Noma meal, they were able to get a table reserved.

D enjoyed the juice menu
The Brilliant Chef has blogged about some of our highlights in terms of the menu and food at Noma. We have to agree that the moss, the Danish cakeballs (with a difference - rolled in grasshoppers!) and woodant sauce were incredible.

Some of my other favourite dishes from the 20 plus course menu were the pickled gooseberry, the edible flowers, the savoury cookies, wild duck and pear, a plum and potato puree with a plum kernel flavoured cream. For seafood fans there was a lot they would love like the aged seaweed sauce, monkfish liver, sea urchin, barbecued pike head and lots more. Being inspired by their 'landscape and delve into our ingredients and culture' Noma's menu does feature a lot of seafood.

 We finished our meal relaxing with coffee and a chocolate and dried berry covered pork-skin.
Then it was time for a tour around the kitchens. Because of his huge interest in all things food related and his ambition to be a Chef when he grows up, Noma had very kindly agreed for D to have a look around to see behind the scenes. We saw the serving kitchen where the chefs put the meals together, present them in stunning ways and add the finishing touches. This was downstairs and often the chefs themselves would bring the food out as soon as it was prepared.

Each dish would arrive with the chef describing what was in it and how to best eat it.
Upstairs there was a prep kitchen where chefs are busy all day preparing the ingredients that go into the dishes. All had friendly smiles for D.

We saw the staff room where all the chefs would get together each afternoon after the 3 hour long lunch sitting but before the evening rush begins.

The development kitchen was also upstairs. The growing season is incredibly short in Denmark due to the climate so Noma grow some of their own herbs right there, upstairs of the restaurant. 

They also have a full-time forager, a nutritionist, an entomologist, and a microbiologist for safely growing their own edible mould.

Although there are 40 chefs (for 40 covers i.e. the equivalent of one chef per customer!), only 15 are paid staff - the others are interns keen and enthusiastic to learn and gain experience from the world's best!

We said our farewells with D saying that he would like to open his restaurant in Denmark when he is older.

Granny, Miss T and J had not missed us and had a lovely day themselves.

We also just had to share one last photo from Copenhagen - They had Movember buses! How cool is that!

Although there seemed to be a lot of travelling involved for just one weekend, because it was broken up with journeys to and from the airports, the flights and train journey to and from Copenhagen airport, none of us found it too tiring. I would absolutely love to do it again one day.

It is a city I had never thought of visiting before, but one that I really do want to go back to.

And then we were back in England and without even having made it back to our house, we were off to The Moshi Movie screening the very next day. And if you want to read a heart-warming story of kindness, you can see who came to the rescue when a certain little lady left her grobag sleeping bag in Copenhagen.

We were very fortunate to have won a meal for two at Noma in Copenhagen from Cool Cookery (thank you to Cool Cookery and their agents for arranging the prize!), and thanks also to Black Tower who very kindly allowed us to use the prize money from my Black Tower Bottle design to fund the remainder of the trip to Copenhagen which enabled us to take all 3 of the children and granny too. 

This meant a lot to me to be able to do this as there would have been various complications if we had to leave Miss T or J behind (Miss T because she was still breastfeeding and I was unable to express breastmilk and J because he can find changes without us around difficult due to his Aspergers). 


  1. Love that bus! We've been to Stockholm, but now I want to visit Copenhagen. Sounds like you had a fab time! x

    1. yes it was lovely - I would love to go back there too! x


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