Holiday Gift Guide
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If you heard anything about Denmark you might have heard of Tivoli, a big entertainment garden planted directly onto the epicentre of Copenhagen. It was opened in 1843 and has since then been built out, refined, and in some ways demolished (but that's a whole different story). I have been permanently in love with this place since my first visit when I was a child and lived far, far away from the capital.

Fast forward to the present in which I live 10 minutes within walking distance of Tivoli-- and totally taking advantage of that. I own a year membership card so I can come as I please, and I really do. Whenever I need to clear my mind or just get out but still avoid the stressful Copenhagen scene, I take a walk through Tivoli-- preferably in the evening rain as it usually scares away tourists and invokes a feeling of sad 1950's melancholia.

The Tivoli Guard walking through a food hall.

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The park is filled with roller coasters, beautiful lighting, music stages, curiousity shops, tombolas, AND loads of places to eat (you guys were waiting for that clue to why I'm writing about this stuff, I guess). As we all know, eating is more fun than most things in life, so of course a FUN park is abundant with places to stuff your face. The special thing about Tivoli is that the food variety is quite huge and that even Michelin-awarded restaurants are available among the balloons and crazy rides.

I took a walk last week on the last day of the summer season to take some pictures of the restaurants. What amazes me about Tivoli as a designer is the atmosphere, the romantic settings and most of all: the escape. When you walk into the garden, you slip away from the boring, square Everyday Blah. And what more can one ask for when dining?

Faergekroen (The Ferry Inn): There is a big lake in the garden on which a super cozy lunch restaurant is placed.

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They have their own see-through beer brewery!

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Peeking in from the land side. I love the barrels.

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Oh look, the cute little goose is fed by the cooks smoking backstage.

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Are they trying to lure it into the soup bowl?

The Paul: a Michelin star awarded, Scandinavian kitchen inspired restaurant. Supposedly awesome. I'm saving up for an Umamimart review sometime.

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Søcafeen: super traditional Danish lunch place with beer on tap, smoerrebroed and snaps. Flags from the left: Norwegian, Danish, Swedish.

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This lady is entertaining herself with wine and lakeview. Chequered table cloths are very Danish lunch style.

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Viften: Ugly architecture, ugly logo, probably ugly food.

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Popcorn in an antique car - genius.

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I dig this sign above a beer hall cut into a paper mache mountain. Very 18th century Germany.

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This sign is even better: "The Smugglers' Inn".

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LOVING the S&M domina corsage  - and the kids seem to love it too since it's still here (welcome to relaxed Denmark)

The Soup Bowl! - Some sort of tombola with a great 1970's style illustration. I want that open grill!

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The newest food spot is the Rasmus Klump themed Whale Pancake Inn.

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It's a stranded whale with a playground on top and a pancake parlour in its mouth-- wonderful!! To be honest I don't appreciate the cheap theme park look; it doesn't go well with the rest of the historic surroundings. But the kids are definitely feeling the love.

Whale interiors are very well executed and super cozy. Check out its meat mouth roof with barks.

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On the first day of the season I went in and had a pancake. It wasn't that good, way too sweet and impossible to eat because of the cardboard design it came in.

Darkness is falling now and the big Chinese Theatre is staging a classic show.

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The white, orient-style castle in the background is NIMB - a house full of different food activities - a beer brewery, an organic dairy, a French bistro, a bakery, a fine dining place, a wine cellar, an exclusive bar and a super deluxe hotel.

Phew, I should do a whole post on that building. In 2003 when it was a worn down ruin, I attended a huge crazy techno drag costume party in there. They had a white horse as the door man. Nuff said.

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Den Skaldede Kok (The Balled Cook): A clear 1950's style again. The flower lamps inside are a fun touch. The food is regular French inspired.

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Grøften (the Ditch): Peeping inside the super classic Danish lunch place popular among Danish movie stars, politicians and everyone else. I haven't been here yet, but will definitely give it a try. Loving the coloured lightbulb garlands.

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The Japanese Tower: Used to be called the Chinese Tower, but their Chinese food was so bad it had to be closed, renovated and now re-opened as a Japanese sushi place.

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Expensive but who can blame them with such a great view over a lake with small boats and lights reflecting in the water?

The Piratey: For cabin crews and beyond, this is a real ship floating on the lake... Borderline themepark-cheasy, but in the dark it's pretty charming.

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If I had kids I would totally take them here - they can even wear pirate uniforms while eating.

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I pass the Ferry Inn again and it's looking even more cozy now.

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Oh my God, that lady is still entertaining herself?!

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*Stay tuned for next week's Skankynavia: Tivoli Eating Aesthetics Part 2: Candy Flossed Out.
Column: Skankynavia
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4 comments

  • I took Yoko here last spring and we had a fun day although I don’t rememeber us eating anything – which of course can’t be true…

    When you are in Cph again sometime, I will take you there and we’ll have a beer underneath the Smuggler Domina’s juicy tits, I promise.

    Yamahomo: what would you do instead? Bomb the tower and rebuild it as a Hello Kitty karaoke parlour or a funhouse themed love hotel just to make sure it’s real Japanese?

    Anders on

  • Absolutely awesome, Skanky! These pictures are all so great— I really especially love the whale month!

    I was in CPH about 10 years ago, but it was in the buttassiest cold month of Feb, so it was closed.

    Take me to Smuggler’s Inn!

    kayoko on

  • Chinese tower is being recycled as Japanese tower?! Come on Danes! Do the right thing!

    Yamahomo on

  • Tivoli with you was amazing. We ate ice-cream. But I don’t remember eating a meal there. I DO remember riding a roller-coaster and getting really sick and feeling so old and wussy about my reaction. I made it up this year though, by going to Great America and riding almost all the roller-coasters there without puking.
    I think that woman is an alcoholic. She was working on a bottle of white in the day by herself, then has a bottle of red in the night – and who knows how many in between…

    yoko on

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