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My Copenhagen neighbourhood: Shaun Russell

Skandinavisk sells hand-poured scented candles and reed diffusers with evocative names such as Snö (snow), Hygge (cosiness), Hav (sea) and Ro (tranquillity). There’s even a Copenhagen candle which captures the spirit of the Danish capital. As one half of the English duo that founded Skandinavisk, Shaun Russell believes firmly in the Scandinavian lifestyle – the focus on nature, and the emphasis on family and on enjoying life. Now a resident of Copenhagen, Russell shares his favourite things in the city

City Guide
Theresa Harold,

‘I live on the borders of Frederiksberg and Vesterbro by the Søndermarken park. Frederiksberg is the grand old quarter of Copenhagen and its main thoroughfare, Frederiksberg Alle, reminds me of the boulevards of Paris. Vesterbro, meanwhile, is the grimy, edgy neighbourhood where something new is always happening. Having both on your doorstep is the best of both worlds.

Dora on Værnedamsvej and Fick on Gammel Kongevej are two design stores in my neighbourhood that offer a more eclectic and personal style than the traditional famed Danish classics. Illums Bolighus is an absolute must-see. It’s a temple of Scandinavian design and can be found on Amagertorv in the heart of the city. As for fashion, Zornig on Gammel Kongevej is great for understated Copenhagen chic in both men’s and women’s fashion. The women’s store stands across the street from the men’s.

‘The best place to buy all types of food is Torvehallerne (the food halls) in Nørrebro. Since opening only a few years ago, it’s become a principal meeting place for Copenhageners.

‘The Carlsberg brewery tour is always a great experience, and one of the most cosmopolitan bars in the city given all the foreign visitors. Speaking of bars, Charlie’s Bar is the most authentic English pub and an occasional watering hole of mine when I need a dose of Blighty. The Berlin Bar on Gammel Kongevej is the German equivalent of Charlie’s. Lidkoeb is the secret luxe cocktail bar hiding in a car park behind a supermarket off Vesterbrogade.

‘When friends visit, we go to the Zoo in Frederiksberg. It’s famous for its Norman Foster-designed elephant house and its new Arctic Ring. If you want a true taste of Denmark at play, the Tivoli gardens are the ultimate first-time visitor destination. The palm garden at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum, just behind Tivoli, is also just stunning. Of course, you can’t neglect the Rodin collection there.

‘Taking a walk through the Søndermarken and Frederiksberg Have parks is a pleasure at any time of the year. I’d recommend you hire or borrow a bicycle and just get lost. Copenhagen is small enough for everything to be only 10 minutes away.

‘Recently, I discovered Karmaman on Frederiksberg Alle. It’s a new local eatery where you can just turn up, take a spot at a table, pull a bottle of wine from the shelf and open it yourself – very laid-back. Sokkelund on Smallegade is a great bistro in the French style, and a perfect end to a walk through the parks of Frederiksberg.

‘On days off, my kids and I do a lot of swimming – whether in the harbour, in the many local pools (Frederiksberg pool is an art deco gem), or on the beaches south of the city such as Amager Strandpark or Vallensbæk Strand, which is right next to the Arken museum of modern art.

‘One final word of advice: the Little Mermaid is a tremendous disappointment.’



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