Grød: Copenhagen

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So we arrived in Copenhagen in the middle of a snowstorm. Underdressed, freezing, soaked through to the skin, and with three hours before we received the keys to our airbnb, we wandered round the city dreaming of warm beds and cups of tea. Thankfully Copenhagen has no lack of coffee shops and in true Danish style, they all looked cosy and welcoming.

We stumbled upon Torvehallerne, an (indoor, thank god) farmers market next to Nørrebro metro station. It consists of two glass and steel constructions filled with various stalls selling food from artisanal chocolates to Spanish tapas. The venue has a fantastic feel about it, something that can be found all over Copenhagen. It’s light, stylish and contemporary, and while busy, there is little pushing or rushing, just a chilled out atmosphere to enjoy while sipping a coffee (I recommend Coffee Collective, the smell of the shop is enough to entice you in!)

It was only 10:00 so breakfast was the order of the hour. While the various incredible pastries and baked goods were a very close order, we decided on porridge at Grød, and we were certainly weren’t disappointed! (I did go back for a Kanelsnegle later though, because I have no food limits.)

Grød, as noted in its name, only sells porridge. Porridge never sounds like the most appealing food to eat and often stirs up memories of bland, grey, lumpy mush, but Grød takes it to its rightful level. While we went for the classic breakfast options, they also sell food that caters to lunch and dinner appetites such as risotto, dahl and asian rice porridge.

I ordered a classic oat porridge, topped with homemade dulche de leche, fresh apple & roasted almonds and it was possibly the best porridge I’ve ever had. It was warm, flavourful, and a had great blend of textures.

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oat porridge

However, my boyfriend ordered Risengrød, a traditional danish rice porridge, topped with cinnamon sugar and butter. He’s Finnish, and rice porridge is a food traditionally eaten during Christmas in both Finland and many Scandinavian countries. He has often spoken about craving it, so finding it on the menu was very exciting!

The only problem was, after having a spoon of his I immediately regretted my order, because wow, it was absolutely phenomenal. It tasted like christmas, childhood and what I presume ambrosia tastes like (not the custard) all rolled into one warm hug. I do have an unnatural obsession with cinnamon though, so this was right up my street. Isn’t it the worst when someone else orders something better than you? I may have eaten most of his in retaliation.

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Danish rice porridge with cinnamon sugar and butter

There are now three Grød stores in Copenhagen: Jægersborrgade, Torvehallerne, and Guldberg Gade. We visited ended up also visiting the Guldberg Gade shop also as we found it round the corner from our apartment and couldn’t help but buy another bowl of Risengrød!

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Looking very happy with his bowl of Risengrød!

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Drive on.

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For me, nothing can quite evoke the feeling of being a child than sitting passenger in my parents car.

A few years back, I was browsing Spotify for new artists and came across Stornoway. Immediately, I fell in love with their music. However, one of their songs, ‘Fuel Up,’ was especially stirring, tracing the relationship with driving throughout various stages of life. For me, as a teenager soon to move to University, it was a welcome marker of what was to come.

Curled up in the back of the car
Nine years old you don’t know where you are
And your head’s on the window, your eyes are just closed
There’s a voice in the front and a hush on the road
You’re a passenger but your mind is travelling on

Open your eyes and you’re nine years older
Hands on the wheel and you’re racing on over
To lie with your first love, you can’t wait to see her
You borrowed the car and you think you’re the driver
But now you’re the passenger to your own heart
and it takes you travelling, travelling on

When the morning broke and the sky fell down
It went black as night and the wind blew round
And stole your directions, you lost your way home
And you felt like a passenger left by the road
But I’ll tell you the reason you couldn’t get home
Cause there’s nowhere you’ve been and it’s nowhere you’re going
Home is only a feeling you get in your mind
From the people you love and you travel beside
You may feel like a passenger but now you’re the driver
You’ve got to go travelling, travelling on
Because if you break down, it’s a cold, hard shoulder

So fuel up your mind and fire up your heart and drive on
Drive on, drive on
And when your days are darker, put your foot down harder
Drive on, drive on

However, it was that first verse that really resounded with me. I find little as calming as sitting and watching the landscape shift while my parents drive. There is a real sense of childlike trust that you no longer get as an adult, that belief that they will get you somewhere safely. And while I love to drive myself, I can’t help but feel a little nostalgia when thinking about those long sleepy journeys with my family.

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