Era Ora, Copenhagen

For those who can’t get a space at Noma there are plenty of other Michelin-starred successes on the Copenhagen restaurant scene. Northern Italy is particularly well represented by the glorious fine dining restaurant, Era Ora. This inconspicuous dining room is found in Christianshavn, and showcases the very best of Italian cuisine. With ingredients shipped in from Italy, the freshest and most authentic flavours are guaranteed.

On a quiet Saturday lunchtime we had the full attention of Simone Celeghin, officially the sommelier but brilliant at handling every aspect of service required in such a high standard restaurant. His accommodating and inspirational character made the whole experience so special.

Wine is obviously a big deal at Era Ora and their cellar contains over 97,000 bottles. Featuring carefully selected vintages from Italy alone, many may want to visit this eatery just for the wine experience. Wine can be chosen from the extensive carte, or enjoyed as part of a wine menu, meticulously paired with your food for an unforgettable gastronomic journey.

Era Ora was launched in 1983 by founders Elvio Milleri and Edelvita Santos with the aim of expanding knowledge and perceptions of Italian cuisine in Copenhagen. The imaginative and expertly created dishes of Head Chef Andrea Guglielmi have rightfully earned the team a Michelin star.
We started with a glass of Barrone Pizzini sparkling rose. No menus were given to us; Simone had complete control over our lunch! Five glasses of wine beautifully accompanied our five food courses. Slow-cooked chicken with bell pepper and lentils in Guazzetto was a delicate and delicious appetiser, immaculately paired with a glass of crisp and full bodied 2007 Villa Fidelia Bianco from Umbria.

My favourite dish came next, Homemade Trofie pasta with wild boar ragout and lightly grilled Savoy cabbage. It was an aromatic and irresistible sauce, and the homemade pasta was cooked to perfection. Perhaps the first time I’ve had a bowl of pasta and not needed Parmesan on top. To accompany this course we were treated to a glass of 2009 Nebbiolo from Piemonte, a light and fruity red.

The braised veal main course with a chocolate and red wine sauce, was a slightly more experimental recipe, that intrigued the palate but didn’t stun. A petite cheese course featured a unique blue variety of Pecorino with nutty bread and citrus foam. Dessert was lovely and light with orange, sbrisolona, and pistachio served on a beautiful Venetian plate, a playful and pretty pudding.

Initially I felt guilty for indulging in Italian food whilst in Denmark, but when it is this good how could one resist? Era Ora offers Italian food and service at its very best, and as I put this thought in the comments book on departure, I noticed every other message expressed the same sentiment.

More information and book a table here: www.era-ora.dk

Many thanks to the Copenhagen Tourist Board for their help with this trip, more information here.

Skovshoved Hotel, Copenhagen

This historic hotel has long been a favourite for foreigners visiting Copenhagen. Since the 17th century, Skovshoved Hotel has provided simple, spacious rooms and fine Danish cuisine. Located thirty minutes by bus from the inner city, it is necessary to be organised with your weekend itinerary when staying at this suburban location. The convenient A1 stops directly outside the hotel but it is vital to check the timetables to avoid freezing in the Copenhagen chill and wasting valuable time. Skovshoved would perhaps be a better option for those visitors on a longer holiday.

When we pulled up to the hotel, its Christmas lights were illuminating the street, magically festive amongst the bleak seaside surroundings. Our room, one of twenty-two, was on the second floor with a view of the sea. The large bedroom was basic but homely, featuring a colourful rug, wooden floorboards and functional furniture. With a balcony and big windows, the room was light and had a pleasant freshness in the mornings. Despite the rustic feel, our room had a giant flat screen TV with British channels much to our surprise and enjoyment.

The small bathroom sadly lacked a bath but the powerful shower was an efficient alternative. Molton Brown toiletries added a touch of luxury and the towels were thick and soft.

After a good night’s slumber, we wandered downstairs for breakfast which is plentiful and varied. Choose your preference: thick white breaded bacon sandwich or flaky croissants, there are also a few Danish options for those who wish to try something more local.

I cursed the location when we first arrived but after a weekend at this quaint, friendly, family-run hotel, I felt rather fond of my out-of-town base.

More information and book here: www.skovshovedhotel.dk

Many thanks to the Copenhagen Tourist Board for their help with the trip. More information here.

Hot on the Highstreet 185

1. Playtype – Letters of all shapes, sizes and forms fill this tiny eclectic shop. Pick up an alphabet poster or buy your very own special Playtype font on a memory stick.

2. Stilleben – For 10 years, Stilleben has been a “must see” for those interested in interior design, graphic design and unique, handcrafted, modern ceramics. The two female owners have a nose for spotting the best up and coming talent and fill the store with inspiring things to create the ultimate Danish shopping experience.

3. Storm – While internationally renowned as one of the leading and most trendsetting lifestyle and fashion stores in Europe, Storm is also a lot more than a retail space. With owner Rasmus Storm acting as driver and mediator, it’s a conceptual platform where commercial and artistic expressions meet, cultural meanings are exchanged and new concepts evolve. Everyday they strive to evolve and improve the Storm vision to find and share with you our latest and greatest sources of inspiration. Beyond clothing, they carry a large selection of beauty products, music, magazines, books and always feature exciting and inspirational exhibitions in-store.

4. Acne Archive – a haven for Acne lovers, this outlet store sells past seasons rejects for a fraction of the price.

5. Hay – Designer and manufacturer of contemporary furniture, accessories and rugs. HAY’s ambition is to encourage Danish furniture design’s return to the innovative greatness of the 1950’s and 1960’s in a contemporary context. Today, ten years later that ambition has not changed! It is still a great inspiration and keeps us inspired and motivated every day in creating meaningful and sincere design.

Many thanks to the Denmark Tourist Board for their help with this trip. More information here.