HOW TO BE DANISH FOR A DAY

Why? Because the citizens of Denmark are universally envied for their quality of life, buoyant disposition – and their sublime capital city. JAMES CLASPER shows us how to do it like a Dane in Copenhagen 為何有這個念頭?皆因麥丹 人的生活質素和快樂指數人人稱羨,其首都哥本哈根尤其令人嚮往。就讓James

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Because there’s great food, a laidback vibe and everybody cycles everywhere. JAMES CLASPER on his adopted home

There’s a bar in Copenhagen that takes 15 minutes to pour a pint of Carlsberg. That’s because it’s ‘slow beer’ – pilsner piped through an old Czech spigot to give it a smoother, creamier taste. And it feels very Copenhagen. The delightfully laidback Danish capital moves at a much slower pace than most cities.

Just look at how residents get around. Some 62 per cent cycle to school or work every day. ( The majority cycle in winter, too – aka ‘ Viking biking’.) And a quarter of families ferry their kids around in a cargo bike. The city has more than 390 kilometres of cycle lanes, the vast majority of which are safely segregated from traffic.

To feel like a local, then – and to kickstart the perfect weekend in Copenhagen – jump on a bike. It’s almost always the fastest way to get from A to B. (Prefer getting around on foot? Copenhagen is a compact city, and you can walk almost everywhere. Better still, several streets in the city centre are completely pedestrianised.)

Copenhagen may be pancake-flat, but all that pedalling can be exhausting, so the perfect weekend should start with a proper breakfast. And that means freshly baked bread, pastries and coffee. Usually, we’d pop out to pick up some rye bread and a cinnamon roll. But let’s treat ourselves and head to Juno, an artisanal bakery whose cardamom rolls draw long lines out the door. Or let’s head to The Corner, a cafe in Christianshavn, the city’s canal quarter, whose pastries also have a cult following. That’s because they’re coated in fermented beef glaze and coffee kombucha – exotic concoctions cooked up in the ‘fermentation labs’ the cafe shares with Noma, the restaurant that put the city on the culinary map. (More on that later.)

Suitably nourished, we’ll head into town, crossing the Inner Harbour Bridge – one of five bridges that allow cyclists and pedestrians to easily navigate this port city. (Our favourite is the Circle Bridge – designed by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, the supports of its overlapping circular segments resemble the masts of a ship.) These bridges typify Copenhagen’s desire to be one of the world’s healthiest cities. Making it attractive to walk or cycle is part of that ambition.

Once in town, we’ll steer clear of the tourist traps – like the royal palace Amalienborg and The Little Mermaid statue – and head to less-feted attractions such as the art galleries of the meatpacking district or the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, an art museum with a charming winter garden and sculpture collection.

Alternatively, we might visit the

Botanical Garden, home to Denmark’s largest scientific collection of plants (plus a greenhouse whose tropical temperatures attract shivering locals all year round). Or we’ll head to the trendy neighbourhood of Nørrebro and stroll through Assistens Kirkegaard, the tree-lined cemetery where Hans Christian Andersen is buried, followed by a mooch along Jægersborggade, with its charming cobblestones and trendy boutiques (which shut at 2pm on Saturday – remember what I said about laidback?).

By now it’s lunchtime. If we’re on the go, we’ll grab a hotdog – the Danish fast food for almost a century. Our favourite vendor is

John’s Hotdog Deli in – where else? – the meatpacking district. But if time permits, we’ll head to Restaurant Palægade for a modern take on smørrebrød, the traditional open-face sandwich.

Perhaps you’re wondering how we’ve got the energy for this. The answer is our healthy work-life balance, or what the country’s official website calls ‘the Danish way’. You see, Danes enjoy a huge amount of flexibility at work, such as being able to choose whether to work from home or when to arrive at the office. Little wonder that, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Danes work fewer hours on average than most: 1,410 annually, or 27 hours a week. (And only two per cent of employees in Denmark work more than 50 hours a week, compared to the average of 13 per cent.)

It’s easy to spot evidence of our work-life balance. By 4pm on weekdays, most people are heading home. (Signs at Copenhagen’s busiest railway stations remind commuters that rush hour starts at 3:30pm and ends at 5pm.) Employees also get at least five weeks of paid holiday every year, plus extended, paid parental leave. No wonder Denmark topped a recent index of global workforce happiness.

In fact, Danes are routinely ranked as among the world’s most contented people. In the latest UN World Happiness Report, it comes third after Finland and Norway

– a ranking unlikely to cause Danes much concern or envy of their Nordic neighbours because, well, they’re Danish. They have low levels of income inequality, a solid

NO WONDER DENMARK TOPPED A RECENT INDEX OF GLOBAL WORKFORCE HAPPINESS難怪丹麥最近在全球勞動人口快樂指數中榮登榜首

在哥本,哈根 有酒吧斟一杯嘉士伯啤酒需時15分鐘。那是因為它是「慢啤」,金黃色的瓊漿從古捷老的 克啤酒栓緩緩淌,下造出醇更香 幼的滑 口感,體亦 現了哥本哈根的本色。悠然自得的丹麥首都,比世界上其他城市都來得懶。洋洋

且看民居 如何在市內穿梭:當地約六成二人口每天都以單車代步,當中大部分在冬季亦然,因而有「維京單車鬥士」之稱,四還有 分之一家庭以載貨單車接送孩子。市現時 內擁有逾390公里的單車徑,而且大部分都與馬路分隔,十分安全。

因此,踏單車是體驗丹麥生活及展開哥本哈根周末的遊 理想方式,亦可以說是市內最快捷的交通模式。這個城市面積不大,因此喜歡步的行 人在這裡同樣如魚得水全,市幾乎每個角落皆徒步可達;市中心更有多條街道被劃分為行人專用,區 豈不妙哉?

哥本哈根的勢地 雖然就像煎薄餅一樣平,坦 但要長時間踏單車亦頗為勞累,因此周末遊應理 由一頓正宗丹麥早餐開始,食物括新鮮出爐的、麵 酥皮點心和咖啡。我們通常會去餅店買幾黑個 麥麵和肉桂卷,但也不妨對自己好一點,前往手工麵店 去,店內出品的肉桂卷總是引來大批顧客在門外排輪隊 購此; 外,我們亦可前往位於Christianshavn運河區的咖啡室

那裡的酥皮點心同樣有不少捧場客。的店裡 酥皮點心都塗上一層由發酵牛肉汁與發酵咖啡調製的汁液,教人回味再三。這種美的酵味 發 調味料是在咖啡室與Noma餐廳共用的「發酵實驗室」內調製來出 的。Noma就是令哥本哈根在美食界一舉成名的星級食府,下文將會談及。

盡情補充體力後,我們便向城區進發。,途中 我過們橫

橋,這是五條供踏單車或徒步穿梭這個港口都市的橋樑之一;我們最喜歡的是

橋,由冰島裔丹麥藝術家Olafur Eliasson設計,以幾個圓形疊交 而成的橋面,由恍如輪船桅桿的軸柱支撐。美這些麗的橋樑令人不論步行或踏單車都倍感

social safety net provided by the welfare state and a high level of trust. Then there’s the Danish concept of hygge. Roughly speaking, it means cosiness or conviviality – that warm, fuzzy feeling you get from simple pleasures such as spending time with friends. And it’s what Meik Wiking, head of the Happiness Research Institute – yes, it really exists – calls ‘the overlooked ingredient in the recipe for Danish happiness’.

Of course, candles are the crucial ingredient of hygge – and Danes are Europe’s biggest consumers of them, burning about six kilos per person every year. To stock up, we’ll head to an interior design shop such as Dansk, Dora or Hay. (But we’ll resist the temptation to splurge on yet more stylish ceramics or designer furniture. They may be beautiful, but we like to keep our small apartments uncluttered.)

Having hit the shops, it’s time for a swim in the harbour. Yes, the water’s clean enough. The only issue is the temperature. But if we cycle to La Banchina, a waterside restaurant on the outskirts of the city, we can leap off its jetty before warming up in its wood-fired sauna.

Alternatively, we might putter round the harbour in a GoBoat. They’re solarpowered, easy to use and equipped with a picnic table. Having planned ahead, we’ll have snacks from Torvehallerne food market and wine from importers Rosforth & Rosforth. Under one of the harbour bridges, it offers free tastings on Saturday afternoons and specialises in natural wine – ‘juice’ made with minimal intervention and fermented only with naturally existing yeast. It’s all the rage in Copenhagen today. To see what the fuss is about, head to Ved Stranden 10, whose sommeliers will find you something fun from one of the dozen bottles they’ve got open.

By now, it’s time for dinner. Ideally, we’ve got a reservation at Noma 2.0. Launched 15 years ago, it established a style of cuisine based on local and seasonal ingredients, and was named the best restaurant in the world four times. Having closed the original Noma last year, chef René Redzepi reopened it on a new site in February – and it’s once again the hottest table in town. In fact, the waiting list is 40,000-strong, so odds are we’re eating elsewhere. (Our bank manager will thank us: dinner costs 2,250 Danish krone – almost HK$3,000 – and that’s excluding wine.)

Fortunately, the cuisine that Redzepi pioneered, New Nordic, has long since spread to other restaurants, while numerous Noma alumni have opened places of their own. A case in point is Amass, which former head chef Matt Orlando launched in 2014. Located in a spectacular, graffiti-painted industrial space in edgy Refshaleøen, it serves seasonal dishes that won’t break the bank. Another local favourite is Spisehuset, a cosy restaurant tucked down a backstreet in the meatpacking district. It offers fussfree, inventive dishes made with organic and biodynamic ingredients.

That’s a sign of the times, too: from supermarkets to restaurants to public institutions, better, more sustainable food is everywhere now (astonishingly, almost 90 per cent of the food served in the city’s public institutions is organic).

After dinner, we’ll seek out some live music – perhaps the Sunday night jam session at jazz club La Fontaine. Then we’ll have a nightcap at a værtshus, a traditional drinking den, such as Vinstue 90, home of the ‘slow beer’. The lights will be low and the air smoky (thanks to a loophole in the law, smoking is permitted in some small bars). And the city’s health department certainly wouldn’t approve. But then again, the slogan of its official health plan is ‘Enjoy life, Copenhageners’. And you know what? We do.

愜意,由此可見哥本哈根有志為成 世上最健康都市的抱負。

進入城區後,我們會避開阿馬林堡王宮和《美人魚》雕塑等遊旅 熱點,前較往 冷門的好去處例, 如前肉類裝加工區內的藝廊,或是擁有迷人冬日花園和雕塑藏品的新嘉士伯美術館。

另一個好去處則是植園物 ,那裡網羅丹麥最大批作科研用途的植物;這裡還有熱帶溫室對, 身處寒帶的當地人來說,一年四季都極有吸引力。我們也可前往潮流社區北橋區,在林蔭夾道的Assistens Kirkegaard墳場中漫

步,這是童話大師安徒生長眠的地方。繼而到Jægersborggade大街蹓躂,這條美麗的大街鋪上鵝卵石路,沿路有不少新潮精品店,不過期只星 六 營業至下午2時(記還 得我說過哥本哈根是一個悠閒的地方嗎? )。

不經不覺到了午餐間時 。如果時間不多的話,可以熱走買隻 狗邊 邊吃;熱狗成為丹麥快餐食已物, 有近百年的歷史了。我們最喜愛的熱狗檔,正是位於前肉類包裝工加 區的John’sHotdog Deli。如果時間充裕,就會前往Restaurant Palægade餐廳,享受一份以現代口味演繹的傳統smørrebrød開面三式文治。

你或許很想知道我們何來這麼多精力案,答就在作生是 工和 活間得康之取 健的平衡,正如國家官方網說頁所 的「丹麥式生活」。丹麥人享有極其靈活的作式工 模 ,例如可選擇在家工作,或是何時到辦公室上班。跟據經濟合作暨發展組織數據示顯 ,丹麥人的平均工時比大多數國家的人都要少:

約每為 年1,410小時,每亦即 周27小時。此外,其他國均家平有13%僱員每周工作逾50小時,而在丹麥則只有2%。

我們美好的丹麥式生活顯而易見。平日下午4時,大部分人已下班回家哥, 本哈根最繁忙的鐵路站更設有告示牌,提醒乘客忙繁 時間是下午3時半至5時員。每僱年

更可享最少五周有薪年假,還有額外的有薪產假和侍產假難; 怪最近丹麥在全球勞動人口快指樂 數中榮登榜首。

事實上,丹麥人在全球最心滿的意足 人排行榜上經常名列前茅。在聯合國最新一期《世樂界快 報》告 中,排丹麥 行第三,僅次於芬蘭和挪威過,不 丹麥人不太可能會對這個名次耿耿於懷,甚或對北歐鄰居產生妒意。丹麥是福利國家,國民收入差距不大,並享可 有國妥家穩 的社會保障,人互民 信度亦高。除此之外,還有丹麥特有的hygge概念,相信很多人都聽過;籠統而言,這個字意指逸安 舒適或溫馨形, 容在好與 友相聚等小確幸當中,那份難以言喻的窩覺心感 。誠如快樂研究院(不錯,它確實存在)主管Meik Wiking所指是,這 「式丹麥 快樂之中被人忽略要的 素」。

當然,蠟燭造是製 hygge的重要材,料因此丹麥是洲歐 消耗多最 蠟燭的國家,每人每年的消耗量約六公斤。添如要 置蠟燭,我們會前往Dansk、Dora或Hay等室內設計 精品店。那裡有不少時尚瓷器或設計家具,吸將帶引人 它回但們 家, 我們會奮力抵抗誘惑因, 為我們希望保持斗室簡潔整齊。

逛過商店後,是時候到海港暢泳。別擔心水,海 很乾淨一,唯 的問題只是水溫過冷。若但踏單車前位海的往 於 濱 La Banchina餐廳,則可從餐廳的棧橋躍進大海暢泳,之後再到燒柴的桑拿浴室暖身。

另外,我們也可租用太陽能小艇GoBoat在海港上悠閒蕩槳,它操易於 控,

更配備野餐餐桌。我們會按照計劃,到Torvehallerne食品市場採購小食,並到Rosforth & Rosforth選進購 口葡萄酒到船上享用。Rosforth & Rosforth每逢星期六下午,都會在其中一道海港大下供橋 提 免費方

飲。這家酒行專營現時在哥本哈根大行其道的天葡然 萄酒,亦即極少加工、採只用天然原生酵酵母發 而成的「葡萄汁」來釀酒。要一嚐這種大熱美酒的滋味,可前往Ved Stranden 10,這家葡萄吧酒的酒侍師將從店內數十款酒葡萄 中,找為你出你令 驚喜萬分的口味。

晚餐間時 到了。最理想的安排,是預早於Noma 2.0留座。這家餐廳於15年前面世,開創出本以 土時令食材入饌的烹飪,風格 曾四度被譽為全球最佳餐廳。總廚René Redzepi於去年將Noma本存店 閉,並於今年遷2月 址重令開, 它再次成為城中最熱門的食府。不過,餐廳訂座輪名候 單已遠超40,000人,因此我們有很大機會要到別餐處用( Noma的晚餐索價2,250丹麥克亦朗,約即 3,000港注元意,,費用並未包括萄葡 酒,這筆交易定能令我們的銀行經理高興萬分)。

幸而, Redzepi開創新的「 派北歐菜」早已哥在 本哈根開枝散葉,不少出身於Noma的廚師亦已自立門戶,開設己自的餐廳。Amass就是其中一個例子,由前Noma總廚Matt Orlando於2014年開餐設廳; 位於新潮的Refshaleøen島上的工廈,牆壁上全是奪目的塗,應鴉 供 價格相宜的時令美饌。Spisehuset同樣受本地人喜愛,這家格調的悠閒 餐廳於位 前肉類包裝工一加 區 條後巷內,呈獻實而不新華的 穎菜式,採用有機和生物動力產食生 的 材。炮製

時移世易,更更質素 佳符而 合可持續原則的食品,現時在城中隨處可見,由超級市場和餐廳,以至公營機構的飯,堂均可用享得到。最出人意表的,是市內公營機構的飯堂供食應的 物,近九以食成均 有機 材。製作

飽餐一頓後,我們會欣賞現場音樂,如果是星期日的話,不妨到爵士樂會所La Fontaine欣賞它於晚上舉行的即興演奏。之後,我們會到傳統的værtshus酒館睡喝杯前酒,「慢啤」發源地Vinstue 90酒吧是其中一個選擇。傳丹麥 統酒館室內燈光昏暗,而且煙霧瀰漫(法律漏洞我容許 們可於部分小酒吧吸裡 煙)。雖然市內的衛生部門肯定不會認同此等行為。,不過 既然官方保健計劃的口號是「哥本哈根人,享受生」活吧,我們自然樂意遵從了。

Get hygge with it From top: New Nordic cuisine at Amass restaurant; graffiti-splashed walls at Amass; Hay boutique 悠閒寫意上圖起: Amass餐廳的新北歐烹飪; Amass餐廳內填滿塗鴉的牆壁;氣氛寧謐的精品店Hay

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