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Denmark: Geranium

So I’m going to put it out there and claim…my meal at Geranium was the best dining experience and probably the best meal that I’ve EVER had!  Everything from the flawless service to having the 8th course right in the kitchen!  It was incredible and a food lovers’ dream.  Being greeted by each chef in the kitchen including Chef Rasmus Kofoed, winner of the Bocuse d’Or in 2011 (the Olympics of food competition) and sitting at the head of the room overlooking the execution of dishes was unbelieveable.  And the actual food?  Well, I had two favourites of the 21 courses served and don’t get me wrong, they were all innovative, unique and absolutely beautiful.  But the 3rd course of pear and lemon verbena was so refreshing, light and a punch of flavour – the best dish of the night.  Followed closely by the 18th course which was easily the best dessert course with the theme of honeycomb and the best ice cream I’ve tasted in my life.  I know what you’re thinking, this is a lot of “BESTs” but this truly was an experience I will never forget!

The entrance to Geranium.

The entrance to Geranium.

The view from the lounge of Geranium.

The view from the lounge of Geranium.

The gorgeous dining room at Geranium.

The gorgeous dining room at Geranium.

The lounge at Geranium.

The lounge at Geranium.

When you are shown your table, you're given a letter from the chef.

When you are shown your table, you’re given a letter from the chef.

Geranium - start

To start: house-made juice with cute towelettes to freshen your hands before you begin the meal.

 

Crispy grains from Kornly - a light and savoury cracker.

1st course of Crispy grains from Kornly – a light and savoury cracker.

The 2nd course - Fermented juice from carrot and sea buckthorn with a carrot  "candy".

The 2nd course – Fermented juice from carrot and sea buckthorn with a carrot “candy”.

3rd Course - Pear, pear vinegar and lemon verbena.

3rd Course – Pear, pear vinegar and lemon verbena.

The 4th course - Jerusalem artichoke, rye vinegar and walnut.

The 4th course – Jerusalem artichoke, rye vinegar and walnut.

The 5th course - Dried flowers and apples.

The 5th course – Dried flowers and apples.

The 6th course is charred potato and lightly smoked sheep milk butter.

The 6th course is charred potato and lightly smoked sheep milk butter.

7th course - Cep mushroom.

7th course – Cep mushroom.

The unbelievable view from our table in the kitchen while we enjoyed our 8th course.

The unbelievable view from our table in the kitchen while we enjoyed our 8th course.

The 8th course - "Impressions of the ocean" with seaweed and razor clam.

The 8th course – “Impressions of the ocean” with seaweed and razor clam.

9th course - Tomato water, herbs and jellied ham.

9th course – Tomato water, herbs and jellied ham.

The 10th course -"Dillstone" (jellied dill), scallop, horseradish and pickled cucumber granita.

The 10th course -“Dillstone” (jellied dill), scallop, horseradish and pickled cucumber granita.

11th course - salted hake, buttermilk, kaviar and herb stems.

11th course – salted hake, buttermilk, kaviar and herb stems.

Another homemade juice from Geranium.

Another homemade juice from Geranium.

12th course - Bread with emmer and spelt.

12th course – Bread with emmer and spelt.

The 13th course - Biodynamic onions with chamomile and melted hay cheese.

The 13th course – Biodynamic onions with chamomile and melted hay cheese.

A bit of savoury juice made with cucumber and a bit of apple.

A bit of savoury juice made with cucumber and a bit of apple.

14th course - Oysters from Limfjorden, fermented cabbage, seaweed and thyme.

14th course – Oysters from Limfjorden, fermented cabbage, seaweed and thyme.

Part 1 of the 15th course -  Black currant leaves bouillon.

Part 1 of the 15th course – Black currant leaves bouillon.

15th course - Egg yolk in smoked lard with the black currant leaves bouillon.

15th course – Egg yolk in smoked lard with the black currant leaves bouillon.

16th course - "Wild duck in calm surrounding", juniper, pickled pine and elder.

16th course – “Wild duck in calm surrounding”, juniper, pickled pine and elder.

The 17th course is "Gron Grod", sheep yoghurt ("pearls") and sweet cicely.

The 17th course is “Gron Grod”, sheep yoghurt (“pearls”) and sweet cicely.

The 18th course was my favourite dessert course with the theme of honeycomb - Blackberries, hip rose tea and bees wax ice cream.

Dessert: The 18th course was my favourite dessert course with the theme of honeycomb – Blackberries, hip rose tea and bees wax ice cream.

Dessert: 19th course - "The taste of naked tree", dark beer, prunes (tuile) and cream with beech wood.

Dessert: 19th course – “The taste of naked tree”, dark beer, prunes (tuile) and cream with beech wood.

Dessert: 20th course - Green egg with pine.

Dessert: 20th course – Green egg with pine.

Final course to take home - Black currant and liquorice house-made hard candy.

Final course to take home – Black currant and liquorice house-made hard candy.

Denmark: Cafe Norden

My final four nights in Denmark were spent in Copenhagen.  Other than dinner at the famous Geranium (to be posted later this week), we didn’t book any other meals and on our second night we ended up here at Cafe Norden.  Perfectly located on the major shopping strip (Ostergade) in the main square with two floors, we sat on the second floor at a window banquette with a great view down Ostergade street.  This was a great casual cafe, lively with many local patrons and unexpectedly good food.  I ordered the Smorrebrod which is a traditional Danish open face sandwich.  What was great with this was it came with three different kinds: eggs & prawn, liver pate and pork loin.  They were all fresh and delicious but my favourite has to be the roasted pork loin with pickled red cabbage (almost sauerkraut like), cucumber and roulade (mayo).  Not only was the food dynamite but so was my iced tea, almost like a virgin sangria, it was made with quince tea, lemon, elderflower and a splash of orange juice – I couldn’t get enough of it!

Cafe Norden

Cafe Norden

The beautiful view from our table at Cafe Norden.

The beautiful view from our table at Cafe Norden.

Inside the upper floor of Cafe Norden.

Inside the upper floor of Cafe Norden.

Special of the month - Mushroom Pie and a side salad.

Special of the month – Mushroom Pie and a side salad.

Norden's Triple Salad - with honey mustard chicken, salmon and vegetables.

Norden’s Triple Salad – with honey mustard chicken, salmon and vegetables.

The Smorrebrod plate - three different open face sandwiches.

The Smorrebrod plate – three different open face sandwiches.

Egg and prawn smorrebrod.

Egg and prawn smorrebrod.

Pork loin smorrebrod with red cabbage and cucumber.

Pork loin smorrebrod with red cabbage and cucumber.

Liver pate smorrebrod with bacon and beetroot chips.

Liver pate smorrebrod with bacon and beetroot chips.

Norden's special iced tea made with quince tea.

Norden’s special iced tea made with quince tea.

Raspberry mousse on a chocolate cake base.

Raspberry mousse on a chocolate cake base.

Denmark: Radhus Conditoriet

When it came to finally making a decision that we were going to Denmark, my first thoughts were, I’m going to the land of danishes and butter cookies!  And well, it definitely lived up to my expectations.  In Ribe, we found a traditional Danish cafe full of delicious goodies, Radhus Conditoriet.  Everything from my newly discovered favourite hindbaersnitte to danishes to the flodeboller (chocolate covered marshmallow cookies) – all originating from Denmark.  I wasn’t able to try them all from this pastry shop but I did buy a couple of boxes of their homemade Danish butter cookies.  We all know the familiar blue tins covered with scenes of Denmark’s countryside filled with 5 varieties of butter cookies and they are good, but these were definitely a lot fresher and you can taste it – they were buttery, crumbly and delicious!

A traditional bakery in Ribe.

A traditional bakery in Ribe.

Roll cakes and sandwich cookies.

Roll cakes and sandwich cookies.

Various bollers or "buns".

Various bollers or “buns”.

This bakery's version of a hindbaersnitte.

This bakery’s version of a hindbaersnitte.

A selection of pastries.

A selection of pastries.

So many danishes.

So many danishes.

Traditional Danish butter cookies.

Traditional Danish butter cookies.

Traditional flodebollers.

Traditional flodebollers.

Denmark: Weis Stue

Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark, was high on my list of cities to hit on my tour.  With cobblestone roads and old timber houses and a beautiful prominent Domkirke (Cathedral), it was a charming town fit for leisurely walks up and down its narrow streets.  However, with a town so small, dining options were very limited.  We happened to stumble upon a small quaint restaurant and hotel called Weis Stue.  Located in the centre square and across from the Domkirke, we noticed the restaurant was bustling inside so we decided to take a look.  Inside an old house, with the hotel rooms on the second floor, we were brought to a private dining room in the back of the house beside the kitchen.  Serving very traditional fare, I ordered the very popular fried filet of plaice (a white fish) topped with a salad of cooked shrimp and white asparagus, sliced dense rye bread and caviar.  It was simple yet satisfying.  Definitely worth experiencing the charm and character of Weis Stue.

Weis Stue hotel and restaurant.

Weis Stue hotel and restaurant.

Our private dining room at the Weis Stue.

Our private dining room at the Weis Stue.

Lovely tea selection at Weis Stue.

Lovely tea selection at Weis Stue.

Milk and sugar.

Milk and sugar.

My dinner at Weis Stue.

My dinner at Weis Stue.

Close up of my wiener schnitzel.

Close up of my fried filet of plaice.

Weis Stue.

Weis Stue.

Entrance to Weis Stue.

Entrance to Weis Stue.

Denmark: Mc Donald’s

So I can’t remember why but one morning we decided to go searching for a McDonald’s and lucky for us, we found one in the main square in downtown Aarhus.  The breakfast menu wasn’t as extensive as they are in the North American McDonald’s but the staples were there.  The egg, sausage and bacon mcmuffins, pancakes, coffee and hashbrowns (which taste exactly the same as those sold here) were all available but the Morgenbrod is what caught my eye.  Literally translated, the “morning bread” is ham and cheese (tasted sharp like swiss cheese) on a handcrafted poppyseed roll.  To be honest, there was nothing special about the ham or the cheese but the bread roll was absolutely delicious, almost artisan like with a crusty exterior and not the usual “wonder bread” texture that is typical of their sandwich buns.  They need to bring this to Canada!

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We finally found a Mc Donald’s.

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Breakfast at Mc Donald’s in Denmark.

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The Morgenbrod available for approximately $3.

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The Morgenbrod combo with a hashbrown and a coffee.

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A close up of my morning sandwich.

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How cute are these? They are single packets of milk.

 

Denmark: Fotex

Everyone who knows me knows that wherever I go I must visit a grocery store at least once during my trip.  I love walking up and down the aisles looking at the different products, discovering what flavours are popular or in season at the moment.  You really get a feel for what the locals are buying and eating.  One of the grocery chains we discovered in Denmark was Fotex.  In this particular location, I spent almost two hours combing the shelves and found some awesome products.  Items like Heinz American Hamburger sauce (aka “Big Mac” sauce), Heinz curry mango sauce (which I brought home with me) and Wasa’s cracker sandwiches made with cream cheese and chocolate.  I’m a chip lover and I love the unique flavours you can find and this was the first country where I found Lay’s Ketchup chips outside of Canada!  I also discovered that the Danish like their salads, I found an entire refrigerated section dedicated to this product.  Everything from shrimp, tuna, herring, mackeral, pickle and egg salad to only name a few.  I only wish I was able to try them all :)

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Fotex grocery store.

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Lay’s Brazilian Salso flavoured chips with Lionel Messi.

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First time I’ve seen Lay’s Ketchup chips outside of Canada.

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Love the brand, Toast Factory processed cheese slices.

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So many different salads.

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Skyr yogurt.

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“Big Mac” sauce bottled!

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Heinz’ curry mango mayo.

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I love Wasa but Wasa sandwich crackers with cream cheese and chocolate!

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Love the variety of grainy crackers.

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Muesli, another favourite of mine.

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Schweppes Lemon Zero, tastes like Sprite.

 

Denmark: Sogaards Bryghus

For our only night in Aalborg, the fourth largest city in Denmark, we decided to hit a microbrewery/restaurant called Sogaards Bryghus for dinner.  If you love craft brews, this is a great place for a beer tasting.  I went with a Pils, a nice light and fruity beer which was perfect with my dinner, herring.  I actually love herring, especially when pickled so when travelling through Denmark wherever I found it on the menu, I ordered it.  Sogaards had a dish which prepared herring three ways and served similar to a “charcuterie plate”, it was great with the dark grainy bread.

A pint of the house brew.

A pint of the house brew.

Delicious grainy bread to start.

Delicious grainy bread to start.

A hamburger with no bun.

A hamburger with no bun.

The custom vegetarian dish - never seen so much mashed potatoes.

The custom vegetarian dish – never seen so much mashed potatoes.

My main dish, herring three ways.

My main dish, herring three ways.

A close up of my main dish.

A close up of my main dish.

Sogaards.

Sogaards.

Brewing equipment.

Brewing equipment.

The list of different brews that are produced at Sogaards.

The list of different brews that are produced at Sogaards.

Sogaards.

Sogaards.

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