New Nordic is a bit of a buzzword in Copenhagen, a style of cuisine that’s all about looking at what’s in your back garden and presenting it in new ways. It might mean taking the best from the forest and the sea and adding a twist of the unexpected. Or using the ingredients your granny served up to you during your childhood and combining them in an unusual way. It’s fresh, it’s local and it’s very Danish.
But what about New Nordic Cocktails?
While I was staying at the delightful Kurhotel Skodsborg just outside Copenhagen, I had the pleasure of tasting a few New Nordic cocktails that had been created by leading Copenhagen bartender, Gromit Eduardsen. Gromit has been my go-to cocktail guy ever since I met him mixing his award-winning Copenhagen cocktail at TBEX a few years ago. He now runs a cocktail place at Copenhagen Street Food as well as working with a number of leading hotels to create their cocktails.
My daughter, Sophie-Anne is also a fan of the well-mixed cocktail and together we enjoyed tasting a few of the popular cocktails that Gromit had created at Kurhotel Skodsborg. Just in case you’d like to taste along at home, Gromit kindly shared the recipes to the ones that we tried as well as the inspiration that went into them.
I hope you enjoy the video below on how to make a New Nordic Whiskey Sour
Sophie-Anne’s choice was a Clover Club cocktail; pink, frothy and totally feminine, garnished with a fresh raspberry. Although it looks like a woman’s drink, Gromit told me how this classic cocktail from the 1900s actually originated in a Philadelphia Gentleman’s Club. At that time, the gin imported from London was considered a luxury and the fresh lemon juice and raspberry syrup made this a cocktail that would be enjoyed on a sunny summer afternoon by those who had little care or need to return to the office.
Ingredients: 50ml Tanqueray Gin, 30 ml fresh lemon juice, 20 ml raspberry syrup, 10 ml sugar syrup, 1 egg white
Put ice in your cocktail shaker, add the gin, lemon juice, raspberry syrup, sugar syrup and egg white & shake as hard as possible to create a foam with the egg white. Strain into a chilled champagne coupe and garnish with a fresh raspberry.
Grapefruit Smash Cocktail
My choice was the Grapefruit Smash, another classic cocktail that takes the best parts of a Mojito cocktail and gives it a refreshing grapefruit twist. While Gromit is the first to admit that most bartenders would rather invent something new, the customers love the classics, so he is always looking for ways to make them a little different.
Ingredients: 50 ml Diplimatico Blanco rum (or any crisp white rum), 15 ml sugar syrup, 30 ml ginger ale, a dash of Peychaud’s bitters 3 slices pink grapefruit, 2 lime wedges, 4 fresh mint sprigs
Put the fresh mint in bottom of glass with the lime & grapefruit wedges and muddle to release the juice and aromatics. Fill the glass with crushed ice, add the rum, sugar syrup and bitters then stir and top up with ginger ale.
New Nordic Whiskey Sour
Both Sophie-Anne and I enjoyed tasting one of the most popular cocktails on the menu, a New Nordic Whiskey Sour. This classic cocktail was invented in the 1850s but in the 1990s was modernised by cocktail makers who included red wine as their new ingredient. The Nordic twist in the Whiskey Sour is a cherry wine from Frederiksdal, on the island of Lolland, where the cherries grow in the orchard of a castle, are picked, mascerated and the wine left to mature in oak barrels. The oak flavours of the wine partner perfectly with the smoky bourbon whiskey. Cherries are a popular summer fruit in Denmark and families would traditionally make their own cherry wine or bottle the fruit steeped in alcohol. Apparently the Frederiksdal cherry wine is going down a storm in Hong Kong, where cherries are a symbol of wealth for the Chinese.
Ingredients: 50ml bourbon (Maker’s Mark) whiskey, 30ml fresh lemon juice, 30ml sugar syrup, 1 egg white, Frederiksdal cherry wine, 1 maraschino cherry and lemon rind to garnish
Put the liquids in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake and drain into a glass, garnish with a zest of lemon and maraschino cherry and drizzle Frederiksdal cherry wine on top.
Tasting cocktails and more at Kurhotel Skodsborg
I highly recommend a stay at Kurhotel Skodsborg where we tried the New Nordic Cocktails. The hotel is a leading Nordic spa hotel, overlooking the sea and with outstanding health and fitness facilities. We loved hanging out in the stylish lounge, relaxing in the different pools of the spa and jumping off the private jetty to cool off after a sauna. The hotel is just a 30 minute train ride from central Copenhagen and a relaxing base to explore the beautiful coastline north of Copenhagen.
Thanks to Kurhotel Skodsborg for inviting us to stay and enjoy their New Nordic cocktails
Gromit and the Nordic Bar Syndicate
Gromit Eduardsen is a leading figure in the cocktail scene in Denmark and you can find out more on his Nordic Bar Syndicate website, including the hotels where you can taste his cocktails and his cocktail stand at Copenhagen Street Food on Paper Island.
Heather and Sophie-Anne flew with Scandinavian Airlines from London Heathrow to Copenhagen. SAS fly several times a day to and from London to Copenhagen giving you a choice of times to make the most of your time in Copenhagen. On arrival take the train direct to the centre of Copenhagen or to Kurhotel Skodsborg on the coastal line stopping at Skodsborg.
Heather and Sophie-Anne used the Copenhagen Card which covers free public transport around Copenhagen as well as free or reduced price entry to many of the attractions in and around Copenhagen.
More things to do in Copenhagen
Light, Air, Water – finding a healthy holiday in Copenhagen – healthy tips for rest and relaxation on your spa break by the sea in Copenhagen
10 summertime cool things to do in Copenhagen – rent an apartment to live like a local and enjoy the summer in Copenhagen
Like Mother Like Daughter – What we loved on our trip to Copenhagen – Sophie-Anne suggests some things to do in Copenhagen that mothers and daughters will both enjoy.
You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey
Our weekend break in Luxembourg was full of surprises; a city that’s unexpectedly small and walkable, packed with history and culture. And then there was the food! This tiny Europan capital combines the elegance of France, the gourmet delights of Belgium and the efficiency of Germany into one easy going package. As we walked around the old town, I was struck by the number of tempting places to stop for a taste of this or a glass of that, so I’ve decided to take you on a gastronomic walking tour. History and culture are always more fun with a bite to eat or a cup of hot chocolate thrown in!
Place d’Armes at the heart of the city
Let’s start in Place d’Armes in the centre of Luxembourg old town, a tree-filled square with plenty of cafe terraces and a bandstand where you’ll often find live music in summer. The elegant Palais Municipal stands at one end and since its renovation in the last few years, is now used as a cultural centre, although it served as the Nazi headquarters during WW2. On the Saturday that we visited there was a flea market full of granny’s best china and some more unusual items, like antique bird cages and piles of deer antlers. Who doesn’t need a set of deer antlers these days?
Elegant patisserie at Oberweis by the Sheep fountain
Let’s walk down the cobbled street at the side of the Palais Municipal until we reach another Luxembourg landmark, the charming fountain known as Hammelsmarsch or the March of the Sheep. The bronze fountain, by sculptor Will Lofy, depicts the shepherds who would bring their sheep into town once a year to attend the annual Schueberfour market, accompanied by a troupe of musicians. The cute children shelter from the dripping water under an umbrella and the accordion player is a self-portrait of the sculptor himself.
Gastro-stop #1 – Oberweis for elegant patisserie
Once you’ve admired the fountain, be sure to pop into Oberweis, a family business established over 50 years ago that produces some of the best patisserie, chocolates and marzipan in town. There are five branches around the city but we’ll stop for a coffee or light lunch at the flagship store at 16 Grand-Rue. Take your time to feast your eyes on the beautifully decorated tarts and cakes as you enter, with chocolates and marzipan towards the back of the store.
If the weather’s fine, take a seat at one of the tables outside or climb to the first floor for waitress service. Should the long list of patisserie on the menu be too perplexing, simply pop downstairs again to make your selection from the cakes on display, then you’ll be handed a ticket to give to your waitress telling her which to serve. We loved the seasonal marzipan – in September there were horse chestnuts with glowing brown nut and spiky green shell. Just the place to stock up with gastronomic gifts for the chocoholics back home.
Oberwis, 16 Grand-Rue, Luxembourg
Place Guillaume II– the food market and restaurants
From Oberwis let’s take a right down Rue du Fosse which will bring us to Place Guillaume II, the largest square in the old city. The square is named after William II, King of the Netherlands who ruled Luxembourg from 1840-1849, but locals also know it as Knuedler after the knots in the belt of the Franciscan friars whose monastery once stood on this spot. Here you’ll find the town hall, tourist office and a if you’re lucky enough to be there on a Saturday or Wednesday, the market selling fresh produce will be in full swing.
Gastro-stop #2 – buy a picnic in the market
We wandered around the Saturday market which was truly a feast for the eyes, with one end devoted to flowers and plants and other areas a mixture of fresh fruit and vegetables with stalls of cheese, bread and deli produce thrown in. The aroma of freshly roasted rotisserie chicken wafted from at least three stalls and the picnic possibilities were plentiful. At one stall baskets of dried sausages, at another rosy strings of garlic, while vegetables were beautifully laid out as if awaiting a prize at the village show. We treated ourselves to pretty pastel slices of nougat in pistachio, raspberry and almond and sat at the foot of King William’s statue eating the lunch we bought at the deli van.
Gastro-stop #3 – restaurants to try in Place Guillaume II
If you are not there on market day, fear not, as there are a number of other cafes and restaurants that we spotted in the square. Try one of these;
Kaempff-Kohler at 18 Place Guillaume II – have a look in their deli-shop specialising in cheese and wine and then find a table inside or on the outdoor terrace to order one of their cheese plates for lunch with a glass of local wine.
Brasserie Guillaume at 12 Place Guillaume II – right next door to Kaempff-Kohler, this brasserie is a fishmonger and fish restaurant combined. After you’ve admired their colourful window displays of seafood, take a seat and order the freshest of fish. They serve other things in the brasserie, but fish is the main event.
Beet at 32 Place Guillaume II serves vegetarian and vegan food in a trendy but informal cafe with a terrace on the square. Mostly organic and locally sourced, this is the less traditional but still delicious choice for a healthy lunch or dinner.
An alternative to walking – the Veloh! bike scheme
If you need to work off your delicious lunch you may spot the bright blue veloh! bikes in the square and at bike stations around the city. They cost practically nothing – €1 for a day so long as you can use your credit card to register at the machine and leave a deposit from your card. Sadly the system was not working when we tried it and our card was not accepted but we think it’s a great idea! Now, let’s continue with our gastro-walk around the old town.
The Grand Ducal Palace and the Chocolate House
A few steps from the Place Guillaume II is the Palais Grand-Ducal, official residence of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg and the royal family. In fact the family spend most of their time outside the city but you’ll know if Grand Duke Henri is at home by the flag flying. Apart from the mellow stone facade and the balcony where the royal family appear on special occasions, there’s not much to see from outside. The palace is open in July and August (information here) but other times you’ll have to just content yourself with watching the tourists having their photo taken next to the good humoured sentries.
Gastro stop #4 – The Chocolate House
Just opposite the sentry post is our next gastro-stop at Chocolate House, famed for the hot chocolate and other sweet treats you’ll find inside. As soon as I heard about the chocolate spoons that are served with hot milk to make the hot chocolate of your choice on The Amateur Traveller Podcast about Luxembourg (thanks Rosie) I knew I had to give this place a try! Luckily Jennifer from Luxe Adventure Traveler had already bagged a prime spot when Guy and I passed by, so we joined her to order our hot chocolate and watch the world go by.
Those chocolate spoons come in over 40 flavours but they also serve enormous slices of cake and sell very pretty chocolates and marzipan inside too. It was tough choosing between all the chocolate spoon flavours like lavender, hot chilli orange, almond raspberry and a few naughty alcoholic versions too, so I brought a few home in my suitcase.
Chocolate House, 20, rue du marché aux herbes
The Statue of Grand Duchess Charlotte
Just around the corner in Clairefontaine square, you’ll find the bronze statue of Grand Duchess Charlotte. It was designed by the Parisian sculptor Jean Cardot and inaugurated in 1990 to commemorate the Grand Duchess, grandmother of the present Grand Duke Henri, who ruled Luxembourg from 1919 to 1964. After WW1 her sister Marie-Adelaide had to abdicate in favour of her sister, Charlotte and during WW2 the Grand Duchess and her family had to flee as Germany occupied Luxembourg, creating a focus for resistance in England and America.
Now we are just a short walk from the cobbled path known as the Corniche that runs along the top of the cliff overlooking the lower part of the old town in the Petrusse valley. This is the place to take your photographs from the “Balcony of Europe” looking down on the church of St Jean-Baptiste in the valley which is now an arts venue and the green terraces and gardens that line the river banks.
At the end of the Corniche you’ll get a view of the Casmates, the complex of tunnels and storage rooms that were built into the rockface providing gun emplacements overlooking the valley to defend the Rocher du Bock fortress that stood at this point. It’s easy to see why the fortress was such a key stronghold, with steep cliffs on both sides until it was dismantled at the end of the 19th century. The casmates were at various times used as munition stores, workshops, stables and garrisons and you can visit them and look out from the different openings down into the valley. Casemates are open daily March to November.
Unfortunately, the Casemates were just closing when we passed by so let’s continue along the road with views across the other valley to some of the museums that stand on the opposite plateau of Kirchberg. As we walk down the hill it is tempting to stop at the Beim Siggy brasserie with a sunny terrace bar overlooking the valley. Keen to get to the bottom of the valley for a river walk, we’ll continue, pausing briefly to investigate;
Gastro-stop #5 – Rives de Clausen
The old Mousel Brewery by the river has been repurposed to make a lively nightlife scene where 9 different themed bars and restaurants crowd into the old brick buildings overshadowed by the tall chimney. All is quiet as we pass by in the afternoon but later on you can eat, drink and be merry with live music and anything from Brazilian to gourmet dishes and Belgian beer to sophisticated cocktails. Rives de Clausen: 2, rue Emile Mousel
We continue our walk along the river over the arched stone bridge and through the lower part of the old town, known as the Grund. In these old buildings you’ll find a number of bars and cafes and although we don’t have time to stop at any of them on our walk, you might look out for;
Gastro-stop #6 – the cafes and restaurants of the Grund
Michelin star at Mosconi – If fine dining is your thing, you may like to reserve a table at Mosconi restaurant where the 8 course, Italian inspired set menu is served in an elegant dining room beside the river. Mosconi: 13 rue Münster
Café Des Artistes – If you’re after something more informal, try the cosy Cafe des Artistes nearby with vintage posters covering the walls and a piano where you’re invited to tinkle the keys and sing along. Café Des Artistes: 22 Montée du Grund
Crossing the old arched bridge, we find the elevator that takes us back up to the upper level of the old town at the top of the cliff. If we decide to come back here in the evening, it runs until the early hours. After our walking tour of Luxembourg’s old city, there’s one further gastro-stop later in the evening when we’re off for dinner at;
Gastro-stop #7 – Chiggeri
In an old townhouse, down one of the narrow cobbled streets of the old town, you’ll find Chiggeri with dining experiences depending on your mood and budget. On the ground floor is a Moroccan style winter garden and cafe, serving ‘cuisine bourgeoise’ with plates of charcuterie and cheeses, tartiflette and steak tartare. We, however, climb the steep wooden stairs to the top floor with painted walls that seemed inspired by Maori tribal markings, combined with a sophisticated four course menu and accompanying wines. The restaurant boasts an entry in the Guiness book of records for its selection of over 2000 fine wines.
Today’s menu includes a skewer of grilled scampi garnished with black olive oil and crispy strips of onion, a main course of grilled red mullet on a bed of risotto and a desert of strawberries in a sweet crispy pastry shell. All quite delicious and with carefully matched wines recommended by our sommelier. This is the place to come if you want the fine food and wine in an informal setting without all the fanfare.
Chiggeri, 15, rue du Nord, Luxembourg
Where to sleep in Luxembourg
We stayed at Hotel Le Chatelet, in a smart residential area that was a 15 minute walk from the heart of the old town. The hotel is a large townhouse with a restaurant and panelled bar on the ground floor, a handy car park and 32 bedrooms on the two upper floors. The decor has a dark and trendy feel, with black walls combined with white and grey finishes and modern, industrial touches. The dark scheme was a bit love it or hate it and at times I felt I was in a night-club on the morning after the night before.
Our room on the second floor was perfectly comfortable, with the same dark colour scheme, warmed a little by the aubergine carpet. The bathroom was large with industrial looking plastic flooring and those mirror lights you see in theatre dressing rooms. With a curtained enclosure for a wardrobe, the room felt a little low budget compared to the elegant chandeliers and panelling in the public areas. The hotel will suit stylish city-break couples looking for a quiet and convenient base that’s an easy walk from the old centre.
Hotel Le Chatelet, 2 Boulevard de la Pétrusse.
Compare prices and book for Hotel Le Chatelet on our Hotels Booking Page
For more information to plan your visit to Luxembourg, head for the Visit Luxembourg website
Looking for Airport Parking?
Heather used the Meet and Greet Parking Service at Heathrow, booked through Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) who offer airport parking at a range of airports across the UK as well as travel extras such as airport lounge booking and airport hotel stays.
Our thanks to Visit Luxembourg who hosted our weekend stay and Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) who provided our airport parking.
You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey
If you are holidaying on the Greek island of Zakynthos, be sure to visit the new restaurant Anadalis in Argasi that adjoins Windmill Bay Hotel on the coast road. The setting by the sea could not be more magical since the tables are set under palm trees with the waves lapping below the restaurant, making a romantic evening setting and a place to enjoy good times with friends and family.
The restaurant was opened this season by my niece Sophia, who has returned to the island after a few years working for a leading hotel group. She’s one of a new generation of entrepreneurs that are returning to the island and bringing fresh style to the businesses started by their parents on Zakynthos.
Why the name Anadalis?
The land on which the restaurant and hotel stand was purchased by Sophia’s great grandfather, but it originally belonged to the Anadalis Estate, which was owned by the aristocratic Domeneginis family. A little up the road is a small church and square tower overlooking the sea, all that remains of the family’s Anadalis mansion which in its 19th century heyday, hosted the leaders of Zakynthian society, including the famous Zakynthian poet Solomos.
Over the years, the mansion was damaged in earthquakes, but always rebuilt. However, during the 1821 Greek war of independence from the Turks, the mansion became a secret meeting place for political groups and was left in ruins to discourage unwanted visitors. In order to keep prying eyes away, a story was put about that the old mansion was haunted and it became known locally as the ‘Devil’s Mansion’. When Sophia opened the restaurant, she remembered the stories her grandmother had told her about the old ruined mansion and decided to call the restaurant Anadalis after it.
In Anadalis, Sophia has created a restaurant that offers the flavours of the Mediterranean while using local Greek and Zakynthian ingredients. She told me,” When we worked on the menu, I wanted to make sure that there was a uniquely Greek touch in every dish, and many of the ingredients are only found here on Zakynthos”.
The best of local flavours
The bruschetta uses fresh tomatoes topped with a local smoked pork called apaki, and the sea bass is garnished with kritama, a green vegetable a little like samphire, that grows on the rocks near the sea. The Zakynthian graviera cheese is used in the rolled pork tenderloin with sundried tomatoes and spearmint, while the Greek salad incorporates a local goat’s cheese katiki domokou instead of feta.
The seafood dishes are especially popular and the sea bass is caught locally by the fishing boats you’ll see moored up in the mornings along the harbour wall in Zante town. The Mediterranean influence comes through in the pasta dishes such as Linguine Anadalis with prawns, calamari and mussels in an ouzo sauce.
Chocolate soup and ancient Greek Baklava
Deserts are equally delicious, with one of the most popular being the chocolate soup with crispy biscuits and orange ice cream and I enjoyed the creamy pan cotta served with pomegranate syrup. The baklava here is made with pistachios instead of the more usual walnuts, and flavoured with krokos, a Greek herb similar to saffron. Although most people think of this as a Turkish desert, in fact it was popular with the Ancient Greeks who served crisp fried bread drenched in honey and sprinkled with nuts. Many of the deserts are served with Kaimaki ice cream, a typically Greek flavouring that is based on the mastic plant that is also used to make liqueur.
A chef who has worked in the top Greek restaurants
Sophie recruited an experienced chef de cuisine in Kristy Karageorgou, who although still in her 20s, brings ten years of experience of working in top Greek restaurants. Kristy worked in the 6 Keys restaurant in Pelion which has a ‘Toques d’or”, the Greek equivalent of Michelin star and also worked under top Greek chef, Yannis Baxevanis at his restaurant Giorti in Athens. Krista loves using fresh herbs and will be found at the beginning of the evening clipping herbs and flowers such as lavender from the borders beside the restaurant to use in the evening’s dishes.
Cocktails and wines with a Greek twist
We enjoyed a cocktail before our meal from the list which also incorporates local herbs and Greek flavours. The Violet cocktail includes gin, violet liqueur and lemon as well as the Greek mastic flavour and basil from the herb garden, while the Elderflower fizz with gin, elderflower syrup and lemon makes a refreshing drink for a summer evening.
The small wine list is also carefully chosen to include wines from Zakynthos and other prize winning Greek wines. The aygoustiatis is a grape variety that is unique to the island, making a fruity, aromatic red from the Grampsa winery on Zakynthos. We also tried a delicious, prize winning Gerovasilioy Chardonnay from the Epanomi region in Central Greece.
The sun sets over Anadalis
As guests start to arrive in the restaurant the sun casts a golden glow over Anadalis and the sea breeze rustles the leaves of the palm trees. Just below the casual bleached wood tables and painted wood sofas, the sea is lapping gently over the shingle and narrow strip of sand where guests swim during the day.
As you order a cocktail or glass of wine the sky turns to pink as the rosy ball of the sun sets over Zante town. The candles flicker on the table and lanterns are lit around the restaurant as the lights of the town match their twinkle across the bay.
It’s a magical setting for for dinner with family or friends and there’s a large grassy area adjoining the restaurant where children can play happily while parents relax over a glass of wine. In the height of the summer, the air is warm but at the beginning and end of the season the tables are brought under the awning and sides lowered as the evening cools.
Be sure to reserve your table at Anadalis, already it’s proving very popular and getting great Tripadvisor reviews. Starters €4-6, Main course €8-14, Pasta €7-11, Deserts €4-4.80. Ring Windmill Bay Hotel to make a reservation. You’ll find Anadalis adjoining Windmill Bay Hotel (it has a separate entrance and parking area) on the coast road on the edge of Argasi resort, on the Greek island of Zakynthos.
More things to enjoy in Zakynthos
You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey