I’m home again! It’s reading week at Uni and with a surprisingly (and unfamiliar) empty academic calendar reading week has actually meant a week of reading for fun for once! I have been able to go home and have a proper study-free holiday, the kind where I have been sitting on the sofa indulging in uninterrupted hours of reading and tea drinking, and been able to spend time with my family and friends guilt free, as I don’t have other things I really should be doing instead. But my visit at home haven’t just consisted of staying inside, cuddling up next to the cat on the sofa where its nice and warm, I have also been out and about almost every day.
Yesterday my mum and I had planned a trip to Copenhagen for some much needed mother-daughter quality time. It feels strange to think about this but I am much more familiar with the different areas and streets of London than I have ever been with Copenhagen. I have always lived in a suburb far from the city center and Copenhagen has always been a place I went to on daytrips, for shopping, cinema trips and birthday celebrations. Or a place I commuted to for work or lessons when I was taking my Spanish A-levels.
I have my favourite places of course, those cafés, parks and museums that I always come back to. But the truth is that I’m no Urban Copenhagener and many of the city’s secrets here at home are still unknown to me. This means that almost everytime I go into town I discover something new I didn’t know existed!
Last Summer I went to CPH with my mum and by pure accident we went through the cobble-stoned passage in Pistolstræde and stumbled upon Konditori Antoinette, a French Patisserie lying hidden away from the busy High Street Strøget in a quiet, intimate courtyard. On that hot, melting Summer day we sat in the shade on their wooden terrace outside the patisserie, shielded from the sun by the high walls of the buildings that sourround it and had cake and a much needed glass of cold, freshly-squeezed orange juice.
Ever since that day we have been dying to go back and try their French-style Afternoon Tea, so yesterday, after shopping our way through Strøget buying presents for others and little treats for ourselves, we went back again. After having spent the afternoon out on the cold Copenhagen streets in the chill of February Winter, it felt like such a luxurious thing to go in and sit down in all of the warmth and cosiness of the café. There aren’t many other things (cake wise) as exciting as seeing one of those 3-layer afternoon tea stands come of out the kitchen and discover what has been put on them.
It is something I share with my parents; our love for these quiet moments of ekstravagant self-indulgence in special places, drinking pots of golden Earl Grey tea and eating our way through one lusciously decorated cake after another. These moments only get better when we share them together and while it is something we have done for years, it has become an even bigger part of the way we spend our time together after I moved to London. Even if I only have a few days with them before I have to say goodbye again, we always make sure to make time for it.
I think Konditori Antoinette will become one of our new favourite places in Copenhagen, the same way that Deux Amis feels like one of our own little secrets in Bloomsbury. I love discovering those unique, quiet places both here at home and back in London, it is one of the things in the world I treasure the most and one of my favourite things about travel. After all, I always find that it is the experiences, people and especially places you had not expected to find that makes travel really special. *