On Location... Copenhagen
On Location • The Journal • December 2020
Christina Bull Nielsen grew up in a tiny harbour town an hour from Copenhagen and fell under the charm of the city that Conde Nast Traveller calls a Michelin-starred fairy-tale. Indeed, Copenhagen is a visual delight. It is packed with contemporary architecture that reflects Denmark’s cultural values: designing with nature and sharing common spaces. It’s no surprise that it is here that Arne Jacobsen developed the world-famous Swan chair. In fact, this pocket-sized city is big on design everywhere you look, whether its furniture, ceramics or even food.
‘Copenhagen is a feast for the senses – for a photographer like me it’s a paradise.’
Christina works on stills, location and product photography, but her passion is, most definitely, food photography. ‘It’s no coincidence that I’m from the city that launched Noma,’ a restaurant known for its reinvention and interpretation of Nordic cuisine. A photographer by trade, Christina’s work is heavily influenced by her Danish roots. Her style has that inimitable Scandinavian lightness of touch, where less is most definitely more. ‘We Danes have many unspoken rules, like Janteloven, for example. It means, don’t think you’re anything special, in a good way! Being humble is riven into the national psyche. It helps us to focus on what is most important in life.’
Christina is a big fan of the city but spends her Christmases in her cabin by the beach in Marielyst, an hour from the city, where she cycles to the bakery for Kaffebrød and Håndværkere. At Christmas, the place is filled with candles for the traditional celebration on 24th when everyone eats ris alamande, a Danish almond rice pudding with a whole almond hidden inside in for one lucky person. After dinner real candles are lit on the Christmas tree and everyone dances around it while singing Christmas songs. No wonder Dane’s rank as some of the world’s happiest people!
Best bar – Curfew
The owner and the man behind the bar is Humberto Marques. Originally from Portugal, he has transformed what was once a gangster’s hangout, into an elegant, modern cocktail bar that conjures memories of the American speakeasy of the. Scratchy funk, swing, and blues are the backdrop to world-class cocktails.
Best Meal - Alchemist
In the same way as the ancient alchemists sought to fuse philosophy, natural science, religion and the arts to create a new understanding of the world order, Alchemist offers diners a ‘holistic cuisine’. Its aim - to redefine the concept of dining. An evening here invites you to ‘arrive with your mind open’, to taste fifty ‘impressions’ each accompanied by a different wine of your choice. With a cellar boasting up to 10,000 bottles this place is one to remember.
Best Bed - Nobis Hotel
Slap bang in the city centre, opposite the Tivoli gardens, this is classical Danish architecture combined with flawless Scandinavian style. If you’re celebrating, take a penthouse room for gigantic windows that give onto views of city rooftops. Bikes are complimentary so you can make the most of the fresh air and the city. That is, if you can drag yourself away from the in-house sauna.
Best adventure – walking tour (yes, really!)
The Danish Architecture Centre (DAC) takes you on an exploration of Ørestad, a local neighbourhood with some of the most Instagrammed buildings in Scandinavia. Guides share design stories, and you can see first-hand how sustainable buildings creatively recycle and up-cycle materials.
If you would like to see Christina’s work, take a look here.