Yes, I know, there are lots of ways to be Danish, and we’re all meant to have taken our rose-tinted spectacles off when it comes to our Nordic neighbours. But Ant and I just had a long weekend in Copenhagen, and I’m obsessed. So here are some of the little ways I’d like to make my life slightly more Scandi.
Rethink your interior design
Think white walls festooned with huge art prints. Bare wooden floors edged with rows of potted succulents. Candles everywhere – and by the way, mobiles aren’t just for kids any more. I could definitely take on board some of the minimalist, functional, everything-has-it’s-place principles of Danish design.
Stop complaining about the weather
Copenhagen is colder and just as rainy as Leeds, yet somehow the weather isn’t a daily topic of conversation. Also, when it’s raining, Danish people still arrive at their destination looking, on average, much more beautiful than me. I have a theory that this has a lot to do with coats and boots. Danish people wear a stunning variety of sleek coats and heeled boots, which also repel wind, rain, and the struggles of a daily commute (I assume).
Fun fact: Over a third of Denmark’s electricity is generated by wind turbines. Another one: Denmark plans to be fossil fuel free by 2050. Danes love their recycling and they are gradually reducing the amount of energy they’re using. Add to this the fact that they cycle EVERYWHERE and you’ve got a seriously green nation. Am I likely to take up cycling? No, considering every which way seems to be uphill in Leeds, but I could significantly reduce my energy consumption and do more to support green energy.
Take the top off your sandwich
It’s time to level up your lunch. Baring your butty’s contents means you need to think a bit harder about what you’re putting in there, which might explain why smørrebrød is one of the best looking snacks around. Beef, salmon, prawns, egg, pâté, chicken, beetroot: you name it, they’ll slap it on a slice of rye and pile on some salad, herbs and dressing. Alongside that, you’ll need a cup of really good coffee and a pastry. Whether it’s a sweet and sticky cinnabun or a fat, flaky fastelavnsbolle, you’ll be glad you didn’t skip dessert.
Stop saying please
Okay, this one’s a bit extreme. But this weekend I found out the Danish don’t have a word for please, and…. I kinda liked it. Even though part of me likes the idea of a word that’s pure social lubrication, aren’t there other ways to ask nicely? And with a decade of waitressing experience under my belt, I can promise you that just because someone says the word please, does not mean that what they are saying is polite. So whilst I won’t be dropping please from my vocabulary any time soon – Britain is so not ready for that – I will be thinking hard about other ways to make people feel appreciated.
Take care of your skin
The green philosophy definitely extends to the beauty department in Denmark. Brands like Rudolph and Olé Henriksen embrace natural luxury and organic ingredients. I’m not sure about the science stuff, but I do know that I’ve never seen skin like it. Every time we went anywhere, I found myself gazing at someone with high cheekbones and translucent skin in the corner; do Danes even have pores??
Are you still as obsessed with Scandi style as I am?