Ever since the Vikings sailed through in AD 842 for some looting and decapitation, London’s been popular with Danes. We’re a lot friendlier these days, with 20,000 of us living here permanently and almost double that coming and going for short-term jobs and study. London offers excitement and multiculturalism that we’re not used to, and many Danes have returned home with a lifelong love of pubs, roasts and yorkshire puddings. In return, we’ve given you hygge. Seems fair.
Danes mostly seek Danish food at Christmas, Easter and midsummer, though you’ll find us any time going round markets and at design stores trying to get the Copenhagen look (everything painted white, even the floor). Throughout the year you can also catch Danes in bars where the handball is on, and anywhere hyggelige. We are quite reserved with strangers, but extremely direct. If you want to get to know us, just say so. We won’t take your head off… Bronte Aurell
Did you know? You can usually identify Danish newcomers as they don’t say ‘please’ a lot. That’s because Danish doesn’t have a specific word for it. Bear with us while we adapt to British hyperpoliteness.
Bronte’s favourite Danish spots in London
Run by top Danish chef Christoffer Hruskova, The Bread Station serves real Danish pastries and organic sourdough.
You’ll find homesick Danes in Tiger stores buying candles and liquorice, trying to teach their mates how to pronounce ‘skærebræt’.
West London hotspot Snaps & Rye on Golborne Road is a superb, new-style Danish restaurant.
For Danish-branded clothes and hygge accessories, try the Wild Swans boutique in Islington.
Try Sticks ’n’ Sushi: it’s sushi but Danish, so naturally Danes choose it over the rest.
Rent or buy a proper Danish Christiana bike from London Green Cycles.
Hit Smør stalls across town for lovely open sandwiches.
…and come over to my place, Scandinavian Kitchen, for food, coffee and groceries.
The best of Danish London, according to you
‘Wild Swans in Upper Street for free samples of Danish liquorice!’ Tilde KV via Facebook
‘I like Scandinavian Kitchen and Den Danske Kirke, the Danish Church near Regent’s Park.’ Bente D via Facebook
‘I can recommend Bäkehaus and The Bread Station for really good rye bread. Also you will find several Nordic Bakeries around town. I think many Danes prefer our rye bread to plain, white sandwich bread.’ Louise R via www.timeout.com