Flying into Copenhagen, the gal was quickly amazed by how easily the city runs with as few ‘workers’ as possible. Kastrup airport has everything, with more shopping and eating facilities than you could want in a lifetime, but if you need a person to help you, then you have a problem. Concentrate, do what you have to do and you can find yourself, with a one-ride ticket (much better value than a day-pass) on the train to Central Station. Cross Bernstorffsgade Street, using the pedestrian crossing in this law-abiding city, to the unique Nimb Hotel, of which more later. Once checked in, use your room key to go out of the rear door directly into Tivoli Gardens.
I was heading straight for Gemyse, one of dozens of eating places in this gorgeous amusement park, opened 1843 and going strong ever since – past aficionados include Hans Christian Andersen and Walt Disney. Its many rides include Vertigo, voted best ride in Europe in 2014: it even offers a virtual reality experience, plus daily live shows and a fireworks display. The 20-acre area, today owned by a publicly-quoted company, is meticulously maintained. Nimb Hotel guests have the big advantage of complimentary entry, which includes getting to Gemyse.
What a joy this restaurant is! Iben Marburger Juul, then GM of Nimb Hotel, wanted to bring the park into the dining experience. She talked with the gardeners, as a result of which, as you can see from the photo at the top, even the entrance sign is flanked by tomato plants and other greenery. When the weather allows, many diners choose to forgo the attractive, Scandinavian-simple indoor restaurant for eating in a big greenhouse, or simply outside. My shoulder was brushed by bean plants as we tried chef Mette Dahlgaard’s dishes, highly admired by the Michelin inspectors.
Gemyse is not vegetarian as such but who wants meat when you can have grilled avocado topped with tomato relish, and fried cucumber with peas and pickled lime, and broccoli sprouts blended with bambini pasta and homemade cheese? I especially like what is called ‘tasting fields’, which turns out to be a green salad with nasturtium flowers. The breads were twisted dough, exactly like the dampers we used to make as Girl Guides, flour and water and cook over an open fire. Gosh that brought back the kind of memory that no luxury hotel would think of. Does anyone know a gourmet restaurant that would dare to offer the delight of a damper? NOW SEE A VIDEO OF GEMYSE