Aarhus City Hall | Rådhuspladsen 2, 8000 Aarhus C | Map
You know you’re an architecture geek when you base your holiday around a building. Ok well I didn’t base my whole holiday around seeing Aarhus City Hall. But it was definitely number one on my to-see list!
Aarhus City Hall
Stepping inside, I felt like I was walking into a film. Or perhaps an episode of a classic tv show. That’s the only way I can try to get across how magnificent the interior is in Aarhus City Hall. Every single detail of the building has been thought out meticulously. Right down from the gleaming gold of the banisters, to the delicate flowers adorning the walls of the marriage ceremony room. It was like stepping into Danish design heaven.
Built by Arne Jacobsen, the city hall represents Danish architecture and design at it’s finest. The building may be over 75 years old, but Aarhus City Hall is timeless.
How? When? Where?
Although the main floor is open to the public, naturally you can’t just wander around the whole of the city hall. Luckily guided tours are offered in both Danish and English, for around £9 (80DKK). These tours take place on Saturday mornings at 10-11:00 and 11:30-12:30. You’ll be able to see rooms and halls that are usually restricted to the public. And if you’re lucky – and there isn’t a wedding scheduled – you’ll be able to go into the beautiful marriage room, which is covered in hand painted flowers (matching every season). Of course some parts of the city hall are still restricted to staff only, however the tour allows you to see a side of the city hall not open to the public. It’s definitely not to be missed, whether you’re an architecture geek or not.
Don’t forget to check out more of my Denmark travel posts.
3 Reasons Why I’ve Stopped Reading Blogs
Well, ok that title is slightly clickbaity. I do still read a few blogs. But whereas I used to have an RSS/Bloglovin full of them, I can now count the number of blogs I read on one hand. And lately I’ve been wondering why that is, and thinking about some of the little things that bug me about the ‘blogosphere’. So I decided to pop them down in a post, and give you ‘3 Reasons Why I’ve Stopped Reading Blogs’.
Bye bye originality
Time after time, I see the same features and campaigns popping up. The same layouts and designs. The same styles. It’s almost as if they’re blending into each other. Now that’s not to say people can’t follow trends, but it gets eerily creepy when a blog or social channel is a carbon copy of another. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it makes for a boring blog.
Blogs are no longer genuine
I’m tired of seeing bloggers doing something purely because they think it will get them more hits, subscribers, likes etc. That’s to say there are some of the people out there who are no longer genuine in their efforts. I’m talking about the people who only hang out with ‘high-profile’ bloggers just to further their own career. Or those that only visit a place because it is Instagram-friendly. I’ve actually seen people say that they care more about how a restaurant dish looks than how it tastes, because if it doesn’t look good they can’t put it on social. It’s all just very sad.
Not disclosing paid for
This is one thing that will automatically put me off a blogger. Paid-for campaigns are not hard to spot, especially for someone like me who works in marketing. I’ve seen bloggers called out for it in the comments of their Instagram post, and then promptly delete said comment, before later adding #SP. No one is going to hate you for making money, it’s only when you’re shady about it that people are going to get mad.
Why I’ve Stopped Reading Blogs…
I’d like to stress that this post does not mean I think every blog is the same. Far from it, there are some amazing blogs out there that are doing their own thing, and working it. And I understand that some people make money from their blogs, and that’s awesome – power to you guys. But I believe that with a saturated market you often lose quality. I just hope that these blogs continue to do an outstanding job, and don’t get lost along the way.
A Rainbow of Art at ARoS | Aarhus Travel Guide
I couldn’t decide where to start when it comes to gushing about my recent holiday to Aarhus, Denmark. The city captured my heart, and my camera (duh, I’m a blogger). So after much deliberation, I decided that my Aarhus travel guide should start at the beginning of my trip. And if it also happens to be the most colourful part, well that’s a bonus.
Aarhus Travel Guide
You may ask me “where?” when I mention Aarhus. But for fans of the Danish life, you’ll recognise it as Denmark’s second largest city – after Copenhagen, naturally. And it just so happens to be European Capital of Culture 2017. So after falling in love with Copenhagen, I decided to see what else Denmark had to offer. And with a title like the capital of culture, Aarhus seemed the perfect place.
My first stop in this new city, was the famous ARoS art museum.
ARoS is one of the main attractions at Aarhus, and you can understand why when you notice the ‘Your Rainbow Panorama‘ at the heart of the city’s skyline. But it isn’t imposing, nor is it ghastly against the traditional red roofs. In fact it’s beautiful. Of course it’s open to your own interpretation, but to me it felt like it was saying everyone is welcome in Aarhus. However whilst it may be incredibly Instagram friendly, there’s much more to ARoS than Olafur Eliasson’s colourful masterpiece.
The museum really does feature a panorama of art. For a city that isn’t exactly on the top of the art critics list, I personally loved the installations and exhibitions currently on show. The quality of artwork and artists featured is some of the best I’ve seen. ‘No Man is an Island – The Satanic Verses’ features some big big installations, and they are certainly impressive. Yet it was ‘THE GARDEN – End of Times; Beginning of Times’ that won me over. Not only is it incredibly immersive – without becoming a novelty – but it features some thought-provoking messages, such as man’s relationship with nature.
If you’re in Aarhus, the ARoS art museum is a must visit for any culture fans.
Don’t forget to check out more of my travel posts.
Hakkasan Mayfair | Dim Sum | Nearest Tube: Green Park | Map
If you’re a foodie, or simply a dim sum addict, chances are you’ve heard of Hakkasan. And if you haven’t, then where have you been? The Michelin star award winning restaurant group has locations across the globe, but it all started in little ol’ London. I was invited recently to visit their Mayfair restaurant, to try out the new Tea & Dim Sum Lunch menu. With an empty stomach, and an eager eye, I accepted (duh).
First impressions of Hakkasan Mayfair are impressive. Moody, atmospheric lighting guides you down the candle-lit hallway. Awaiting you at the end are the restaurant’s conscientious staff, who are more than happy to show you to your table. The staff here – like at many of their restaurants – are very friendly, and more than happy to explain any dishes or menus. However we were here to try just the one, the new Tea & Dim Sum Lunch menu:
- Choice of Fruit Blend (non-alcoholic cocktail)
- Dim sum
- Char sui bun
- Har gau
- XO scallop and prawn dumpling
- Black truffle and chicken roll
- Baked venison puff
- Crispy beancurd cheung fun
- Stir-fry asparagus
- Matcha Custard Doughnut
- Seasonal fruit platter
- Choice of tea
- Dragon’s Well green tea or White Peony tea
At £42pp the menu is available from 12pm to 6.15pm for parties of 2-7 people.
More than just a pretty face…
Let’s not beat around the bush here. I was impressed. The menu felt like a slight nod to the British past time of afternoon tea, with a dim sum twist. It includes more than enough food for two, but…oh, the food! Strong, comforting flavours are accompanied by a myriad of textures across the menu, with my favourites including: Black truffle & chicken roll, Baked venison puff, and the Crispy beancurd cheung fun. The dessert platter is a great end to the menu; light and sweet. Just make sure you accompany it with one of Hakkasan’s signature teas.
Priced at £42 per person, this is averagely priced for those looking for a slightly more luxurious lunch. And taking the whole menu into consideration, you’re certainly getting your money’s worth for a lunch at Hakkasan Mayfair. We were pleasantly full when we left, and as my friend stated, this really is a contender for ‘…the best Chinese food in London’.
Check out more: Where to Eat in London
London Coffee Festival 2017
Five. That’s the amount of coffees I can safely consume in the space of one day without wanting to die. Of course I don’t make a habit of this, but sometimes you gotta take one for the team. Such as when the London Coffee Festival rolls round. Every year I prepare myself for a day of caffeine, innovation, and…food? Yes, you heard me right, food. Because the London Coffee Festival has way more going on than just serving up a cup of joe.
London Coffee Festival 2017
Whether you’re into latte art, artisanal coffee, coffee-flavoured alcohol, whatever, LCF has it! Honestly I could just sit down with a bag of coffee beans and smell them all day. But I do like to dig a little deeper into the process every now and again. And that’s part of why I love wandering around LCF and discovering new products, techniques and brands. Including South Korean start-up Cafflano – who are producing the world’s first portable all-in-one pour over coffee maker.
But by far the most fun I had was with Union, and their Ultimate Flavour Challenge. We were given a tray of coffees, and asked to place them with the correct flavour pairings. Now I’m no expert on this, but we got 2/4 correct and I’d like to say that it would have been 100% if Ben hadn’t suggested we change two of the coffees at the last minute. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but maybe I have a future in coffee tasting?
Coffee & Food
Ok I couldn’t do a post without talking about the London Coffee Festival, and their dedication to pairing coffee and food. Two of the things I love most in life, together. This year LCF did not let me down, with the appearance of The Chef’s Table & Restaurant by Grind (the same people behind Shoreditch Grind etc), alongside the White Label Kitchen. And of course a delicious meal wouldn’t be without an equally scrumptious dessert. That’s where Hotel Chocolate and their School of Chocolate came in. Although I would like to also give a shout-out to the companies who were exhibiting but not hosting any events, because you are equally awesome. Especially the Danish Bakery – who you can currently find in Selfridges food hall.
The London Coffee Festival may be over for another year, but you can find year-round coffee love on my Instagram.
Monocle | Cafe | Nearest Tube: Baker Street / Bond Street | Map
Most of us on Instagram have come across a photo of the Monocle cafe and it’s trendy storefront. And if you haven’t…do you even social media, bro? Seriously, this place is a hive of iPhone activity every time somebody walks by. In fact, I would go as far to say that it’s been Instagrammed more times than it’s celebrity neighbour – The Chiltern Firehouse. Now that’s an achievement! And can you blame people when the facade is this lovely?
But wait a minute, isn’t this a cafe? People do actually eat here…right?
Monocle Cafe – More Than an Instagram Trend!
Contrary to popular belief, I have actually eaten at Monocle. I don’t just stop by to take a photo every few weeks. In fact I’ve eaten here several times, and I keep coming back for more. Much like it’s namesake publication, the cafe offers up a variety of eclectic and delectable treats. High quality, authentic Japanese and Scandinavian dishes dominate the menu, alongside cakes, pastries, and a really great drinks menu – (Allpress) coffee, wine, matcha, check!
The interior is ridiculously cool too, with Monocle branded goodies lining the shelves. You’ll always find the latest issue here, and you’re more than welcome to peruse it during your stay. Which is perfect, because you won’t feel pressured to rush here. Nor will you feel ‘out of place’ like some London establishments – cough, hipster cafe, cough – as the clientele varies greatly. The atmosphere is relaxing, and the staff incredibly accommodating. Can I talk it up any more? So go on, venture inside next time you’re nearby. After you’ve taken your Instagram photo, of course.
You can find the Monocle Cafe at 18 Chiltern Street.
Don’t forget to check out more of my Where to Eat in London series.