Oct21

Madklubben

Madklubben Admiralgarde
Photography by Rebekah Burder.

Do you have requirements for a good trip? I do. Easy travel, lots of architecture, and one great meal at a great restaurant. While I’m happy to let street food (hello waffles on a stick!!) and simple cafe fare (foldable pizza? yes please!) stand for the rest of the trip, I research, plan, and schedule that one great meal with military precision. So when I came down with a nasty sinus cold the day we left for Copenhagen, that great meal stood in jeopardy. I, not so patiently, withstood hotel mishaps and rainy weather, all in the hopes of that meal. Only to realize about three hours before our reservation that, barring a miracle, there was no way I would feel up to our 7:30 reservation. Realizing we were only a few blocks from the restaurant, we popped over to see if they could take us at 5:30 instead. They had availability, and so the great meal was saved! Happy birthday to us!

Madklubben, a chain of Copenhagen restaurants, popped onto our radar from two reliable sources, a Design Sponge city guide and the New York Times, 36 Hours: Europe. The chain is known for it’s quintessential Danish style and locally sourced ingredients. After two hours dining on the perfectly served and prepared cuisine, lulled into the peaceful candlelit atmosphere, we departed happy with our choice.

Purple Wainscotting Windowsill Garden
Crystal Decanters
Danish Bread Le Crueset Flatware Holder
Madklubben Menu

We dined on the fixed course meal: starting with mushroom soup, moving on to steak with potato and garlic mash and roasted vegetables, and finishing with the creme brulee and cheese course. To find out more about Madklubben Admiralgarde and to make reservations, check out the Madklubben website.

Copenhagen Blog_117
Photography by Rebekah Burder.

Last weekend, we packed our weekend bags and headed out for two nights in the lovely city of Copenhagen, Denmark. It’s long been on our Google travel doc, that I felt such relief exiting the plane. Or that might have been relief from escaping the not one, but TWO, giant groups of teenagers, Danish and Irish, on the flight. Let’s just say a lecture was given on why seats shouldn’t be kicked. By me. To a 13-year-old. Anywho.

After two days spent walking the city streets, standing in awe of Danish architecture, I am convinced that the Danes really are the leaders in design and lifestyle. Starting with the quaint harbor of Nyhavn, with its gorgeous boats and colorful stucco-covered brick exteriors, it’s iconically Copenhagen.

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The Church of Our Lady, or Copenhagen Cathedral, is a study in Neo-classical design. Walking into the creamy light-filled interior is a welcome change to the gothic and dark churches typically found in Europe. Everything, from the light fixtures to the prayer candles, i a study in beautiful design. I’ve become so used to mold and dusty smells (a nightmare for this allergy sufferer!), that I was excited to be able to spend 10 minutes in a church without sneezing or coughing.

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Amalienborg, the winter home of the Danish royal family, was built in the Rococo style, and is, hands down, one of my favorite palaces I’ve been. Made up of four buildings, it’s simple yet regal.  Even in misty weather, the buildings stand out in silent beauty, as the Marble Church creates a stunning backdrop.

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If you only have a day or two in Copenhagen, spend it wandering around the city, eating amazing food and soaking in the style. From the outdoor cafes and street performers, to the art installations and home goods shops, the city has this laid back feel that is the cornerstone of Danish lifestyle. Hygge in full bloom.

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I’ll leave you with my favorite shot of the trip, the interior of Frederick’s Church, or The Marble Church, just outside of Amalienborg Palace. Yet another example of Danish architecture that I have a giant crush on after this trip!

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Copenhagen in autumn is like Paris for introverts. You can wander the city streets and museums without battling huge crowds. The weather is cool, so pack a windbreaker or light jacket with a hood. We got caught in a downpour the last two hours before we left for the airport that had my eyelashes dripping! It’s also one of the most expensive cities in Europe, comparable to London. The airport is a short metro ride from city center. Tickets are about $7.50, and trains run every 4 minutes.

I can recommend First Hotel Twentyseven, we stayed there one night after Hotel Fox overbooked. Sadly, I cannot recommend Hotel Fox. They handled our entire visit poorly; from the room not being available, to the taxi driver taking us to the wrong replacement hotel, to the dirty room they eventually gave us late the next day, to the dirty walls in our final room . It’s such an interesting concept, for a great bargain, but they fail to deliver what they promise on their website.

For a great walking tour of Copenhagen, check out this link.

Oct9

Apple Cider Tasting

I have a cider habit. It started after moving to Ireland, and has only grown over the past year. I’m not alone in this obsession, cider is a way of life here in Europe. So, in an effort to spread the love, I’m going to host a cider tasting!

Host a cider tasting at your next fall party | Honeysuckle Life
Photography by Rebekah Burder.

I’ve spent the past few weeks picking up ciders around town, hard and alcohol-free. It’s becoming quite the collection, necessitating many explanations when friends come over! Here’s my list of ciders I’ve found:

Budget:

  • Duc De Coueur from Lidl
  • Bulmers Original
  • Bulmers Spiced Apple and Honey
  • Kopparberg Wild Pear (not pictured)
  • Kopparberg Wild Berry (not pictured)

Specialty:

  • Rekorderlig Wild Berry
  • Stella Artois Cidre
  • Wyld Wood Organic

Non-Alcoholic:

  • Kopparberg Pear
  • Kopparberg Wild Berry
  • Homemade American style Cider (not pictured)

Would you host a cider tasting for fall?

Oct8

DIY Dipped Candles

Consider this project redemption for the failing grade I received on my 7th grade American History craft project. The instructions said dipped candles, I used a mold. Hence, the failing grade. But, the consolation is that this is a project even a 14-year-old should be able to handle. They’ll add a little bit of warmth and coziness to your fall nights!

Dippe Candles Tutorial
Photography by Rebekah Burder.

Dipped candles are easy to make, but hard to perfect. Expect your first few batches to come out a little wonky (see the ridges in mine?!), and troubleshoot as needed. Good luck, and great dipping!


DIY Dipped Candles

Supplies:

  • wax shavings, about 500 grams
  • wick, about 4 meters
  • pencils or popsicle sticks, as needed
  • fishing weights, as needed
  • double boiler
  • glass or tin container or tube
  • drying rack

Direction:

  1. Fill the double boiler with water. Turn on medium heat. Pour the wax into the glass or tin container and place in the double boiler. Bring water to boil, then reduce to a simmer. As wax melts, add more to keep container filled 3/4. When wax is fully melted, turn heat to low.
  2. While wax is heating, trim the wick to one and a half times the desired length of the candle. Tie around a pencil, and clip a small fishing weight at the end of the wick. Pull the string to straighten, then put on the drying rack with cord hanging to straighten more. Repeat this until you have enough wicks for your candles.
  3. Dip each wick into the melted wax, allowing the layers to dry before the next dip. Do this until the candles are the desired width. When finished, hang them on the drying rack. If they are not completely straight, you can roll them on parchment paper to straighten, then dip a last time to smooth any creases or prints out of the wax.
  4. Use a lighter to warm the bottom of the candle, then roll it gently on wax paper to round it off. Hang to dry completely then trim the wicks. Store until a cool evening, or wrap up to give away as a gift.

A few notes:

I created my own double boiler with a tall pot and steamer tray. I removed the center part of the steamer so the jar had enough room. While the wax was heating, I used a wood skewer to remove air pockets from the wax as it melted.

I used chipped soy wax as it is faster and easier to melt, along with chipped candle dye.

If you use a glass container, you can turn it into a candle at the end of the session using any remaining wax. If you want long candlesticks, you’ll have to purchase an aluminum tube that will hold wax, or a stainless steel beverage holder, but the lightweight material might have trouble staying upright if the water level is high.

It takes about 10-15 dips to get a birthday candle size, and about 100 to get a standard candlestick size.

I didn’t use a weight on the smaller candles and they definitely weren’t as straight as the weighted candles.

Other Resources:

Tutorial from Gardenista

DIY Dipped Candles from Martha Stewart

Boat Tour Inisheer and Cliffs_20
Photography by Rebekah Burder.

Sometimes I can feel quite young at tourist’s spots in Ireland. As my bestie put it before we moved to Kilkenny, it’s a fantasy for Americans aged 60 and over. The Delta flights to and from the Emerald Isle are filled with bluehairs and grandparents gone wild. So, when we booked a tour of Inisheer (part of the Aran Islands), I fully expected to be the youngest on the boat. It seems something the older crowd would love, right?! I was close to being the youngest (four nurses on holiday had me beat!) on the sunny Saturday we set sail.

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We spent the days on ferries and pony carts, walking quiet island lanes, and in quaint family pubs. Climbing over sand dunes to see an ancient chapel, staring in awe at a monolithic burial ground that dated from 1100 BC (!!!!!!), and generally having a quietly good time.

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For €25 each, we spent 6 hours on Inisheer and touring the Cliffs of Moher from the chilly waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. You can walk the island (takes roughly 2 hours) or take a 30-minute pony ride, which costs €30 for 4 people.

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