Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kagebord, here we come!

Once comfortably installed in the classy dining room, it's time to prepare a strategy to attack the buffet ...
Where should I start ... by the scones?

By the cup-cakes ?

Or by the pyramid of brownies?

It's all a matter of strategy. While the Danes quietly queue, the French reach out to grab a plate, smoothly optimizes his trajectory to attack the buffet by the east side, where it is less crowed, then cleverly use his elbows to manage to fill a small plate under 2 minutes top!

Don't worry if the superb chocolate cake is gone in 10 seconds, the buffet is filled fairly regularly, so you should be able to sample everything.
The chef hurries up to refill the buffet and even takes time to stop and receive compliments.

My favorites: scones with whipped cream and brioches - nice and simple!

The walnut tart was very good too. I am still not sure about the cup-cakes, which tasted weird (the green frosting tasted a little like toothpaste ...).

A bad point for the tea lovers though, you have to cross the entire room with your cup in hand to go and fill it up with the tea pot located on the buffet. Can you imagine the risk you're taking with a boiling hot cup of tea in your hands, walking against a flow of hungry cake maniacs reaching for the buffet-
Funny anecdote, the nice danish lady from the next table didn't hesitate to fill her handbag with cakes before leaving!
Surprise, it's not only the French who behave this way ;-)
All good things have a price in Copenhagen, so prepare yourself to pay 190dkk (25 euros) for 2 hours of unlimited pleasure. But after an hour, an average person will give up...

Leaving the dining room, preparing ourselves to get back into the crazy world and leave this smooth sugar paradise, we check out the hotel lobby for a quiet transition.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cake orgy at Hôtel d'Angleterre

A cold Sunday? Craving for heat and sugar (got addicted at Lagekagehuset)? We found another paradise....
The famous Kagebord (literally "cake table") of the Hotel d'Angleterre, located on Kongens Nytorv. Attention your craving must be well planned, since this is only the first Sunday of the month at 3pm you will be able to enjoy this sugar heaven! A second piece of advice: do not forget to book a table because the place is very popular.
You can relax in the luxury of Palmehaven, starting with a first look at the buffet, then, after defeating the queue of hungry people, finally satisfy your appetite with fabulous pastries ... Feeling hungry already?
Careful, at 3pm sharp, the queue can be long to enter this sugar temple. But do not worry, there will be cakes for everyone ...
Before starting with the buffet, we enjoyed the the opportunity to admire our surroundings: a small room with ceilings so high that it must be a nightmare to heat up.

... fine porcelain plates (feels like home =o))...

... very classy surroundings

Next article, let's enjoy the buffet!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Electric car and german design

You want to be "green" but can not stand to bike?
I have got a solution: electric car! We talk a lot about it these days and a lot of manufacturers have projects for years to come, but in fact solutions already exist!
Seen recently in Copenhagen:

Good enough to drive fifty kilometers at 60km per hour! However German design is probably not to everybody's taste. Ah, if only they had a Dane at the head of the design team!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How many bikers in Copenhagen?

Copenhagen has installed last year its first bike counting stand . We had already seen some of those in Odense a few years ago.
The most practical detail: the compressor next to the terminal.

The counter is really working: Bike number 1404 ..

Congratulations miss, you're number 1405 ...

In addition to this, the city is now trying to tackle one of the major issue for cyclists: theft! In fact, bike theft is quite high, especially in the major train stations. There were in 2008 no less than 19,171 reported stolen bikes! Not to mention the many people who do not even register their stolen bike. If you find it funny, imagine that you can not find your mean of transportation in the morning to go to work ... Not very pleasant ...
One solution proposed by the municipality is to install a "chip" that would help finding back a stolen bike. From a technical standpoint, it is a simple
RFID "tag" placed in a reflector. 5000 "chips" have been distributed in this phase of testing. If you are interested, more info here. Unfortunately you can't book your chip ...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Copenhague the city of cyclists

Of course, we can not talk about the Danish green attitude without mentioning this mean of transportation very popular around here: the bicycle. No, it isn't only because there is a 180% tax on cars that most Copenhageners use bikes but (let's be optimistic!) also because they care about the environment.
And the City of Copenhagen is of course encouraging this a lot.
First example: the advertising campaigns. Last year we could see this poster in town:

It says "Copenhagen best city for cycling" and it gives the targets for 2015:

* At least 50% of people take the bike to work or school
* The number of serious bicycle accidents is reduced by half
* At least 80% of cyclists feel safe in traffic.

And hopefully those targets can be reached - the city doing its best to make it happen.
For example, bicycle paths are periodically renovated and even painted in blue in the most dangerous areas.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Not so clean after all

Here is some waste that the exhibition producers might have forgotten in the "Ren by" exhibition.

And yet it is more than common in the city, especially the mornings after...!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Solar power in the countryside

Different environment, different type of solution!
Here is an example of a solar installation tailored to the countryside (as opposed to single solar panel that we saw in Copenhague center): the "solbuen" (ray of sun) district, close by Hillerød.

First, you encounter a very large area of solar collectors used for heating. It is true that Denmark is not known for its sunny days (reputation partially false or partially true depending on your point of view), but the few sunny days this winter were enough to produce some MWh, which can lighten the heating bill. It seems that the operation is quite profitable because the town already draws plans for the next "solar farm". Maintenance is inexpensive because it just needs mowing from time to time! At the center of this facility, a counter displays MWh "harvested" during the day.

The roof of service buildings (bike shed, carport ...) is also covered with photovoltaic sensors. Enough to provide some additionnal electricity for homes.

You can't see it from the outside, but most homes are equipped with heat pumps and for some, wood powered heating systems - so another more or less renewable energy. Add to that, a few geothermal equipments, and the engineers behind this project claim that this area makes 95% less CO2 than traditional buildings [source COWI] ... Respect!
The buildings themselves are "standard", ie very representative of the current Danish architecture. Modern materials, cubic forms and predominance of raw materials: wood, glass, metal. You like it or not ... At least the merit of these modern buildings is that energy efficiency has been taken into account.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Solar power in the city

Here is an example of a solar panel that we have noticed some time ago in the Copenhagen main train station area. Considering its surface, it probably doesn't provide much energy, but it shows how solar energy installation can be integrated into the urban landscape. Ah, those Danes are really the best in design in all categories!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Green DSB

As a passenger in a DSB (national train company) train, you can find little "green" garbage bags close to your seat. When you're done watching by the window, you can also fight boredom by reading the advertising printed on them. Present in all trains, these bags are being well used by travellers. Overall trains are quite clean, except oln Saturday and Sunday mornings!

"You can be green, but together, we're even more green"

"Remain seated and keep up the good work."
And fortunately, the bags are in a 100% compostable material ... One could always argue about the fact that these bags spend more energy to be produced than a good old garbage can permanently installed.

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