Carlsberg, snaps, bacon, pastries, open sandwiches and herrings.  They were all on my list of things to experience during a long weekend in Copenhagen.

We stumbled on the lovely canal-side restaurant, Kanal Cafeen, by accident.

Although it was mid- afternoon, the place was buzzing but we managed to find seats at one of the gingham-clothed long tables. 

The menu was a bright green slip of paper with 30+ fillings down the side and three bread types across the top. Assuming we needed to write our own order, we ticked four fillings on a selection of breads.

A basket of mixed breads arrived and we ravenously tucked in. On presenting a dish of four SmØrrebrØd, the waitress asked if we’d ordered a platter.

When we said no, the basket and butter where rudely whipped away and deposited with the family further up the table. They either didn’t see what had happened or didn’t mind second-hand bread and butter! 

Four chilled Carlsbergs arrived as ordered: two in “men glasses” and two in “lady glasses”.  

The SmØrrebrØd were delicious: smelly gorgonzola cheese with egg yolk and an oblong of gelatine, roast beef with soft onions and remoulade, crisp fried herring and prawns with black caviar.

All were beautifully garnished with salad and herbs. We later discovered this famous restaurant dated back to 1852 and was the haunt of politicians.

After a ridiculously early morning flight, we wanted dinner close to our hotel. FRK Barners Kaelder was virtually next door, had a terrace and Danish cuisine.

The restaurant was named after a Miss Barner who originally owned the land. This was the ideal opportunity to experiment with Miss Barner’s ‘herring speciality’ with dill, apple and aquavit (snaps).

The six herring chunks were served in a small dish with capers and onions and accompanied by rye bread with fat (rather like a dripping) to spread on the bread. 

Whilst friends weren’t brave enough to order, everyone wanted to try and they were declared the best starter and not bony, slimy or fishy as anticipated. 

Unfortunately the fried streaky bacon served with parsley sauce, boiled potatoes, mustard and beetroot was, for some strange reason a Tuesday speciality. The fact there was no speciality on any other night of the week, made it even more mysterious.

Danish pastries were an easy one to tick off as they were freely available at breakfast and a mid-afternoon stop in Christianshavn for  lemon-ginger snaps helped us recover from seeing exactly how little the Little Mermaid is.

The only thing we didn’t experience was Danish bacon: a trip to Sainsbury’s on return, soon put this right.