SLEEP: Hotel SP34, Copenhagen
I have a love/hate relationship with surprise birthday trips: I love going somewhere new, I hate not knowing what to pack! So 48 hours before departing London for the "mystery" destination (that I'd been dropping a lot of unsubtle hints about), I hounded it out of him. Copenhagen clothes crammed into my long-serving Aspinal of London cabin bag, I was Denmark-bound.
It was cold. It was wet. But we made the most of it, with a suite at Hotel SP34 as our base in the Latin Quarter. Formerly three townhouses, it's now an experience in Danish design. Bonus: with the suite, you get your wine thrown in. The morning after, the pretty, split-level restaurant is well worth rising for. And that's the problem: somewhere as good as SP34 makes it easy to confine yourself to its quarters. Force yourself out the door, hop on one of the hotel's Brompton bicycles and explore. Recommended: [Illums Bolighus], [ HAY] and [Stilleben].
And a special mention for my birthday meal. Noma was on hiatus in Mexico, and I'm glad, as that led us to the outstanding Kadeau. The restaurant feels more like a home – intimate, calm. The tasting menu, paired with wine (enthusiastically refilled throughout) was beyond exceptional. Plus, each dish is delivered by the chef responsible for it. While you listen to the full explanation of its provenance, you also get a lesson in Nordic ink – there wasn't a single chef visiting us without at least several fascinating tattoos on show.