Editor's Blog

Great Danes

Having just returned from a four day trip to Copenhagen for our upcoming feature in May, the one thing that really struck me was how happy the Danes were.

Seriously, they were really happy.

I’m not sure I’ve been flashed so many beautiful grins in such quick succession in my whole life, plus the Danish people have insanely good teeth - so that’s something else to smile about.

I asked the amazing Marie Dyhr from ‘Wonderful Copenhagen’ - who I was lucky enough to have as my cheery tour guide for my stay in Copenhagen - what the Danish secret to happiness was and why year after year Denmark is named, quite simply THE happiest place on earth. She answered: “We don’t expect too much, we have low expectations so if things go wrong in life, like they normally will we don’t stress too much, we are happy with very little and happy with what we have. We don’t feel disappointment!”

No disappointment? This was groundbreaking stuff. Cue an instant epiphany and lightning bolt moment as I chowed down on my open rye bread sandwich with pickled herring… Just be happy with what you have. Simple. The sandwich made me happy, so that was a start.

It’s pretty easy to see why the Danish are so happy though, Copenhagen is a vibrant, cool and quirky city where the bikes outnumber the cars, the architecture and design is slick and modern and the city has become famous on the world stage as incredible for foodies with 18 Michelin-starred restaurants to boot. While I was there, the world renowned Noma restaurant was re-opening after a year’s break with a waiting list of thousands already. There will be no moaning in that line though, just happy optimism and excitement.

Everything has that little bit more magic in Copenhagen, and maybe that can be attributed to the Danish concept of ‘hygge’, explained simply to me as ‘cosiness’ or ‘snugness’. This would explain the hundreds of candles at every outside table in the city, as well as a variety of furs and cosy blankets on chair-backs ready to cloak yourself in as you sip schnapps on a street corner and watch the happy bikers go by. Wonderful Copenhagen, you certainly lived up to your name.

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