Not just cake in Copenhagen
We did visit the National Gallery for the art and not just the cafe, honest! Actually now I think of it there’s rather a good shop too…
The building itself is splendid although being January the fountain was switched off. The original building is a classic temple to culture and an easy walk from the nearest station. There are plenty of other cultural sights to tempt you nearby and we enjoyed popping in to the Film Museum on the way back to Sweden.
Finding the cafe
The cafe is in the modern extension of the museum and looks out onto the gardens. So you can have a good view with your refreshments but get there early if you want a window seat as it gets busy! The ceiling is worth a look wherever you sit as its an art work in itself. You’ll spot it as you pass it on your way to the cafe on the upper floor.
Not just tea and cake
The cafe has a full menu including a buffet and is licenced. We just wanted some tea and cake and to thaw out a bit too! I had coffee in a very stylish mug along with the Danish version of a scone. My friend had tea and cake with a magnificent teapot.
The teapot was cast iron and the server struggled with it a bit. When we tried lifting it we found it was heavy enough to almost have its own gravity field. It did a fine job of keeping the tea warm as well as being good looking.
And the gallery itself?
Full of treats is my immediate thought. Galleries are themed by place and period so there’s a clear theme to follow. Our highlights were the surrealists, not least because their work was placed in the social and political context of their time, and Danish contemporary art simply because not much makes it to England.
I also liked the placing of large sculptures in the galleries. Perhaps my favourite being a life size Victorian lady who appears to be looking at a painting of a lifeboat launch.
An unexpected piece of puppet theatre
On the way to the cafe we spotted an intriguing shed like structure. This turned out to be a reproduction of a puppet theatre. It has a performance area on one side and workshop on the other. The gallery now uses it for learning activities. Worth a look if you go there!
An old favourite
I’ve visited the Arnolfini many times since moving to the Westcountry in 1985.
Whether just a cuppa and cake or a meal the food and service is uniformly good. It does get crowded as a result though so be prepared to share a table, which can lead to interesting conversation. All of which can refresh you ready to savour the current exihibition or try to resist the tempatation of the book shop!
The Arnolfini is handily close to Temple Meads for pre-train dining, and sitting outside looking across the water is a pleasure on a warm evening.
Last month saw myself and a fellow cafe addict in Antwerp.
Coffee is different here
Our first cafe experience was disappointing as it was a lovely cafe but the coffee was from a push button machine like you find in garages here. We kept trying and found coffee in Belgium is slightly different to the Italian style coffee we are used to in Britain. We did not try the local version with cream as we both prefer coffee towards the bitter end of the taste spectrum, so it was a voyage of coffee discovery!
Yum on the way to MUHKA
Walking to the contemporary art gallery, MUHKA, we stopped at a small cafe in a square. This was Cafe Lindts and we had a lovely cup of coffee and with some small cakes gratis from their bakery. In Antwerp there’s a great choice of food and drink and it’s worth looking for what you like!