Copenhagen, caught on film


Last November, I boarded a plane to my favorite city in the world. Copenhagen. I know I'm not the only one who loves the Danish capital so much. We all adore hygge and the happy Danes, rave about their cinnamon buns, grød, and are jealous of those highly fashionable inhabitants. Though it never gets old. Every time I visit, I get so excited when the plane starts to descend. I look out the window and spot those tiny colorful houses. From Amsterdam, you'll first pass Copenhagen, almost fly over Sweden, crossing that famous and beautiful Øresund bridge before making a large turn, and heading towards the city. What I also love so much, is that you can be in the center of town within an hour. Easily. I only carry hand luggage so it's even more convenient. 


I was in town because of the Frama long table gathering. A dinner cooked by one of my favorite chefs, Mikkel Karstad. But before meeting him, I had plenty of time to stroll through the streets of Copenhagen. I brought my trusted Canon, but I didn't particularly feel like using it and stored it safely in my backpack. I wanted to experience the city though my own eyes, and not so much through the lens of my camera. A few days before, I got the opportunity to borrow an old Leica. I never shot film before, but had a feeling this might be something for me. I was sure 36 frames would suffice for this short trip, but it was so difficult not shooting all the time. Especially at first. I am used to taking every photo I want to take, ending up deleting more than half of them most of the time. After a while I got the hang of it. Whenever I saw an image in my head, I took a few extra seconds pondering whether I'd really want to take it. Most of the time, I realized I actually didn't! So I enjoyed the view and continued walking. It felt liberating. Though, at the end of the day, I did realize I would need another roll of film. ;) 


Also, I did take different photos than I normally do. Street photography where people are involved isn't as easy as it's with my regular camera. People walking by, or riding their bicycle - I was afraid the object wouldn't be in focus as you have to control it manually. I was right - they mostly weren't. But that's also the charm of film perhaps. On the other hand, maybe if I would practice more I would get it right. Something that bothered me was that other people didn't realize I was shooting film. One time, I was ready to take a photo of a building, made sure the composition was the way I wanted it, ready to push the button and as soon as I did, someone walked in front of me. I wanted to yell at the person, saying: "HEY CAN'T YOU TELL I ONLY HAVE A FEW SHOTS ON THIS ROLL LEFT YOU IDIOT?" Of course I kept my mouth shut. Other times I was about to press the button and then suddenly changed my mind. It felt silly. 


But because I was really aware of every moment, seeing the city with my own eyes, instead of looking through the lens all the time, I thoroughly enjoyed my 30 or so hours in Copenhagen. I didn't feel the 'burden' of having to take photos. That might sound weird, but it sometimes feels like I am addicted to my camera. 

CPH FILM / Mikkel Karstad

After having visited my favorite cafés and exploring some 'new' areas, I headed towards the Frama Studio Store on Fredericiagade. There I met Mikkel and his wife and we prepared the tables. The sun was setting, candles were lit and all the guests came in. As I was one myself as well, I sat down at one of the tables. I was joined by the sweetest of people: a lovely couple from Denmark, dear friends of Mikkel and Camilla, and two women who live near Malmö, in Sweden. We had fun conversations on the difference between Swedes and Danes, about how we Dutch either resemble or differ from them. We talked about our lives, their kids, jobs, ambitions, wat brought us here, and the excellent dishes Mikkel prepared for everyone. I really enjoyed myself. Everyone was so kind. It's always challenging signing up for something like this when you're traveling alone. But it turned out so well.

Around 9.30 pm (Danes eat quickly), I headed to Nørrebro, where my friend Karen lives. We met through Instagram a few years back. I love her moody yet colorful photos and she's a fellow journalist like me. It was nice to catch up. The next morning was spent in Nørrebro as well, before heading to the airport later that day. 

So this week, I finally got my film back. It was so exciting to see the results. I'd forgotten most of what I shot. It made me relive that short trip and added to the fun. I definitely recommend trying film photography. Hope you like the photos. xx


Fair chocolate pancakes from the Simple Fare F/W cookbook

Fair chocolate
Fair chocolate

A few more days until winter solstice, a moment I've been unconsciously longing for since a few weeks. I am very prone to seasonal depressions. It's nothing serious, it's just that I need a bit of extra vitamin D, a bit of warmth and sunshine, more hours of it to be specific. We had our first snow of the season last week though, and that was fun, but here in my country snow never lasts long. So now we're back to grey days and rain. Therefore, it's time for my last resort: chocolate. After all, the cocoa plant is a fruit right? Nothing wrong with that. Especially not when it's Fairtrade certified. 

You guys know by now that I am an advocate of Fairtrade Netherlands. It's important to me that people who work hard to get these exotic products like bananas, chocolate, coffee, coconut milk, and tea to our countries, get a fair pay. Like I mentioned, the holidays, the dark days, they are often a time when we consume quite a bit of chocolate. So if we do indulge, let's make it a fair indulgment right? This way, we help improve the lives of hard-working cocoa farmers. 

A bit of background info before I jump to the recipe. Millions of cocoa farmers have to live of less than a dollar a day. Fairtrade helps these farmers so that they have enough money to invest in their own business and can maintain their families. In order to help them, it's important that more and more chocolate becomes Fairtrade certified. That's what this years campaign is about. Fairtrade Netherlands has put together a box chockfull of holiday chocolate for you to enjoy during the holidays. And the fun thing is: I get to give away one of these boxes to you! All you have to do is check my instagram post and leave a comment to be in the mix and I will pick a winner tomorrow! Open to Dutchies only, but I am absolutely sure that wherever you live, you'll be able to find Fairtrade chocolate! 

Fair chocolate

About the pancakes, this is currently my favorite recipe. It's from Simple Fare Fall/Winter publishedhed by Abrams Books. It's a book I use often these days. The recipes are straightforward yet original in flavors and I love the fact that the ingredients can be easily substituted. For instance, I didn't have hazelnuts, creme fraiche or maple syrup at hand, but the suggestions offered inspired my own alterations which worked out well, I believe. I also love the fact that author Karen Mordechai who you might also know from Sunday Suppers, has chosen to include grated chocolate in the batter. It makes these pancakes rich, but not too sweet. Perfect for a cold & dark winter morning. 

Dark chocolate buttermilk pancakes with almonds & skyr

You need:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 ounces (115 g) shaved bittersweet chocolate
3 tbsp unsalted butter

For serving:

A mix of whipped cream & skyr, to taste
Roasted & chopped almonds
A light drizzle of honey

How to make it:

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the shaved chocolate.

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of the butter. Once the butter has melted, spoon 1/4 cup portions of the batter onto the hot griddle. Cook until bubbles start to form on the top of the pancakes, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more butter as necessary in between batches.

Stack the pancakes onto a large serving platter or separate plates. Top with the cream & skyr, add the almonds and drizzle honey over the top to finish.



This post is a collaboration between myself and Fairtrade Netherlands. I thank them for supporting my business. As always, my opinions are my own.