For the last 10 years, between the first and second Advent Sunday, I have religiously laid my weary body, battered from a long nordic autumn, in an unique oasis, Philoleum. Located in one of Copenhagen´s quieter streets, Esplanaden, Lone Fjeldsø, the owner, has created a wonderful haven offering aromatherapy massages and treatment for urban nomads like myself. Lone´s careful attention to detail in creating a serene spacial atmosphere helps the client relax and in collaboration with Lone, one can blend one´s own oil cocktail, an aromatic experience one should not miss.
And on a damp December morning, I found myself under the capable hands of Lone, enjoying a de-stress massage, and as she coaxed the last drops of lactic acid from my limbs, I began to contemplate a recent article I read by The Minimalists called “Let´s Talk About Black Friday”, which focused on how this form of consumerism is so destructive, not only for retailers in the long term, but also the values we should be celebrating at this time of the year. The phenomenon arrived in Copenhagen last week with much fanfare and I can only nod agreement with the authors of the article, Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Millburn.
So rejuvenated and oozing scents of lemongrass, lavender and rosemary , I left Esplanaden to the adjoining thoroughfare, Store Kongensgade. My first port of call was Cykelmageren, The Bicycle Maker, Store Kongensgade 57. It was here I bought my first hand-built MTB back in 2004 constructed by the master bike maker, Rasmus Gjersing. Back then, Rasmus was already building a reputation of taking bike construction to a higher level, providing affordable models for everyday users and enthusiasts alike. Wandering around the showroom with Rasmus´s assistant, Daniel, who guided me enthusiastically around the showroom and workshop, the spatial experience supported wonderfully the values that Rasmus has established; craftsmanship, combining materials of high quality and an exquisite eye for detail. It is no wonder, that another craftsman, Sir Paul Smith, from my home town of Nottingham, rides one of Rasmus´s creations. And since 2013, the innovative souls behind Cykelmageren have embarked on a new project, by creating hand-made components focusing on simplicity and sustainability, which will warm the heart of any bicycle enthusiast.
Heartened by this visual experience, I moved onto another master craftsman on this thoroughfare, Peter Beier, famed for his hand-made chocolates since 1996. Peter Beier Chocolate has built up a sustainable concept, focusing on the finest of raw materials, which come from Ørsholt Estate just outside of Copenhagen and their own cocoa plantation in the Dominican Republic. Their latest homage to chocolate is found on Store Kongensgade 3 with the interiors designed by Bente Phillip at the interior design studio, Abita again supporting the PB Chocolate concept wonderfully well and providing a welcoming atmosphere. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and only too willing to let you into their chocolate universe providing taste samples, especially the combination of chocolate and Abbey Ale.
I left Esplanaden and Store Kongenshave having had y sense of smells nurtured at Philoleum, my visual senses engaged at Cykelmageren and my tastes buds teased at Peter Beier. I was as far away from Black Friday as one could be. May you have a de-stressed December.