Every major European city probably has its own version of Esplanaden, although few thoroughfares have Esplanaden’s historic pedigree, with over 300 years of architectural styles represented on one of Copenhagen’s most iconic streets. A former military route to the Citadel, Esplanaden, stretching from Store Kongensgade to the waterfront at Nordre Toldbod, parades its excellent urban dwellings, restaurants and cafès such as, the hip Babette Guldsmeden hotel, the evergreen eatery, Lumskebugten and the ever popular café, Kafferiet.
Other facades and interior spaces worth noting is the art deco inspired hair salon, Contrast, one of Copenhagen’s oldest existing salons in the city. The decor has an individual zest created by the owner and hair stylist Bo Søballe. Based next door, is the mens fashion-wear showroom, Martin Asbjørn highlighting collections by the young Danish designer, Martin Asbjørn Bjerre. The facade and spatial scala knits perfectly with Martin’s brand. On the surface, Byens Farve is just another paint store, but it so much more. Just to step into the owner’s, Sven Valling’s universe and breathe in the aromas of the pigments, is a fascinating experience. For any architect student visiting Copenhagen with a desire to learn more about Copenhagen’s surface DNA, Byens Farve is an excellent place to start. 12 years ago I tasted an Austrian Pinot noir for the first time at a wine-tasting event at Österreich Vin, which made a lasting impression and put to shame my inadequate knowledge of Austrian wine. Since opening its doors on Esplanaden in 2003, Österreich Vin has blossomed into a major wine importer and still hosts tasting events for those who wish to learn more about Austrian wines.
Visitors focusing their attentions on the nearby tourist attractions would be well rewarded wandering down this wonderful street.
Content and photo credits: Phillip Mills
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