One of the Best Places for High Tea in the Danish Capital
ICONIC NIMB HOTEL NEXT TO TIVOLI IS A TREAT FOR TEATIME IN COPENHAGEN
“Coffee? Tea? Me?”
As an American living in Europe, I will be the first to admit that I am not an expert on tea time. I personally love a good cup of coffee and Copenhagen has plenty of cozy places to find one. So when fellow blogger and Brit, Keri Allan of Ladies What Travel asked if I’d be interested in joining her for high tea on a recent visit to Copenhagen, I jumped at the chance. Keri is an expert in trying high teas around the world and I knew I could trust her taste.
THIS BOUTIQUE HOTEL HAS A LOT OF LOCAL HISTORY
We set a date to try the afternoon tea at a Copenhagen icon, the historic and beautiful Nimb Hotel that sits aside the Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park. The modern 5-star boutique hotel has a hundred years of history here at Tivoli starting when the Moorish palace we know today was first built in 1909. Originally a bazaar of sorts with exhibitions for arts and crafts, two tenants, in particular, played a large part of creating Nimb’s legacy. Vilhelm and Louise Nimb were already running a very successful and popular restaurant inside Tivoli known locally as “Nimb’s Terrasse.” It was here that Louise Nimb elevated the simple Danish open-faced sandwich lunch, known as smørrebrød, into something truly special. You can taste her legacy at Fru Nimb, just one of the hotel’s amazing restaurants.
HIGH TEA HAPPENS IN THE NIMB BAR
But today, we’re not testing the smørrebrød, although it is definitely on my list for later. Today, it’s time for tea. And treats. Bring it on. Am I making the Brits nervous yet? *wink, wink. Don’t worry, I was well behaved. The setting was seriously special. Nimb Hotel’s high tea takes place in the beautiful old ballroom, now Nimb Bar, renovated along with the rest of the hotel in 2007. Elegant and modern yet still classic, the large open room of the Nimb bar is a truly cool place to take your afternoon tea.
NEW NORDIC TEA TIME
If you know the name Nimb, you know it comes with an impressive lineage in Copenhagen culinary culture. (Say that five times fast.) So even the afternoon tea takes on a new Nordic twist. All of the Nimb restaurants use high quality, locally sourced, seasonal products and organic breads and pastries from their own in house bakery. Even the honey is sustainably sourced from Tivoli’s own urban bee garden atop the theater. Urban beekeeping organization, Bybi, harvests the honey and maintains the 300,000 busy bees that keep things sweet at Nimb.
Tea time at Nimb comes with three courses, a pot of your preferred tea and a posh glass of bubbles for those who fancy one. (Not included, but delicious and decadent.) Being as this was my very first high tea, it seemed to me that there was a varied and diverse selection of teas to choose from. I went with a broken orange pekoe, at Keri’s advice and was quite happy with my choice. And we all said yes to the bubbles. Because of course, we did. Skål! Cheers.
FIRST SERVING AT A DANISH HIGH TEA
Savory selections are served first and here in Denmark, they were definitely not the cucumber finger sandwiches I’d related to taking a traditional tea. We were offered a warm little tartlet with hay cheese, green asparagus and flaked salmon. “Hay cheese” is a natural Danish cheese made from the milk of cows fed only on grass and air dried hay. This one was very yummy. Other tiny little tastes included a wee puff pastry filled with whipped crème fraîche and topped with lumpfish roe. Living in Denmark, I was familiar with lumpfish as a special Danish spring treat, usually served on small blinis, but lovely in this presentation. Next was a little round of brown rye bread topped with lemon mayonnaise, hand-peeled Scandinavian shrimps and hard-boiled quail egg, also very lækker. Delicious. Rounding out the first serving’s selections were a little bite of chicken liver mousse topped with rhubarb gelée and a Danish cracker with fresh cream cheese, olives and herbs.
SeCOND SERVING | PINK FLAMINGO ICED TEA
In between our savory selections and the presentation of the sweets, we were offered a little break and a refreshingly pretty in pink iced tea concoction. Put in front of us on a plate, the “pink flamingo ice tea” was basically a pink slushy garnished with petals. Definitely more appreciated for the photo potential than culinary creativity, I will admit it was certainly appealing and actually not too sweet, made with a hibiscus tea poured over crushed ice.
TIME FOR THE SWEETS
A triple-tiered platter of gorgeous little petit fours, pastries and chocolates was presented and we were all pleased to partake. We began with whipped cream, lemon curd and local jam for layering on fresh house-baked scones. Everyone enjoyed the Swedish style cinnamon knots topped with brown butter and dipped in cinnamon, vanilla, and cardamom sugar. A petite little pistachio macaron and a white chocolate cup filled with pannacotta and raspberry were equally delicious. And then for the grand finish, two chocolate truffles on top – one coffee, one not.
Service was impeccable, friendly and informative from the front desk to the servers and we thoroughly enjoyed our two-hour afternoon tea. While the individual servings are petite, it felt like a lot of food and we did not need more. Refills on the tea are included and I adored that everything was served on Royal Copenhagen china. It felt posh, but personable and definitely not pretentious. And I have a nose for pretense. It would be perfect for celebrating someone special. While I still may be a high tea novice and have little to compare against, Keri confirmed that Nimb’s tea was really very nice. Maybe I should just leave my tea time trials at this. Will anything ever live up? I’ll let you know. Next time I try.
BOOK YOUR OWN HIGH TEA
During low season, Nimb Hotel offers afternoon tea in the bar every day between noon and four o’clock. During peak summer months (from 19 May to 18 August) high tea only available on the weekends.
Click on the link to make your reservation here.
Afternoon Tea DKK 325
Glass of Champagne DKK 135
So next time you need to celebrate a special day with your mom, daughter, mormor (grandmother), girlfriend or more – may I recommend sharing a decadent high tea in historic Nimb’s gorgeous ballroom. It would be a fantastisk way to do it. Cheers from here. Come to Copenhagen, she said.
My afternoon tea was complimentary for the purposes of this review. However, as per usual, all opinions are my very own.