SAS / TravelCube Fam to Copenhagen

SAS / TravelCube Fam to Copenhagen

Alan Sparling, SAS, and Peter Friedrich, TravelCube, brought a group of travel agents on a fam trip to Copenhagen for the weekend. A gastronomic experience, we all enjoyed the the culinary delights on offer, as well as Copenhagen’s cutting edge design.

It was a case of ‘start as we mean to continue’ as travel agents met at the Maldron Hotel in Dublin Airport for breakfast. A quick bite and we headed straight for the DAA executive lounge. As travel industry staff we thought that this was arranged for us but in fact if you travel with this is automatically included in the cost of your ticket. Not only have you access to the lounges but you can also receive a changeable ticket, use the fast track facilities, avail of two checked bags, and – wait for it – get complimentary food and drinks onboard your flight! For circa €65 this seems incredible value and something that most people would be happy to pay for, once they realise the extent of the benefits.

The SAS flight was extremely comfortable, with plenty of leg room, tasty food and, of course, plenty of drinks!

Stella Grant, O’Hanrahan Travel; Sharon O’Rourke, USIT; Brendan Egan, BCD Travel; Alan Sparling, SAS; Patricia O’Neill, Atlas Travel; Peter Friedrich, TravelCube; and Shane Cullen, having a pre-flight drink in the DAA lounge, Dublin Airport

When we arrived our luggage was there waiting for us – another perk with SAS Plus is priority baggage! We took the train to the 4-star Tivoli Hotel, which was our home for the next two days. The themed hotel, built with the Tivoli Gardens in mind, is a modern hotel offering excellent facilities including a swimming pool and a rooftop bar. The hotel is part of the Arp-Hansen hotel chain that has 12 hotels in Copenhagen, each offering a unique hotel in a desirable location.

We also visited the Phoenix Hotel, beside colourful Nyhavn in the heart of Copenhagen. The building dates back to the 16th century and was originally built by the royal family. All of the Arp-Hansen hotels can be booked directly with TravelCube, which offers “the most competitive rates in Ireland”.

Peter Friedrich, TravelCube, feeling ‘relaxed’ in the Phoenix Hotel, Copenhagen

It was then time to sample some of Copenhagen’s culinary delights. Our first meal in ‘Work in Progress’ was just that! – a seven-course tasting menu with tapas-style portions, each paired with a glass of wine. The idea is the customer gets to decide its future menus by tasting various dishes – it is a constant work in progress. We each gave opinions to our server, which were then relayed back to the kitchen. The marinated squid, beef fillet and squash ice cream were the favourites. This is a novel idea and one that we all thoroughly enjoyed.

After a few late night drinks in downtown Copenhagen, a night cap in the hotel’s rooftop bar was the perfect way to end our first day.

Alan Sparling, SAS; Stella Grant, O’Hanrahan Travel; Sarah Slattery, ITTN; Shane Cullen; Peter Friedrich, TravelCube; Patricia O’Neill, Atlas Travel; Sharon O’Rourke, USIT; and Brendan Egan, BCD Travel, enjoying a seven-course tasting menu at Work in Progress restaurant in Copenhagen

Day two consisted of a leisurely bicycle tour of Copenhagen. A great way to see the city and we had some glorious sunshine, which was an added bonus. Cycling is big business in Copenhagen where 45% people cycle to work every day. Cycle lanes are everywhere and it’s the safest and most convenient mode of transport in Copenhagen.

Shane Cullen; Patricia O’Neill, Atlas Travel; Peter Friedrich, TravelCube; Alan Sparling, SAS; Sarah Slattery, ITTN; Brendan Egan, BCD Travel; Stella Grant, O’Hanrahan Travel; and Sharon O’Rourke, USIT; enjoying a cycling tour of Copenhagen

We were then brought to the highly acclaimed Manfred’s restaurant in Copenhagen for another gastronomic feast. We enjoyed some organic Kolster beer, before sitting down to another seven-course lunch. The speciality was steak tartare, which most of us had not tried before, but loved. Each course was paired with a different wine and we were literally in ‘foodie’ heaven. A quick stop to see the world famous mermaid and it was back to the hotel to get changed for more food.

Stella Grant, O’Hanrahan Travel; Andreas Hammershøj (our tour guide); Brendan Egan, BCD Travel; Sharon O’Rourke, USIT; Patricia O’Neill, Atlas Travel; Alan Sparling, SAS; Sarah Slattery, ITTN; and Peter Friedrich, TravelCube; enjoying the organic beer in Manfred’s, Copenhagen

Our final meal was another excellent choice and a complete contrast to what we had eaten previously: we went to the Copenhagen Street Food market. This massive warehouse was crammed with trucks offering everything from Korean street food to Italian antipasti. All food is organic and cooked to order in front of you. This is a fantastic authentic experience where everyone can eat what they like, with little expense.

Lads in the Thai Food Truck cooking up a storm at the Copenhagen Street Food market

We ‘waddled’ out of the Copenhagen Street Food market and enjoyed some late night drinks in the meatpacking district. Similar to New York, this is the ‘in’ place to go at night time. In between the delivery trucks, butcher shops and warehouses are some of Copenhagen’s trendiest bars and restaurants.

Patricia O’Neill, Atlas Travel; Sarah Slattery, ITTN; Sharon O’Rourke USIT; and Stella Grant, O’Hanrahan Travel; at Copenhagen Street Food Market

A leisurely last morning gave us some free time to explore the city or relax in the hotel – so I chose the former and enjoyed a drink at one of the many cafes in Nyhavn. This picture postcard part of Copenhagen is beautiful and a perfect pace to soak up the atmosphere of this great city.

Nyhavn, Copenhagen

The SAS Plus service continued in Copenhagen Airport as we enjoyed some great food and drinks in the SAS lounge before boarding our flight home.

The ‘dream team’ of Alan Sparling, SAS, and Peter Friedrich, TravelCube, enjoying the SAS lounge in Copenhagen Airport

The modern SAS lounge in Copenhagen Airport

Overall it was a fantastic trip. Copenhagen is a modern, safe city that is so accessible and has plenty to offer for a weekend break, including some of the best dining experiences you are likely to find anywhere. Noma, the world’s best restaurant, is only one of 15 Michelin-starred restaurants here! It seems that Copenhagen is leading the way in dining and design.

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Sarah Slattery has been in the travel industry for the past 24 years, initially as a sales consultant and progressed to sales and marketing director of Skytours. Sarah’s experience and knowledge led to a regular slot on TV3 as the travel expert on the Morning Show. She has her own blog which offers advice on destinations and the best travel deals.

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