A couple of weeks ago I was kindly invited on a trip with Carlsberg to Copenhagen along with a few other male bloggers – this was to be my first sponsored trip away and I was super excited/nervous and didn’t really know what to expect – but it was an awesome weekend! I had arrived back from New York less than 24 hours before I was due to catch my flight out to Denmark, and its safe to say the jet lag had already kicked in by the time I met up with the group over on paper island, for a pint and some late night food, just a short drive from where we were staying.
The premiss of the trip was for us to experience ‘The Danish Way’; to share with us the key lifestyle pillars of Danish culture which combine to make them the happiest nation on the planet. All in aid of their new campaign, taking things back to roots of the brand and how it all began. Carlsberg was established back in 1847 and its easy for everyone to be caught up by this massive global image that they have and so they want to take it back to their humble beginnings, and share their passion behind their product.
Everything kicked off on the Saturday morning when the last stragglers had checked in and dumped off their bags at the hotel. We started with a cycle tour around the old city, just like Mads Mikkelsen does in the advert. For me this is by far the best way to explore any city, but in Copenhagen its almost compulsory – theres far more cyclists on the roads than there are cars – a far cry from my daily commute here in London. Our guide took us past the floating hot-tubs down on the harbour (gutted we didn’t stop off for a soak), down along some very narrow/precarious jetties along the waterfront and then via the royal palaces – yes thats plural, they have four – and aside from John and Kenny being shouted at by some armed guards for getting too close to one of the palaces, we all arrived back at the hotel in one piece. As I said the BEST way to explore Copenhagen!!!
That afternoon was the main event, the tour around the Carlsberg brewery, perched on top of the tallest hill just outside the city. It was a pretty impressive place; we were given a sample of a few of their products and then a tour around the site. As with most global brands you never stop and wonder where it all started, and the story behind it all, and so it was really interesting to find out more. We managed to have a wander round their family home, and then a tour around the two brewing sites. For me the most intriguing part was finding out about the slightly fractured relationship of the founder JC Jacobsen and his son Carl – whom the brand was named after. Much to his fathers disappointment; Carl was super into his art, rather than the chemistry behind brewing, and was in fact the person who gifted the little mermaid sculpture to the city back in 1909!
The next morning found us at the Design Museum Denmark to see their new chair exhibition, ‘telling the story of how danish design became a global brand’. It was a great exhibition, and after we were given the chance to do a chair modelling workshop – I’m not going to lie, the pressure was on! Being the only furniture designer on the trip, I had to pull it out the bag. But we had a laugh, Robins ‘Balz’ chair was amazing and Nicks ‘Saturn’ chair was pretty spectacular. Once we’d pitched and presented our designs we moved onto a local eco-house for a spot lunch. The space was amazing, proper house goals – it was a roof terrace/conservatory/greenhouse, full of plants and succulents – it was awesome! It was the perfect setting for what turned out to be an incredible lunch, the sun was out and we just spent hours sipping some of Carlsberg’s finest!
All in all I had a great weekend, made even better by everyone on the trip (all of whom are listed below along with links to their various sites), it honestly was a cracking group, we had so much fun. I just want to say a special thanks to Carlsberg, who kindly sponsored the trip, I can’t wait to head back again to Denmark and do some more exploring.
Mat & Nik – Bucket & Spades
Robin James – Man for Himself
John – The Everyday Man
As always ta for reading