A classic English boozer with grub to die for
After the one-year mark most foreigners in Denmark start complaining about three things: the weather, the taxes and the poor customer service at Netto. But if you’re from Blighty or one of its colonies, you’ll have a fourth complaint: a lack of decent English boozers.
Enter Sankt Nikolai Pub and Restaurant: a friendly English boozer for friendly English boozers. There aren’t many places you can drink a great cider, throw a few darts, and then retire to read some British papers and enjoy a Shepherd’s pie.
It’s this exact atmosphere that owner and proud Englishman Martin Popplewell is aiming for. After concluding “there was no such thing as an English pub in Copenhagen”, Popplewell purchased this historic 1730s building and set about bringing a slice of Britain to the land of Carlsberg.
Bar manager Jon Nunn will set you up with a great pint – he really knows his beer. Whilst remaining loyal to its British roots, Sankt Nikolai offers German and Danish beers as well. Eleven different kegs are on offer as well as bottled beer.
The best-selling brews are the Caledonian’s Twisted Thistle IPA and St Georgan Bräu Keller Bier, served in a Bavarian ceramic pot. Proper Job from St Austell’s brewery in Cornwell also goes down pretty smooth. Made with Cornish spring water, it’s a powerfully hoppy drink with a tonne of flavour – a quality ‘taste of home’.
And what pub would be complete without its grub? These guys boast Cornish pasties, Shepherd’s pie, Cottage pie and arguably the best Fish ‘n’ chips in town. As a patron who’s tried the Fish and chips, I must say they are some of the best I’ve had in Copenhagen. A great piece of cod with a good helping of chips and of course mushy peas – and while I come from a colony where the mushy peas aren’t mandatory, I know those from the motherland will love these.
And don’t forget the Sunday roast. The roast alternates between beef, pork, lamb, turkey and chicken. And of course it’s all served up with home-made Yorkshire puddings (these really are too good!).
If you’ve got a few ankle-biters at home and you’re reluctant to venture out to eat with them, never fear because the last Sunday of every month is ‘family day’. Featuring an open Sunday roast buffet and free rein on the Xbox, what better place for kids to while away their Sunday? And did I mention that kids up to eight eat for free?
One of the best things about this pub was the space. Unlike many boozers where you’re nose to nose with any old Tom, Dick or Harry, there was space to move about. Popplewell has tried to create two levels, each with a different focus. “Upstairs is for fidgeters, downstairs is for talkers,” he explains. Upstairs features a great sport lounge where you can watch the footy, relax into a game of darts or request to play some table tennis.
And while good pubs need their locals, it must be said that a good pub also needs to have friendly staff. Popplewell and Nunn really make this place what it is. They enjoy running the pub and it reflects in the way they treat those that visit. I’ve never been to another pub where the owner and manager are keen to sit down with you for a few hours and enjoy a few laughs over a pint or four. On occasion they have been known to do impromptu sketches for patrons to enjoy … it’s no globe theatre but it does border on Fawlty Towers.
Readers of The Copenhagen Post are entitled to a 5kr discount on all pints if they can produce the current edition of the paper.
Sankt Nikolai Restaurant and Pub
Nikolajgade 18, Cph K; Pub hours: Mon-Sat 16:00–00:00, Sun 13:00–00:00, restaurant hours: Tue–Sat 11:30–16:00;
Price range: 50kr pint; www.sanktnikolai.dk