The city’s best bookstore is strictly a one-day affair

Every year the St Albans Church Summer Fete proves a mecca for foodies, bookworms and Anglophiles

I’m not sure I should be filling you in on my little secret. But with great reluctance, here it is. Books! Thousands of English-language books are available this Saturday at the St Albans Church’s Summer Fete – at 1970s prices. 


Sure they’re second-hand, but they’re not clothes. The words don’t diminish after every use or because someone left a pink felt-tip pen where they shouldn’t. 


“We’ve got oodles of books this year,” enthused one of the fete’s organisers, Mary Pay, who spoke to The Copenhagen Post just moments after leaving a city address where a team are busy making jams and marmalades for the produce store. “It’s particularly a great place for students to pick up books cheaply.”


And some of the titles are really, really new, mostly donated by the generous parishioners of the Anglican church. So forget the competition, this is the best bookstore in town, open for just one afternoon only, in a little corner of England just outside the church on Churchillparken. 


It’s a great occasion to reacquaint yourself with the summers of your youth and to introduce the quaint customs of English village life to your new family, be it your children or your Danish in-laws. Give your daughter her first Curly-Wurly, sink an Irn Brun with Uncle Mogens and see how many Hula Hoops your family  can fit on their fingers – sharing the simple pleasures of yesteryear has never been this much fun. 


Those items, and many more, are all available at the store run by Abigail’s, the city centre shop that for decades has been keeping the expats in Copenhagen supplied with Oxo cubes, Bisto gravy and Branston pickle. “It’s got everything except Marmite,” promises the local Anglican priest, Archdeacon Jonathan Lloyd.


And then along with the bookstore, which was last year selling three books for ten kroner, there’s a splendid tented area selling cream teas and cucumber sandwiches, several bric-a-brac stores (there are ‘gift’ and ‘treasure’ stores), a cake stand, a children’s activities area, a grill serving burgers and hotdogs, a beer tent, the aforementioned fresh produce store, and musical entertainment, including danceperformances from a local Jane Austen appreciation society. 


And expect some surprises as the archdeacon always has a trick or two up his sleeve. Last year’s affair included the dramatic arrival of three cyclists who had travelled all the way from the UK, and while they’re not promising the miracle at the wedding of Cana, anything could, and often does, happen. 


It might also prove to be the last public appearance of British ambassador Nick Archer who is shortly leaving Denmark for pastures new. 


The fete starts at 10am and continues until 5pm, this Saturday, August 18. 

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