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Nybrogade 10, Copenhagen, Denmark

A CITY NEEDS A RUBY. The bar has been the jewel in Copenhagen’s crown for so long it feels almost like its community’s appointed envoy for international relations. For visitors it’s certainly the first stop on the itinerary – you start here and see what else is going on after.

There is a lot going on in Copenhagen. But Ruby is the first drink of the night because it has been the best for so long. After three years of Academy love between 2011-2013, it fell out of favour last year. But absence makes the heart grow fonder and, at number 34, Ruby is firmly back in the bosom of the industry.

Ruby occupies a grand old building from 1740, perched on the historically festooned canal of the capital. Punters may not come by boat these days but the bar’s classical furnishings – marble, hanging lights and homely (manor, not condo) wallpaper – works for gentlemen and ladies from pretty much any century. There are no scoundrels in sight – the classy, venerable surroundings mean natural selection. 

Drinks often come in the form of well-worn favourites but Ruby has dusted off some quirky, forgotten-to-history libations it terms Catacombs and, of course, has a breezy seasonal menu that picks up on berries and other bits and bobs you’d expect to find in the city that gave rise to neo-Nordic cuisine. In short, the drinks are good, the hospitality is warm and the atmosphere whirs seven nights a week. This is indeed the mother sun of the Copenhagen constellation.