copenhagen, denmark, design, scandinavia, Writing, Gestalten, Books, Work

Northern Comfort: The Nordic Art of Creative Living (Coming SOON)

"Northern Comfort: The Nordic Art of Creative Living takes a close look at some of the Nordic region’s most inspiring and insightful ideas and individuals." 

It is well known that the citizens of the Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland) enjoy an exceptionally high quality of life. Furthermore, year after year, the citizens of these five nations are regularly celebrated as some of the 'happiest in the world.'

With his newest book, author Austin Sailsbury goes beyond the statistics and the cliches to profile a wide range of individuals, brands, and regional experts in an attempt to discover what lies at the heart of the 'happy' Nordic life. Through interviews, essays, profiles, and captivating photography of real people at work and at play in the Nordic region, Northern Comfort: The Nordic Art of Creative Living (Gestalten Books) provides an inspiring and intimate introduction to the progressive societies, innovative ideas, cultural quirks, and creative individuals that have so recently captured the world's attention. Featured topics covered in the pages of Northern Comfort include: interior design and architecture, cuisine, family life, Nordic nature, outdoor adventure, and regional traditions.


2017, books, copenhagen, denmark, design, Summer, travels, Writing

Introducing The New 'Hidden Copenhagen' Website

All images taken from the new . Family portrait by  Alec Vanderboom.

All images taken from the new Family portrait by Alec Vanderboom.

Summer is Here.

And just in time for your summer travels, the good folks at Luster Books have introduced the official 'Hidden Copenhagen' website by Luster Books, part of their new

Along with preview sections from the book, the 'Hidden Copenhagen' page also features a 'Meet The Author' page as well as ways to buy the book online. Each book in the 'Hidden' series has it's own page, so you can get busy exploring Barcelona, London, Lisbon, Rome, and several others. 

**The third edition of The 500 Hidden Secrets of Copenhagen is OUT NOW!**

2017, book launch, books, copenhagen, denmark, scandinavia, Frama, Writing

First Look: Dialogues, A Book From Frama & Our Food Stories

I am very excited to introduce you to Dialogues - a book collaboration between Frama (Copenhagen design shop) and Our Food Stories (food blog) and a project unlike any other I have ever worked on (I acted as editor and creative consultant). Dialogues is full of recipes, architectural case studies, and insightful interviews with a wide range of fascinating thinkers and makers from a wide range of fields.

'This book is our way of celebrating a half-decade of personal relationships and creative dialogues. In three distinct conversational sections, Dialogues invites readers to consider how our natural and built environments become the spaces that define our context, how our food traditions can connect us with both the past and the future, and how a diversity of individual creative voices can come together to form a powerful chorus of inspiration for all those willing to listen. Featuring 6 architectural and design case studies, 14 interviews with craftspeople and innovators from around the world, and 19 new recipes from the team at our food stories, Dialogues is not simply a book about Frama. It’s not another book about design. In fact, Dialogues is not a book about any one particular theme, any single discipline, or any one overarching philosophy of life or art. Instead, this is a book about the value of creative exchange and the power of listening. With Dialogues, we invite you into this conversation' [text taken from the book jacket].

You can learn more about Frama here, Our Food Stories here, or pre-order your copy of Dialogues here (and get a free poster when you do!). 

More to come.

copenhagen, denmark, Interviews, scandinavia, travels, Writing

Hidden Copenhagen on The Snak Podcast

Not long ago, I was invited by the good people at The Snak podcast (a part of the family of podcasts) to talk about the process of researching and writing The 500 Hidden Secrets of Copenhagen.

My sprawling conversation with The Snak's host James Clasper was a lot of fun and is, I think, a pretty good introduction to some of the things that make Copenhagen such a fascinating city (especially for us outsiders). Highlights of the podcast include discussions of local breweries, the New Nordic food scene, the thrill of biking as an adult, and, of course, swimming naked in The Baltic Sea in winter. 

You can listen to the podcast here.

A bit about The Snak podcast:


More episodes of The Snak podcast here (English language).

Explore more Heartbeats Podcasts here (English and Danish language). 

2016, copenhagen, denmark, walkinthewoods

Our Own Little Advent | A Photo Series by Giulia Bellini

This past summer, just over a month before Owen was born, we were approached by the very talented, Copenhagen-based photographer Giulia Bellini about a pregnancy photo shoot. Admittedly, we were a little reluctant at first (you know how some pregnancy photo shoots can end up, yikes!) but we are absolutely thrilled at how Giulia's photos turned out - they are wild and authentic and absolutely capture that singular moment in our lives as we awaited the arrival of our little man. All photos were shot in Bernstorffsparken and the surrounding area. 

All photos by Giulia Bellini and are used here with her kind permission.

2016, copenhagen, denmark, Summer

Introducing Owen Atlas Sailsbury

This past summer was the start of an all new, life shaking adventure - a realignment of the universe in which our lives will now orbit this new little man: Owen Atlas Sailsbury. The whole summer season now seems like a total blur, a whirlwind of newness and sleeplessness and visitors with gifts and long Danish days spent by the seaside, marveling at this strange, squirming, priceless treasure that somehow tumbled into our lives. We are so thankful that our friend Rochelle Coote was there to document Owen's first few days on planet Earth. He already seems so different. We just can't wait to see who this little Wayfarer will become. Stay tuned. 


copenhagen, music, Interviews

The Song of The Weatherman | An Interview with Gregory Alan Isakov

All photos by Seth Nicolas

All photos by Seth Nicolas

October 31, 2014. Copenhagen, Denmark.

‘John Steinbeck would have been the best damn songwriter.’ It’s Halloween night and it’s only just warm enough to sit outside at Copenhagen’s Nameless Bar. I’m trying to get American songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov to talk about his creative process; how it is that certain ideas grow into songs and then how those songs come together as a record. But asking songwriters to describe their craft is almost always elusive, and, in the case of Isakov, the process seems to be a kind of continually evolving mystery - even to the artist himself. Isakov is sincere, he seems to truly wonder at the whole process of songwriting. And this is probably why our conversation keeps drifting away from songwriting and toward more tangible subject matter: traveling, friends back home, the sheep and honeybees on Greg’s farm, and eventually, John Steinbeck.

I meet up with Isakov in the midst of his nineteen-date European tour, where he’s playing smaller venues than he’s used to back in the US. But these intimate shows are selling out. I ask Greg, who lives on a hippie-commune-turned-working-farm in rural Colorado when he’s not touring, if he’s ever surprised to see audiences in places as far away as Sweden or The Netherlands singing along to his songs. ‘Oh yeah, it surprises me every single night. Whenever you make a record, you create this thing and then you send it out into the world, but you have no idea how people will receive it. You just hope it will connect.’

Isakov’s most recent album, The Weatherman, was released independently in 2013 to widespread acclaim. And by all accounts, The Weatherman is Isakov’s most complete record to date: thirteen songs richly woven with impressionist lyrics, lush instrumentation, pastoral restraint, and an overall tone of hope. ‘To me, the idea of a weatherman is really powerful,’ Isakov explains, ‘there’s a guy on television or on the radio telling us the future, and nobody cares. It’s this daily mundane miracle, and I think the songs I chose are about noticing the beauty in normal, everyday life.’ Replete with both earthbound and cosmological imagery, The Weatherman is a transportive record. But, as with all of Isakov’s music, the latest record still leaves, ‘plenty of space for the listener to dream.’

When we finally settle into to talking about the craft of songwriting, here’s what Greg had to say about his process, recording The Weatherman, getting over his ‘lost album,’ the unending search for ‘home,’ and, of course, Taylor Swift.

AS: Where does a Gregory Alan Isakov song come from?

GAI: ‘Man, [smiles] where does any art come from...where does a painting come from? Somewhere along the way a seed gets planted, and then I just try to get out of the way and let the song come to life - to let the idea run it’s course. A lot of the process is about identifying and then channeling the right feeling into a song. If a new song is any good, then it won’t go away; but sometimes I have to back off for a while and then come back to it. The whole process is pretty organic, and you certainly can’t force it. For example, ‘Second Chances’ (from The Weatherman) was a song that never seemed to want to be finished. I recorded it, then re-recorded, had to leave it alone for a while, and then I’d start over. But, thirteen versions later, it finally came together - the arrangement, the players, and that specific feeling I was trying to channel. But it was a serious labor of love.’

AS: Creating a cohesive album seems important to you. Can you talk about that?the

GAI: ‘That’s true. Both as an artist and a listener, I love it when a record has a beginning, a middle, and an end. I think it allows the music to tell a better story. I’ve always kind of seen albums as songwriters’ gifts to the world. That’s why whenever I start recording, I try to be completely present in the process. When I’m making a record, I bleed into it. In fact, before we recorded The Weatherman, I wrote and recorded an entirely different album of songs but when it was finished, I just wasn’t satisfied. So, I destroyed those tapes and started over again.’

AS: : Do you think anyone will ever hear those ‘lost songs?’

GAI: ‘I don’t know, it’s hard to say. Maybe. But, it was like I had to get that other batch of songs out of the way in order to make room for this other album - the songs that would eventually become The Weatherman.’

AS: : NPR Music called The Weatherman ‘a rambler’s folksy manifesto.’ How does travel inspire you?

GAI: ‘Usually my songs come about with a kind of life of their own. I don’t ever set out to write a song about California or Holland, per se. But yeah, places are in there a lot. I actually wrote most of the songs for The Weatherman while on a previous tour in Europe. So, at that time, I was encountering a lot of new people and places on the road while simultaneously thinking about people and places back home. And, in a way, most of my songs are about people longing for something or someone that feels like ‘home’ to them. They’re all songs about searching.’

AS: If you could relocate someplace for an extended period of time for the sole purpose of writing songs in a new environment, where would you go?

GAI: ‘England, I think, or Scotland maybe - I’d love to settled down in some stone village that’s surrounded by green hills. Some forgotten place. I’ve been to the UK several times and I’m always surprised by it. There’s such a long tradition of songwriting and storytelling there, a lot of great folk music from Britain that I listen to.’

AS: : Are there records that never get old for you, no matter how many times you listen to them?

GAI: ‘When we were kids we listened to a lot of Simon & Garfunkel, Nick Drake, and Leonard Cohen, specifically The Songs of Leonard Cohen. And those records are still inspiring to me. More recently, Beck’s Sea Change and Springsteen’s The Ghost of Tom Joad have had a big influence (oh, and of course, every record that Taylor Swift puts out). You know, people will say that ‘every song on Tom Joad sounds the same - that it’s monotonous,’ but I like that about it - it has a continuity of feeling that draws you into it. In my opinion, that’s what makes it so timeless.’

AS: What’s a dream collaboration for you?

GAI: ‘It would be amazing to work with [producer] Glyn Johns. He’s done everything, produced everybody: Bob Dylan, Ryan Adams, Band of Horses. I’d also love to work with Jolie Holland (of The Be Good Tanyas) - her voice is just perfect.’

AS: Any new projects on the horizon?

GAI: ‘Yeah, actually, I’ve been quietly at work on some low-fi rock songs. Exclusively with the electric guitar, just playing around in my kitchen. But the electric guitar is such an amazing tool - it’s fairly new to me, but it’s addictive. I’ve also been working with Brandi Carlile on a straight-ahead country record. Who knows if either will ever see the light of day or not but they’re both a lot of fun so far. I think it’s important to always be open to what could be; you have to dream, experiment, try things out.’

This interview originally appeared in Cold North Magazine. All photos by Seth Nicolas. Special thanks to Gregory Alan Isakov, his new album Gregory Alan Isakov With The Colorado Symphony is available now. 

copenhagen, denmark, scandinavia, 2016

Oh, What A Night! | Hidden Copenhagen Launch at Paper Collective

Last week's Hidden Secrets of Copenhagen book and poster launch was an incredible event - great big thanks to everyone who helped make it happen: Paper Collective Design Gallery, Ølsnedkeren (my goodness, their beers!), Malbeck Winebar, Rochelle Coote Photography, Lanterne Rouge, Luster Books, the ladies of Scandinavia Standard, Mr. Nick Scriven, and the whole team at Paper Collective - Lill, Morten, and Malene. Thanks to you all. 

The 500 Hidden Secrets of Copenhagen book is now available for purchase directly from the author (that's me!) in my new web shop.

All photos by the talented Rochelle Coote.

books, copenhagen, events

Hidden Copenhagen Book Launch At Paper Collective Design Gallery

Hidden Copenhagen Book & Poster Launch

Friends, YOU'RE INVITED to join me this Thursday, May 19 at Paper Collective, one of Copenhagen's very best gallery spaces (Kompagnistræde 29, 1208 København K), for a special evening of books, craft beer, Italian wine, and hidden Copenhagen trivia (and prizes!).

Come around for a drink, some good vibes, and to see the reveal of Paper Collective's brand new 'Copenhagen' poster series. The event is free and will take place from 17:00 - 19:00.

More details on the Facebook event page.

The Paper Collective Design Gallery at Kompagnistræde 29, 1208 København K.

The Paper Collective Design Gallery at Kompagnistræde 29, 1208 København K.

books, copenhagen, denmark, book launch

Hidden Copenhagen Book Launch

Oh, what a night! Last Wednesday's official launch of The 500 Hidden Secrets of Copenhagen at Books & Company in Hellerup was an absolute delight. Copenhagen trivia, handsome prizes, craft wine from Vinhanen, craft beer from Mikkeller, and, surprise of surprises, the sun was even shining. 

Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate the book launch. Thanks to Isabella and Hanne for playing host. Thanks to LUSTER Books for trusting me with this project. Thanks to Steve at Wooden Spoon for the delicious trivia prize donations, and special thanks to the indomitable Nick Scriven for all the lovely photos you see here.

The 500 Hidden Secrets of Copenhagen is now available at your local bookseller (support local shops - just ask them to order a copy for you), via, and for signed copies you can email

copenhagen, denmark, travels, books

Announcing 'The 500 Hidden Secrets of Copenhagen'

I'm happy to announce the release of my newest book project, The 500 Hidden Secrets of Copenhagen to be released by LUSTER Books (Belgium) later this spring. The book is available for pre-order at Read on for a little more about this upcoming book release...

About The 500 Hidden Secrets of Copenhagen (from the publisher):

  • An insider’s guide to Copenhagen and its best kept secrets,
  • An inspirational and practical guide to discovering Copenhagen’s finest and most interesting buildings, restaurants, shops, museums, galleries, neighbourhoods, gardens and cafes,
  • A new edition in Luster’s growing series of city guides,
  • Written by Austin Sailsbury, Photography by Tino van den Bergh.

"Where are the 5 best places in Copenhagen to experience New Nordic cuisine? What are the 5 best places to shop for Scandinavian furniture, fashion, and design? What is the city’s hippest new cocktail bar? Where can you find the best nature trails and waterfront walks? Where are the city’s small, independent cinemas? Which museums are best to visit on a rainy Danish day? What is Smørrebrød and where can I try it? What is Copenhagen’s best artisanal coffee?

The 500 Hidden Secrets of Copenhagen reveals the answers to these (and many other) questions. Discover a diverse range of under-the-radar, yet outstanding addresses that will allow you to explore the best of the city away from the typical tourist crowds. An affectionate and informed guide to Copenhagen, written by a local.

This is a book for visitors who want to avoid the usual tourist spots and for residents who are keen to track down the city’s best-kept secrets."               

Book’s Contents: 

95 Places to Eat or Buy Good Food; 65 Places To Go For A Drink; 70 Places For Fashion and Design; 40 Places to Enjoy Culture; 75 Places to Discover The Real Copenhagen; 20 Things to do with Children; 20 Places to Sleep; 45 Weekend Activities; 30 Buildings To Admire; 15 People Who Made Modern Copenhagen; 30 Random Details and Helpful Hints.

Pre Order The 500 Hidden Secrets of Copenhagen at