As you very well know, my best friend lives in Sweden.
We Skype almost every day, text constantly, but still somehow miss each other’s infectious company.
So again, we decided to meet up somewhere lovely and spend a long weekend together.
This time we met in the middle, in Denmark.
Where we spent a handful of days in a funny little hotel beside the sea.
Waking with the sunrise (mercifully not too early this time of year!) and breathing in the bracing sea air.
Watching the waves crash below our balcony.
Before retreating inside to defrost beside the fire.
This was our hotel…
A Scandi-style seaside retreat.
The staff were utterly charming though utterly confused by us both. How had we found them? Why were we there? Were we sneaking off on a dirty weekend?
It turns out that not too many non-Danes make it to their little stretch of coastline and they quite like it that way!
Nevertheless, they were warm, welcoming and understanding of our little quirks (wanting more than one pillow and asking for one each, for example).
We spent our days chattering over delicious coffees and soft boiled eggs at the breakfast table, before setting off on borrowed bikes to explore the local area.
Which is so quaint it doesn’t even seem real.
A short ride away we stumbled upon Kildegaard, where the owner called out to see if we’d like a hot drink.
We took him up on his kind offer and explored his castle.
A beautiful little B’n’B filled with books and surrounded by roaming chickens, watched over by an old dog wrapped in a blanket.
If you ride on a little further, you’ll find yourself in Tisvildeleje.
A delightful, sleepy little town with shops and coffee houses galore.
All oozing that effortless Danish charm.
Along side a marvellous bakery and a handful of restaurants.
Be sure to pop into Bread & Wine for a cuppa and a pastry or three.
You’ll need all the fuel you can get for the next bit of the journey!
A ride through the countryside.
To “The Farm“.
A sort of garden centre, meets home store, meets fashion house, in the middle of nowhere.
Gorgeous from the outside and stuffed with Scandi goodies on the inside.
Well worth a trip, should you find yourself in the area.
And with little-to-no traffic in the winter months, it’s an easy glide home.
Just in time for lunch!
Which is really where this hotel shines.
I don’t say this lightly, but they served some of the consistently best food I’ve ever eaten. I know, I know, it’s a little sea side hotel, how can that be true?!
It just is.
There are no menus, the chef serves whatever’s good. I joined Val in her pescetarianism (vegetarian but eats fish) during our stay, so we had different dishes to the other guests. Every single dish served was well balanced, well thought out, not too light or heavy, bursting with flavour, as fresh as can be and truly spectacular, without being in any way pretentious.
Supper was a three course set menu, every night.
While lunch was a varied smorgasbord of nibbly bits to share.
Always starting with freshly made bread and butter.
And local style dishes that changed every day.
I learned that I love pickled herring! ^ Who knew?!
While the perfectly cooked salmon with whipped creme fraiche is probably more of a mainstream taste.
We spent our afternoons snuggled up outside with bottomless coffees, shooting the breeze and dolphin spotting. (We saw a whole pod of dolphins and no-one would believe us, so we had to drag the staff outside to prove it!)
I really can’t think of a better place to experience proper Danish Hygge.
Pronounced hue-guh, it’s the Danish saying for happy, content and cosy. It’s about togetherness, comfort and that warm glow that works from the outside in.
I think we could all use a little more Hygge in our lives!
Once the sun went down we would shuffle in and take up the sofas closest to the fire, chatting, playing games and reminiscing until supper time.
When plate after plate of spectacular local food would appear.
Each a little surprise, as you don’t order from a menu.
Starting with mussel soup (something I would never have ordered), silky and rich with droplets of vibrant green lovage, torn greens, lots of dill and two big, plump scallops.
Just so delicious, and surprising.
Followed by cod in a butter and caper sauce, on a bed of rich, creamy mash, all topped with herbs and ribbons of crisp, pickled pumpkin.
I really don’t want you to think I’m exaggerating, but I could eat at this restaurant every day for the rest of my life and never be tired of it.
Finishing off the evening with orange cake, ice cream and freshly made honeycomb.
Then we’d stay up late and play beside the crackling fire.
Luxuriating in the warmth, before making the climb upto our cold and somewhat barren bedroom (there had to be a catch somewhere, right?)
Falling asleep to the sound of the waves, the wind and the rain outside.
And then doing it all over again the next day.
A little out of the way and not without its quirks, I still wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a Hygge weekend of your very own in Denmark.
This is the hotel’s website, you could combine a stay with a trip to Copenhagen, or just go right to the sea side.
I will most certainly return, I just can’t face a life without those Danish flavours!