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It’s easy to forget, or simply not to know, that Denmark is made up of over 400 islands. ‘Only’ 70 of them are inhabited, but it means the sea is omnipresent. In the last year or so I’ve written about the gastro-wonders of Jutland, also here, but my latest Nordic exploration took me to north Zealand, i.e. the same island as Copenhagen.


The capital is now umbilically linked to Sweden by The Bridge, of addictive TV thriller fame. But the closest point to Sweden is in fact Helsingor or, as we monolingual Brits call it, Elsinore. And that’s where we went.

Last weekend I found myself doing a bit of time-travel at the Louisiana museum. My last visit was over 50 years ago, soon after it opened and…miraculously I remembered it! That takes some doing, considering the hundreds of museums I’ve visited since, but in this case it’s hardly surprising, as the museum is absolutely stunning. In fact… unforgettable.


The location is hard to beat, wedged between sea and forest, perched high above a strait that connects the Baltic with the North Sea. Across the Oresund lies the silhouette of Sweden (above, seen from the ‘Panorama Room’, where you can sit and lap up the view).

Status titles such as European Capital of Cultural always give a boost to a city, bringing loads of inward investment, extra jobs and a hoped-for explosion of visitors. They also inspire a bit of creative thinking at the town hall. For visitors, though, it can be equally rewarding to go in advance – catch a rising star, or certainly catch lower hotel prices.

Aarhus Latin Quarter café

It’s pretty hard to separate Danish food from Danish design, although the latter is very much the country’s mid-20th century high, and the former has become the star of the early 21st. Yet somehow they are umbilically linked, whether at a low-key lunch place, a high end restaurant or even a beach hotel festooned with designer lamps. As far as sources are concerned, Jutland, which I’ve just visited, was the home of the designer daddy of them all, Hans Wegner, whose inspiring museum is in a converted water-tower at Toender (panoramic top floor below).


Surprise surprise, it’s not only Copenhagen that carries Denmark’s foodie flag. In fact most of the produce landing in the kitchens of some of the world’s top restaurants (yes I know, Noma’s just been relegated to no. 3 in the World’s Best list, but watch out for Geranium, hot behind) comes from Jutland, that fist of land thrusting towards Norway and lapped by the waves of the North Sea.