From the Little Mermaid to the world’s best restaurant Noma, Denmark is known for its fairy-tales and for its New Nordic Cuisine. So why not combine the two by staying at an actual castle that also offers a bite of great Danish cooking.
Stepping back in time
Only an hour by car from the airport, you will find one of Denmark’s oldest secular buildings, Dragsholm Slot, which originates back to the late 12th century.
The castle has survived numerous battles over the years, but today it welcomes guests as a hotel, historical attraction and a place to experience Nordic terroir and cuisine.
Dragsholm Slot has been restored and modernised, but the interior is kept in a beautiful baroque style that gives you a feeling you’re staying overnight at a museum.
For example, there are a restricted number of TVs hidden away in the extravagant old-fashioned décor of the main building to maintain the allusion you’ve just stepped into a time machine.
Not even a pea under the mattress would have unsettled my princess’s slumber after a dip in the jacuzzi.
As well as to its paying guests, the hotel is also open to guided tours as many flock to hear the tales behind the architecture, previous owners and, of course, the ghosts.
And let’s just say that the spirits of Dragsholm Slot are not coming anytime soon in a Disney version.
The most famous is the White Lady. Celestine, a young girl made pregnant by a groom in the 15th century, was trapped behind a wall by her merciless dad.
Her skeleton wasn’t found till the castle was restored at the beginning of the 20th century.
We, however, didn’t encounter any ghosts ourselves.
The garden of Denmark
The castle is located in northern Zealand in the wild nature of Odsherred. It is only a 15-minute walk to the beach and right next to the Lammefjord.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the fjord was dammed, and today most of it is dry and used for the cultivation of vegetables.
The Lammefjord is known for its carrots, potatoes, onions and asparagus.
Given that it’s located in the middle of a vegetable garden, it’s no surprise to learn and then taste how much pride the hotel takes in its kitchen.
Both its gourmet restaurant and simple eatery are adept at foraging from the surrounding nature, something the head chef – the former Noma chef, Claus Henriksen – is a pioneer of.
We had a lovely dinner at the eatery entailing monkfish, organic beef filet and a strawberry dessert.
The dishes were accompanied by local vegetables and herbs from the castle’s own herb garden located just outside the eatery.
Workout working it out
Guests interested in a little bit of exercise can take a stroll there themselves with the help of a handy herb-garden map to keep track of what’s what.
Or alternatively, they can opt for outdoor crossfit or yoga and follow with a massage.
So if you want hotel luxury combined with interesting history, beautiful surroundings and great food – Dragsholm Slot is the place to be.
Dragsholm Allé, Hørve; 495-2,755kr; 5965 3300, email@example.com; dragsholm-slot.dk