Copenhagen reclaims its place among Europe’s finest destinations: Travel Weekly
Now that the world is reopening and people are celebrating again, Copenhagen is reclaiming its prominent place on the foodie scene and bolstering its luxury hotel offering, thanks to the inspired mastery of the Marchal restaurant at D’Angleterre and the debut of the Villa Kopenhagen.
Nothing says luxury like caviar, especially when presented with your own signature box of caviar at a Michelin-starred restaurant in a five-star hotel. It’s exactly what guests of D’Angleterre can expect, a touch worthy of a champagne toast at the hotel known as “The Grand Palace of Copenhagen.”
This festive spirit was the founding principle of the origins of England in the 18th century when a young Frenchman fell in love with the daughter of the head of the royal palace in Copenhagen. With the support of the king, they opened their own establishment in 1755 on Kongens Nytorv (the King’s New Place) in order to share their passion for culinary hospitality with the aristocracy.
For more than 260 years, the D’Angleterre, with its bridal white exterior, has occupied pride of place in Copenhagen’s grandest public square, serving its illustrious clientele in a neoclassical palace alongside neighbors such as the Royal Danish Theatre, North Store and Charlottenborg Palace. Its grandeur is immediately apparent upon crossing the threshold of an elegant lobby crowned with a resplendent white and gold dome.
The Marchal in D’Angleterre buffet breakfast includes fresh fruit, pastries and eggs prepared in 10 different ways. Photo credit: Courtesy of D’Angleterre
The completion of a recent three-year restoration project ushered in the latest revival of the D’Angleterre. Orchestrated by its visionary owner, Elsa Marie Remmen, the hotel has recovered historic details such as fireplaces, art nouveau ornaments and hallways wide enough for women to walk through in full crinolines.
Highlighted in the hotel’s signature lilac and gray palette, the D’Angleterre’s 92 rooms and suites have been reconfigured and refurbished with silk wall coverings, marble and stone bathrooms, carpeted floors plush and Bang & Olufsen entertainment systems.
At 700 square feet, the lavish one-bedroom suites are large enough to host a private cocktail party with sweeping views of the square. They come with living room, bedroom, full marble bathroom and separate guest powder room.
Caviar en surprise is one of Marchal’s signature canapés. Photo credit: MRNY
Champagne. And more Champagne
But back to Champagne, caviar and black truffle. True to D’Angleterre’s gastronomic heritage, the hotel’s Michelin-starred Marchal pays homage to the Frenchman who fell in love with the chef’s daughter.
Jean Marchal and his wife, Maria, would be delighted to see their restaurant in the expert hands of chef Jakob de Neergaard, whose experience with Alain Ducasse is evident in his mastery of French cuisine.
The canapés start with gougères crowned with black truffles, followed by oysters and lumpfish roe, a morel tart enhanced with truffles and then a surprise caviar served with lobster and Jerusalem artichokes. By the time the restaurant’s signature Marchal Gold Bar coated in 24-karat gold arrives, patrons may be feeling a little giddy.
If they want to keep the party going, the hotel’s alluring Champagne bar, Balthazar, is just down the hall and serves 160 types of champagne by the bottle, glass, or mixed with craft cocktails.
Every morning, the Marchal’s breakfast buffet is equally indulgent, with a table laden with fresh fruit, breads, pastries, eggs prepared in 10 different styles and, of course, plenty of champagne.
Fortunately, the D’Angleterre’s spa and fitness center, known as the Amazing Space, includes an indoor pool, as well as a sauna, steam room, and showers. Hydrotherapy has never been so wonderful.
Villa Copenhagen occupies the former central post and telegraph office, opposite Tivoli Gardens. Photo credit: Courtesy of Villa Copenhagen
New on the scene
Housed in what was once Copenhagen’s central post and telegraph office, the newly opened Villa Copenhagen features two restaurants as well as the courtyard, which serves as a communal lounge for locals and guests. The entire 390-room property has been impeccably restored with attention to detail and outfitted with striking interiors — heated herringbone floors, rainfall showers — that emphasize sustainable Danish design.
Conveniently located along Central Station, Villa Copenhagen is opposite Tivoli Gardens and within walking distance of many cultural attractions, such as the Glyptothek. Still, it’s tempting to stay on the expansive property and roam around at will, especially in good weather, when the rooftop pool and sauna beckon.
Sustainably heated with excess heat from the hotel’s cooling systems, the pool temperature hovers in the mid-80s.
At night, Villa’s Courtyard becomes a cocktail bar with local DJs, while T37 functions as a stylish speakeasy serving up classic cocktails in a private club atmosphere.
Kontrast, the restaurant of the brand new Villa Copenhagen. Photo credit: Courtesy of Villa Copenhagen
Villa Copenhagen’s restaurant, Kontrast, honors the past and present with an eye to the future. Everything at Kontrast is assessed with sustainability in mind, and there’s zero food waste – making it easy to enjoy an apple danish and basil dessert, served with an almond crumble and white chocolate with a little less guilt.
Rooms and suites at D’Angleterre cost $500 and up, while a stay at Villa Copenhagen starts at $211.
If you are looking for dining options outside of these hotels, Iluka Restaurant is worthy of consideration. Named after an Aboriginal expression meaning “by the sea”. Iluka chef/owner Beau Clugston combines his Australian surfing heritage with his years at Copenhagen’s Michelin-starred Noma to create a culinary outpost that celebrates the bounty of the sea. A sense of family completes the food that evokes the best summer clambakes by the sea.
Traveling to and from Copenhagen via Icelandair’s Saga Class offers access to lounges at all airports as well as pink gin cocktails in transit. Icelandair passengers can add a stopover in Iceland at no additional cost.