Sea­side re­treat

This Dan­ish ho­tel will se­duce you with its stylish decor and beau­ti­ful set­ting.

Country House Magazine - - June - www.he­lenek­

A ho­tel in the Dan­ish Riviera mixes the glam­our of the 1900s and the sim­ple Scandi way of life.

Stay­ing on the riviera brings to mind a pe­riod drama set in Italy or France, but once you re­alise that riviera means coast­line, and that Den­mark has 4,500 miles of it (in fact in Den­mark you are never more than 30 miles from the sea), you un­der­stand why the Dan­ish tourist in­dus­try be­gan pro­mot­ing the Dan­ish Riviera. On that riviera is a small town called Tisvilde (with less than 1,500 peo­ple) in the north of the is­land of Zealand (about 45 min­utes from Copen­hagen). And in Tisvilde is a sea­side house called He­lenek­ilde. The name has great sym­bol­ism in this re­gion, be­cause leg­end has it that a Swedish girl called He­lene was at­tacked and killed by rob­bers and her body drifted ashore in Tisvilde. When lo­cals took

her body to the lo­cal Tibirke church for a Chris­tian burial, a spring ap­peared where she lay (kilde means source) and her grave can be seen a few hun­dred me­tres from the shore­line. Many mir­a­cles are said to have hap­pened here, and the source wa­ter’s heal­ing power has at­tracted peo­ple since the 1200s. He­lenek­ilde was built as a sum­mer res­i­dence by a build­ing mag­nate called Grüner, who pre­sented the beau­ti­ful house as a gift to his wife in 1896. In re­cent years, Alexan­der Kølpin bought the house and de­ter­mined to trans­form it into a ho­tel whilst re­tain­ing the am­bi­ence and fea­tures of a pri­vate house. Mr Kølpin is not your usual ho­tel owner; at age 21, he was ap­pointed Prin­ci­pal

Dancer of the Royal Dan­ish Bal­let and in 1992 he was given the pres­ti­gious Benois de la Danse prize (for “Best Male Dancer in the World”). Born to a fash­ion de­signer mother, it is not hard to see why the ho­tel - both in terms of fur­nish­ings and con­cept - has gen­uine class and el­e­gance. Since it is so close to the Kat­te­gat (the strait that is be­tween Den­mark and Swe­den), there is a real fo­cus on out­door, deck liv­ing, and so meals are of­ten taken out­side. The ter­races are real sun traps. Dur­ing the sum­mer months var­i­ous Dan­ish artists visit the ho­tel and per­form small, in­ti­mate con­certs. This has been a tra­di­tion since 2009. The sum­mer ses­sion starts with an aper­i­tif on the ter­race fol­lowed by a three-course menu, which sets the stage for an ex­clu­sive con­cert ex­pe­ri­ence. In July, the ho­tel wel­comes the singer Coco (who con­trib­uted to the sound track of The Great Gatsby) and, in Au­gust, Pernille Rosendahl (who is also a Dan­ish singer) will per­form for 2 nights. If you have a com­pet­i­tive spirit, then why don't you check in around 17 July when the ho­tel hosts a pe­tanque tour­na­ment and at the end of the month the ho­tel will hold its Sum­mer Fes­ti­val which is an op­por­tu­nity to wel­come the friends and neigh­bours of the ho­tel. The fact that the ho­tel opens up the party to the whole vil­lage says much about the ethos of Alexan­der Kølpin who splits his time be­tween Den­mark and Los An­ge­les where he also has a film pro­duc­tion and dance busi­ness. It is no sur­prise that dur­ing your stay you will be treated to some lo­cal pro­duce and the style is mod­ern Nordic. Make sure you taste the Kold­skål which is a cold Dan­ish but­ter­milk soup that is of­ten served as a snack in the af­ter­noon - but it is very re­fresh­ing dur­ing the hot sum­mer and can also be had in the evening. Once you have spent a few days at He­lenek­ilde, you will hap­pily add the Dan­ish Riviera to the more tried and tested riv­ieras.

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