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Leave the city and spend a day driving through the north-eastern flatlands of Zealand to end up at Dragsholm Castle. This historical building in the middle of the countryside offers gourmet Danish cuisine and beautiful suites to live in a dream.
Dragsholm Castle embodies two of the most powerful and defining elements of contemporary Danish culture – the old and the modern, the past and present.
An 800-year-old castle, situated roughly 100 km north west of Copenhagen, Dragsholm is perched on a steep rise, in an otherwise expansive, flat and verdant agricultural landscape, designated by UNESCO as Denmark’s only “Geopark“, due to its characteristic, geological heritage.
The castle presents itself as an impenetrable fortress, with its thick chalk-white walls adorned with embrasures, heavy gates and the remnants of a protective moat. Perhaps at times in its long, dramatic history, the castle hadn’t always been a hospitable place. But today, as you arrive along the elegant tree lined drive-up and see the imposing, white building rising from the land, you are now welcomed in this top performing hotel with open arms and a plethora of services, activities and surrounding natural beauty.
Dragsholm boasts comfortable and luxurious rooms and suites within the old castle walls, as well as a string of more contemporary rooms in a side wing, offering views of the countryside and the moat and of the castle itself. The spacious salons, the library and various public areas are all well-suited for exploration and one never struggles to find a place to sit and enjoy the historical atmosphere of the old castle.
Dragsholm is also home to two renowned restaurants: The Michelin-starred Slotskøkkenet, and the more relaxed, bistro-style Spisehuset. Both restaurants are stellar examples of the Danish, Nordic culinary movement and the chef, Claus Henriksen, is in the very top echelon of chefs in Denmark. He defines the uncompromising and playful approach and tribute to mostly organic, local fare, with brilliant and seasonal offerings.
The surrounding landscape is reclaimed ocean floor; In 1873, a vast fjord was dammed in to create what was to become the most productive and rich farm land in the country.
Today this area is all about its terroir, especially known for its produce of organic origin.
Most of the reputable restaurants in Copenhagen, and their slew of award-winning chefs, procure all their vegetables from this region.
The same holds true for the restaurants at Dragsholm. The philosophy of the kitchen is to strictly adhere to a manifesto of using only local produce, the natural bounty of nature, and with it, the seasonal offerings. Chef Claus Henriksen can be seen daily, foraging along the nearby beaches and in the forest park surrounding the castle.
Dragsholm also offers a fabulous wine cellar and wine-tasting menus along with wine tastings, situated in the romantic cellars beneath the cobbled courtyard. The castle also has its own ordained church and many weddings are celebrated in the historical setting of this magical place.
It takes an hour and a half to drive from the city to Dragsholm, and it is highly recommended to try and arrive there around lunch time, to enjoy a meal in the cosy atmosphere of the bistro, or if weather permits, on a vast terrace overlooking the impressive, baroque-style herb gardens.
After lunch, take a stroll along the nearby beach in the afternoon, or meander along roads and tracks in the beautiful surroundings, to return with an appetite for a fabulous dinner in Slotskøkkenet. Afterwards, spend the night in one of the romantic and well-appointed suites, and return to the city the next day after a hearty breakfast.