The gourmet route to history and hospitality
Gallery reference view
Couple on a picnic in Denmark
Boat in Roskilde Fjord
House on the island of Fanø
Bulbjerg in North Jutland
Thatched house on the island of Ærø
Romantic break in Denmark
When exploring Denmark by car, there is no better way to get a real taste for the country’s history, superb scenery, delicious cuisine and genuine Danish hospitality than by staying at the ’Danske Kroer and Hoteller’ collection of individually owned inns, which are dotted throughout the countryside.
With historic ‘routes’ dating back to the 12th Century, Denmark’s inns were established on a decree from King Erik Klipping who ordered that inns be placed along the so-called ’Kings Highway’ as staging posts to allow weary travellers to stretch their legs and enjoy a hearty meal. As a reward for providing a bed and a meal, the inns were granted a special Royal Licence to brew beer, distil spirits and bake bread - free of tax, both for their own use and to sell to the public.
Retaining these important sentiments, holidaymakers can still stay at some of the original Royal Privilege establishments with their thatched roofs, half-timbered frames and low-ceilinged parlour rooms, as well as an excellent selection of more modern properties, and enjoy service fit for a King.
Taking the regular overnight crossing from Harwich to Esbjerg on DFDS, travellers fresh off the boat wanting to explore the Wadden Sea area need not drive far. Only 9 kilometres away, overlooking the ocean at Ho Bay, the sensitively renovated traditional seaside hotel Hjerting Badehotel complements panoramic views and comfortably appointed rooms with a superb menu of seasonal delights. Rebuilt on the spot of the original inn after it burnt down in 1914, the hotel still retains a strong connection with its 300 years of sea-faring history.
Or just a little further up the coast, perched high on the dunes on the edge of the North Sea, take in more visionary flavours at Nymindegab Kro. Rich in nature with Ringkøbing Fjord and vast dune heath areas right on the doorstep, outdoor activities such as cycling, walking and fishing are well rewarded with deliciously creative gastronomy such as local ‘marsh lamb’ with crispy wild herbs and marinated lobster with pickled rhubarb.
Set on the banks overlooking a tranquil inlet on the beautifully picturesque Limfjorden in North Jutland and within easy reach to the Thy National Park, Tambohus Kro’s history dates back to 1842 when a local hero Chresten Tambour single-handedly caught a gang of robbers and was granted the royal privilege to establish an inn as a reward for his good deed. Since then, the inn’s reputation as an invitingly hospitable outpost has continued to grow, luring fish lovers from miles around with its specialist fish menu and seasonal feast of freshly caught fried eel, locally grown potatoes and rich butter sauce.
Co-founders of the gourmet route “gourmetruten” – a selection of inns and hotels that offer exceptional 5 course dining experiences, North Jutland’s Rold Gl Kro is situated just 600m from the ancient Rold Forest, a former haven for robbers and highway men at the period of the inn’s establishment. Today, it provides a peaceful and stunning woodland escape to great hospitality and good food on the edge of one of Denmark’s largest forests with the opportunity to hike, horse ride, mountain bike, fish, canoe and swim right on the doorstep.
Crossing the impressive Store Baelt Bridge to the ‘garden isle’ of Funen, Brobyvaerk Kro has a stunning setting on the banks of the Odense River. Having commanded this position since 1645, the inn was awarded its Royal Privileges in 1732 and continues to impress guests with its atmospheric candlelit rooms, art adorned walls and locally inspired cuisine. An ideal location for exploring the island’s lush rolling pasture lands, steep cliff tops and wide sandy beaches, it is also only 20 kilometres from the fairytale city of Odense, home to the famous Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen.
With another 82 individually owned inns and hotels in Danske Kroer & Hoteller’s portfolio, holidaymakers have plenty of options for tailor-making their gourmet tour of Denmark to suit their very discerning palates.
Getting there: Ideal for a self-drive holiday, the best way to experience the inns is to arrive by ferry with DFDS Seaways. They offer a regular service of departures every other day between Harwich and Esbjerg, during June, July and August and crossings three times a week between September and May.