From luxe digs to palace visits, channel a royal existence in Copenhagen
As soon as my eyes spied the bottles of pour your own bubbly on the breakfast spread at the elegant Hotel d’Angleterre, I felt as if I’d gone to sleep a commoner and woken up a queen. Everywhere I looked during my visit to Copenhagen, Denmark, I found reminders of the Danish affinity for its royal family, whether it was the palaces that seemed to be on every corner or the royal box I spied while taking in the opera. With this in mind, I created an itinerary for my three-day trip to the City of Spires that would be my version of a royal fairy tale.
Living the Suite Life
My Danish Cinderella story began the moment I arrived at the hotel. The property was established in 1755, and after an extensive renovation, reopened in 2013 as a grand palace for guests of the city. My deluxe one bedroom suite came with a living area adorned with fresh roses and a patio off the bedroom that overlooked Kongens Nytorv square and the colorful Nyhavn canal district. The breakfast at Marchal, the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, was a feast for the eyes and the belly, featuring everything from fresh pastries to made-to-order eggs— and, of course, the Champagne. My dinner at Marchal didn’t disappoint either, given the signature lobster preparation plated table side. The icing on the cake was the Balthazar Champagne Bar, Denmark’s first bubbly lounge, which features varieties from more than 40 different houses. I also indulged in a muscle-melting massage at the Amazing Space spa.
A Palace a Day Keeps the Dullness Away
In my efforts to channel all things sovereign and sumptuous, I followed a daily schedule of consuming ridiculous amounts of Champagne and eating my way through small plate masterpieces such as lobster carpaccio and turbot with fennel ravioli at culinary hot spots including Geist and Barr. But more important, each day’s dining and drinking was scheduled around a visit to an exquisite royal residence.
The first day, my focus was on Rosenborg Castle. The tall, whimsical brick palace was home to royals in the 1600s, but in the early 1700s, it shifted to housing royal collections ranging from elaborate garments to the stunning Danish Crown.
The next day, I stalked the Royal Guard as it made its daily march through the streets of town to arrive at palace number two, Amalienborg. As I wandered through the ornate halls and museum, visiting the likes of Queen Louise’s salon and other regal rooms, I tried to wrap my mind around the fact that the royal family still lives in the four buildings that make up this grand estate. I saved the best for last, though. Towering Christiansborg Palace is home to the Danish Parliament, Supreme Court and Ministry of State. While strolling the grounds and the palace, I learned that it has been rebuilt three times since the 1740s due to fires. Mustsees include the royal kitchen, where I followed the preparations for a gala dinner to mark King Christian X’s Silver Jubilee in 1937, and the stables, where I paid my respects to the stunning white horses that have called them home since the 1700s.
As the sun set on my Danish fairy tale, I knew it would be tough returning to an existence that didn’t include endless Champagne and daily palace visits. But whenever I need to escape reality and channel a bit of the noble lifestyle, I know that Copenhagen will be there waiting for me.
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STORY: Amelia Pavlik
Photo: Martin Heiberg