North Jutland – Denmark’s aptly named ‘Land of Light’ – offers a plethora of things to do, from strolling along expansive sun-kissed stretches of beach and visiting world class attractions, such as the Viking museum Lindholm Høje or the recently renovated Skagen Museum, to indulging in gourmet cuisine (for which the region is very well-known) at one of the many award winning restaurants such as Mortens Kro, Svinkløv Badehotel or Villa Vest.
However, for a more local taste of the region’s history, culture, architecture and delicious regional fare, tuck in at some of the below eateries and you’ll literally discover stories to dine out on.
A taste of maritime history
Part of the Limfjord Maritime Museum at Løgstør and with a prime position looking over the harbour, Kanalfogendens Køkken provides the perfect spot to contemplate time spent in the museum learning about the area’s fascinating seafaring history whilst savouring some of its bountiful catch. With a creative menu showcasing the area’s fresh fish and shellfish, not to be missed are the famous Limfjord mussels, which have given rise to Løgstør’s annual Mussel Festival, Mussel Harvest and its nickname of ‘Mussel Town’.
Adorning the Aalborg waterfront with its impressive metallic forms, the Utzon Center offers an insight into the inspired work of the world famous architect Jørn Utzon who worked in collaboration with his son, Kim Utzon, on this, his last work, until he died in 2008 at the age of 90. Designed as a cultural hub, the building’s many features include two exhibition halls, the Utzon Library and a work space for the students of Architecture and Design at Aalborg University.
Denmark’s largest and oldest forest, Rold Skov, is widely regarded as one of the most enchanting woodlands in the country. Rich in folklore and mystery, it quietly captivates walkers and cyclists alike with its giant beech trees and strangely gnarled “troll” trees, hidden burial mounds and sparkling freshwater springs. Retreating to the heart of the forest, visitors can while away an hour or two over a leisurely lunch of traditional Danish cuisine at Mosskov Pavillonen, whilst drinking in the stunning panoramic views over lake St. Økssø and the surrounding forest. Alternatively, explore the romance of candlelit dining on the edge of the forest at Rold Storkro near the Rebild Hills.
Entertainment to dine out on
For more forest fare head to Røverstuen, in the middle of the Rold Forest, where classic Danish dishes of venison and pork are on the menu at this snug, laid-back restaurant, which mixes great food and wine with a diverse programme of music and local history based events.
Alternatively, overlooking the waterfront yachts at Saeby Harbour, on the north east coast of Jutland, Frank’s restaurant cleverly combines stylish dining with a changing calendar of events, ranging from music by famous artists to lectures by inspiring people. Complementing its extensive fresh seafood menu, the restaurant also offers a popular tapas buffet menu created from local produce.
Housing tasty morsels
With a varied selection of large historic buildings ranging from castles to merchants houses, not to be over-looked are some of the region’s smaller gems such as the ‘raaling’ – “little houses”. Dating back to 1552, the thatched and timbered walled Raalingen is one of the oldest privately owned houses in Denmark, located east of Aalborg on east coast of North Jutland at Hou. Peacefully surrounded by apple orchards, rose gardens and leafy areas with small ponds, the former farmhouse has been transformed to offer a slow food menu of seasonal Danish delights including its popular ‘Raalings Brasserade’ – an individual barbeque for outdoor summer dining.
Another great historic stop is Top Karen, located near Skorping, south of Aalborg. Named after the owner who ran this pretty cafe in the late 19th century, its low ceiling rooms retell the history of this delightful period house and its celebrated visitors through an extensive collection of photographs that can be leisurely viewed over coffee and a delicious homemade Danish pastry.