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HORTUS goes to Denmark
Spread across a myriad of islands with a population of only five and a half million (about as many as Scotland), Denmark is a remarkably successful country: Danes are said to be happier in their daily lives than anyone else in the world. It is no surprise, therefore, to find many well-loved exceptional gardens that reflect the nation’s finest qualities. Appropriately, as the Danish royal family is held in high regard, we include a visit to the private gardens of Fredensborg Palace, a favourite of Queen Margrethe II. The nation is also renowned for being environmentally aware, with more than twice the number of bicycles than cars on its roads, hence our visit to a productive roof garden at ØsterGro, supplying vegetable boxes to the city’s residents. Danish designers are well known for their work in furniture but we also see evidence of innovative design in the parks and gardens included throughout the tour. We are based on the islands of Zealand and on Funen (Fyn), otherwise known as the garden island of Denmark, where we find our first hotel, Falsled Kro, a delightful stylish inn with comfortable fresh rooms and delicious Scandinavian food created by Chef, Per Hallundbaek at the Michelin-starred restaurant. We then move on to the harbourside Copenhagen Admiral Hotel, displaying the best of modern design in a converted grain-drying warehouse with its own elegant and stylish restaurant, Salt, overlooking the Opera House.
Day 1: Sunday 3 July
Depart 09:55 from London Heathrow on flight BA0814, arriving in Copenhagen at 12:50. We travel first to the Paradehuset (Parade House), a late nineteenth-century orangery in the grounds of Gisselfeld Castle where garden designer Stig Lauritsen and landscape artist Greg Kobett have overseen the restoration and filled the large glasshouse with rich displays of exotic plants, finding room also for a shop crammed with assorted eclectic goodies. We enjoy a Danish-style high tea then see the carp ponds and old fisherman’s cottage that houses a small piscatorial museum. We then journey onwards, arriving at Falsled Kro with time to settle in before welcome drinks and a fine dinner together.
Day 2: Monday 4 July
Remaining on the island of Funen, we visit Sanderumgaard Romantic Garden, where Susanne & Chamberlain Eric Vind have been engrossed in a project to reawaken their late eighteenth-century sleeping beauty. Initially the garden was created for Johan Bülow, Lord Chamberlain to Crown Prince Frederick. At its peak the garden boasted thirteen pavilions and more than a mile of canals. This is a green garden of meandering waterside walks interspersed with follies. Steensgaard organic farm has an organic eatery, where we will have lunch – a platter of delicious seasonal produce fresh from the farm. Then on to Faaborg Museum to see the richly-coloured landscape paintings of the best known artists of the Funen School, including the celebrated work of Johannes Larsen (1867–1961). Our afternoon is devoted to the remarkable and beautifully kempt De Japanske Haver, divided into four distinct areas: the Garden of Life; the View Garden; the Walking Garden and the Meditation Garden. This disciplined and immaculate garden, tidied and pruned each morning and evening, includes a small restaurant where we will have tea and sake, finding time also to explore the Japanese shop with its array of pruning tools, traditional paper products and beautiful ceramics.
Day 3: Tuesday 5 July
We leave Funen and drive to North Zealand, to Fredensborg Palace, where the Queen and Prince Consort live for extended periods of time, hosting State banquets and entertaining nobility and guests of State. The beautiful Baroque-style palace has the largest historical gardens in the country and our visit will include a special guided tour of the Queen’s private garden, walled Vegetable Garden and Orangery. Lunch will be at a local restaurant and we have time for a short walk in the magnificently restored Baroque gardens before we drive into Copenhagen, stopping en route at ØsterGro Roof Garden to see the great variety of fruit, vegetables and herbs grown by a small team of dedicated gardeners on the roof of a former factory. There will be time to settle in at the Copenhagen Admiral Hotel before an evening free to explore the city's restaurants.
Day 4: Wednesday 6 July
Heaven or Hell? Thoughts about visiting a pleasure park with noisy rides and colourful attractions may not be your thing. But Tivoli is nothing short of a national treasure. We are honoured to have been offered an early-bird tour to see the immaculately maintained and cleverly-planted park and to hear about Tivoli’s fascinating history, entering the park while all is quiet, before the public arrive and rides begin. We then have free time in Copenhagen and will supply you with a list a special gardens and parks that you can visit, or you may prefer to visit the Design Museum, art galleries, shops or just sit in a café. We meet again in the late afternoon to visit the very special private and exceptionally exquisite garden made by Peter Wibroe. Dinner is at the wonderful Salt restaurant.
Day 5: Thursday 7 July
The Botanical Garden is part of the Natural History Museum of Denmark, at the University of Copenhagen. The garden holds the largest Danish collection of living plants and we will take a short guided tour of the unusual rock garden (fashioned from a section of the old city walls) and Palm House. Next door is Rosenborg Castle, set in the grounds of the King’s Garden. We have our final lunch together here in the garden restaurant Orangeriet before returning to the airport for a 14.30 check-in for flight BA0817, departing at 16:30 and arriving back in London Heathrow at 17:35.
How much & what's included:
The price per person: £2,998
A single supplement of £250 is levied by the hotel.
The price includes: two nights’ bed and breakfast with dinner and wine at Falsled Kro; two nights’ bed & breakfast at Copenhagen Admiral Hotel; one night’s dinner and wine at Salt restaurant; one high tea and three lunches, as well as return flights from London Heathrow.
If you wish to arrange your own flights we will be happy to deduct £224 per person from the tour price if we are notified at the time of booking.
This tour is financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate