DailyTimes | Denmark has scenery to die for and the food matches it perfectly

Denmark has scenery to die for and the food matches it perfectly

Kay Richardson heads to Copenhagen to sample culture and history and suns herself on the glorious beaches of the Baltic coast
Denmark has scenery to die for and the food matches it perfectly

Denmark, allegedly the happiest nation on earth, has the most sparkling loos I've ever encountered. I know because I saw plenty of them as my youngest child started toilet training just before we flew to Copenhagen.

But sometimes you just can't get to the loo in time. Which taught me that as well as being the happiest, Danes are also the friendliest bunch of people I've had the pleasure of meeting.

The proof came while I was holding my toddler over a drain for an emergency wee. As you do. A car drove by, the window wound down and I was passed a packet of tissues by a smiling driver. Where else would this happen?

Our wee drama came as we holidayed at Hundested on the Baltic coast, the Danish royal family's recreation ground.

Our beautiful wooden holiday home was perched on the edge of a pine forest, overlooked by fields of horses and cows while herons and buzzards flew by.

The garden was huge, with plenty of room to run and play, and the beach was just down the road.

Hundested has a thriving marina with restaurants, bars and local artisan studios. Our favourite place was the shallow "experience" pools on the harbour where you can handle the fish caught by locals.

We saw sole, plaice, shrimps and a purple star fish. Egged on by the local teens I held a crab, much to the amazement of my children, while my youngest held a pipe fish. She's still talking about it.

When stormy weather arrived, we bought a Copenhagen Card which gives entry to over 70 museums as well as free public transport. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art - with impressive contemporary exhibitions and three-storey children's wing - was vast, with plentiful resources for children to create and make sense of the exhibitions using sculpture and paint.

In central Copenhagen we went to Torvehallerne, an indoor gourmet food market. We bought pastries from Laura's bakery and particularly liked the snegel, a custard-filled Danish swirl in the shape of a snail's shell. For fabulous views of the city head to 17th century Rundetarn tower. Don't go dizzy as you climb the steps and enjoy the view from the top.

Nearby is Nyhavn, where Hans ...Christian Andersen lived. The waterfront features a stretch of colourful and ...picturesque houses. Take a moment to enjoy it with a stop at one of the cafes.

We were lucky enough to get a table at Stedsans. Its roof garden is actually an allotment and my children ran around the garden between courses and fed leftovers to the hens.

Naturally, my youngest and I visited the compost toilet. My eldest, meanwhile, declared the beef brisket with red onions and thyme as "better than all the pasta in all the world". It's not cheap though - five courses for two adults and two children with wine costs £140.

We visited Christiania, a self-governing "free town" in the middle of Copenhagen, and soaked up a myriad of architectural styles.

Then it was on to nearby Paper Island to enjoy Copenhagen street food. Cheaper than dining out in restaurants, an abundance of stalls sell delicious food from Vietnamese to Colombian.

You can enjoy the hustle and bustle of Copenhageners as you tuck in while watching boats on the river with the Opera House across the water. Ordrupgaard Museum, designed by the late Zaha Hadid, is also staggeringly beautiful. Here you can explore Danish designer Finn Juhl's self-built house and see his inspirational use of space.

It's an absolute must for design lovers. Our children had great fun in the ...sculpture park, running around a giant mushroom and playing hide and seek in the mirror labyrinth.

When the sunshine returned we relaxed on the stunning beaches of North Zealand. The weather was ...spectacular, with brilliant clear blue skies. We also drove to nearby Liseje and found a fabulous stretch of coast great for the kids - safe, shallow waters of the Baltic and plenty of rock pools to explore.

I'm a fan of ...Scandinavian ...children's clothes and, wanting to save money, went to a flea market in Torvet, Hillerod. Clothes, furniture and home items were a bargain.