«Would you like to come with us to Bornholm?» they asked us from Visit Denmark. Yes, please, sign us up! To get to experience this culinary gem of an island in Denmark has been a dream for a long while. For some reason we have postponed it, probably since it has been easier to just visit Copenhagen or other big cities. You should not postpone it! If you like the pleasures of good food, produced organically by passionate farmers, with ingredients foraged and prepared by dedicated chefs and served on handcrafted ceramics, Bornholm is your dream destination.
To get to Bornholm from Oslo you need to stop in Copenhagen - luckily! Kastrup is our favorite airport with so many exciting shops, great pastry and an excellent champagne bar; Le Sommelier. While you’re there, if you are like us and you like to have the internet at your hand while abroad, make sure to get a Lebara SIM-card at WHSmith once you enter the transit area. The card cost only DKK 49, and you can top it up with 2GB (DKK 49), 4GB (DKK 79) or 5GB (DKK 99). So much more data traffic for so much less money than your regular subscription can offer.
Our first stop after the airport was Le Port. A beautiful restaurant along the road, clinging to the hill side, overlooking the Baltic sea. We had a delightful lunch here, what the Danes call «frokost», which is confusing since the same word in Norwegian means breakfast. The most memorable part of this meal was actually the anis bread, which the owner told us her mother-in-law made. A secret recipe that she hoped to learn herself one day.
When the last beer had been emptied we headed to Sandvig beach for some kayaking. Most of us hadn’t tried this sport before, but we had a good instructor and avoided any accidents or capsizing. We got to see the beautiful cliffs of Bornholm’s northern coast line. As you can see we were not alone on this trip. In addition to Julie from Visit Denmark we also got to meet Gjermund from Magasinet Reiselyst, Helle Tjaberg from Eget Rom, and Helle Valebrokk from Helle's Kitchen.
After kayaking we went to our hotel. There are hotels in this world, and then there is Stammershalle Badehotel. We often choose AirBNB when we’re traveling, because so many hotels these days doesn’t offer any added value to your trip. They’re just a place to store your luggage and get some sleep. This Danish hotel reminds you it doesn’t have to be like that.
The owners, Henrik and Henriette, bought the hotel with the idea in mind to make it a place that locals would want to go for a great meal. Today it is actually a destination for foodies, with head chef Daniel Kruse, a Danish champion, running the kitchen. In the evening we got to experience his restaurant «Lassens» ourselves, with a 10 course meal that included a total of three desserts. We will have to tell you more about this meal in a separate post.
The next morning we woke up to the breakfast at Stammershalle. A breakfast which reflects the love this couple puts into every detail they present to their guests. Homemade jams, overnight oats, beautifully decorated yoghurts, freshly baked bread, and of course they had pressed their own juices.
Famous Danish chef Mikkel Marschall met us in the breakfast hall. Mikkel used to be the head chef at restaurant Kadeau on Bornholm, which is just his latest achievement in a long line of impressive restaurants he has worked at. Today he arranges, amongst other things, the cooking competition «Sol over Gudhjem» every summer on Bornholm.
We were lucky enough to have Mikkel as our guide the entire day. The journey started with a bike ride from the hotel, along the marvelous Bornholm coast, all the way to the town of Gudhjem - «God’s home». On the way we stopped to forage wild flowers and vegetables that we would need later the same day.
We visited local organic farmers and other producers and craftsmen on the island. We ate lunch at B’s Fiskeværksted in Svaneke in the middle of the day, where we got a taste of how fish’n’chips is supposed to taste. The day also included a stop by the store where the liquorice adventure «Lakrids by Johan Bülow» started and the ice creamery «Mermaids» where they make ice cream from raw milk and sea weed.
Later the same evening we prepared a dinner together with Mikkel, and we invited the very same farmers and producers we had visited during the day to dine with us. The feast was held at «Gaarden», a food culture house which actually officially opened earlier the same day. This experience was so unique and is something we will never forget, and the full story of this will be posted another day.
The following day was more relaxed. A short stop at the harbor in Listed to visit «Bay Frost», where the couple Sebastian Frost and Signe Bay run a jewelry shop, champagne bar and café together. Sebastian is a German jeweler who went to Bornholm for vacation, met Signe and never returned home.
She bakes traditional Danish cakes and serve the guests coffee. Last summer they invited two bartenders from Ruby in Copenhagen to make a pop-up cocktail bar in their café for five weeks. It was so popular they couldn’t serve everyone who wanted in for a drink, and this year they plan to redo it, but in larger scale.
At Listed harbor we also met by chance Ib Smith, a 65 year old retired Bornholmian, who goes fishing every day from his tiny fishing boat. Sebastian Frost told us that Ib gives them fish all the time, and it’s so fresh they can’t even use it immediately to make fish’n’chips because it just dissolves.
Our last stop with Visit Denmark was at Hasle Røgeri, an old fashioned herring smokehouse and the last one on the island to still do the smoking process the proper traditional way. It may come as no surprise that his place smelled of smoke and fish; an odor it takes some getting used to.
We finally got to try what could only be characterized as the Bornholm national dish; «Sol over Gudhjem». Where an egg yolk represents the sun over a smoked herring on rye bread with radish, onion and chives.
Andrea and me stayed an extra night, while the rest of our traveling company went home, only so we could visit the famous restaurant Kadeau. That experience was maybe our most memorable restaurant meal ever, and we will dedicate an entire blogpost to the evening later.
Here you can find all the restaurants I visit and frequent. From Berlin to Helsinki and from Oslo to Lima.