Copenhagen is Scandinavia’s most sophisticated city and a world leader in urban innovation and conservation, as well as a delightful place in which to spend some time. At the end of my Danish road trip, I enjoyed a few days at the city’s best hotel, sampled some excellent new restaurants and revisited two favorite museums: the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (for sculpture and painting) and Designmuseum Danmark (for decorative art and design). I also paid a visit to the remarkable store and gallery Designer Zoo, which boasts two vast floors of changing exhibits, plus seven active workshops, and is where Danish design and crafts are united under one roof.
I’d last stayed at the 92-room Hotel d’Angleterre in 2014, just after it had completed major renovations, and I was curious to see how things had settled down. The project was a real labor of love for owners Else Marie Remmen and her late husband, Henning. The $70 million makeover involved stripping the building down almost to its 18th-century frame, before re-creating it as a modern luxury hotel. Along the way, there were some wonderful discoveries, like a hidden balcony in the Palm Court and a 100-year-old ballroom with Europe’s largest glass mosaic roof. The main staircase was moved back to the center of the hotel, from where it had unaccountably strayed, and the lobby’s gold dome was restored and polished. Other more-predictable changes included the revamping of the Balthazar Champagne Bar and a wonderful indoor pool with an adjacent spa.
After an efficient and gracious check-in, we were escorted up to our Deluxe One-bedroom Suite, which had a light, bright and spacious sitting room with a purple velvet couch, taupe wall-to-wall carpeting and steel-gray brocade drapes at the pair of French doors that led to a long private terrace. A bouquet of roses in a crystal vase ornamented the coffee table. The bed came with twin duvets and two triple sets of pillows, while the bedroom provided a walk-in wardrobe and lots of built-in cupboards. The bath was equipped, perhaps surprisingly, with a combination tub and shower, plus two sinks set in a white-marble counter. Our stay at the Hotel d’Angleterre was a delight from beginning to end, but one highlight was a superb lunch at the Michelin one-star Marchal. (On no account miss the squid with oysters and caviar.)
Comfortable, elegant rooms; strong sense of place and history; excellent restaurant.
The combination tub and shower; lack of an espresso machine in the room.
Don’t miss the hotel’s deservedly popular Balthazar Champagne Bar — it’s the perfect place for an aperitif or a nightcap.
Copenhagen’s dining scene now offers inventive contemporary cooking on par with the great restaurant cities of New York, London and Paris. On our first night in town, we went to dinner at 108 Restaurant (Strandgade 108, Tel.  32-96-32-92), which was opened last summer by some noma alumni. There we had an excellent New Nordic meal, with dishes that included glazed pork belly with salted apples, and grilled cauliflower with walnut sauce. Two days later we opted to try the just-opened Restaurant Mes (Jarmers Plads 1, Tel.  25-36-51-81), which offers a $50 prix-fixe menu. The menu changes frequently but runs to dishes like scallops with salsify and onion, pork jowl with new potatoes, and rhubarb with white chocolate. Even in Copenhagen, no one wants to eat adventurous haute cuisine every night, which is why one of our other favorite discoveries on this trip was Slurp Ramen Joint (Nansensgade 90, Tel.  53-70-80-83), which has quickly become a popular hangout for off-duty chefs and food-and-wine professionals. The ramen is homemade, served with a variety of garnishes and is as good as any we’ve eaten in Japan.
On visits to Copenhagen, I always try to take a walk in Tivoli Gardens, the famous amusement park that opened in 1843. The latest design addition is a striking new series of hanging lamps, a bronze-and-colored-glass sculpture titled “Little Sun Light Swarm” by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. The designer is also responsible for the Cirkelbroen, a new bridge in Copenhagen harbor that has rapidly become an icon for the city.
At least half of Copenhagen’s inhabitants use a bicycle daily, and there are more bikes in the capital than cars. Travelers who are feeling energetic may wish to take advantage of the easy-to-use Bycyklen rental program. These specially designed electric bikes come with touch-screen tablets for navigation and can be picked up from any one of the city’s more than 100 stations (payment is automatic once you’ve set up an account at bycyklen.dk).