A town on Jutland’s eastern coast is turning into Denmark’s hottest attraction for food, spa, nature and history.
Vejle on Jutland’s eastern coast has been a hidden gem for Danes for many years. But this could change with the arrival of the town’s first Michelin-starred restaurant, MeMu, according to VisitDenmark.
Danish architects working with the town’s waterfront setting have already put Vejle on the map with a collection of striking new buildings and a new architecture app for visitors.
Danish design is also part of the nearby Trapholt Museum of Modern Art, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and there is free entrance to 11 attractions including Floating Art, Vejle’s annual arts exhibition on the bay.
Nearby, parks and rivers provide opportunities to explore some of Denmark’s most beautiful countryside and protected wilderness, leading down to sheltered sandy beaches. There is a range of spa and wellness hotels too, all within reach of Billund Airport, such as the Hotel Vejlefjord and Kellers Park.
MeMu is owned and operated by Vejle locals, husband and wife Michael Munk and Mette Derdau. It draws on local influences from the bay, woods and fields to create dishes that use local produce, each one matched with wine, beer and juice.
The couple also run the MeMu Bistro around the corner from the main restaurant, where the same chefs serve simpler versions of their cuisine to a lunchtime crowd.
Other restaurants in the town are featured in the White Guide, a compendium of Denmark’s best restaurants, such as Restaurant Remouladen by the harbour, which specialises in reinterpretations of the country’s famous smørrebrød sandwiches, and TreeTop whose menus range from an epic 20-course tasting menu down to three courses featuring locally grown produce.
Journeys back in time
To the northeast of Vejle stand the UNESCO-listed Jelling Monuments, two famous rune stones erected by Viking King Gorm the Old and Harald Bluetooth, seen as the founding ‘documents’ of the Danish nation. There, the recently opened Royal Jelling Experience Centre features an interactive journey back in time.
To the south, Koldinghus is celebrating its 750th anniversary in 2018 with a range of events. The castle was built in 1268 and was for many years one of Denmark’s most important royal castles until a fire in 1808 left it in ruins, though now it has been restored and houses a museum.