Hotel Frederiksminde & Rønnede Kro: Historic nostalgia in the Danish countryside
By Caroline Edwards | Photos: Hotel Frederiksminde
Hotel Frederiksminde and Rønnede Kro are two pieces of the same history. Although they differ greatly in both price and cuisine, the buildings share an ability to take you back in time. Managed by Silje Brenna and Jonas Mikkelsen, the historic landmarks have been preserved to modern standards without loosing their original features. Venture into the world of Nordic gourmet at Hotel Frederiksminde – or simply enjoy a cosy lunch in Rønnede’s laid-back country-inn.
Silje Brenna seems to have a thing for historical buildings. First she took over the management of Hotel Frederiksminde, later joined by chef Jonas Mikkelsen, and in June 2015 Rønnede Kro was added to the collection. Both places have been bought and restored by H. M. Jebsen, a man with a great passion for the Danish heritage. Whilst the cosy tavern in Rønnede is all about fresh, local food, Frederiksminde’s restaurant offers what food critics have called Michelin-worthy dishes, serving Nordic delicacies in stunning surroundings at Præstø Fjord. Separated by a 20-minute drive, the two establishments work together on all levels, minimising food waste in the process.
Being a rendezvous where locals have come together to eat and drink for centuries, Rønnede Kro is a place with a great deal of stories to tell.
“When we first took over Rønnede Kro we felt a strong support from the local community. We are situated at the corner of a countryside road five minutes from the motorway, so people have been used to seeing it for generations – it’s an important part of the area,” explains Brenna, excited to be involved in yet another project. Rønnede Kro is known for attracting people from all walks of life who wish to enjoy a good time without a lot of fuss.
“Although the dining rooms are elegant, the atmosphere is informal. At Rønnede Kro we try to keep things laid-back. Here you get fresh produce, a fusion of Danish classics and traditional bistro dishes, at a reasonable price,” says Brenna. After years of working with fine dining, she saw Rønnede Kro as a bit of an adventure. Just like many other small towns, it was in need of a restaurant serving good, homemade food.
“We wish to give the Danish country-inn a renaissance. They used to be the big meeting-points where people came together, and we are hoping that they will be that once again,” tells Brenna. Since 1825, the tavern has served the local community with guests as famous as Hans Christian Andersen and Walt Disney. Today, they are hoping to reclaim this position, just as they transformed Hotel Frederiksminde.
Situated just 50 metres from Præstø Fjord Beach, Hotel Frederiksminde is already a winner. With a grand, old building perfectly restored from its former glory and 19 elegant rooms, the place has a lot going for it.
“At Hotel Frederiksminde not one room is similar. This is the perfect place for a countryside holiday in traditional Danish surroundings,” explains Brenna, stressing that Jonas Mikkelsen’s gastronomic skills, combined with the formal yet friendly atmosphere, is what makes it so unique. Influenced by the Nordic cuisine, but without being scared of extending his scope, he performs culinary wonders at Hotel Frederiksminde, from ice on rosehip with Unika cream and grilled green strawberries and pine oil to leeks straight from the garden with Gl. Knas, parsley, ramson capers and grilled leek sauce. In 2012 Jonas Mikkelsen even won the Nordic Gastronomic Competition, Nordic Challenge, for being the most promising young chef in the Nordic region as well as an award for best dessert of the year in Denmark, so expect a treat.
“Even though Rønnede Kro and Hotel Frederiksminde cater to different audiences, we always work together,” explains Brenna, stressing that gourmet and bistro food need very different ingredients to succeed.
“For fine gourmet dishes you sometimes only need small pieces from an entire cauliflower, but at Rønnede Kro you can easily use all of it. This way we minimise food waste and everyone benefits – we even use ingredients from our own herb garden,” explains Brenna.
Places to celebrate
So whether you are looking to indulge yourself in gourmet dishes or wish to get a solid meal, you can get what you want. Popular as places to celebrate, one can simply take a pick between the two venues that both share their sense of “Danish hygge”. Moreover, Hotel Frederiksminde has top-notch conference facilities. Its inspirational settings and personal service makes it the ideal place to make important decisions.
“At Hotel Frederiksminde we offer decently priced gourmet food in historic surroundings. The unique location along with the beautiful rooms makes us a popular spot, not just for conferences, but for weddings as well,” says Brenna. Just imagine waking up to the view of the lush landscape and calm water, if not to mention the culinary delights.
Offering unforgettable memories that pleases both heart and body, it’s not a difficult choice to make. However, if you are looking for something more low-key, Rønnede Kro will prove as a worthy alternative. Experience Denmark’s past and its present, all within the area of Southern Zealand.
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