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Travel | Great Dane

Modernists, take note: 2002 is the centenary of Arne Jacobsen, one of the most important architects and designers of the last century. A longtime fan, I got a head start on festivities by checking in to Copenhagen's Radisson SAS Royal Hotel.

The Royal's every detail was designed by Jacobsen, from the building (shockingly stark when it opened in 1960) to the instantly recognizable Egg and Swan chairs, custom-made for the hotel. Earlier this year, the Royal completed a top-to-toe renewal, messing not at all with the Jacobsen-ness of everything--enhancing it, in fact, with 450 new Swans and Eggs. But perhaps the nicest enhancement of all is Alberto K, the best new restaurant in this freshly epicurean city.

Turquoise glass and wengé wood tables are surrounded by Jacobsen green leather chairs and set with his 1957 Georg Jensen cutlery (which the restaurant, anticipating kleptomania, sells on the menu). Wraparound 20th-floor windows yield a breathtaking panorama of the city. Chef Frank Endahl cooks in a Scandinavian-Italian idiom, which sounds wacky but translates into delicious and suitably modern dishes: smoked Danish cockerel with Jerusalem artichokes and mustard-thyme emulsion; lemon sole with crab cannelloni and herb reduction. A major Jacobsen retrospective comes to town in February; you know where to stay (Hammerichsgade 1; 011-45-33-42-61-61).

-Kate Sekules

Published October 2001


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