Electronically linked to the local maternity ward, the bell announces every new birth and injection of fresh blood into Denmark’s booming, youngest city, where the average age is 38.
It’s an apt symbol and a shining example of how the much-hyped, cool lifestyle does not stop at Copenhagen.
And with new flights from Heathrow to Billund, in central Jutland, launched by British Airways this week, both the city and wider region are now easier to reach.
Opened last year, the Sea War Museum occupies a lofty, refurbished coastal authority building that stands out against rolling sand-dunes leading to the choppy grey waters of the North Sea.Get there soon to tour the Heath Robinson-style distillery, sip the nectar and drink to the future of Jutland. sex datingsider Kolding Getting there British Airways (03; ba.com) has 11 flights weekly from Heathrow to Billund, from £41; the airline also flies from London City and Humberside, operated by Sun Air of Scandinavia. Staying there Hotel Oasia, Aarhus (00 45 8732 3715; hoteloasia.com; smalldanishhotels.com). Visiting there Aro S, Aarhus (00 45 8730 6600; dk). Substans, Aarhus (00 45 8623 0401; restaurantsubstans.dk).This is where I stumble on Europe’s largest remaining wild oyster bed.Centuries ago it was the exclusive reserve of the Royal family, and a treasonable offence to eat one of its prized bivalves.
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Here he has created a huge, circular walkway of coloured glass panels to crown ARo S, the contemporary art museum, propelling visitors through a rainbow-tinted world above the rooftops.“We don’t have any mountains in Denmark” says ARo S’s director Erlend Høyersten, an imposing Norwegian sporting skull rings and a fedora.Because Aarhus, Denmark’s second city, at the heart of the Jutland peninsula is now racing towards 2017 status as European Capital of Culture.In the build-up, the thumb of land sticking up from Germany into the North Sea has devised plenty of ways to lure visitors, often bringing its food and drink pioneers to the fore.It is a moving place to visit, led by the museum mantra: “War is a tragedy and should not be glorified but the history must be told and the victims remembered.” On the way back to Billund airport, I drop in on a project firmly turned to the future, Denmark’s only whisky producer.
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Ten years old, the Stauning distillery started life sketched out on the back of an envelope in a pub.Happily, that law has been lifted, but the endangered native oyster is now contending with its invasive Pacific cousin, much maligned by Peter Lund, mollusc maestro.Dressed in waders and armed with nets and bizarre plastic viewfinders to see beneath the ripples, we follow him through the chilly, thigh-high waters.Burgeoning Aarhus may not have Noma or Geranium, but last year three of its restaurants earned a Michelin star: Substans, Frederikshoj and Gastromé.At Substans, an enjoyably low-key place with whitewashed walls, scrubbed wooden tables and waiters with beards and tattoos, chef Rene Mammen follows Nordic principles by using only organic, seasonal ingredients.