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Marchal is a one Michelin-starred restaurant situated within Hotel D’Angleterre – one of Copenhagen’s finest resorts. A five-star hotel, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and on the Condé Nast Gold List 2016. This neoclassic palace from 1870 looks like a fairytale castle straight out of a Disney movie. Spending a night here will make you feel just like Kevin in Home Alone when he checked in at the legendary Hotel Plaza in New York. Except, he didn’t get to dine in the outstanding restaurant Marchal!
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Marchal Has a New Head Chef
The new Marchal at D’Angleterre is lead by head chef Andreas Bagh, and he’s brought with him a significant change to the style of cooking. While the former head chef Christian Gadient, who now runs the new restaurant Spontan, was exploring the New Nordic cuisine – Andreas has a solid background from the classical French kitchen at Kong Hans Kælder. Marchal got its Michelin star in 2014, ten months after opening, and kept it through 2015 and 2016 despite a change of head chef. I can imagine Andreas and the team are excited about the launch of the guide next year. My guess is that they will keep the star, by a good margin!
Checking in to Hotel D’Angleterre
When I decide on accommodations for my travels, I’m usually looking for one out of two options. Either, I prefer to live as cheap as possible and not spend a minute too long in the hotel room or AirBNB apartment. Or, I want a really nice hotel room that adds something extra to the experience. Obviously, this trip was all about having the full luxury treatment. I arrived in Østerbro, east in Copenhagen, by a DFDS cruise ship, where I had slept in the Commodore the Luxe cabin on the top floor. An Uber Black brought me to Kongens Nytorv. Hotel d’Angleterre is everything you’d except from a five-star hotel and then some more. Two bellmen open the door for you as you approach the entrance. You don’t bring your own suitcase to the room – it’s already there when you enter. A welcome letter together with a bottle of refreshments, a bowl of fresh fruits & nuts and a chocolate-coated marshmallow treat awaited me.
Mixed Expectations of Marchal – Blown Away!
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the new Marchal at D’Angleterre. I knew Andreas Bagh was a damn talented chef, of course. He cooked for me at the chef’s meetup in Prestø last year, and I visited Kong Hands Kælder shortly after, where he was the sous chef. The latter wasn’t quite to my liking, though. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great restaurant, but I found it extremely traditional French, with way too rich and heavy food. Just loaded with bread, butter, caviar, meat and cheeses (oh, first world problems …), and lacking in creativity and interesting presentations. Still, I want to go back again soon and hopefully prove myself wrong.
However, I was completely blown away by Marchal! I think I can say that Andreas sparked a new love in me for the French cuisine. Much in the same way that Søllerød Kro did a year ago. I was welcomed by a familiar face in the restaurant’s bar and lounge area. A sommelier I knew very well from Kadeau showed me to my table, and offered a glass of Champagne (Ruinart).
– This is a signature dish. Squid and cucumber pasta, with Champagne, oyster foam and Marchal Gold selection caviar, Andreas told me as he served the first plate.
Woha! Intense flavors. Elegant textures. Already a candidate for this year’s top 20 best dishes, and my meal had just started.
Then Comes the White Truffle …
Next, Andreas carried a tray with a familiar aroma. Hello, white Alba truffle, we meet again!
– We wanted to keep this dish simple, he said, as he shaved truffle flake upon truffle flake on my plate.
– White truffles, with potato puree, parmesan foam, and salted butter.
Surely, a dish that lists white truffle as the main ingredient cannot be a bad idea? The fact that underneath was a heavenly potato puree, so rich in butter, so silky smooth that it melted away in the mouth, didn’t hurt the dish either. I know what the Danes would say! “Hold da kæft, mand!” Could it be another top 20 dish? Two in one meal?!
Starting to Get Full …
The last starter (or was it the first main course?) was agnolotti, stuffed fresh pasta from Piedmont that looks like priests’ hats, with Danish mushrooms in different variations: fried, raw and a fermented mushroom sauce. The plate also had thinly shaved chestnuts, spheres of apple, seaweed, and cress. A rich dish, but well balanced with some sweet elements, acidity, and an airy consistency. Finally, the main course. I’ll admit, I was starting to get full at this point, but I still finished the whole plate of Iberico Secreto. The serving size was excellent, the dish was simple and loaded with flavor, yet probably the weakest dish of the meal. Although, at Marcal, that doesn’t mean bad at all.
That’s When They Brought Out the Pie …
At first, I wasn’t sure I could eat any of the desserts because I was so stuffed at this point. In front of me was baked figs in a puff pastry pie with frangipane – my goodness that smelled good, though! It came with a tower of ice cream. A soft serve of toasted almond ice cream. I had to try a spoon, and that was it, I was sold! The dessert stomach is real. Imagine, puff pastry with the crispiness of a perfect croissant filled with an almond-flavored sweet pastry cream! Not too sweet a flavor, with crunchy flakes that break apart and reveals a caramel-like sauce inside. Hot, runny and sticky Piping hot and out of this world! The ice cream is among the best soft serves I’ve had. You could feel the toasted nutty flavor. I scooped up every bit of it.
I Need to Stay Longer at Hotel D’Angleterre
This evening I ate at Nabo, the new bistro from the Kadeau guys. You should check out that too. I took a long bath when I returned to my suite at hotel D’Angleterre, wore the bathrobe and relaxed on the bed for a while. It was lovely. Unfortunately, I had just a few hours of sleep ahead of me. That night I had to get up at 5 AM to catch a flight to Aarhus. I remember I grabbed some of the nuts and dried berries from the fruit bowl on my way out and felt like Kevin again, when he packed his rucksack with cookies before he left. I think I need a longer stay at the D’Angleterre next time.
Have you checked in a Hotel D’Angleterre yet? Leave me a comment if you spoil yourself with the luxury.
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Anders Husa & Kaitlin Orr
This was part of a sponsored trip with Visit Denmark. The sponsor had no influence on the content of this article. I received no monetary payment. The guide contains affiliate links to booking.com.