Saturday, 21 August 2010

Isak Dinesen

My mother has always been a big fan of Karen Blixen, so we paid a visit to the Museum in Rungsted Kyst. The Museum is actually based in her family home, a beautiful old former Inn by the sea with impressive gardens. The private rooms are opened on a daily basis, and are kept just as they were then. The screen Karen described to Denys in Out of Africa is by the fire in the parlour, and the rooms are filled with beautiful flowers fresh from the gardens, something she took great delight in (and if I had such fabulous gardens full of them to choose from, I imagine I would be passionate about flower arranging too!). I didn't actually know all that much about Karen Blixen beforehand, but I found it really really interesting (definitely not one to bring children to though! It was lovely to be able to wander through the exhibits without so much as a "I need the toilet" or an "I'm hungry"!). As well as being an accomplished writer, Karen Blixen was a pretty decent artist, and studied at the Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen. Her paintings are everywhere throughout the house, although she wasn't encouraged to paint by her family, which is a huge shame. Her life was actually quite tragic and I found the whole place moving. She is buried here, underneath a huge beech tree in the gardens. It was quite apparent that the Hollywood film Out of Africa wasn't rated that highly by the Foundation, as it wasn't considered to be true to the book. I am not sure that I will ever be able to watch it again either, if only for the reason that Meryl Streep's Danish accent is (I realise now)just plain hilarious. I wonder what the Danes thought when that first came out?

Afterwards we went for lunch at Fiskerikajen in Rungsted Havn for the most beautifully fresh Stjerneskud (freshly fried place on homemade rye bread with mayonnaise, prawns and lemon - delish when done properly!). We sat overlooking the boats in the harbour. This place makes an English seaside fish and chip shop look so basic. It has an amazing fish-mongers tacked onto the side, complete with racks of freshly hot-smoked salmon. It is still Krebs (crayfish) season at the moment here and they had buckets of them piled outside, no doubt my husband will be back here to investigate in the near future!

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