My Day At A Charming Danish Cottage By The Sea

Collaboration* What does the sea mean to you? As an avid sailor and living by the sea in Malmö, Sweden, it's difficult to emphasise how much the sea means to me. The sound, the shapes, the light, the gentle saltiness. To gaze out to the horizon is to instantly unwind. Unlike the tumultuous waters of England's south coast where I spent much of my childhood, there's something disarming about Scandinavian waters due to the lack of tides and the beautiful blue-grey water lapping at whitish sands. It's incredibly grounding. I was inspired to discover Danish brand Skandinavisk has captured the impression of the Nordic coastline in a beautiful collection called HAV (meaning sea) - Distant Shores. On a recent visit to their atelier in Copenhagen, the team asked me what the sea meant to me and I felt it was easier to encapsulate in pictures rather than words. Here are some snapshots from my relaxing day in the pretty coastal village of Hornbæk, North Zealand, North East Denmark!

I was fortunate enough to hang out in this pretty cottage for the day belonging to Pernille Grønkjær Taatø's parents - Elisabeth and Per Grønkjær. The 1930's delightful cottage owes its charm to the blend of antiques, vintage finds, classic Danish design pieces and subtle treasures found on the nearby beach. 

The cottage was dotted with simple displays like this delightfully understated glass jar with pebbles and flora. 

Feeling instantly relaxed on this daybed - do you think they'd notice if I stayed all weekend, I would be as quiet as a mouse!

I felt my pulse lowering the moment I stepped in the door (not an easy feat right now with so much going on!). The soft grey-blue and white tones felt so calming! 

HAV scented candle (wonderfully subtle - and a new favourite!). 

The white washed wood cladded open ceiling gave the cottage a light and airy feel even on a fairly grey day! 

The HAV scent diffuser (seen on the shelf in. the entrance) is part of the Skandinavisk collection: "a new impression of the vast Nordic coastline - a meeting place where the cold Baltic and Atlantic waters touch the peninsula and the fresh wind and sea spray carry the resilient scents of the rugosa rose and hawthorn. from the shoreline." It set the scene for my afternoon by the water.

I love the beach in winter when it's at its most rugged. And although 'fresh', the local beach in Hornbæk on the shores of the Öresund sea proved to be the best spa afternoon I could have asked for.

It's not unusual to see Scandinavian people wondering down to the water in a robe. I wrapped up in a limited edition TEKLA x SKANDINAVISK bath robe "inspired by Scandinavian bathing culture - in all weathers" (softest thing E.V.E.R and a much needed hood to buffet the wind!).  

Cannot tell you how beautiful it was on this deserted beach. 

HAV hand cream - with extract of rockweed, designed to nourish and protect your skin from harsh climates (give me a load of that!). 

The beach was speckled with little white shells, a few of which recognised from Elisabeth and Per's cottage, larger rocks and kelp. 

I actually used to be terrified of seaweed as a child (I remember my sister chasing me around with it!) - did you?! These days I see it in a more favourable light as I read that scientific studies have shown that seaweed bathing helps to lower stress and relieve muscle ache and join stiffness. Isn't that cool?! On the Swedish west coast there's a place where you can go for special seaweed baths and they actually massage you with the seaweed! 

What a wonderful day!

I wish I could have stayed for the entire weekend!

If you haven't had the pleasure of visiting the Nordic coastline, you must come and visit us in Scandinavia soon. In the meantime, the divine Skandinavisk HAV - distant shores collection will immediately transport you to the Scandinavian coast and is available online here.

I'd love to hear more about your relationship with the sea / ocean - do you find it relaxing too?

Have a wonderful weekend friends - may your lie-ins be long, and your coffee be strong!


PS Win the complete HAV hand and body range over on my instagram this weekend!

PPS Thank you so much to Pernille Grønkjær Taatø (who's home featured in 15 coastal living ideas to steal from a breathtaking Danish home) and Elisabeth and Per Grønkjær for generously lending me their beautiful cottage for the day. Thanks also to my dear friend Anna Häggström who helped me document the daybed the sea (I've known Anna since I was five and we both felt so inspired by the location) - and of course Skandinavisk for capturing my love for the nordic coastline in a fragrance!

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with my wonderful partner Skandinavisk. However, all words and photos are my own and I only ever work with brands I truly love and think you will too!


  1. I can practically smell the ocean and feel the sand under my feet although I am still at the office. I wish I had an easier access to a beach, I would love to take my dog there especially at a time of the year when the beaches are mostly empty. Unfortunately, it would be a solid 12 hr drive to get to the coast.
    The terry robe looks incredibly cozy and comfortable.
    Every time I am looking at the photos on MSH I am reminded that according to feng shui dead plants are an absolute no-no but they are so frequently used for decoration in Scandinavian homes (not that I subscribe to feng shui - I only remember a few tidbits from reading about it).

    1. You would love this beach Alena (and so would your dog!).
      So interesting re Feng shui. In Scandinavia people often bring in what ever is available in the garden at the time, and in the winter this means dried Hydrangea heads, branches without leaves etc. In my mind these are as equally beautiful as fresh flowers (I like to use a mix in my own house) - and anything that helps draw nature indoors is calming :)

  2. Jeg elsker havet - I love the sea - Ik houd van de zee !!!!
    And wgat a beautiful cottage, you were lucky to spend time there.

    1. Happy to hear you share my love for the sea too - it's just so calming. I felt very lucky to spend time here :)

  3. Growin up we spent our Christmas break in Mazatlan, Mexico. We would drive out to a quiet stretch of beach and set up our blankets. I learned to body surf with my older siblings and loved the water. I loved resting on the blanket and daydreaming. Hearing the waves crash rhythmically and putting seashells to my ear to “hear” the ocean was so soothing.
    Now, I live near a colder beach with rocks and trees and very cold water. It’s refreshing to walk, all bundled with a good coat, breathing in the salt air. I still daydream on the beach and think of my childhood days with my family- my best memories.

    1. How lovely Lisa, such happy memories. I love how you've been able to appreciate the power of the ocean both from warmer and colder climes - both have something to offer! :)

  4. Such a beautiful cottage and location, absolutely dreamy!!

  5. Just read this post-don't know how I missed it as I am always dreaming of a trip to Denmark, the place of my ancestors! While the house is lovely, I thank you for showing such gorgeous beach photos. I have always been drawn to beaches that are breezy and cold - felt a strong connection when I visited Ireland and Scotland (my other DNA!) but really want to see the Baltic/Nordic beaches one day. Really enjoy your posts and thank you for such wonderful sights!


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