What better way to end a year of incredible home tours than with a trip to the Danish island of Funen, as we take a look behind the front door of a very special place indeed, Hellerup Manor.
Now the home of CEO and owner of Carl Hansen & Son, Knud Erik Hansen and his wife Inger Marie Jensen Hansen, this white-walled neoclassical gem dates back to the 17th century.
Once the residence of prominent Danish noblemen; today, after extensive renovations the 40-room manor is a hygge filled family home, providing the perfect backdrop to their Christmas celebrations.
Over to Inger to tell us more:
When do you start decorating for Christmas?
I start decorating in early December. When the children were smaller, we decorated together and had a lot of Christmas decorations in all the rooms, but now we make do with a few Christmas hearts in the windows and a large Christmas tree in the fireplace room.
What Christmas tradition do you love the most?
Every year we invite our employees home for mulled wine and apple pancake puffs at the end of November. It’s one of those Christmas traditions that I very much look forward to.
After the apple pancake puffs and mulled wine, we serve chilli con carne which I make myself. The house is always jam-packed, as there are now quite a lot of us in the company. But on the whole, we love bringing people together and hosting dinners, and Christmas dinner is one of the few and most heart-warming traditions that we have in our family.
Where do you spend Christmas?
At Christmas, we appreciate relaxing at home and having time to enjoy a good book in front of the fire. We travel so much with our work, so it’s a great time to enjoy being at home.
What do you have on your Christmas table?
My Christmas table is simple, and I like mixing the new with the old. I set the table with some Blohm porcelain, which was exclusively made for Carl Hansen & Son. Our inherited silver cutlery is also on display on Christmas Eve, while our tall silver candelabras, which I gave to Knud Erik as a present, provide a nice and festive atmosphere.
I like the new Christmas napkins that you can buy in Carl Hansen & Son Flagship Stores, so they will certainly be on the Christmas table this year. And then I decorate the table with our carved Christmas trees and Christmas hearts, which are made of upcycled wood from our factory in Gelsted. We also have some old Eclair glasses from Royal Copenhagen, which have now been discontinued but I still really love.
Do you have any traditions during December?
Our youngest son always makes the Advent wreath which we light every Sunday afternoon while we all unwrap an Advent gift. We drink a glass of mulled wine while the Advent wreath is burning – it’s a really nice tradition.
How do you celebrate Christmas Eve?
We’re all in the kitchen in the morning, with one of my sons in charge of the turkey while I press on with the rest of the dinner. All our guests sit chatting around the kitchen table while we’re in the kitchen and the food is simmering. In the afternoon we all attend a service at Hellerup Church, which is right next to the house, and afterwards we head back home and get dressed for dinner.
We always eat the same meal: turkey, potatoes, gravy, red cabbage, pickled cucumbers, Waldorf salad and Danish rice dessert with almonds. And we don’t stop until someone finds the almond.
After dinner, the youngsters go in and light the candles on the Christmas tree while the rest of us have coffee. When the Christmas tree is ready, we all enter the fireplace room to look at the tree and then the youngsters hand out all the presents. When all the presents have been handed out, we begin clearing away. It’s always a wonderful day and evening.
Want to find out more?
Thank you so much to Inger for sharing her beautiful festive home with us.
If you would like to find out more about Carl Hansen & Son, and see the pieces referenced in this post, visit their website.
All images courtesy of Carl Hansen & Son.
Enjoyed reading this post? Then head to Sweden to take a festive tour of the home of best-selling author, blogger and British expat, Niki Brantmark.