Q&A with Danish Countess Maj Britt-Scherer

Danish Countess Maj Britt-Scherer has lived and traveled all over the world. After beginning her career as a fashion model in Paris, she transitioned to public relations in London, spent several years living in California and eventually returned to Denmark, where she founded the International Shakespeare Festival at Kronburg. The festival has drawn the likes of HRH Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, as well as myriad Danish royals who are relatives of Maj's husband, Christian Christiani, a real estate developer in Copenhagen whose properties include the Illums Bolighus department store. Here, Indagare contributor Amanda Taylor Brokaw speaks with the countess who offers an insider's guide to her hometown of Copenhagen, along with her favorite travel tips, shopping venues and more.

Which cities, besides your own, inspire you? Paris for its style, elegance and magic, Marrakech for its stunning gardens, especially Jardin Majorelle, and Rome for its great food and charm.

What are some of your favorites markets around the world? The market in San Remo, Italy, Portobello Road Market in London, Marche aux Puces in Paris and Charlottenlund flea market in Copenhagen.

Related: Indagare Insider: Dina De Luca Chartouni

What are some of your favorite items to buy abroad?

I like to buy handmade fabrics and ceramics when exploring the souk in Marrakech. There, you can get any spice imaginable. I enjoy walking in the medina and discovering new things. I also love the marble showrooms in Italy. In Rome, I like to shop on Via Condotti and then take a break to eat gelato on the Spanish Steps. Rome has the best ice cream in the world.

What do you carry in your travel bag? I always carry a lip balm and hand cream from Tromborg (, sunglasses and a bottle of water. I also travel with the wonderful skin care products from Margy’s, especially the gold mask ( I try not to bring too much with me when traveling, because I know I'll come back with one or two more suitcases!

Related: The Shopping Guide: Marrakech

What is on your travel wishlist?


, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam.

What are your favorite hotels? Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d'Antibes is a magical place where I have spent a lot of time and have wonderful memories. I visit every year during the Cannes Film Festival and love the amazing AMFAR and De Grisogono parties at the hotel. Their lunch buffet is fantastic, with excellent oysters. The hotel has the most beautiful setting and at night they have incredible fireworks, entertainment and interesting people. In fact, I adore all of the Oetker Collection hotels, including Le Bristol in Paris and The Lanesborough in London.

Pick one: city, beach, desert or mountains. I love the mountain towns in Switzerland, like Gstaad and St. Moritz. I also enjoy walking to the beach near my home outside of Copenhagen and jumping in the refreshing water—although not so much in the winter.

Related: The Top 10: Ski Lodges

What are some of your favorite places to eat in Copenhagen? Sticks and Sushi (Arni Magnussons Gade 2) is great for both lunch and dinner; it serves the best sushi in the country. Lumskebugten (Esplanaden 21) and Slotskælderen hos Gitte Kik (Fortunstræde 4) are both great for a lunch of Danish specialties like smørrebrød, an open-faced sandwich. Bistro Pastis is great and the food is delicious (Gothersgade 52), and Cafe Victor is a hip place for dinner (Ny Østergade 8)Cafe Royal (Amagertorv 6) serves “smushi,” which is a combination of sushi and smørrebrød, and the décor is amazing. Den Gule Cottage (Strandvejen 506) is a little restaurant in my neighborhood with delicious food. For the best coffee and chai I recommend Ricco (Istedgade 119). For brunch I like to go to the Nimb in the Tivoli gardens. My favorite hotel is D'Angleterre, where the food is also delicious.

Related: Top Shopping Copenhagen

What are your insider picks for shopping and sight seeing? I enjoy going to Skodsborg Spa (Skodsborg Strandvej 139) and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. My family’s department store, Illums Bolighus, sells leading Scandinavian design. For jewelry, I recommend Shamballa (Ny Østergade 7).

Every year, Copenhagen hosts the Chart Art Fair, the leading Nordic contemporary art fair. This year’s was amazing, featuring artist Ai Weiwei's incredibly powerful work Windows, with more than 3,500 life jackets collected from refugees.

Can you think of a moment that made you fall in love with travel? I have always loved traveling—from the moment I first stepped foot on an airplane. For me, traveling is living. You learn so much from it, and it opens your perspective. I have met many friends by traveling.

Related: Indagare Insider: India Hicks

Published onSeptember 15, 2017

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