Sunday 8 November 2020 – The Monocle Minute

Sunday 8 November 2020 – The Monocle Minute


Table talk

The third-generation owner and managing director of Danish furniture firm Carl Hansen & Søn, Knud Erik Hansen has been in and out of the company’s factory for as long as he can remember. Famous for his diligence and chipper disposition, Hansen tells us about his capacious larder, UK crime shows and why he likes a lie-in on Sundays – relatively speaking.

Where do we find you this weekend?
My wife has just returned from Poland and she needs to quarantine for the moment so we’re at our summer cottage near the Great Belt by the sea. I love the ocean view and the fresh air.

How are you handling all this extra time at home?
I spend my time at the factory and at home with my family. We also have a large house and garden that’s constantly in need of attention.

What’s the ideal start to a Sunday? Gentle start or a jolt?
I normally wake up at 04.45 and go straight to my home office to go through the e-mails that came in overnight. But on Sundays the dog and I get up at 07.00 and go for a walk together in the garden. Then I go to the baker, buy some bread and prepare breakfast, before waking up my wife with a cup of coffee.

Soundtrack of choice?
Well, I still love almost everything that Queen produced. But a little Bach or Beethoven will also do on a Sunday morning.

What’s for breakfast?
Fresh coffee, butter, marmalade, honey and cheese. Sometimes also eggs and bacon, when we feel like it. On weekdays we usually have muesli with milk.

News or not?
Definitely news. On a Sunday morning I usually listen to the Danish Broadcasting Corporation.

What’s for lunch?
Often our breakfast lasts a couple of hours, meaning that lunch is very simple – just a piece of black bread with cheese or a piece of fruit.

Larder essentials you can’t do without?
In our house, which was built in 1670, there’s a big larder. There are too many things to choose from: canned food, ketchup, honey, sweets, beer, soft drinks and all the other long-life ingredients.

Sunday culture must?
My wife and I often enjoy a good British crime series on Sundays, when the weather isn’t good enough to go outside. Our favourites are Endeavour, about the young Inspector Morse, and Midsomer Murders.

A glass of something you’d recommend?
In winter, a cup of coffee or hot chocolate; in summer, a cold beer or a glass of homemade lemonade.

Favourite dinner venue?
We have an excellent fish restaurant, Rudolf Mathis, right by the sea in Kerteminde. It’s relaxing here and the food and wine are first class. We always visit it on the Friday evening before our summer vacation.

Who would join?
Our children if they’re home and our friends. Or else just my wife, me and the dog.

Sunday evening beauty or betterment routine?
Dog-walking in the evening is my betterment routine. In summer I enjoy wandering the freshly cut lawn and through our vegetable garden and flowerbeds that are maintained by my wife. In winter I need my torch to see where we go.

Will you lay out your look for Monday? What will you be wearing?
If I have guests, I usually wear a suit but no tie. If it’s just me and the staff at the factory, it’s always casual dress.

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