An experience for all senses

Danish MENU invited us to visit its Audo. Ready and expectant, we jumped on the westbound train. Arriving at the harbour, we were met with the sight of a beautiful burnt-red building: MENU’s Audo, which is one of the oldest buildings in the area. As the day goes on, we learn more about what ‘Audo’ means exactly.

AUDO - Ab Uno Disce Omnes - From One, Learn All

It was late morning, and the weather was grey.
But our arrival at the reception was a ray of sunlight, and we felt welcome from the get-go. We were met with lovely natural and warm hues, buzzing from the people working in the gorgeous surroundings and the guests who had dropped by for a good cup of coffee.

MENU – a family story

We move over to the big staircase, which makes up the heart of the interior design like it was born to do so. Whether it’s the stunning details or the craving to see more that makes you feel so drawn to the place will forever be a mystery …

A warm welcome from MENU, and then we’re onto the first presentation by Joachim Kornbek Hansen – 3rd generation. A story that traces its roots back to 1978 when the company was a steel factory (Norup Stålfabrik). Joachim’s grandfather was an employee at the steel factory and was forced to choose between giving up his work—his livelihood—or buying the rest of the factory. The grandfather protected his family and the protection of a regular income. With pride in his voice and a healthy dose of nostalgia, Joachim tells of the way his grandparents had to pawn a gold watch to get the capital they needed to take over the steel factory. There’s no doubt that there’s a proud family history behind this brand and that the golden strap, which is still in the family’s possession, has served as a guiding light and source of wonderful stories for friends, family, and—to some extent—us.

The grandfather, Simon Hansen, was driven by the desire to put food on the table for his family and to secure their future. Back then, the company had no ambition to embark on an international adventure.

Joachim’s father, Bjarne Hansen, took the family-owned business into its second generation—and with his takeover came a completely new vision. Bjarne’s vision was to collaborate with external designers, a strategy that continues to this day. At first, what we now know as MENU was mostly known for smaller accessories, primarily for kitchens.
MENU: a name, a brand, a coincidence

MENU: a name, a brand, a coincidence

If, like us, you’ve ever wondered where the name comes from—and perhaps even more so now that you know it all started with a steel factory and home accessories—then you won’t be surprised to hear that it was all a bit of a coincidence.
Back in the 1980s/90s, the designer Bent Falk went on holiday to Greece. While he was there, he found a tin sign with the word MENU. He thought it was fun and brought it back to Denmark. MENU became part of the story straight away, although it was only a collection at first. As the company changed style and direction, it didn’t let go of the MENU name. It had a good ring to it, and a little research revealed that it’s French for ‘details’. And just like that, it was decided. MENU was the name that would shape the future.

As we sit and listen, eagerly taking notes, we couldn’t help but be impressed and enamoured with the story behind MENU.

The Audo – now and in the future!

All the wonderful intentions that have created Audo are completely in line with the DNA makeup that MENU aims to have as a brand.
After an introduction to the Audo, we get to walk around and explore the place. We’re IMPRESSED. The place is so aesthetically pleasing, and you feel right at home. Every detail is perfect, nothing is left to chance, and everything fits together seamlessly.

The vision was to create Connected Spaces and blur the lines between the home and the workplace. Joachim explained that the aim of Connected Spaces is to give us the COMPLETE experience and showcase the brand through the lens of its functionality. Exploring MENU’s collections should be an experience. And in just an hour, we’ve had the chance to really experience MENU. Coffee is served in a MENU jug, we drink from MENU glasses, we sit in a big sectional sofa from MENU, and our eyes are drawn towards lovely lamps and accessories from MENU. MENU has well and truly gotten under our skin—and all that in just an hour.

The Audo has something for everyone, no matter the purpose of your visit.

If you need a luxurious overnight stay, then book a room at the hotel, eat your breakfast in the café, and walk through the shop to check out the exciting products. Check out the library, or use the space as your office for the day. The coffee is great, and the atmosphere that frames your visit is impeccable. The vision was to create a ‘space’ where we can be together and find inspiration, and impressed, overwhelmed, and captivated as we are, we have to admit: the mission has been accomplished.

”We want to make the world a better place”
The Audo is a flexible playground

MENU is a designer brand

With three clear design values, the strategy for how a MENU product should look is crystal clear. The strategy came about in 2010 when MENU introduced Soft Minimalism: a warm, soft, and homely style.
Warm in its colours, shades, and materials. Soft in its expression. Homely in the Danish sense that invites us to think of Danish words like ‘hygge’.
The aim of Soft Minimalism is to create designs that are neat but comfortable.

The three design values are described as follows:
1. Clean – A touch of Soft Minimalism and simple beauty
2. Clever – Well-considered details, functionality, and innovation
3. Natural – Neutral tones, warm colours, modern, understated, and natural

And MENU is stunning. It works, and the shades are warm. You just want to stay on the big sectional sofa. Kicking back and taking a breather has never been easier.
An incredible experience

An incredible experience

A wealth of impressions and experiences later, we’re ready to turn in for the night.
We wholeheartedly recommend MENU’s Audo.
If you’re in Copenhagen, drop by for a good cup of coffee.

The Audo
Århusgade 130
2150 Copenhagen K
Phone: 31 26 30 80

Read more about what The Audo offers on its website: