Monday, January 16, 2012

Food and Drink in Norway

I imagine that most tours are like the one we did through Norway in that they like buffet meals, especially for breakfast. We only had one sit-down dinner on the tour: the first evening in Oslo where we got to meet the others who would be traveling with us. After that every evening meal was a buffet and while they were good and offered good variety, only one would be worth repeating. That was our second night on the road at Loen where we could have our meat, fish, or fowl cooked to order. Marit told us we would be impressed and we were. The cuts were excellent and then perfectly grilled. Otherwise, our dinners were nothing to write home about.
Our hotel in Loen

Breakfasts were another story. Much like what one pays $15 - $30 for in the US, these included anything you might think is appropriate for breakfast: omelets cooked to order, sliced meats and cheeses, a variety of fruits, varieties of breads you slice yourself, sausage and bacon, etc. We saw several folks making sandwiches to take for lunch. Given the price of eating out in Norway, we could understand why. Often, we just skipped lunch. Every hotel we stayed in included this in the price of the room with one exception – which, of course, was also the most expensive one in Svolraer, Lofoten. Ironically, Norwegian Cruise lines could take a lesson on how to do a breakfast buffet.

One interesting lunch was our first on the tour in Osterbo, a beautiful rustic resort in the mountains. Marta explained that when we stopped, we would be able to have a marvelous lunch of soup, bread and cheese for a 60 Kronor – a nominal price in Norwegian terms. Marit explained that there would be no paper bill. We were just to pay on the way out. The honor system is, “How we do it in the mountains.” The soup was an excellent tomato and there was plenty of bread and cheese.
 Osterbo Camp

North of the Arctic Circle, we only saw one sit-down restaurant. All the others were set up for you to find a table, take the number to the bar and order there.

Drinks were very expensive and often left something to be desired. $15 for a glass of wine and $8 for a beer was the standard rate. Norwegian beer is good although I missed having a strong IPA. Linda soon discovered that if she did not specifically ask for something dry, she would get something very sweet.  Wine is not for the connoisseur. At one of the restaurants we ate at in Svolvaer, it was behind a woman who asked for a red wine. The bartender asked if she preferred wine from Australia, Chile, or Italy. Surprisingly, she knew the answer.
 Svolvaer Restaurant

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