Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sights on Enjoy Food & Travel 2009

To make it easier for you, I have compiled all the sights on Enjoy Food & Travel for the year 2009 on this page. Enjoy!!

  • Le Gruber, Strasbourg (February 8th 2009)
  • Loge du Change, Lyon (December 31st 2009)


View Sights around the world 2009 in a larger map

Ahrida Synagogue

December 25th we decided to explore the Balat district in Istanbul. This district used to be a stronghold for the Jewish and Greek minority in the Ottoman empire. There were, to our surprise, very little left of these cultures in the area. One of the oldest remains from the Jewish community is the Ahrida Synagogue built around 550 years ago.

Jews in Istanbul - a very short account

We know very little of the conditions of the Jewish community during the Byzantine era. It does seem to have lived in relative peace, escaping any pogroms like those regularly conducted at the communities in Western Europe.

As the Ottomans invaded Constantinople in 1453 much changed for the Jewish community. Sultan Mehmet II started the following years a giant reconstruction of the city. He issued a decree that ordered Jews living in the conquered territory to move to Istanbul.

This mass exodus of Romaniote Jews from the Balkans, Anatolia and Greece increased the amount of Jews in Istanbul to 10% of the total population. This exodus was further strengthened by a smaller Ashkenazi Jewish group from Western Europe escaping persecution between that immigrated between 1421-1453.

This mass movement was, however, not perceived as an anti-Jewish measure, and they have continued to live in relative peace in the country until the present day.

Read more on Jewish history in Turkey in Wikipedia

The Ahrida Synagogue - some background information

As we sat on the ferry up the Golden Horn, we hoped to get access to this ancient synagogue. When arriving we discovered, sadly that it was closed. As we studied our guide book, we discovered that visit was by appointment only.

We saw the brightly coloured, heavily protected gate with the inscription. The Ahrida Synagogue (Hebrew: אכרידה‎) was built around 1450 by Jews from the city of Ohrid in present Republic of Macedonia. They were Sephardic Jews, originating from the Iberian peninsula and ordered to leave when the Christians chased the Muslims out of today's Spain and Portugal.

It is the only Synagogue where Sabbatai Zevi (Hebrew: שַׁבְּתַי צְבִי), a famous teacher and kabbalist and founder of the Sabbatean movement and proclaimed as the Messiah by Nathan of Gaza in 1665. He later converted to Islam.

The synagogue was completely renovated in 1992, and its most characteristic feature is the boat-shaped tevah (reading platform) .

For those of you that want to see the interior of this remarkable building, consult your guide book, and make an appointment. I will most certainly do so, when revisiting Istanbul - and I will, soon!!

Le Loge de Change - Lyon

Le Loge du Change is a beautiful classicist building in Vieux Lyon. It once housed the city's stock exchange. Since 1803 it has belonged to one of Lyon's protestant congregations.

From the 14th century this location housed the headquarters of bankers merchants and financiers from all over Europe assembling at the Lyon fairs. By the 16th century this group had grown in importance to such an extent, that it was decided to build a lodge for them. The building started a century later.

The former stock exchange is located on the narrow rive gauche, under the steep cliffs of the Fourviere Hills.

The present building has the appearance of an 18th century building, but is in fact a century older. Underneath the classic exterior rests a building built between 1631 and 1653 after the design of architect Simon Gourdet.

By 1748 the building was too small for its purpose. The famous architect Jacques-Germain Soufflot was commissioned to convert the building to fit the needs of the expanding city. It was finished in 1750.

Soufflot had studied architecture in Rome, and when returning to France he introduced neoclassicism as architectural style.

He got Abel-François Poisson, the future marquis de Marigny, brother of Jeanne-Annette Poisson, Madame de Pompadour the maitresse of Louis XV, as his patron. In 1755 Marigny became the new Director General of Royal Buildings, and this gave Soufflot influence of the royal buildings in Paris.

His most famous design was that of the Panthéon in Paris.

Soullflot died in 1780, before his masterwork was finished, and his plans were not completely followed. He also designed the first opera house in Lyon, that was replaced by the present opera in 1831.

Soufflot's grave can bee seen in Panthéon in Paris

During the French Revolution the building served as an inn. In 1803 it was converted into a place of worship for the large Protestant congregation in Lyon.

(Photo: Bust of Soufflot by Loveless)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gourmet food at budget price by Placa Reial

My good friend, colleague Lena Holmström visited Barcelona this fall. When she returned she handed over a business card as she announced that she had found THE place to eat in the Catalan capital.

Placa Reial is among the most beautiful squares I know. Located by the famous La Rambla, Barcelona's most famous pedestrian area, you are in the middle of tourist trap land.

See more on Placa Reial here

In spite of this, I have had a few very good eating experiences here, but most have been over priced and mediocre. I have had an excellent meal at Santamonica, but was slightly disappointed by Les Quinze Nits.

Lena and her partner ran into La Crema Canela, and she returned home and declared that it was the best experience they had in Barcelona - at a budget price.

For those of you that plan a trip to Barcelona coming months, it may be an idea to drop in and test the food, and see whether you agree with Lena.


La Crema Canela
Ptge. Madoz 6
ES-08002 Barcelona
Phone: 93 318 27 44
See restaurant website here

Lena is a experienced diver

See her account of her Red Sea Diving experience here

Other restaurants close to Placa Reial?

See this map of the area here

Vis Barcelona and Catalonia on Enjoy Food & Travel i et større kart

Restaurants from A-Z 2009

View Bars and restaurants around the world 2009 in a larger map

To make it easier for you, I have compiled all the rated restaurants on Enjoy Food & Travel for the year 2009 on this page. Enjoy!!

Highly Recommendable BBBBB: (5,00 - 4,51 points)
  1. Reviewed June 22nd 2008: La Nansa, Sitges (4,78 points)
    My favourite in Sitges. A five-star experience at a very decent price. Book a table and enjoy a terrific meal. Enjoy Food & Travel highly recommend La Nansa and will certainly return for another meal the coming summer.

  2. Reviewed September 3rd 2009: Winstub Au Clou, Strasbourg (4,77 points)
    Winstub Au Clou is no tourist trap. Top rating due to location, great interior and atmosphere, excellent service and first course. Main course disappointing, but I feel an encore possible, as it may have a few culinary treasures in store for future visits.

  3. Reviewed June 22nd 2008: Zodiaco, Sitges (4,72 points)
    We left completely satisfied. Absolutely one of the best experiences in Sitges. Highly recommended by Enjoy Food & Travel.

  4. Reviewed April 24th 2009: Fond Restaurang, Göteborg (4,70 points)
    Fond is a restaurant that deserves its Michelin star for a creative and interesting menu, excellent service, and elegant interior. We had a great meal at at very decent price, but found that the cooks did not manage to keep the same high quality and finesse through the whole menu.

  5. (3) RESTAURANT CLOSED JANUARY 2011: Reviewed January 18th, January 23rd 2009 and April 26th: M3 Mat & Bar, Oslo (4,69 points)
    Great traditional food and wine at a restaurant with great character. Highly recommended in downtown Oslo. A must for those of you that want to enjoy traditional Scandinavian cuisine.

  6. Reviewed May 3rd 2009: John Harvard's Brew House, Cambridge MA (4,63 points)
    A charming basement brew house and restaurant with a decent kitchen. Try a few varieties of their home brewed beer, it is absolutely worth it.

  7. Reviewed August 15th 2009: Tabibito, Oslo (4,62 points)
    High scores on location, interior and service, and NOK 398 for this meal is very favourable. Personally I found the six course to be a culinary roller coaster. It went from exquisite to mediocre. I would still recommend tabibito for an evening dinner. I would, however, compose my own dinner instead of choosing their menu.

  8. Reviewed March 7th 2009: Madam Reiersen, Arendal (4,56 points)
    Dejligt, as the Danes would say passionately. A Danish frokost is a meal with delicacies in abundance. If the stretch of sea called Skagerak did not separate Norway and Danmark, I would say that Madam Reiersen is a part of Denmark during weekends. Do not hesitate - try it, when visiting Arendal!!

  9. Reviewed March 25th 2009: Café Prag, Schwerin (4,53 points)
    Café Prag is a traditional yet informal café / restaurant in downtown Schwerin. Decent food at very nice prices. I recommend the toast of the house and the gravlax.

    Good BBBB: (4,50 - 3,51 points)

  10. Reviewed October 29th 2009: Ida Davidsen, Copenhagen (4,50 points)
    Still a recommendable place to enjoy the traditional Danish specialty. A little low on taste this time, but the open sandwiches served are still a feast for your eyes, and you get topping in abundance.

  11. Reviewed August 13th 2009: Riva, Scituate MA (4,44 points)
    Very high standard on food (4,86 points), but the moderate score is primarily due to low accessibility, as you will need a car to visit Scituate. The food at Riva is probably one of the best experiences of the last year. I will look forward to another visit.

  12. Reviewed January 10th 2009: Restaurant Valuta, Hamar (4,40 points)
    A good, borderline recommendable restaurant with a classy, but a little cold designer interior. Some room for improvement of service. Great food makes a visit to Restaurant Valuta worthwhile.

  13. Reviewed October 21st 2009: Restaurante La Lonja, Puerto Mogán (4,39 points)
    One of the best meal during our week on the Canary Island. Great location, but the terrace was overcrowded. Great, tasty seafood meal accompanied by delicious cold white wine.

  14. Reviewed June 28th 2009: Ristorante Pizzeria Claudius, Sitges (4,33 points)
    A climb down from the review in 2008. Even the gnocchi ordered by my traveling companions were of completely different character. Pizza was dry and not very good. Location, atmosphere, service and price saves it from even a lower dip in rating.

  15. Reviewed June 9th 2009: Mill Wharf, Scituate MA (4,29 points)
    A great place, sadly nearly out of bounce for those depending on public transportation. Good quality food served at a good price. If staying in Scituate a meal here is recommended.

  16. (20) Reviewed December 30th 2009: Eastman's Docks, Seabrook, N.H. (4,26 points)
    Great food off the beaten tracks in New Hampshire. If you happen to drive along the 1A from Newburyport MA to Portsmouth NH during the summer season, a stop at River street is recommended.
    See previous review here

  17. Reviewed November 23rd 2009: Holbergstuen, Bergen (4,24 points)
    A great place for a bite of traditional food in a rustic interior. in downtown Bergen. Extraordinarily delicious Christmas plate highly recommended by Enjoy Food & Travel. Sadly the rating could have been so much better, as the service was appallingly bad.

  18. Reviewed June 7th 2009: Samurai Sushi, Oslo (4,22 points)
    Samurai Sushi is definitely a place to consider if you want to eat sushi. Restaurant a little overcrowded, but Asian guests tend to prefer the place, - a sign of quality.

  19. Reviewed November 7th 2009: El Rincon del Artista, Barcelona (4,176 points)
    Lunch served on the pavement, with city traffic roaring only yards away. Decent service, but definitely the place for excellent Spanish tapas, offered at ridiculously low prices.

  20. Reviewed July 17th 2009: Den Danske Kro, Playa Del Ingles (4,12 points)
    Low on interior and location, but definitely the (and only) place for Danish grub in the neighbourhood. One of the best options at the Playa, good service - and open sandwiches.

  21. Reviewed December 23rd 2009: Ma Cuisine, Göteborg (4,11 points)
    An overall good French bistrowith a charming traditional interior in downtown Göteborg. Overcrowded when we visited it, affecting the service. Too many tables made it very uncomfortable.

  22. Reviewed October 3rd 2009: Rustic Kitchen, Hingham MA (4,05 points)
    Located outside Boston, you HAVE to have a car to visit the Rustic Kitchen at Derby Street Mall. It is therefore out of bounce for those of you visiting the city. Quaint interior. Delicious Lobster Club is a delicious treat, and this dish sets a high standard, and if the other food on the menu is as good as the club, then this is a highly recommendable place to eat.

  23. Reviewed December 20th 2008: Darbar Mat & Vinhus, Oslo (3,87 points)
    Good Indian & Afghan neighbourhood restaurant on Oslos East End. A little pricey, but you can eat worse Indian food else where. Darbar rarely fail to deliver good food. The interior needs a makeover.

  24. Reviewed May 18th 2009: Hviids Vinstue, Copenhagen (3,83 points)
    Great interior left after 300 years of history. Definitely a place to drink, but if you want to eat, go next door. At Skindbuksen you can indulge in the true Danish open sandwich experience. Hviids vinstue is a place to drink, nothing more.

  25. CLOSED OCTOBER 2010 - Reviewed December 17th 2008: Bangkok Thai, Oslo (3,77 points)
    Recommendable in Oslos east end. Good food at decent prices, slow service

  26. Reviewed February 9th 2009: Cactus Eck, Playa Del Ingles (3,72 points)
    Great location, good beer, medium service. Very uneven quality on food. I will never return here to eat!!

  27. Reviewed May 24th 2009: Nyhavns Færgekro, Copenhagen (3,71 points)
    Totally tourist trapped in Nyhavn. Read my warning on where not to eat, and you will find that Nyhavns Færgekro had many warning signs, that I did not see. If dining in Nyhavn, check where to eat. Café Zeleste is the one I would recommend.

  28. Reviewed September 17th 2009: Grill Martell House, Playa Del Ingles (3,59 points)
    Hardly a place that would please the noblesse, or ordinary food lovers, for that matter. The only decent thing was the food, and it would have been even better if it had been warm.

    Room for improvements BBB: (3,50 - 2,51 points)

  29. Reviewed January 12th 2009: Beijing Palace, Oslo (3,37 points)
    I have enjoyed decent dim sum and Beijing Palace, but my latest visit was a disappointing experience. If this is the overall level, I cannot recommend a visit here.

  30. Reviewed December 9th 2009: Venus, Barcelona (3,31 points)
    Venus Delicatessen provided the worst culinary restaurant experience in 2009. The 3 B's is due to location and price. The food was terrible, the interior looked worn and decayed. This is certainly a place to be avoided if looking for a late night snack.

    Bad BB: (2,50 - 1,51 points)

    Waste of time and money B: (1,50 - 1,00 points)
Other restaurant stories on Enjoy Food & Travel
  1. Auberge Nicholas Flamel, Paris (May 29th 2009)
    One of the places that I dream to dine, is in Paris. In Rue de Montmorency in the Marais district you may eat in a house that once belonged to one of the greatest alchemists in the world - Nicolas Flamel.
    Read full story here

  2. Au Bon Pain, Cambridge MA (September 7th 2009)
    This is a café with so much personal sentiment connected to it, as it has been there during my 21 years visits to the Harvard area.
    Read full story here

  3. Bagatelle, Oslo (December 16th 2009)
    If you plan to book a table at Bagatelle, Oslo's only two star Michelin restaurant, you may be too late. It will close down December 21st due to a conflict between its owner, investor Christen Sveaas and Eyvind Hellstrøm, its founder and head chef.
    Read full story here

  4. Bar El Jabali, Barcelona (June 24th 2009)
    First day - after lunch hunger!! We had a stroll to find a place to eat, and ended up at El Jabali after we had walked around the block.
    Read full story here

  5. Bartley's Burger Cottage, Cambridge MA (September 7th 2009)
    Last September I spotted the impressive sign outside Bartley's Burger Cottage.
    Read full story here

  6. La Crema Canela, Barcelona (December 30th 2009)
    My good friend, colleague Lena Holmström visited Barcelona this fall. When she returned she handed over a business card as she announced that she had found THE place to eat in the Catalan capital.
    Read full story here

  7. Hvide Lam, Copenhagen (January 30th 2009)
    I love old taverns, and in Copenhagen they are out of numbers. At Kultorvet, or the coal market you find one that has be open for business over 200 years. 1807 was a turbulent year.
    Read full story here

  8. Le Roi et son Fou, Strasbourg (October 24th 2009)
    I sat down at Le Roi et son Fou (The King and his Jester), a small bistro, looked over the menu and found just what I wanted - a sandwich with jambon or ham.
    Read full story here

  9. Moritz, Barcelona (June 24th 2009)
    Mediterranean culinary traditions and culture differs greatly from our Scandinavian. You are sometimes served the most unexpected foods, and we were slightly surprised at another small tapas bar in Ronda Sant Pau.
    Read full story here

  10. Nodee, Oslo (February 27th 2009)
    I and Enjoy Food & Travel co-writer Susanne Koch met for an after work snack last Friday. We were both craving for sushi, and after a short deliberation we decided to visit Nodee.
    Read full story here

  11. Restaurant La Table du Gayot, Strasbourg (October 24th 2009)
    Alsace is widely known for its pies or quiche. The neigbouring province, Lorraine, has even one named after it. At place Gayot we found Restaurant La Table du Gayot, a small tavern and bar, and we decided to order to try one type of this Alsatian specialty.
    Read full story here

  12. Salisbury House of Pizza, Salisbury MA (December 1st 2009)
    Every year I visit my cousin in Salisbury, we order takeout pizza from Salisbury House of Pizza. There, they really know how to prepare this American-Italian specialty.
    Read full story here

  13. Tant Bruns Kaffehus, Sigtuna (November 15th 2009)
    Sigtuna is a quiet, quaint town an hour away from Stockholm. This hamlet is, however, another world compared to the busy suburban life. This is felt clearly when you enter the backyard of Tant Bruns Kaffehus, located in the oldest building in the town center.
    Read full story here

  14. Yenching, Cambridge MA (September 7th 2009)
    A nice place if you are in the mood for Chinese food. An informal Chinese restaurant in the heart of Harvard serving the most delicious food.
    Read full story here

  15. Z-Square, Cambridge MA (September 7th 2009)
    If you are looking for Z-Square at 14 JFK Street, you will search in vain. This place is out of business.
    Read full story here

Eastman's Docks revisited

I have one annual trip to Northern Massachusetts. Without exception I end up at Eastman's Docks to dine during my stay. This as I and Merrilee Eastman, the proprietor, have known each other for 20 years. The main reason is, however, the food. September 2009, I was spoiled rotten by Merrilee. The food was de-li-ci-ous.

Location: BBB+

Eastman's Docks is located between Newburyport MA and Portsmouth NH, and you need a car to get there. This is an area where there are practically no public transportation.

The nearest train or bus is either at Newburyport (suburban line to Boston / Bus) or Portsmouth NH (Bus). If you rent a car, you drive along 1A towards Portsmouth. and stop just as you leave the barrier island at Seabrook NH Once you are there you experience an area of beauty.

The restaurant face the salt marshes that separates the barrier island on which the communities of Seabrook N.H., and Salisbury MA rests from the mainland.

The restaurant is located away from the ocean, sheltering it from the sea and you can enjoy a view to Hampton Beach and the marshes, that flood during high tide.

Interior & atmosphere: BBBB

This is certainly not the posh refined dinner, rather the interior of Eastman's Docks reflects the relaxed atmosphere at the beach.

During peak season, it is packed with people. I usually visit around the labour day weekend, when Eastman's Docks close for the season, and most of the guests have left.

Eastman's has a rustic wooden interior. I usually prefer to sit outside with a view to the water. Here you can sit with the salt marsh as your nearest neighbour.

The are plenty of room around the table, and you are seated comfortably. This is however a place for informal dining. No table cloth, cutlery, or napkin. The table is stripped down to bare necessity. Here you get what is necessary when served.

Service: BBBBB-

As this is relations, I might get even better service than others, but friends that I have brought to Eastmans have loved the place.

This time I was the only person there, as this was the first weekend after end of peak season, and it was just around opening time. The staff here are genuinely clever, good at small talk, professional, and food is served quickly. Service at Eastmans is terrific.


The chowder sampler: BBBBB

Chowders are thick soups traditional to the eastern seaboard of the US. When visiting Boston, try the famous Clam Chowder.

As I arrived at Eastman's Docks, Merrilee Eastman - the proprietor, presented me with three different chowders as a sampler of what the kitchen had to offer.

The traditional clam chowder - rich, mild and creamy. As contrast there was a small cup of corral coloured lobster bisque, sweetened by sherry and the house's corn chowder. The latter had the very interesting taste derived from shrimps marinated in Cajun spices. All soups had that crunch from perfectly prepared vegetables, and well balanced seasoning, neither too sweet, sour or salty.

I can highly recommend all of the soups if on menu. For those faint hearted, I would hesitate to choose the corn chowder, as it has that additional heat from the Cajun spices. The other two, however, are well suited for any pallet.

Hot Buffalo Tenders: BBBBB-

Hot Buffalo Wings or Tenders are among my absolute favourites, and I certainly know how to appreciate a portion of this Northern New England specialty.

Buffalo tenders are supposed be a spicy experience - glaced with a hot sweet and sour marinade, then fried. The dish is served with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing.

The Buffalo tenders at Eastman's Docks are a fiery experience. Well prepared, tender and succulent with a crunchy crust. It has that slight sour, sweet and salty aroma well balanced with the mild blue cheese dressing.

A real knockout of an appetizer. If you urge for a snack, try it with a freezing cold beer on a warm summer day. Irresistible!!!

Baked stuffed haddock: BBBBB-

The baked stuffed haddock at Eastman's Docks mirrors the culinary opulence of the Ottoman cuisine. The Ottoman rulers loved to create a cornucopia of meats or fish stuffed with different exotic fillings.

The baked stuffed haddock is such a rich dish. Under the crispy crunchy crust, you find the most deliciously tender and moist fish - flaky but still firm. Then you cut into the most delicious creamy seafood filling. It is served with homemade creamy potato mash and perfectly cooked broccoli.

The only down side to this dish is that it is simply too much of it. I did not manage to eat up all, and it is a shame to let food like this go to waste.

Beverage: BBBB+

For those of you that know your Monty Python, I know the comparison between "American beer and making love in a row boat - it is fucking close to water." In spite of this, there is no other choice for me to such food as one (or two) ice cold Samauel Adams Boston Lager. It is refreshing and soothing when eating the hot food, and does not interfere too much with the taste.

Rating the Eastman's Docks experience: BBBB+ (4,40 points - new average 4,26 points)

Another great meal offered by Merrilee and her staff. Excellent food in an informal atmosphere, right by the water - who can ask for more!

Eastman's Docks
7 River St, Seabrook, NH 03874
Phone: +1 (603) 474-7063
See restaurant website here

For more restaurant in Northern Massachusetts see this map

View New England on Enjoy Food & Travel 2006 - 2009 in a larger map

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Air Berlin double number of flights Oslo-Berlin May 2010

Norwegians love Berlin. The German budget airline Air Berlin doubles the number of its new direct flights Oslo Airport to Berlin Tegel from May 2010, and it is cheap and convenient.

Air Berlin started direct flights from Oslo to Berlin in 2009 with one daily flight Monday to Friday between the two capitals. It has been a success, and from May 2010 there will be two flights every weekday.

And Air Berlin offers cheap travel, as the airline does not operate with any fees, adding up to the price of your ticket.

Photo: Abutcher15

Non-stop flights from Norwegian airports to Berlin

View International non-stop flights from Oslo Airport - status December 2009 in a larger map

There are direct flights from Berlin to three airports in Norway. Here is a list of direct flights:

Bergen Airport, Flesland
  • Air Berlin (Tegel)
  • Norwegian Air Shuttle (Schönefeld)
  • Norwegian Air Shuttle (Schönefeld)
  • COMING: Ryanair (Schönefeld)
More Berlin stories on Enjoy Food & Travel

Berlin from A-Z

Berlin from kneipe to kneipe

Chic living at Park Inn Alexanderplatz

More stories on Air Berlin

Air Berlin to open flights from Oslo to Berlin

Successful pre flight booking for Air Berlin for new service Oslo Berlin

Rating Turkish Airlines

This Christmas was my first experience with Turkish Airlines. This rapidly expanding air carrier is extending to new destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa and the US. Oslo got its first non-stop connection with Turkish Airlines to Istanbul in 2009. I found that Turkish Airlines offered good value for money.

Traveling facts:

Our flight with Turkish Airlines, goes daily non-stop from Oslo airport to Istanbul Atatürk Airport, leaving Istanbul 12.00 PM EET, arriving Oslo 2.55 PM CET (-1), returning from Oslo 3.50 PM CET landing in Istanbul 8.30 PM EET (+1).


Check-in and boarding: BBBBB

Check-in and boarding at Oslo and Istanbul was swift and on time. If boarding with bus at Atatürk Airport, you are advised not to be the first, as you are left to wait in the bus for at leat 15-20 minutes before you are driven out to the airplane.

Take-off: BBBBB

We were more than 30 minutes delayed before take-off due to bad winter weather at destinations in Europe. This was however not due to the airline, but the air-traffic control at Oslo Airport.

Hospitality: BBBBB

Very nice and welcoming staff and very good service offered by the Turkish Airline staff.

Service: BBBBB

Crew served complementary drinks short time after fasten-seatbelt sign had been switched off. Serving of food followed shortly after.

Complementary: BBBBB

Very good value on complementary goods. Free softdrinks, wine, beer and hard liquor. Free meal on both flights. Choice of different appetizers, two beef, chicken, or fish main meals, dessert, and cheese. Very good and tasty food. A wide range of meals adjusted to religious choice or for allergies available.

Enjoy Food & Travel commends the airline on its high quality of complementary goods.

Comfort: BBBB

Over average comfort. Average seat width. On our way down we were seated by the emergency exit, and offered business class distance to the seat in front. On the way back we experienced its average product. Good seating comfort even in regular seats.

Flying time:BBBBB

Long flying time to destination, due to bad weather and heavy traffic to Atatürk Airport. Force majeure not to be blamed on airline. On return shorter than estimated flight time.

Arrival: BBBBB

Arrival 45 minutes delayed due to force majeure. Arrival 10 minutes before schedule at Oslo Airport December 27th.

Check-out: BBBBB

Flight disembarked swiftly at both airports.

Duty free goods: N/A

No duty-free goods available on flight. Buy your goods at the departing or if possible on arriving airport if flying with Turkish Airlines.

Price: BBBB

NOK 2300 (275 EUR) for the round-trip ticket booked at Turkish Airlines. Very decent price for what was offered.

Rating the Turkish Airline Experience: BBBB+ (4,38 points)

Flying Turkish Airlines is what air travel used to be. Good service, food and drink included, no handling, luggage or booking fees. Only thing lacking was duty free sales on flights, but this was not greatly missed. Enjoy Food & Travel highly recommends Turkish Airlines when service is available to your destination.

The expanding number of destinations serviced by Turkish Airlines

See route map here to see whether you can travel with Turkish Airlines to Istanbul

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Scandinavian flight news

Major air carriers are preparing for the 2010 season. It brings non-stop flights from Trondheim, Rygge and Torp airport to new locations in Europe.

NextJet starts direct flights from Trondheim to Östersund

Swedish NextJet will start direct flights from Trondheim to Östersund in Sweden, February 22nd 2010.

This flight will provide travelers with an easier connection to Stockholm, as the airline will coordinate its flights on to Bromma airport. There will be two daily flights with a Saab 340 airplane, with room for 33 passengers.

It will also make it easier for the citizen in Norways third largest city to get to the winter sport resort Åre and other resorts in the Swedish mountains.

See all non-stop flights from Trondheim airport here

(Photo: A NextJet Saab 340 landing at Åre Östersund Airport, by Skistar)

Two weekly flights Torp - Malaga from June 2010

Ryanair will open a new non-stop service from Torp Airport, Sandefjord to Málaga, Spain starting June 23rd.

Flight FR 2563, will leave Málaga will leave Wednesday and Sundays 3:15 PM arriving Torp 7:20 PM.

Returning flight FR 2564, will leave Torp kl 7:45 PM arriving Málaga kl 11:50 PM.

See all non-stop flights from Torp Airport here

(Photo: Sunset at Malaga, by ExileMan)

Non-stop Rygge - Portugal and Croatia with Ryanair

Ryanair introduce two weekly flights from Rygge Airport to Zadar, Croatia and Faro, Portugal from March 2010.

All in all Ryanair will operate flights from Rygge to 23 locations in Europe in 2010.

Ryanair continues to strengthen its hold on the Norwegian flight market, making Rygge Airport its main Norwegian hub, dwarfing the other budget carrier, Norwegian Air Shuttle's traffic from this airport.

See all non-stop flights from Rygge Airport here

(Photo: The forecourt of the arrival hall at Faro Airport, by Felix Koenig)

(Source all stories:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The murderous mind in room 411

Room 411 at the legendary Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul is a shrine for a crime lover. That was the location where Agatha Christie wrote her crime novel "Murder on the Orient Express" in 1934.

The Hotel was built in 1892 to accommodate travelers with the Orient Express.

It is a lavish rococo style hotel designed by the French-Turkish architect Alexander Vallaury. It is the oldest European hotel in Istanbul. It has lived through the decline of the Ottoman Empire and is still thriving in Modern Day Istanbul.

Apart from Agatha Christie, the Hotel Pera Palace has been the home of many celebrities during the ages. The long list includes people as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, King George V of England, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary and Czar Nicholas II of Russia.

The Pera Palace Hotel has always been well known for its restaurant and bars. At restaurant Agatha you may order specialties of multi-ethnic İstanbul cuisine. At the Orient Bar you may enjoy the nostalgic ambiance and privileged service and choose from a wide range of wines and spirits, cocktails.

Brasserie 1892 is a place to see and be seen. It has a refined menu, enchanting atmosphere and terrace in summer. Having tea at Kubbeli Salon and Tea Lounge used to be a tradition among the İstanbul elite. The nostalgic Patisserie de Pera, is the place to choose creative pastries.

I am afraid we will only see the exterior of this institution, as the hotel is undergoing a full renovation expecting to last until April 2010.

(Photo top: Room 411 at the Pera Palas hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, the room where Agatha Christie wrote Murder on the Orient Express. Photo by Steve Hopson, November, 2004. See more photos at [ Steve Hopson Photography]. )

(Photo middle: Facade of Pera Palace Hotel by Chapultepec)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Beaches of Northern New England

Much of the coastline in New Hampshire and Massachusetts is made up by beautiful white beaches. Public access to many beaches may, however, by restricted. One reason is that they are private property, and if there is direct access, parking your car may pose a challenge. There are exceptions, however. Here are three beautiful beaches to enjoy.

Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

Hampton Beach is located south on the short coastline of New Hampshire. This is a busy resort during the summer season, and you can rent a house or a condominium , or travel up for the day.

The beach is not very long, but much wider than most other found on the coastline. It is made up by beautiful fine white sand. The drawback is that you may have to share it with many other guests to this summer resort.

See review of the restaurant La Bec Rouge, Hampton Beach N.H. here

Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts

Salisbury beach and Seabrook Beach runs along the shoreline of a barrier island shared by New Hampshire and Massachusetts. This is a beautiful and easily accessible beach for the public, and there are good parking available.

Seabrook has a few restaurants and one convenient store. Eastman's Docks is a great place to dine and go for a drink during summer time. On the other end of the island you find Salisbury Beach Resort with more bars, restaurants and shops. This was just a few years ago a resort way behind its prime. Lately, however, Salisbury Beach has undergone large renovations with construction of new block of flats. The old entertainment park has been torn down. What looks like a Roman temple is the local strip joint, so all sleeze is not gone.

Even though the coastline is full of holiday homes, you may walk directly to the beach via walkways cutting through the grass covered sand dunes. Be aware that there are restrictions on what to do on the beach followed by heavy fines.

Boston, North Shore: Salisbury Beach and MA Seabrook N.H. - see story here

Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts

Nantasket Beach is located in Hull, a small holiday resort south of Boston. This is a nice place to travel to, if being in New England during summer. Nantasket Beach is a wide and long beach, with fine sand.

Nantasket Beach is an ideal spot for for a day trip for families wioh kids. Here you have easy access to parking and a wide range of restaurants and shops, if you get tired of basking in the sun.

Some do's and don'ts when looking for a US beach
  1. Check whether a beach is public before entering.
    Whereas Scandinavians and many Europeans are used to public access to the coastline, the situation in the US is very different. Much of the coastline is privately owned and some owners may deal with trespassers harshly. Other beaches may only be available to inhabitants of a community. You are therefore well advised not to enter any beach if it is not clearly marked as public.

  2. Check, and live by the rules set by each beach.
    Many public beaches have clear conditions to those that use it. This may be connected to littering, tents, pets, open fires, alcohol, etc. Even though these rules often are not rigorously upheld, live by them. If caught, you risk a heavy fine, often for each individual offense.

  3. Observe rules of decency.
    In many European resorts it is not necessarily regarded indecent for a woman to be topless on a beach. Many American resorts uphold stricter rules on decency. Observe the code on your beach and act accordingly.

  4. Check whether parking is permitted.
    On beaches connected to larger resorts as Hampton and Hull, you will find good access to parking. On smaller public beaches, you will often have to look for parking in nearby streets. Check with the locals where you may place your car, and observe the rights of private property.

  5. Be aware of petty crime.
    Some beach town resorts attract large number of people during summer, and some may not have honorable intentions. Do not leave valuables unattended when going for a swim. Likewise, do not leave valuables visible in your car if you want to avoid criminals.

Location of Hampton Beach and Salisbury Beach

View New England on Enjoy Food & Travel 2006 - 2009 in a larger map

Location of Nantasket Beach

View New England on Enjoy Food & Travel 2006 - 2009 in a larger map

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ma Cuisine - Göteborg

Back in March, we went looked for a great old-fashioned café I had visited earlier. To my disappointment, it had been replaced by a French style bistro. Ma Cuisine did not have any of that traditional coziness of its predecessor. Still we decided to enjoy a French style lunch.

Location: BBBB+

Ma Cuisine is located at Kyrkogatan 32, an ordinary street in the historic centre of the city, near Göteborg cathedral and the shopping district. Reasonably easy to get to by foot.

Interior & Atmosphere: BBBB

The interior of the old, charming coffee shop had been kept intact, and was pretty much in style with the new French bistro. Cream, gold and white colour scheme with highly ornamental details.

Seating was not very comfortable though. Chairs were OK, but we were seated so close to the tables behind and besides us, that I could hardly move.

Service: BBBB+

Service was OK. We could order promptly, and we were given our food without delay. Waiters were, however, greatly stressed by all, guests and provided no personalized service.

Food: BBBB-

Susanne ordered Mediterranean style fish bisque (top), served with rustic bread. It was very aromatic with the traditional ingredients, as tomatoes, fish stock, herbs and garlic.

I ordered a quiche lorraine, French cheese and bacon pie. Decent sized portion, served on a bed of lettuce sprinkled with balsamic vinegar.

Creamy consistency, crust a little soggy, but it had a pleasant taste.

Wine: N/A

Rating the Ma Cuisine experience: BBBB (4,11 points)

An overall good French bistrowith a charming traditional interior in downtown Göteborg. Overcrowded when we visited it, affecting the service. Too many tables made it very uncomfortable.


Ma Cuisine
Kyrkogatan 32
41115 Göteborg, Sweden
031-711 77 11
Official website (Swedish)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen! The Festive Season is upon us all.


Så til alle dere i Norge, Danmark, Sverige og Finland:


Meine Damen und Herren. Ich wünsche euch alle:


Mesdames et messieurs ! Je veux souhaiter nos publiques des pays francophone:



Norwegian Air Shuttle to open 20 new long-haul flights

(Source: Aftenposten, December 8th 2009) Norwegian Air Shuttle has announced its plans to open non-stop flights from Oslo to Bangkok and New York 2010 or 2011. Its overseas ambition does, however, not end there. It plans 20 new long-haul flights from Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm to different regions of the world the coming 5 years.

Norwegian will not only compete on destinations serviced by SAS, but also launch flights to cities with no current direct connections.

The CEO of the company, Bjørn Kjos, says that it considers non-stop flights to cities as Beijing, Shanghai, New Delhi, and Miami.

The flights will be operated by a separate company, and will lease larger airplanes for these flights than those the air carrier use today.

Other similar stories

UPDATED: Long hauls flights with Norwegian may start 2010

Feel Air - a new long haul airline with a fresh breath

Favourable transatlantic air fare available fall 2009

Non-stop flights from Oslo Airport to destinations in Europe, Africa, The Middle East, Asia and the US

See map here

(Photo: Scott Wright)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pork tenderloin Wellington

Few dishes creates such an awe from the guests,than a chunk of meat baked in puff pastry. As when I served Pork Tenderloin Wellington Wednesday December 16th. The biggest challenge is to assure that the pork is well done and that the pastry is fluffy and crisp.

Tenderloin of pork Wellington (Serves 3)

One whole tenderloin of pork (540 grams / 1,2 lb's)
Seasoning (Salt, pepper or a ready made seasoning)
1-2 tbsp butter

One sheet of puff pastry
2-3 tsp Dijon mustard
1 egg, beaten

Season the tenderloin. I used Grill Mates® Montreal Steak Seasoning, but salt and pepper will do perfectly well.

Heat butter in a pan until brown. Seal the surface of the beef well. Allow to rest and cool down.

Fold out puff pastry. Spread the mustard on the sheet, except on 1-2 inches by the edges.

Place pastry on top of pastry. Brush the edges with the beaten eggs.

Fold the edges by the fillet's narrow end over the beef, the fold the other two edges over. Seal the parcel properly.

Make small incisions on top, and brush the parcel with the egg.

Allow to rest for 20 minutes in room temperature.

Place the parcel on a greased baking tray in a medium hot oven 160C / 240F for 30 minutes. Turn the heat up to 200C / 400F until pastry is golden brown. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

More puff pastry on Enjoy Food & Travel

Swiss croissants - breakfast for champions

All the goodness inside!!

Vol-au-vents with mushroom and sherry sauce, with wild rice and asparagus.