Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cheap accommodation at Oslo Airport

Gardermoen Airport Motell is the place for those looking for budget accommodation. If you are willing to share a room you may get a bed here for NOK 225 (37 EUR). You cannot get cheaper than this!

You may spend 5-6 times as much if you book into one of the many hotels located around the airport. The Motell, however, is rated as a hostel. That means lower, but by no means unacceptable standard.

All rooms, single, double, 4-6 beds and appartments have their own bathrooms, TV, free internet access, reception 24/7 and breakfast room. You pay per room, and a room for six (for larger families and friends) are priced at 1395,- .

If you do not want to share you pay a mere NOK 595,-. Breakfast is not included, but inexpensive (NOK 50)

More information:

Gardermoen Airport Motell
Hans Gaarders Veg 3
2060 Gardermoen
Phone: +47 63 00 81 81

See company website here

More hotel stories from Oslo Airport Gardermoen
More information on Oslo Airport Gardermoen - see this map

View Oslo airport Gardermoen in a larger map

(Photo: Motell website)

Friday, May 28, 2010

English "bangers" for breakfast

Every Sunday I have a decent Norwegian breakfast. Bacon, eggs, and if available, canned tomato beans. A real truckers breakfast that will leave you satisfied well beyond lunch. My friend Dagfinn prepared another treat for breakfast a few weeks ago - English sausages.

Bangers for breakfast? O yea, baby! That's real morning grub!

He had visited England and Scotland the weeks before, and had brought home some UK grub. Among it were Wall's "The Finest Cuts Classic Pork sausages", made by appointment to HRM QEII. I wondered whether Her Majesty had the same bangers for breakfast at Balmoral that day, or maybe they ended up as a dog's dinner?

Wall's sausages are like no sausages sold here in Norway, at least that I know of. Indecent and chubby, made for an equally indecent and chubby breakfast. Well seasoned and with its fare share of lard for taste and moistness.

No butter needed, as they started to sweat immediately when hitting the dry pan, and got brown and crispy in their own fat. No wonder that I look chubby, when I have these kind of food in the morning!! I love breakfasts like these, and find vegetables and salads dreary! Does anyone know how to make salads sexy?

Brown, succulent bangers and fried eggs on a beautiful sunny spring morning. A superb food story for culinary hedonists.

See this hilariously funny advert on Wall's sausages!

It was banned - a pity really!!

Other breakfast stories

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Amalienborg Palace, Copenhagen

Whereas most European monarchs live in large palaces in green parks or in compounds hidden behind high fences, the beloved Danish queen Margrete lives in the middle of her people in the beautiful Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen.

As the British Queen Elizabeth, she is the second of her kind. The first Margrete was a powerful regent that managed to unite Sweden, Denmark and Norway in the Kalmar Union. The second Margrethe is less powerful, but even more loved by her people as regent, and took over as queen when her father Fredrik IX died in 1972.

The Amalienborg Palace has been the home of the Danish monarchs since 1794 when the Christiansborg Palace burnt down. It has been a palace here since the beginning of the 17th century. The Sophie Amalienborg Palace was built for Queen Sophie Amalie, queen-consort of Fredrik III. It burnt down in 1689.

When Frederiksstaden was developed in the mid 18th century, the four townhouses that make up todays palace was designed. The site for each palace was donated free of charge to the chosen aristocrat to build on. All palaces should comply to the architectural specifications of the area.

The four palaces were built from 1750-1760 and are called:

  • Christian VII's Palace, the earlier Moltke's Palace
  • Christian VIII's Palace, the earlier Levetzau's Palace
  • Frederick VIII's Palace, the earlier Brockdorff's Palace
  • Christian IX's Palace, the earlier Schack's Palace
They are a beautiful complex, and when seen from the water, the dome of Fredriks Church (Marble Church) tower over the buildings. Just over the waters you have the view to another, and a much recent marvel of the Danish capital - its new opera house.

And you may walk just through the palace grounds and get access to the harbour. If you are lucky, you may get a glimpse of the queen herself. If not, you may continue your stroll and end up in beautiful Nyhavn for a drink.

See Amalienborg from all angles on this film clip

What to do, what to eat and what to see around Amalienborg Palace

View Copenhagen on Enjoy Food & Travel 2007-2009 in a larger map

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Far East, Oslo; A far cry away from real Thai food

Far East is a budget Thai-Vietnamese restaurant in the Oslo downtown area. I have had a number of meals here, without being too disappointed. The visit I had in February, however, was a slightly disappointing experience.

Location: BBBB-

Far East is located in Bernt Ankersgate, a side street to Storgata, Oslo's second main street. A rather dull downtown area, but very close to trams, buses and with reach of the city's main subway stations.

Service: BBBB

Decent service from the local staff, but hardly personalized and definitely not with a smile. You do not have to wait long to order or to be served.

Interior and atmosphere: BBB

Far East is located in an old building and the interior is an eclectic mix of different styles. Parts of the old interior is mixed with period furniture and Chinese / East Asian artifacts. Neither charming nor elegant, as all elements seemed to be placed accidentally and not according to any plan or idea.

We were seated comfortably enough, but we were a little short of space by and around the table. Cutlery and napkins were placed on table - self service.

Food: BBBB-

I ordered a spring roll, followed by a fried noodle dish with chicken. It was inexpensive by Norwegian standards, i.e. less than 25 Euros for the two dishes.

Spring rolls were promising and raised expectations on what else to come. Deliciously crispy on the outside, without being over cooked, and the vegetable filling was perfect. Well seasoned and slightly undercooked as a perfect spring roll filling would be.

Spring roll starter was followed by an enormous heap of cappuccino coloured noodles with vegetables and sliced chicken meat. Good texture, good bite on pasta and vegetables, tender chicken meat, but where the hell was the taste? A little salt, but no pepper, no other contrasting flavours, and no heat - very dull, as a matter of fact.

What to do? I poured soy and hot chili and garlic sauce over it, in a quantity that made my stomach ache the next day, but it really made the food a little bit more interesting, but hardly with the delicate aromas high quality East Asian food may harbour.

So fried noodles is definitely a dish the cook at Far East do not handle very well. You are well advised to choose something else from its menu, and you may have far more luck than I had. I left very disappointed.

Beverage: BBBB

Red wine and white wine are, in my opinion, not the best choice to Thai food. I chose a pint of lager to my spring rolls and fried noodles. It was a refreshing brew, slightly bitter and fresh bubbles.

Rating the Far East experience: BBBB- (3,79 points)

The Far East meal was a slightly disappointing experience. Good entre, but the main dish was a far cry from the intriguing flavours of the East Asian cuisine. Little, if any taste, and in need of an industrial quantity of chili to be of any culinary interest. I know that the staff at Far East can do much better, but if you judge it by its noodles, you should definitely try another Thai restaurant.

Far East
Bernt Ankers gate 4, 0183 Oslo
+47 22 20 56 28

View Oslo on Enjoy Food & Travel - from A-Z in a larger map

More Thai experiences in Oslo and throughout the world

(Photo: English: Fried noodle, Jakarta, Indonesia (日本語: 中華風のミゴレン) by: Midori)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Air France: Three daily flights Oslo-Paris from October 2010

From October 31st you may choose from three daily flights with Air France from Oslo Airport, Gardemoen (OSL) to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). The airline will, however, transfer flights to its subsidiary Régional Compagnie Aérienne Européenne (Regional) and switch to smaller planes.

The new flight schedule between Oslo and Paris will be:
  • AF1275: Departure Oslo OSL 6.35 AM – arriving Paris CDG 9.00 AM
  • AF2074: Departure Paris CDG 9.40 AM – arriving Oslo OSL 12.05 PM
  • AF2075: Departure Oslo OSL 12.45 PM – arriving Paris CDG 3.15 PM
  • AF2374: Departure Paris CDG 3.55PM – arriving Oslo OSL 6.20 PM
  • AF2375: Departure Oslo OSL 7.10 PM – arriving Paris CDG 9.35 PM
  • AF1274: Departure Paris CDG 6.45 PM – Arriving Oslo OSL 9.10 PM
Régional Compagnie Aérienne Européenne will switch from Airbus A320 to the smaller Embraer 190 aircrafts taking 100 passengers.

More Paris stories on Enjoy Food & Travel

See map of bars, hotels, restaurants, and sights of Paris here

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

(Photo: Arpingstone)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Asparagus with Spanish Serrano ham and Hollandaise sauce (Serves 3)

I certainly did, what I had said I would last week. I prepared white asparagus as a special treat for supper for my sister and brother-in-law a week ago. I had forgotten how much work it was, but it was certainly worth my trouble.

What kind of trouble, you may ask? White asparagus must be properly peeled before boiling them. If you do not take special care and do this job properly, you risk chewing on tough fibers.

And I assure you; peeling 1,5 kilos or 3 pounds of white asparagus is much work, but when that job is done, the rest is a piece of cake.

This is what you need for 3:

1,5 kilos white asparagus, stems cut and peeled
3 cubes of vegetable stock
2-3 liter water

300 grams / 10 oz Spanish Serrano ham, thinly sliced

20 cl / 7 fluid oz Hollandaise sauce

Bring lightly salted, water up to boiling point in a steel, or enameled pot. Do not use aluminum pots, as this will make your food taste of metal. Boil asparagus for 8-10 minutes. Do not discard the boiling water, as it will be delicious for soups or sauces later.

You may serve the asparagus as they are, with some salted butter. I prepared them the German way.

I bought thinly sliced Spanish Serrano ham. This lightly salted ham is a delicate balance to the slightly bitter and sweet asparagus.

The asparagus cries out for a rich sauce. If buying a butter sauce, do pick the most exclusive brand, or even better, make the sauce yourself.

I bought Jacobs Utvalgte Hollandaise sauce, rich and creamy, and I just added the juice of half a lemon to cut a little of the richness.

Then it was supper time, and I promise you, if you buy white asparagus when they are in season, you are really in for a treat, and now is the time to look for them.

Serve with a medium dry, ice cold white wine.

A taste of summer!!

More Hollandaise stories on Enjoy Food & Travel
For an easy way to make Hollandaise sauce in your blender - see this film clip

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Schwerin, Germany from A to Z

View Schwerin from A-Z in a larger map
I visited the city of Schwerin, Germany in August 2008. Here are a map of the city and a list of published stories from Schwerin here on Enjoy Food & Travel

Bars & Restaurants
Food stories