Scan Magazine | Special Theme | ‘Julebord’ Buffets: Christmas Dinner the Norwegian Way
A Christmas in the fjord With Christmas around the corner, the Norwegian traditional Christmas party, julebord, is one of the best ways to experience all that the season has to offer. Visit the historic hotel and establishment Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun for the ultimate comfort and culinary experience. By Maria Lanza Knudsen | Photos: Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun
In western Norway, by the fjord in Os, lays the family-run Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun, made up of grass-roofed traditional wooden buildings. Run by the eighth generation of the Bjørke family, the establishment offers a rich history. It used to be part of the old Lyse Cloister that was established in 1146 and even hosts a Viking Age cemetery. Some of the guestrooms are housed in the oldest building, the barn, built in 1655. It is when winter extends her chilled embrace and a blanket of snow covers the ground that Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun is at its most charming. Decorated for Christmas, Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun offers 35 guestrooms and has meeting and function rooms for corporate and leisure visitors alike. “We are a popular place for 86 | Issue 82 | November 2015
Christmas lunches, dinners and parties, and guests often cite the fantastic level of service in a distinctly relaxed atmosphere,” says Christine Mowinckel Reksten, the sales and front desk manager. It is the restaurant’s culinary craftsmanship that the hotel takes the most pride in. “We aim to serve a fusion between tasty local Norwegian dishes and gourmet food,” Reksten explains. “All dishes are made from scratch and ingredients are Norwegian and preferably sourced locally.” Fish specialties feature throughout the year but traditional Christmas meat dishes take centre stage during the festive season. Beyond Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun’s doorstep, there is an abundance of opportunities, including nature trails along the
mountains and fjords and, in springtime, even killer whale spotting in the fjord. Other cultural activities nearby include the shipyard where Oselvaren boats have been built since the Viking Age. Music and art lovers can visit the house of Ole Bull, the Norwegian violinist and composer, and the Oseana Cultural Centre, where artwork by famous Norwegian artists such as Munch, Kittelsen, Tidemann and Gude can be found. In addition, the hotel can arrange a broad spectrum of activities through its partner, Bergen Base Camp, including activities such as archery, GPS obstacle courses, quizzes and more. Only a 35-minute drive from Bergen, Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun offers a very special way to experience a true Norwegian Christmas season. After all, its promise is this: ‘with us you sleep well, work well and eat well’.
For more information, please visit: www.bjornefjordengjestetun.no