Cost – 495 Norwegian Krone plus 14 Krone for apple juice (June 2019)
Parking and Access – Unfortunately I cannot comment on parking at this venue. We arrived by ship and foot. I did not see any evidence of anywhere to park but I can’t be sure there wasn’t any. Access to the hotel was on the level from the street. There was also level access to the room where Afternoon Tea is served. There were stairs down to the toilets but there was a lift available if required.
Background – We were booked on to a cruise to the Norwegian fjords. I was doing my usual research of the ports we would be visiting when I thought I would just try looking to see if there was an Afternoon Tea available. I was flabbergasted to find a lovely looking Tea available in Bergen at a hotel that would be easy to reach from the port. We had visited Bergen before so we had done many of the usual touristy things there so this was perfect!
We then found out that the ship would be leaving really early at 3 o’clock. Luckily Afternoon Tea could be served from 12:00 to 16:00. We sent off a booking for 12:00 and received a lovely reply from the managing director Alexander Grieg, a member of composer Edvard Grieg’s family.
All that was left to do was to enjoy the cruise and to make sure we had a small early breakfast onboard!!
Contents – two finger sandwiches each (Skagenrore and smoked salmon with dill and cream cheese), two open sandwiches (deer tartare with brown cheese and plukkfisk). One small fruit scone and two small plain scones, a small pot of each of strawberry jam, raspberry jam and lemon curd, and a small pot of clotted cream. A square of carrot cake, a small slice of Battenburg, a raspberry macaroon, a mini jar of panna cotta, a small chocolate and praline mousse and a small cube of passion fruit jelly. A large pot of tea.
Options Available – There were three other options available. There was a classic Afternoon Tea, a vegetarian Afternoon Tea and a children’s Afternoon Tea as well as the Nordic option that we chose. A glass of champagne could be added at a cost of 100NKr each.
Comments – We arrived at the hotel and were directed to the restaurant to be shown to our reserved table. The room was nicely decorated and rather grand with a pretty display on a table at the entrance.
We were the first into the room as we had had to book our Tea for 12 o’clock due to the ship being due to depart at 3:00! However, we were soon joined by a few other couples and groups.
We were shown to a small round table near the windows and our coats were taken and hung up.
There were two comfortable chairs and a sort of tray table next to the table.
Each table was laid with matching vintage china, with a different design on each table. There were also two glasses each and a linen napkin.
There was a live pianist playing from 12:30 onwards.
The friendly waiter, who turned out to be Portuguese, offered us some champagne or apple juice. We decided to try some apple juice which we were told was slightly sparkling. It was really good!
We also ordered our tea from the choice on the menu. We chose Prince of Wales tea. The waiter also asked which type of Afternoon Tea we wanted. We chose the Nordic Tea. He explained that he would bring us a stand with the sandwiches and cakes on, then bring the warm scones out later when we had finished those. This is not the order we usually eat or Afternoon Tea but that was not really a problem for us.
The tea arrived quite quickly in a very large china coffee pot thing which was placed on the tray table thing beside the main table. It was incredibly weak so I drank it black. The tea was made with loose leaf tea.
We were also brought a cold bottle of water
which the waiter collected from a huge ice bucket bowl thing.
The rest of the Afternoon Tea arrived a short while later on a three-tier spindle type stand with pretty vintage round plates.
There were four sandwiches each. Two closed and two open. The smoked salmon sandwich was on brown bread whist the Skagenrore was on white bread. Skagenrore turned out to be a bit like a prawn mayonnaise. The two open sandwiches were on a really delicious sort of dark rye crispbread.
The deer tartare was chopped in to tiny cubes piled on to the bread with a small finger of brown cheese on top. Despite my reservations, I really liked this filling!
Finally, the Plukkfisk turned out to be smoked haddock and potato in a mash form on the open sandwich.
We really enjoyed all of the sandwiches, which were all well filled. However, the bread of the Skagenrore sandwich was a tiny bit dry. We both particularly liked the dark crispbread used for the open sandwiches.
The cakes were split between two tiers of the stand and were beautifully laid out.
The macaroon was crumbly and tasty. The Battenburg was small but very good.
The cube of passion fruit jelly was extremely good and deliciously tangy.
The carrot cake was like an opera cake, with several layers. It was topped with a scroll of carrot! It was good but rather squishy to eat.
The panna cotta was in a mini Bonne Maman jar and was topped with caramel and some sweet popcorn. It was really yummy but was too small – I wanted more!
Finally, the chocolate and praline mousse was served on a spoon. This was the best of all. Really, really good!
There was a pause after we had finished the cakes. The stand was collected then we waited fifteen minutes before the scones arrived. They were very hot and were clearly served straight from the oven so they were as fresh as they could be. The scones were all small and the fruit scones had very little fruit but they were tasty.
Unsurprisingly the cream was not quite the same as we have in Britain. No other countries seem to ‘do’ clotted cream. It was rather softer than usual. There was also not really enough for six small scones.
On the other hand, there was a good amount of jam. The strawberry jam was a standard mini Bonne Maman jar. The other two flavours had been put in to empty Bonne Maman jars. The lemon curd (called lemon crème on the menu) was delicious but the highlight was the raspberry jam which was superb. As we have previously discovered, If you like raspberry jam, then the Norwegians definitely make the best. It has to be tasted to be believed, it is so good!
The service was very good – attentive without being intrusive, as you would expect from a good hotel. The waiters were friendly and helpful. This was a really good experience which we thoroughly enjoyed.