Oslo

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After our lounge-visit we took the 45-minute flight to the Norwegian capital Oslo. After a ride with the incredibly convenient but slightly expensive (170 NOK per person) flytoget airport train we arrived at our equally convenient hotel. Thon Hotel Opera where we are staying is situated about 100 meters from the Oslo sentral (central station) and extremely close to where we got off the airport train.

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After checking in we took a stroll in the surroundings and visited the beautiful opera house (top) and Karl Johans gate, the main shopping street.

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In Sweden we hear a lot about Norwegian pizzas with their crazy toppings (and crazy prices). We paid 200 NOK (about $30) for the above beauty that came with blackpepper beef, béarnaise, chips, leek and red onion. Crazy, expensive – check. Great after a couple of glasses of wine? Oh yeah!

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Off we go again

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Greeting from the lounge at Stockholm Arlanda airport. Waiting for my flight to Oslo while consuming tap wine, hideous pasta salad, and a quite tasty cauliflower soup.

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Dinner by Heston

IMG_8913Our final day in the British capital was mostly focused on the long-awaited and highly anticipated lunch at Dinner by Heston.

Dinner by Heston opened in 2011 and within a year received its first michelin star. A couple of weeks back it was also selected as number 7 on the San Pellegrino world’s 50 best restaurants list. Needless to say, expectations were high.

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The lunch started with a few slices of bread served with a very tasty and yellow butter. I was a little worried at this point since it wasn’t anything crazy or spectacular about it. It was just bread.

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Dinner by Heston focus on British food from the 13th century and forward, hence the year in the parentheses. Above: Grilled Hay Smoked Mackerel (c.1730) Lemon salad, fennel & pea shootsIMG_8887

Dressed Snails (c.1884) Parsley, beetroot, salty fingers & red wine juice.

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Cured Salmon (c.1660) Monks beard, peas, caper & mussel broth.

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Roast Quail (c.1590) Cabbage, onion & smoked chestnut.

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Orange Buttered Loaf (c.1630) Mandarin & thyme sorbet.

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Millionaire Tart (c.1730) Crystallised chocolate & vanilla ice cream.

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Our final dish was a small freebie – elder tea infused ganashe served with a caraway biscuit.

Despite my initial worries about the simplicity of the (although tasty) bread. My fears were unfounded. The food was really good. The roast quail is among the best dished I’ve ever had. I also loved the desserts. On top of that staff were friendly and the price was good. Our total bill was about 90 pounds which included a quite generous tip.

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After our lunch it was pretty much off to the airport. We took a final walk through London, picked up our bags at the hotel and took the tube to Heathrow. At Heathrow we got to try out the British Airways Galleries South lounge where we sipped champagne and feasted on the buffet, which of course wasn’t that exciting compared to the lunch.

All in all a fantastic weekend.

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Afternoon tea and walking

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Yesterday was a lot about walking. We strolled from our hotel near Holborn station pretty much to the hotel we stayed in last time: the Hilton Tower Bridge and back. Along the way we spotted Big Ben above, the Shard, London Eye, HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge.

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Upon returning back to “our” side of the river Thames we walked past Buckingham palace.

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Then of course, it was time to eat. Since the classic; afternoon tea at the Ritz was fully booked several months ago when we enquird we opted for the Athenauem which was awarded “best afternoon tea 2012” by the Tea Guild, which supposedly is equivalent to a Michelin star – for tea. Above is the finger sandwiches with smoked salmon, cucumber & cream cheese, coronation chicken, ham & red onion marmalade and egg salad with water cress.

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We had the Evergreen tea with ‘floral petal champagne’ (which included everything mentioned). Above is scones and crumpets with Devonshire clotted cream, strawberry jam and lemon curd. Very nice.

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Finally you were to pick your pastries and cakes from a silvery trolley. I chose chocolate coated strawberries, white chocolate mousse, victoria sponge and lemon tarte. At this point I was so full. The teas were great by the way. Had a boring but tasty Earl Grey and a Lapsang that was so smokey it smelled like sausages.

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The day was finished with a small amount of take-away Nando’s and a couple of beers in our hotel.

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A day of eating

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Today’s been a lot about eating. After getting a ‘pay as you go’ sim card from 3 in Chinatown we made our way towards Dean Street and Burger & Lobster. Burger & Lobster is, according to my research, a pretty recently launched chain of restaurants focusing on – you guessed it – burger and lobster!

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Lobster roll with chips and salad. So damn tasty. £20 (for all three dishes featured in the menu). A beer roughly 4-6 pounds.

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The burger. Juicy and tasty, but not that amazing compared to other fancier burgers I’ve had. Charlie & Co in Sydney, you’re still in the lead.

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Then a quick visit to the British Museum. Only had an hour so speeded through. Huge and lots to see.

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Then it was time for dinner. Visited a place I’ve heard much good about: Gaucho, an Argentine steakhouse. We tried the Bife de Lomo (fillet) as can be seen above.

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Bife de Ancho, rib-eye.

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Salted dulce de leche cheese cake with macadamia nuts. Very yum. Gaucho was fantastic – great service, taste and wine. It’s always a good sign when you’re still happy after spending £70 a head.

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Rule Britannia

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After a short day at the office we left for London today. We started the trip by taking the airport bus – Flygbussarna – to the, as mentioned below, refurbished terminal 2. Above you can see the brand new duty free shop.

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Since we were flying Club Europe, British Airways’ intra Europe business class, we were allowed to use the brand new Menzies Aurora business lounge. No idea about the name, but the lounge was good enough with a smallish food buffet, wine, spirits and a few tasty beers.

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After a nice hour in the lounge we boarded BA775. The service was good with a quite funny captain and a nice attentive crew in general. We got served afternoon tea and a couple of bottles of champagne (Pommery).

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After landing on Heathrow we took the tube to Holborn where our hotel is located. We are staying at the Chancery Court Hotel where we got an upgrade to a deluxe room or something like that. Quite nice place so far!

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Dinner was a club sandwich, crisps and beer. Time to sleep!

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London!

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Tomorrow we’re off for another trip. Not as exciting as the last one (below), but a very nice weekend break in the British capital. We’re trying British Airways’ intra-Europe business class (Club Europe) for the first time, because of, you guessed it – a deal to good to refuse! Same for the hotel, the five star Chancery Court Hotel which we got for a mere £100 a night. Best price I’ve ever seen for a five star in London I think.

Since we’ve been to London before, the main focus is on food and not so much on sights. Planning to visit Burger & Lobster, the Argentinian steakhouse Gaucho, Dinner by Heston and Athenaeum for afternoon tea. Also keen to try out the recently refurbished Terminal 2 (the smaller international terminal) at Stockholm Arlanda Airport, and the spanking new lounge!

More to come!

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