If summer in Norway is spent on the coast, then autumn is for the mountains. So it was that Mrs. Nibbler and I found ourselves alone (the Nibbler kids were happily ensconced with the grandparents) on the five hour drive north from Oslo towards the Bøverdalen valley, in the foothills of the majestic Jotunheimen mountains. The name in English roughly translates as "The Home of the Giants" and it is this mountain range that contains the mighty Galdhøpiggen, which at 2,469m is Northern Europe's highest peak. When we were there, its snow-capped summit was hiding demurely behind a blanket of clouds, but you are always aware of its looming presence.
|Galdhøpiggen in the distance, shrouded in cloud|
|The main louge|
|Our 'treehouse' at Røisheim|
You stay at Røisheim on a half-board basis, and at 7:30pm sharp a quaint bell rings out signalling dinner. We all filed into a small, but airy, dining room to find our individual tables labelled with rustic name tags. There's just one menu on offer here - gracious hostess Fru Ingrid prepares a daily changing five-course menu that incorporates mostly local ingredients. At dinner, avuncular host Haavard dons traditional Norwegian dress, which includes leather trousers and traditional hunting knife, and plays the role of sommelier. We opted for the paired wine menu that included a rather interesting Italian wine (I forget which type) that is made exclusively for the hotel.
We started with a light and fresh shellfish salad with crayfish that came with a cheese wafer, and sour cream and chervil sauces.
|Leftovers from dinner|
Røisheim is such a magical place, and if you're looking for a quintessential Norwegian experience that is steeped in history, then a stay here should not be missed. It serves as an excellent stopover if you're heading from Oslo to the great fjords of the West Coast, or indeed as a great base from which to explore the Jotunheimen mountains. Mrs. Nibbler and I had such a fantastically relaxing weekend at Røisheim, cocooned away in its simple luxury. We left with our batteries recharged, a spring in our steps, and ready to face life anew.
Food: 7 / 10
Service: 8 / 10
Ambiance: 10 / 10