So after months and months of planning, booking planes, restaurants, a hotel, museums, a short northern lights tour (the sarcastic in me, sorry), looking at all the flight and ferry options and finalising my itinerary and it was the final day. I was somewhat exhausted, having crammed in as much as I could on my 1st few days in Tromsø, what a beautiful city it was too. Holmen and the Lofoten Islands were just indescribable in their beauty, the support act delivered well beyond expectations.
I had missed a couple of events on the basis that I will be back and do them the next time, maybe with the family, the break in my itinerary meant I could recover a bit and catch my breath, take stock of what I had actually done, Norway is an exhilarating country.
I took the decision to miss the optional last day events, not because I did not want to do them, more because my brain probably could not take anymore and my blog needing attention and updating. When I am travelling I need to commit some words, get it done so the little feeling and expression I could include in descriptions wouldn’t dissipate. I sat down in the dining room with my iPad, iPhone delivering tunes via Spotify, Blue Öyster Cult, Yes, Jethro Tull and simultaneously watching the kitchen team prepare the days delights, something I find deeply relaxing.
It was soon time for lunch, as previously mentioned these are a simpler affair to dinner, to provide a little respite and give a chance for the body to do its stuff, the volume and balance of food seemed perfect, breakfast was never too much or too heavy but you did need to feed the body with all the activities taking place, along with the climate which could take it out of you if not careful.
I had been noticing a number of different aroma’s as I thought back through the previous days and scribed my thoughts on my blog, it maybe obvious when you look at the picture, but sitting many feet from the pass, trying to work out what was going into dinner was interesting. I had spoken with the head shelf ‘coxy’ earlier, all the chefs were extremely approachable and would happily discuss the merits of certain ingredients like, using little known parts of the Cod, like the collar, more gelatinous that pure fillet it would add some body to a flavourful curry, which was what our lunch was, and it was bloody good too.
My mind wandered back to the museum I had visited in Tromsø, Full Steam a fish factory from the early 1900’s that was now both a museum/exhibition and also a restaurant where I ate a rich and delicious Reindeer Stew, I suspect they ate and used as much of the fish and other produce as possible in those days compared to now, where we only seem to like food that looks pretty according to the super markets, who only seem to supply “perfect’ everything with no comprehension of what flavour really means. Sorry, off my soapbox!
There was a hive of activity in the kitchen, more so it seemed than usual, it was the last night, the last supper, A Rick Stein banquet with all sorts of delicious food, and the brilliant Nick Strangeway supplying delicious drinks to match it was going to be a great evening. Throughout the week, the place settings had been moved about so attendees got to sit and mingle with different people which was really nice. I couldn’t see my name anywhere, until I went over the chefs table and there was my name, I was on the top table on the last night, With Rick, his wife Sass, my good friend Richard Bertinet, Nick Strangeway and when he wasn’t in the kitchen, the maestro Rick Stein, what an honour and privilege, I couldn’t believe it.
What a night, alongside stunning food, amazing cocktails and an atmosphere akin to the best party ever the conversation, laughter, jokes, tales and, well, it was just indescribable, in a brilliant way, even the Northern Lights made a brief appearance!
Thanks Rick and Sass for a very special evening and one I will never forget, ever. And to the other friends on my table, thank-you for putting up with my constant enthusiasm, which I know can sometimes be overwhelming :-
Holmen Lofoten is a very special place indeed, unlike anywhere I have ever been, which is quite a few nice places. #KitchenOnTheEdgeOfTheWorld is an experience like no other, its unique and if you have the slightest interest in food, or doing something different, read the description on their website like I did, and if you can, just GO. You won’t ever regret it.
Thank – you Ingunn Rasmussen & Valentine Warner
…………………………………………Until Next Time ……………….L8ers…………………..