Despite the cold weather, February is always an exciting time of year to be in Scandinavia. That’s right, Michelin launched their annual guide to the Nordics last week, and this year was the first time that the awards ceremony was held in Norway. We joined our fellow industry colleagues and chefs and went to Trondheim to cover the events on February 17th, 2020. The newly renovated and spectacularly luxurious Britannia Hotel was the host of the festivities, and our home base during our week in Trondheim. We decided to make the most of our trip and explore this award-winning, five-star hotel to the fullest. Keep reading to learn about all the amenities, from our fabulous room service breakfast, to afternoon tea in the Palm Court, to a relaxing day at the spa, to cocktails in the Britannia Bar, and, of course, a delicious dinner at Speilsalen, which just received its first Michelin star.
Looking for more great spots for food and drinks in Trondheim? Check out our city map of Trondheim!
The Spectacular Renovation of a Historic Hotel
The Britannia Hotel has been an icon and a gathering hub in Trondheim since 1870. Last year marked the completion of a three-year, $160 million dollar (1.5 billion NOK) renovation, updating and transforming the hotel once again into the pinnacle of modern luxury. All rooms and suites were restored, outfitted with marble bathrooms, Hästens beds, and amenities from Maison Francis Kurkdjian. We’ve rarely had a hotel bed as comfortable as the king size bed in our Junior Suite. A particularly fun feature is that the television is hidden inside the wooden panel at the foot of the bed – with the big screen so close to the bed, it felt like our own private cinema!
Since its refurbishment, the Britannia Hotel has garnered a lot of international praise. The hotel has been selected as a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, a prestigious collection of independent and remarkably unique luxury hotels around the world. Most recently, the Britannia was recognized in the Michelin Guide as a top-class luxury hotel (Château status), and named one of the best new hotels in the world on Travel + Leisure’s 2020 “It List.” It’s easy to see why – this hotel is absolutely spectacular!
A buffet and à la carte breakfast is included for all guests in the magnificent Palmehaven (Palm Court), and room service is also available. On one relaxing morning, we decided to enjoy our breakfast in bed, sampling the Eggs Benedict topped with Rossini caviar, blinis with Røros sour cream and löjrom, fresh orange and rhubarb juices, and even a V60-brewed coffee. The pour-over coffee was an extra special highlight for us – we’ve never seen a hotel offer this!
Relax and Revive – Britannia Spa & Fitness Center
A good hotel gym is essential to us when traveling – it’s important for us to balance out all our eating! We adored Britannia’s sleek, state-of-the-art gym complete with free weights and a variety of workout machines. Hotel guests can also attend free group fitness classes like yoga, pilates, and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) classes. After all the excitement during the Michelin events, we were in desperate need of some R&R. If you’re looking to unwind, the Britannia Spa is truly an oasis of tranquility. Kaitlin had an aromatherapy massage with lavender oil, while Anders opted for a deep tissue massage. We both agreed it was one of the best massages we’ve ever had! Whether or not you’re receiving a treatment, all hotel guests have access to the pool, jacuzzi, and saunas in the spa.
Afternoon Tea in the Palm Court
The most magnificent room in the hotel is the Palm Court – the dining room has soaring ceilings, a skylight illuminated with stars, and a plethora of palm trees. Here you can enjoy the breakfast buffet, as well as high tea in the afternoon. We sipped on a cup of the signature Earl Grey tea and a glass of Britannia’s signature Ayala champagne (which is rosy in color and fruity in taste). We snacked on knekkebrød (crispbread) with löjrom, king crab salad on brioche, as well as scones with Røros cream and housemade raspberry jam, and cakes from pastry chef Cathrine Nilsen, who was formerly on the Norwegian National Pastry team. Live piano music sets a wonderful and relaxing mood – we especially loved some of the Broadway show tunes!
Cocktails in the Britannia Bar
You’d be remiss not to partake in a cocktail in the timeless Britannia Bar. The hotel’s head bartender, Øyvind Lindgjerdet, has crafted a menu of signature drinks inspired by fun historical stories. For example, “The Journey” cocktail tells the story of a barrel of aquavit that embarked on a voyage from Trondheim to Indonesia. During the two years on the boat, the aquavit’s character changed considerably, due to the different conditions it experienced while crossing the equator twice. The Linie (Line) aquavit is named for its unique history, and is still made using the same aging method today. “The Journey” is a spin on an old-fashioned, served from a glass bottle with a replica of the ship inside it. Another favorite of ours was the fresh and juicy “Origins” cocktail, made of apple cider, gin, champagne, and chartreuse.
Speilsalen – Michelin-Starred Dining at the Britannia
The crown jewel of Britannia’s restaurant concepts is Speilsalen (“The Mirror Hall”), the fine dining restaurant helmed by Bocuse D’Or silver medalist Chef Christopher Davidsen, with Norwegian sommelier champion Henrik Dahl Jahnsen in charge of the wine. Speilsalen received one Michelin star during the Nordic launch in Trondheim in 2020, despite only being open for seven months! Watching Chef Davidsen jump for joy on stage was one of the most exciting moments of the week. We were really impressed by how far the restaurant has come since our first visit in May of ’19. A few meal highlights included a braided brioche bun topped with black truffle and lardo, a “pølse” (hot dog) made of king crab, and sourdough waffles served with house-cured ham, smoked cod remoulade, and caviar.
We can’t wait to return to the Britannia Hotel! Wanna stay here too? Make your booking using our booking.com affiliate link. At no extra cost to you, we receive a small commission that helps us to continue writing reviews like this and giving you our best recommendations for free. Thanks!
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Anders Husa & Kaitlin Orr