No matter how many travel reports I read about Norway, almost all of them begin the same way: a photograph of a fjord and a man at the top, dangling his legs into a dizzying abyss above the sea. Is always. Almost always. Fjords fjords. You won’t get anywhere from them – if you come to Norway, then, of course, look at them … So much has been said and written about this that I decided not to pay special attention to it today. But today I will focus on something else. On the hotel Engo Gard! What is on the ancient island of Tjøme, 120 kilometers from Oslo.
Engo Gard is a small hotel, and very family run. And, firstly, family in a completely literal sense. And secondly – very simply homemade. You really feel at home there, with your family. Initially, it is simply such an ordinary rather family Norwegian cottage. Pleasant yellow houses, a red hangar, a wicker fence that does not allow cute sheep grazing right there in the district to trample on a smoothly cut lawn.
To be honest, I almost got lost the first time I got here. He kept winding and winding between the houses … Then, checking the sign, he turned onto a dead end road. This road – fortunately for me – ran into a gate with a sign “Engo”. Well, thank God!
I park and get out of the car. Not a soul around. I had to get my heavy suitcase out of the trunk myself and roll it along the paving stones to a two-story house, which I identified as a reception desk.
However, let’s digress for a while from my ordeals and dig a little into the past. Engo Gard was built in 1845, and already in the 20s it turned into a country hotel. Full board for tired residents of Oslo.
Since then, the atmosphere in Engo Gard has been like this – either serene, or … Well, look: the first people who caught my eye here were two strange-looking women: in white bathrobes and slippers. Returning to your room after a morning swim…
I took the famous full board! In this case, the price includes the following: breakfast, gastronomic dinner, brunch, afternoon tea with sweets. And each time the meal takes place in a new place: brunch on the open terrace, tea in the library. As a result, the guests, who in the rest of the time almost do not catch each other’s eyes, suddenly find themselves together on sofas and armchairs with blankets, around a large table lined with silver pyramids with marmalade and pastries. This is a very traditional family gathering. Gatherings at the grandmother’s in the country …
Bar with fireplace and restaurant separately. Stone first floor, wooden second. Typical, in fact, the structure for rural Norway. Utility hangar. The red triangle of the roof of this hangar rises above the rest of the houses, like the roof of a Protestant church in the Wild West. Large windows are carved into the wooden walls – from floor to ceiling. Through them, guests can enjoy the view of large torches freshly lit in the meadow, illuminating the entire territory of Engo Gard.
The Engo Gard restaurant is a bit awkward but very, very tasty food. Sea scallops, which are caught in the Trondheim area, river salmon, literally smoked right there (incredibly delicious!). And if you don’t want fish, then I recommend you a young lamb in that case. Four T-bone steaks are fanned out to the eater, coyly seducing him with their bewitching aroma! A ball of thick yogurt cream flaunts on a square mushroom honeycomb, and this masterpiece is crowned with a small candied carrot.
And then I realized that there are two reasons, at least two, for which I will come here more than once. The first is a rare feeling of comfort combined with solitude and tranquility. The second is food. Well, so that you completely understand what is at stake, I will say a few words, for example, about breakfast!
It all started with the most delicate homemade yogurt with lingonberries. Already Like (as they say on Facebook)! Next: an airy omelet that rose on a plate in an even glass. The omelet was served with two strips of bacon, so thin and brittle they looked more like sugar webs on a cake. And – clay pots on a separate table. It was a herring! Agree, an unexpected plot twist – herring for breakfast. Eight types of herring in different sauces – tomato, mustard, sour cream … For breakfast, do you hear?! However, it seems wild only for the first time, out of complete unaccustomedness. In fact, everything is very combined, and for breakfast it goes with a bang! Don’t believe? Check it out!