ioD 99 member Yasemen Kaner-White explains what not to miss on your next business trip to the Nordics…
Having never been to the Nordics, my recent trip to Norway and Sweden was littered with nice surprises and there wasn’t a northern light in sight, this region certainly has much to offer in-between your business meetings.
With international hotel group; Radisson, having heavily invested in their Nordic portfolio (they have the largest hotel presence in the area), it made sense to book in with them, not to mention logistically the hotels could not be beaten. With Norway famous for its fish, the culinary curious should add local staples such as roe on waffles and a dollop of sour cream, cod, halibut, wolffish and coalfish done in various ways; most of the salmon is exported to the Japanese but its available of course. For the meat eaters, whale, reindeer and lean elk is a must. If you have a sweet tooth, walk down to the quaint Akerbrygge Harbour and find a bakery selling fresh ‘bolle’ (think hot cross bun without the cross).
If you want to impress a colleague or potential business partner with outstanding Oslo birds-eye views and memorable mouth-watering dishes, take them for the tasting menu meal at 34 Restaurant & Bar. Walk it all off with a meander around impressive Vigeland Sculpture Park, where human emotion is carved within timeless granite, bronze and wrought iron statues. If work takes you to terrific Tromso, you are in for a treat, opt for a team building exercise and take a tour on a RIB (raised inflated boat) spotting seals along the way. Then dine with a personal touch and quirky alternative, aboard the MS Bjornvag boat. Each dish is served by the couple who founded the restaurant; food steeped in coastal tradition and culture – using only the freshest ingredients and served up with a story, for instance, in the 1970’s Norway sent dried fish to Nigeria to help the famished and now Nigeria imports the most salted Norwegian fish. Sami (nomadic local tribe) cuisine can be sampled, for example dried and salted fish and roe. If you’re there during summer, get a cable car to the top of the mountain to see the awe-inspiring midnight sun.
If you can, squeeze in a trip to the Arctic Church and Polar Museum before feasting on the famous tako pizza at Yonas Pizzeria & Catering (don’t expect tacos)! Even a short Sweden trip should fit in a Fika (coffee and cake break) and the cake in question must definitely be a ‘princess cake’ delicious light sponge, ample of fresh cream, jam – all enrobed in fluorescent green marzipan, named after Princess Margaretha of Sweden. Frisk serves the best Skagen toast - meaty prawns and roe on a buttered toast, with fresh dill. Stroll along by the water to the famed Fotograiska Museum, open late with a huge café serving delicious local cardamom sticky buns and a live DJ to cater for partygoers looking for a fun spot. Sweden is known for its islands and Djurgarden is the greenest, home to the Vasamuseet (oldest restored ship in the world – 17th Century) and more importantly to some, the Abba Museum!
Related reads: Yasemen's previous IoD 99 blog on self-publishing your passion
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For more information on my trip with Radisson Blu: