Trondheim - Norway



Britannia Hotel

A vibrant, warm and lovingly restored beauty

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The bounty of Trondheim’s salmon rivers attracted British anglers to the region towards the end of the 19th century. Hotel Britannia opened its doors to this discerning group of travellers in 1870, in a style to which the guests were accustomed, but unlikely to expect in a location so far off the beaten track.

The contrast between the untamed natural environments surrounding the area, and the hotel experience, so carefully curated to please all the senses, is no less striking today.

And still, a profound connection to its surrounding nature makes the hotel so much more than hardwood floors and chandeliers. Among its management, reception and kitchens you will find keen outdoors people who know exactly the best spot for fishing, foraging or simply exploring. If you like your fine dining in the wild, that can certainly be arranged.

Britannia Hotel 2

The contrast between the untamed natural environments surrounding the area, and the hotel experience, so carefully curated to please all the senses, is no less striking today.

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Because luxury is not a thing but a feeling, the people of Britannia recognise the particular needs of their guests and consider them important on a personal level. The atmosphere is confident and relaxed, and the genuine concern for people’s comfort and well being is palpable.

After all, Trondheim has been welcoming weary travellers for almost a thousand years as the most northern pilgrim destination in Europe. While the pilgrim trails across Europe – Santiago de Compostela, Canterbury, Lourdes – are crowded, the paths to Nidaros, the most Northern of the medieval cathedrals, remain largely a hidden treasure. Walking along the authentic trails, for spiritual reasons or simply to enjoy the beautiful magnificence of nature itself, can be a deeply personal, even transformative, experience.

Whether you arrive in the actual footsteps of St Olaf, or by more mundane transportation, you will notice that a thousand years of hospitality has rendered an instinct for making visitors feel welcome and cared for, an indelible part of the generous Trondheim culture.

The original Britannia guests wanted their afternoon tea, and to supper in the French style after long days outdoors. The hotel remains true to this heritage. In the exquisitely restored hall of mirrors, the techniques of French cuisine still form the backbone of the fine dining experience. Nevertheless, Chef Christopher Davidsen of Bocuse d’Or fame, has brought a decidedly Nordic flavour to his Speilsalen restaurant, in itself worthy of a different kind of pilgrimage.

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Taking advantage of local and Scandinavian produce, inspired by the light of the Nordics, by ice and snow covered landscapes, this kitchen conjures up foods and flavours to surprise, challenge and delight. All the while, keeping it honest and true to the goal of bringing out the best possible tastes.

This respectful kind of reinterpretation of its rich history is found all across the hotel, its restaurants and bar.

The Bistro with its informal, jazzy vibe is a lovely place to drop by for a quick croques, but also lends itself to hour long meals and conversations. You may go for classic moules steamed in white wine, or perhaps treat the fabulous Åfjord moules to P.A. Clausen ale instead. The brew is named after the gentleman responsible for the iconic Britannia façade and brewed locally for the hotel.

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The grill Jonathan, named after an annual ritual involving a pike and a baptism (ask any local, and they will tell you the full story) is perhaps the hotel’s most laidback alternative. But don’t let the relaxed ambience fool you. The uncompromising commitment to quality and craftsmanship is just as strong as anywhere in the hotel. In this cozy nook you will find tender meats from local farms, all kinds of local seafood, everything paired with surprising wines that turn out to be just right. Not to mention the cheese tagliatelle, as comforting as a mother’s lap.

Had you expected a certain coolness in its efficient professionalism, or an almost intimidating level of perfection from the extreme attention to detail, you will find that just like marble, hotel Britannia is surprisingly warm to the touch.

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