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Eat & drink

...authentic atmosphere, local flavours, outright excellence

Blåmann Restaurant and Bar. (Expensive). Blåmann sits in a big wooden shed of a building by the river, domi- nated inside by an enormous island bar (with drinks list sized to match). The menu is mainly trendy pan-global favour- ites (heavy on the Mexican), but also has some interesting Norwegian specialities. Pan-fried whale steaks (yes, really) come with fried onions and cream sauce. Probably more acceptable is mountain trout simmered in sour cream with pick- led cucumber and boiled potatoes (good), or reindeer fillet marinated in red wine and cowberries. Lille Blå café adjoins.

Blåmann Restaurant & Bar, Lilletorvet 1, N- 2615 Lillehammer, Norway

Booking: t (+47) 6126 2203

Café Banken, Kirkegata 41, N-2609 Lilleham- mer, Norway

Booking: t (+47) 6125 0030

Lundegården Brasserie and Bar. (Expensive). One of the best choices in town if you’re looking for somewhere a little special. Adjacent to the Hotel Ham- mer and a short walk from the centre, the Lundegården specialises in grilled Scandi- navian meat and fish. In keeping with the ambition of the kitchen, the restaurant’s interior is also one of the town’s most elegant—huge round linen-clad tables, cut glass drinkware, and sober traditional panelled wood walls (but big shop win- dows to the street keep things light and airy). Closed Sun, Mon and lunch. Reservations advised.

Bryggerikjelleren. (Expensive). Housed in the starkly minimalist cellar of an old brewery, the Bryggerikjelleren has for a long time been one of the most popular eating places in town—thanks chiefly to the reputation of its hearty steaks and other solid Norwegian meat dishes. Food evenings only.

Bryggerikjelleren, Elvegata 19, N-2609 Lilleham- mer, Norway

Booking: t (+47) 6127 0666

Café Banken (Expensive). Very handy for the station, this restaurant-café-lounge qualifies as Lillehammer’s coolest spot. Hidden away in part of a rather grand former bank, dining takes place in an imposing, high-ceilinged chamber of pa- trician proportions. The room is set with a mix of restaurant tables, lounging sofas, and grand piano in one corner; art exhibi- tions are suspended from the walls.

Lundegården Brasserie and Bar, Storgata 108A, N-2602 Lillehammer, Norway

Booking: t (+47) 6105 7830

Nikkers Spiseri (Mid price). The rear end of an elk protruding into the street hints that this is probably not the most straight-laced place in town (the head is more conventionally mounted inside).

Popular mainly with twenty- somethings, plus a sprinkling of oldies, it’s good-humoured fun without being cheesy. A bar as much as a place to eat, the interior décor is by Valhalla—with roaring fire, communal wooden tables, rough plank floor and flowing beer. Straightforward bar food hails from Mex- ico via fairly much everywhere else in the world, and offers good value by Norwe- gian standards. A year-round heated ter- race overlooks the river.

Café Banken is popular with Lilleham- mer’s smarter twenty- and thirty- something crowd, who come to enjoy good-quality, light, modern Mediterra- nean bistro-fare and long get-togethers over drinks. Vegetarian options always available.

Nikkers Spiseri, Elvegata 19, Lillehammer, Nor- way

Booking: t (+47) 6127 0556

One Hand Clapping Café (Modest). Storgata’s Californian-style coffee-house does baked goodies and light lunches as

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well. Only limited seating inside. Closed Sunday.

One Hand Clapping Cafe, Storgata 80, Lille- hammer, Norway

Paa Bordet (Expensive). There’s lots of Norwegian foodie praise for this diminu- tive restaurant tucked into a backstreet amongst rather anonymous office build- ings. On stepping up to the little clap- board building, any concerns over the surroundings are quickly put aside. Within lies a simple but charming dining room with just a handful of tables, each laid with fine linen. Muted modern ab- stracts hang on the walls.

A short, limited-choice menu varies daily, and combines contemporary pres- entation and classical rigour. The kitchen repertoire works around classic Scandina- vian ingredients, adding sun-filled Medi- terranean flourishes along the way. Reser- vations required. Open Fri and Sat evenings only.

Paa Bordet, Bryggerigata 70, N-2609 Lilleham- mer, Norway

Booking: t (+47) 6125 3000

Toppen Bar. Occupying the top floor of an old grain silo—now converted into the Mølla Hotel, the Toppen Bar special- ises in panoramic drinking, with views over the whole town and across Lake Mjøsa. Popular, usually a squeeze, and often seriously rowdy later on. Open to 02:00.

Mølla Hotel, Elvegata 12, Lillehammer, N-2609 Norway

Restaurant prices: Budget: below £5, Modest: £5- £10, Mid Price: £10-£15, Expensive: £15-25, Pre- mium: £25+; prices are for typical main course at dinner. Prices are for guidance only, please check locally for further details.

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