The national TV personality Arne Hjeltnes shares with you his favourite Stavanger spots.
Places to stay
Eilert Smith Hotel
This elegant boutique hotel has only twelve rooms. The rooms are all different, but equal in terms of comfort and design. The hotel is named after the Stavanger architect Eilert Smith, the original architect of the building when designed in 1937. In more recent times, it was the architect Pål Trodahl who was responsible for the modernising and restoration of the building and repurposing it into a hotel. Always with the historical legacy in mind. On the ground floor of the hotel is the Michelin restaurant RE-NAA. A high-quality building on all levels so to speak.
The world’s most chipper chocolatier, educated in France, is Asle, who runs the exceptional chocolate factory in the middle of the city, perfect for all of us who find that everyday life is just a tiny bit better with a mouthful of chocolate. Or two. Asle and his team make their own confectionery, chocolate figurines, chocolate spreads, homemade ice cream, jams, macaroons and much more. From the shop, you can peek into the production area where all the treats are made.
Stavanger Ysteri and Litlestøl
Every city should have its own cheesemaker. Lise Brunborg has taken care of this in Stavanger. You can find her cheese at Ostehuset Øst, at the butcher’s shop Idsøe in the city, or the Ullandhaug Økologiske (organic) farm. Together with the luscious marmalade by Eva Gill, owner of Litlestøl, it’s simply the taste of Stavanger for many of us. The two merchants often travel together promoting their produce. Complementary in taste indeed.
Only one restaurant in Norway has two stars (although there’s is one with three stars!) in the Guide Michelin Nordic and they belong to Sven Erik Renaa’s creation in Stavanger. In 2016, this was the first restaurant exempt for the capital Oslo with one star, and since this, they have attained one more. We full well know that not everyone bases their restaurant visits on the French culinary guide, nonetheless, it’s been important for Stavanger as a food destination. “Simple perfection” is Sven Erik and his team’s motivation. Food enthusiasts from all over the world travel to his restaurant at the waterfront in Stavanger to experience the 22-course tasting menu based solely on local ingredients.
As mentioned previously, Sven Erik and Torill are behind a number of eateries in the city. A classic I always have to visit is Matbaren. A French-inspired bistro who inspired the national food critic Erik Fosnes-Hansen to write “ecstatic in Stavanger”. Better than in France, he also claimed. I can vouch for this. The mouth-watering dishes and the excellent atmosphere here will put you in good mood.