Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel – one of my faves of all the hotels over all the years – features 15 cute, white rooms, an on-site restaurant serving up appetising Nordic cuisine, and a welcoming owner who really is living out his picket-fenced dream – and inviting you to be a part of it.
Do people still harbour the ‘white, picket-fence house’ dream from the 1950s or whenever? Pretty sure for my friends (in Sydney at least), it has been downsized to the ‘owning real estate at all’ dream. Either way, if you’re not there yet, you should consider finding a homely, white hotel in which to live out these fantasies – even if for a little while. Like, perhaps one that hangs over the water in the fjords of Western Norway, that has a bright, window-encased sitting room with little book stacks on the sills.
Charming Communal Spaces
I couldn’t stop gushing at the front sitting room, with it’s large windows that keep the fjord in view, cosy chairs and scattered stacks of books – this is, after all, book town! Of an evening, prior to dinner, the owner gathers the hotel guests together and chats about the hotel, as well as Fjaerland and some of the history of the area. It makes for an intimate and friendly stay. It is he and his wife who curated the lovely, old-world interiors. The first thing they did upon purchasing the building was paint the interior and exterior white, based on the dream of owning a white hotel. Another feature is artworks depicting the surrounding nature and old maps.
Nordic Cuisine at the In-House Restaurant
The outstanding restaurant on-site leaves you with little reason to leave the hotel looking for a meal. The Nordic cuisine (which at the time had an Australian head chef) utilises fresh and local ingredients. The owner, Bård Huseby, actually works on a research project at University to do with food sustainability in Norway, so he is passionate about sourcing the best ingredients and it shows in the food dished up here. They also catered to our vegetarian tastes. We devoured the seasonal root vegetables, burnt broccoli, smoked cheese and honey dish as well as the sublime brown butter ice-cream with apple and hazelnuts! And if you do have more carnivore-leaning tastes, there was also wild deer on the menu. We also couldn’t resist the wine list comprising of drops from Bordeaux in France. It’s a good idea to book ahead, even if you are not staying with them (and especially if you have specific food requirements), as they tend to fill up nightly.
You’ll notice the white balcony of the Fjordstue from the ferry as you dock in Fjærland. It makes you eager to perch above the water and watch the nature rising upward, preferably with a drink in hand (we recommend the home brew!). It feels strange to say that this is a small town, given the scale of the enormous mountains that surround you, and the almost incomprehensibly huge Jostedalsbreen Glacier nearby. And while you can get active and hike or kayak or visit the glacier (more about that in this previous Fjærland post), it is also a nice spot to s l o w d o w n and just wander the bookstores or curl up by the window and daydream.
Scandi Minimalist Rooms
I booked one night, then later thought ‘who the hell am I kidding? It’s a book town in the mountains!‘ and booked a second. For that reason, we got to try two different rooms in the hotel, both of which were clean, bright, cosy and super cool – in that Scandi-meets-Japanese minimalist way. The white walls and wooden paneling was fresh, but the signature touches were the textures that brought in the comfy element – a knitted cushion or faux fur throw for the chair, or light, linen curtains framing the window. Simple and stylish.
A stay here really is the stuff of dreams. I’d happily wake up to jam-covered waffles and a fjord view any day of the year. It kind of brought back a longing for a picket-fence place of my own. Nah, I’ll just come back and visit this one as often as I can.
A few things to note – there is a gorgeous, library-themed room that appeals to the literary nerd who also loves interiors (me!), but it was booked out when I was heading there – next time it’s totally mine! Also, the hotel is open every day from May to September, and only by request during the colder months – don’t forget it’s right near a huge glacier, so the area is covered in snow outside of the spring and summer period.
Want more? Check out Fjærland: Norway’s book town deep in the fjords
Have you stayed in a dreamy hotel? Let me know about it in the comments below!
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