Norway’s Royal Palace

The Royal Palace in Oslo, Norway

The Royal Palace (Det kongelige slott) sits atop Karl Johans gate in Oslo and has been the primary residence of the royal family of Norway since its completion in 1849. It is also where foreign heads of state stay when they visit Oslo for official business. In front of the Palace is a statue of Karl Johan, who reigned as King of Sweden and Norway from 1818 until his death in 1844.

Four different flags fly over the Royal Palace

The building is in neo-classical style and is relatively small and simple for European standards. During the summer, guided tours of several important state rooms are offered to the public. This includes the Bird Room (where visitors wait to be received by the King), Mirror Hall (where Queen Maud once played piano for her friends), and the Banqueting Hall (where the royal family holds grand festivities).

If you are planning on visiting Oslo in July and August, going on a guided tour of the Royal Palace is definitely worthwhile because it will let you see how different Norway’s royals are from their European counterparts. Make sure you book ahead of time on Ticketmaster as few tickets are available on-site. I also recommend coming at 1:30 PM for the changing of the guards and setting aside some time after the tour to venture around the surrounding Royal Palace Park, which features small lakes, sculptures, and a picturesque view of Karl Johans gate.

The changing of the guards at the Royal Palace in Oslo, Norway

Have a nice week ahead! 🙂

XOXO HONG PHUC

The Polo Bar

It is no secret that I love Ralph Lauren, so it should be no surprise that I took the opportunity to dine at The Polo Bar in New York City last month! 😉 The restaurant is, true to its name, decorated floor-to-ceiling with equestrian paintings and polo memorabilia that invoke the sporting lifestyle long synonymous with the brand. Combined with amber lighting, this creates an ambient atmosphere that is casual and intimate, yet undeniably elegant and refined.

Polo memorabilia at The Polo Bar

What truly stood out in the dining experience was the exceptional service. The waitstaff, naturally dressed in Ralph Lauren, did not hesitate to answer any questions we had and attended to our needs swiftly.

The Polo Bar menu

The Polo Bar bread and butter

The Polo Bar burger

If you are looking for a unique, unquestionably American dining experience, visit The Polo Bar (reservations recommended). Located in the heart of Manhattan, it is just minutes away from Central Park and Fifth Avenue.

XOXO HONG PHUC

Norwegian summer

Oslo prides itself on being a green city with many public parks and scenic walks along the fjord. Norwegians are renowned for their love of nature and their embrace of friluftsliv (“open-air living”), so hiking trails and forests are not far from the city centre.

Oslo city hall

Aker Brygge marina in Oslo

Being in Oslo in the summer can be challenging because even though the sun may be shining when you venture out, the weather may quickly change for the worse in minutes. Though the sun may not be out as often as in other parts of Europe or the US, you can still have a cosy time on cloudy days with blue skies – good for outdoor picnics and strolls along the river (but bring a jacket, just in case).

MAD and DNB buildings in Barcode Oslo

Barcode Oslo

If you are ever taking a walk along the fjord, be sure to stop by one of the Michelin star restaurants in Barcode for dinner! 😉 The up-and-coming neighbourhood is an Instagram hotspot (for its iconic architecture and design) and just a ten-minute walk to the National Opera House and Oslo Central Station.

Hope the sun is shining where you are! 🙂

XOXO HONG PHUC