Norway Visit to Hungary
Bailliage of Bergen
Budapest, September 28-30, 2017
Bergen members participate in Hungary's Grand Chapitre

Bergen is a city of trade with Bergen merchants travelling extensively selling fish and buying interesting products. The result is that Norwegians, especially from Bergen, love to travel.

Traditionally Bailliage members are invited to participate in a noteworthy event each year with the particular goal of sampling the cuisine and enjoying the local beverages. Hungary’s Grand Chapitre was the event chosen for 2017.

So it was that a party of nine (one of whom came from Trondheim) were in Budapest to join in the Thursday evening Welcoming Dinner-Cruise on the River Danube. Aboard the ship we had magnificent night views of the city’s two halves, Buda and Pest, including the spectacular Hungarian Parliament which we were told is the third largest in the world.

On the Friday we decided to stray from the official programme and visit the famous Onyx Restaurant for Hungarian cuisine at its best. In our experience, Onyx must be very close to its second Michelin star!

Saturday saw us taking the organised “Taste of Budapest” sightseeing tour which included a visit to the 100-year old market hall and St Stephens Cathedral. Lunch at Budapest Bisztro had an interesting twist. The dessert wine, Tokay Aszú 5 Puttonyos was served for ladies whilst Günczi Palinka was for the men. Lucky me, I tasted both!

The main event in the evening began with the Induction Ceremony in the wonderful Corinthia Hotel. Our new member, Tove Hundseth, was honoured to be one of those receiving her Chaîne regalia. I had the honour of putting the ribbon around her neck. It was a dignified moment.

The Jeunes Sommeliers Competition Award Ceremony followed. The young men and women had all shown great skills. Naturally we took special interest in the Norwegian competitor, Henrik Dahl Jahnsen, from Bølgen & Moi, Ny‐Hellesund in Søgne, who was honoured and despite not having made the Final was nevertheless pleased with his performance as well as having enjoyed the competition programme very much.

A glass of champagne was enjoyed starting the fabulous Gala Dinner at Corinthia Hotel. The room was very nicely decorated and all of the dishes were based on different film themes: “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “A river runs through it”, “The Philadelphia Story”, “Julia and Julia”, leading to the dessert represented by “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” - of course! The accompanying wines were superb. Imagine Champagne partnered with a gold sorbet … sublime indeed.

After the wonderful menu coffee, sweets and Scotch Malt Whisky, Cognac and various Hungarian Palinkas were served.

Our visit to the Hungarian Grand Chapitre was much enjoyed. We headed home with happy smiles, longing to return to wonderful Budapest.

Vive la Chaîne!

Bjarte Askeland