My regular readers knows my American wife some times share about Norway from her prospectives. So again I proudly say: The floor is yours my dear:

Diane here, giving her unusual slant on life in Norway for the rest of the world. Sunday I enjoyed one of my annual traditions with my girlfriends. Each year in early December we make our annual trip to Løiten distillery for a one of a kind shopping extravaganza!! As true shopping connoisseurs our trip to this historic place is one of our favorite rituals. The trip by car takes a little over two hours, and we always bring along coffee in a thermos and stop on the way to pick up fresh backed Scandinavian sweet rolls called ‘boller’. The trip gives us time to catch up on what is going on in everybody’s life, the family, the kids, and of course a bit of gossip ;-) But let’s get on with the tour, shall we!

Click for more at PhotobucketFrom as early as 1856 Løiten Distillery produced high quality aquavit. The word Aquavit (Aqua Vite) was borrowed from Medieval Latin aqua vītae, highly distilled spirits: Latin aqua, water; see aqua + Latin vītae, genitive of vīta, life. Aquavit, like vodka, is distilled from either potato or grain. It is flavored with herbs such as caraway seeds, anise, dill, fennel, coriander, and grains of paradise. The recipe and flavors differ between brands, and is top secret for each producer, but typically caraway is the dominating flavor. Aquavit usually has a yellowish hue, but can vary from clear to light brown, depending on how long it has been aged in oak casks. This drink is traditional to have along side Christmas foods and heavy meals, especially including pork or lamb.

Modern technology has resulted in much of the production being moved to new buildings with more modern distillery equipment, but the old buildings have been well preserved in all their grace and charm and used to now house Norway’s largest candle factory.

More at at Photobucket

Løiten Candles have a display room covering almost 3000 m² with stylish displays you won’t soon forget. They are set up by a team of interior designers and have us all ooohing and aaaahing the whole day through, one room more fabulous than the other. They produce high quality candles with long burning time in the most incredible forms and colors, and stock a breathtaking collection of candle holders, home decoration, and at Christmas time, the most incredible and imaginative ornaments you will ever see. We always fill up our wicker baskets (instead of wagons) with candles and decoration to our homes and to give away as gifts.
I took a lot of pics and Renny made a movee again, to give you an idea of what we saw:

When we are good and tired we take our annual Christmas lunch at the traditional Norwegian Christmas buffet while we empty our baskets and admire each others selections. We never make our final purchase before this important ritual, because after we are rested and our tummies are full we go back and make changes and new selections before paying our bill.

Happy and all shopped out we take another coffee before heading home, talking about our purchases and looking forward to Christmas when we will deck our tables with the finest of style and our families will oooohhh and ahhh and think; we have the best mom in the whole wide world…. Or at least that’s how our dreams usually go :-) Reality may be a bit different! But it will definitely be pretty!!


  1. My words and your artistic composition…we do make beautiful music (and bloggs) together! Good Job!!

    Yea, I think we’re making a smashing good team my dear and you are the conductor that make it comes out so well you know (in my life too :-)

  2. Ah, lovely! Now I’ve been xmas shopping with my eyes again! Haven’t got to it in the reality yet, don’t quite get the feeling for it when it’s raining like this… *giggles*

    Can I spot a bit of snow outside that windows? Really? Or is is Santa’s elf’s throwing some snow powder in my eyes? *giggles*

    The Aquavit yes, we have tasted that one and it got approved by me too ;-)

    Thank kind of shopping is much less expensive too!
    Although I love Santa’s elf’s, I can tell you it was a tiny bit of snow, but not outside our windows :-(
    I do hope you and your husband can share a bottle of Aquavit one day!!

  3. wow, it looks like such an elegant tour there. thanks for sharing the history and the lovely pictures.

    Good to see you Lime and yea it was elegant – glad you like it!

  4. WOW! What a gorgeous place with so very many BEAUTIFUL things…I would have a very hard time choosing…I think I would want one-of-each….(LOL)
    Beautiful pictures and really intriguing gifts…like, One For You, And One For Me! This place would really stretch my pocket book….!

    Yea, one of my fav at Christmas time and almost impossible to choose :-)
    Glad you liked the pics – all for You!

  5. Aquavit is just for landing under the table if you don’t watch it, it’s terribly strong. The pictures are beautiful !

    Yea, and in Norway they say: The last one under, bring the bottle LoL
    Thanks !

  6. so that’s Christmas in Norway, eh? i better post pictures about the same here in this part of the world

    I guess it is – all over the world:-)
    Please do and keep us posted!

  7. Sound like a really fun trip! Great photographs.
    Might put even an Ebenezer-Scrooge-bah-humbug-Christmas-phobe like me in the mood for Christmas! :-)

    Good to see you DianeCA :-)
    LoL – glad to set you in some kind of Yule Mode then ;-)

  8. I adore candles so it would be a real treat to see a place like that. It looks wonderful. I would have to pass on the aquavit though. I couldn’t manage that at all. Interesting that it’s derived from the words water of life – as is whiskey (and whisky) both from the Gaelic uisce bheatha. I wonder how many other alcohols are considered to be life giving! :)

    Glad you liked it A.
    The Aquavit is fine if you take it in moderate portions. Didn’t know that goes for whiskey too – thanks for sharing.
    Anny others know anything about it?

  9. Yuletide Season! What a great feeling to look at them! I love the candles and everything, you took me to a short travel here with you :)

    Thanx for inviting me Renny! I bet you guys are so busy now preparing for the holidays,and so am I :)

    have a great day, Renny and Diane!

    Glad you got the spirit and liked what you saw :-)
    Your welcome and thanks for coming. Yea, we are busy, buts its nice too you know.
    Wish you a good one too!

  10. What a lovely visit, you ladies really know how to have a great time together: eating, drinking, talking, shopping! What heaven! Thanks for sharing the fun.

    That’s right; it was heavenly good and it great to share it to you know.

  11. Sounds like a lovely time with friends :)

    Did you buy me anything ??!!

    It was, but I didn’t – send me your order next Xmas :)

    porca vacca Renny!
    have you a great duration!

    Glad you liked it and I know you have a lot of beautiful Xmas decorations in Italy too!
    Thanks and you too!

  13. How wonderful! It sounds like such a fun time. Next time you come home, Diane, we should arrange to meet up. After all NH is not too far from where your family lives.
    Merry Christmas!!

    Thanks Maribeth, always great to see you. I do hope we can manage to meet one day (Renny loves bloggers meeting you know!) and hopefully you can pay us a visit one day too!
    Marry Christmas!!

  14. Løiten are selling their candles here in Trondheim as well. It is my daughter’s favourite store :-)

    I’ve been to Trondheim with Renny a couple of times, but did not know – thanks for the tips.

  15. nice candles! lovely colours. like those in cathedrals and palaces! :)

    and what a warm and cool Christmas décor! so fanciful and fairytale-like! :D

    Glad you liked it too and you’ve been travel around, so you’ve seen a lot!
    Yea, its kind of like a fairytale :D

  16. wow this is such an interesting post. coming from a tropical country, my idea of a Christmas-y atmosphere is just like that one in Norway. i also love candles and they do look good in those decorated rooms. they’re very nice! hope you and renny have a merry christmas this year :D

    Glad you found it interesting and I think one can have a Christmas-y atmosphere (although it might varies) all over the world.
    We wish you and your family a good one too Carlotta :D

  17. Hi Diane! We haven’t met yet but I got a troll from you guys ;-)

    It was a cool visit – I love the atmosphere from the pictures!
    I love candles… they warm up any room.

    Oh, by the way, just curious: do you speak fluent Norwegian? The language looks so hard to learn… and I learned Chinese! :lol:

    Hi Zhu, nice to meet you. Renny have told about you and your Troll price for winning on his blog ;-)
    Glad you liked it and I do agree and you know in Norway you can use it with effect for a longer time of the day in winter time.
    I pretty much do, yes (well Renny says I am doing very well). It was difficult, but living here for 8 years and with children in school helps a lot. Besides I have also studied for three year and now are working on a Masters program in Norwegian, so I feel pretty confident with it.
    I have a Chinese friend and to me it looks far more difficult :lol:

  18. After your visit at the Løiten Distillery I hope you take a cab back home or ask Renny to pick you up ! ;-)

    Don’t worry Sidney: we didn’t taste Aquavit on our trip, but we have a bottle at home – its a must for Yule food traditions in Norway you know ;-)

  19. Ohhh. I love it, Diane! I was in a similar shop in Los Angeles last year with my daughter’s future MIL and we oooohed and aaaahed the whole time ourselves. What a wonderful tradition!

    Thanks Ginnie, always good to see you!
    Good to know you can experience it in LA too then!

  20. i like what you and your girlfriends do. that would really be fun :)

    Your welcome to join us next year Tin-tin!

  21. Ooh…. aaahhh…. Wow! I would love to visit the candle factory! I’m sure I would make lots of purchases. They look simply gorgeous! Can’t wait to see your purchases.

    *putter around Diane*

    Hi ET, you really sounds like a girl who could fit in to our group – welcome with next year!

  22. well written, diane!

    I would want to go shoping with your wife :D

    Thanks Duke! So your coming with next time too? :D

  23. nope i’ve nvr had the chance to travel. financial restrictions. :(

    Soooo sorry Kyh, as I mixed you up with some else. Good to know you can travel around in blogsphere then – even to Norway:-)

  24. Very exotic! Love the pics too…seems ready for a very festive Holiday season there. :-)

    Thanks Shantanu – as exotic as India is to us I guess :-)

  25. I’m sure you really are the best mom in the world, Diane. :)
    Beautiful pictures – I’m glad you had such a fun trip! Aquavit sounds really really good! :D

    Thanks Lisa – I needed to hear that :)
    Glad you like the pics too – you know Renny always shows your photo blog and I think your such a great photographer!
    What about a Yule Aquavit Girl Friends Party – are you game?

  26. What delight it was reading this post, Diane. Then again, I must also admit to being very biased.

    Just thought I’d drop in and deliver this card. I found in my in-box and it had this address on it. How the heck it got misplaced into my in-box is well beyond me…
    Please tell Santa’s elves that it was delivered to its correct destination if you will be so kind. I certainly don’t want them to be upset for the holiday season.

    Holiday Hugs to All..!

    Thanks for your compliments Saboma!
    The card was just lovely – thanks for sharing :-)
    Holiday Hugs back from us..!

  27. I love all of the candles and shopping. I think I’ve forgotten what that is. Of course it is fun to dream! Great post Diane.

    Thanks for your compliments ET – glad I could remind you then :D

  28. Renny,
    what a combination: Aquavit and candles. Where is the “Rakefisk”?
    (PS. Just a very short comment – we are only allowed to use the PC for a couple of minutes here at the hotel – people waiting U know….

    Back in Oslo Sunday evening
    hugs Anna and Tor

    The main part, Rakfisk, comes later this Yuletide:-)
    Thanks for the visit and also for taking your time to share some of your adventures on your blog already – looking forward to the pics and more details when you get home – welcome back to Norway!
    Hugs from me and Renny :D

  29. Renny:
    Though it really isn’t very orthodox, in my family we have come to ring in the new year with what some think is a bizarre meal. Years ago it was introduced to us by some Korean friends, who (fortunately for their carpet!) didn’t tell us what we were eating until sometime the next day. (Brace yourself!) We had never eaten dog before, but I must tell you that it is one of the most tasty treats that one could ever imagine. I KNOW it sounds awful, and it took us another year to get used to the idea, but when you think about it, it’s not really much different from any other animal. That’s been several years back, but we now celebrate the New Year in this way (though this is one of the first times I’ve ever gotten up the nerve to tell anyone). If anyone wants the recipe (at least the one that we use), let me know, and I’ll post it (or send it to you).

    Renny, you’re the adventuresome type, so I suspect that you might give this a try sometime. Or maybe you already have! I suspect we’ve all eaten a lot of things that we don’t know about (and maybe it’s better we don’t!).

    Happy New Year, everyone! And thanks, Renny, for having your own little community where we can all spend some time.

  30. Pretty pictures :).

    My parents drink aquavit to lutefisk, I’ve smelled and tasted it, but it’s not my thing, haha. But then again, I’m just 15 (soon to be 16). I’ll probably like it when I grow older:)

    Have a nice weekend:D

    Thanks Jane!
    I’m glad your parents (and not you!) use Aquavit when eating Lutefisk – like we do – and I hope you like the fish at least too :D

  31. Such beautiful photos and it’s wonderful to hear from you, Diane. Now I know all about aquavit. Is it something like the Italians and their lemoncello, a digestive?
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Thanks Lisa – always nice to see you!
    I don’t know lemoncello, but Aquavit really helps you digest the fat Yule food.
    Wish you a great one too!

  32. What a nice ritual before Christmas! I enjoy you found so beautiful things to decorate the house for Christmas! I’d like to taste this aquavit! I’m sure it’s an excellent way to be in form after!

    I knew you would love it Claudie – I hope one day you can join us too! and then dinner at our place with Aquavit for you to try yourself :D

  33. Nice holiday tradition! how lucky I am I was taken along through your pictures and post as I avoid our crowded stores! love to see Xmas decorations. And now pls excuse me, I got inspired by your post to add a few more ornaments to our dinner table, we are having guests in two hours :)

    Thanks for the compliments Mar – glad you like it this way too and that I could give you some decorations inspiration – I’m sure the dinner will be great :)

  34. Sounds like great fun! You can’t go wrong with Aquavit and candles ;-)

  35. Wow Great site guys, I am trying to get my girlfriend to join in the fun with blogging and your site is a prime example of why we should do it, or start another blog anyway.

    Thanks and how nice to see new visitors. Hope this can inspire your gf to contribute too. I, myself, think its great fun (if I don’t have to do it too often).
    Welcome back for more inspiration!

  36. Hi, thanks for stopping by at my blog. You asked for information about the scrollbox: here is a post with simple instructions. Enjoy.

    Your welcome and thanks for stopping by mine too – always great to see new readers!
    Thanks for the tips – I think I’ve manage fine.

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