JENNY ECLAIR: VISIT NORWAY WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK

Camberwell comedian Jenny Eclair celebrates the arrival of spring and a way to experience Norway without breaking the bank

Hello spring! Hello bouncing yellow daffodil heads and Prosecco-style blossom! I’m back on the road and this leg of the tour sees the roadside colours change from grey to green as the trees get dressed again and daylight stretches beyond the M25.

Just before I got back on the gig wagon, The Old Man and I took a three-day jaunt to Oslo (any longer and we’d have had to re-mortgage the house). Norway is possibly the only place I’ve ever been on holiday without encountering the mere hint of a hangover – it’s simply too expensive to over-drink.

However, it is the best place in the world to eat breakfast, so make sure it’s included in your hotel deal and fill your (snow) boots before you set off for the day, because even a simple a sandwich-and-coffee lunch for two will set you back £40, while a decent burger and beer supper comes in at cool £100. Basically, think London prices and double them.

In Norway, a decent burger and beer supper comes in at cool £100. Basically, think London prices and double them

Ah, but the breakfasts. Over the past year I have been despairing of the dreary old full English, so what a joy to find my breakfast nirvana in downtown Oslo. Our hotel made its own crisp breads – multi-seeded, teeth-cracking heavy-duty crackers that you could tile a roof with and not feel a force 10 gale.

I love a good cracker, especially one you can load up with boiled eggs and smoked salmon, weird Norwegian brown cheese and strange foreign pickle. British hotels take note – more cheese and pickle at the breakfast table please, and if you can’t be bothered to make your own cracker biscuits then at least have the grace to supply some good quality roof tiles.

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For more Norwegian delights, look no further than Dulwich Picture Gallery, which is currently showing the work of Norwegian painter Nikolai Astrup and, as an added bonus, you can get a decent lunch in the café for half the price of the Oslo equivalent!

Meanwhile, in homage to the passing seasons, I continue to knock out landscapes on my iPad art app from the passenger seat of the tour wagon. And may I say that, while there are very few ‘views of the fjords’, my evening skies are really rather good!

In between shows, I have been fighting off various lurgies, including a particularly grim flu type thing that made me cough so much that I was forced, spluttering, to the chemist to try and find some expectorant to deal with the wretched thing.

I tell you, there are umpteen different types of cough medicine, from chesty to dry and tickly, but there is nothing on the shelves for those suffering from the tiresome middle-aged-lady-incontinence cough – the first person to bring Tenalyn to the market will make a fortune!

Finally, is it just me or has telly become rather good recently? My iPad is bulging with programmes I need to catch up on, many feature my tip for the next Bond, James Norton (War and Peace, Happy Valley), but I’m also loving The Great Interior Design Challenge on BBC2, mostly because of the number of dastardly crimes that are committed in the name of up-cycling. Watch it and weep, it’s brilliant!

jennyeclair.com