Lund’s grand and special place

Its posh interior tends to intimidate student passersby. Behind the regal facade, however, the Grand Hotel Restaurant has entertained guests from all walks of life in Lund and around the world–from the Dalai Lama to local high schoolers.

The Grand Hotel is one of the few buildings in Lund that can rival the cathedral’s prominence. A stone’s throw from the station, it’s an appropriate sight to greet Lund’s guests, who are many given the city’s university and notable businesses.

The dining room impresses upon entering, chandeliers hanging above a sea of impeccably arranged dining tables. Along one wall, guests can observe life on the busy Klostergatan street through large windows. Others absorb the evening sun in the restaurant’s veranda.

We talk inside a private party area, separated from the dining room by a wall of wine bottles contained by glass doors. “These bottles only represent about 5% of our collection. Our wine cellar is among the top five in Sweden”, said Paul Antagnoli, one of the restaurant’s sommeliers.

Like the wine, food is a serious matter here. The restaurant employs both an award-winning head chef in Martin Hansson, and a master of gastronomy in Robert Nilsson who likes to be called “Bobbo” by his coworkers.

“Since a year and a half ago, we’ve been using only organic ingredients grown locally. Engaging in this ecological practice is merely following the trend,” said Paul.

The popular dishes turn out to be modern takes on Scandinavian classics.

“We are famous for our Sten Broman whiskey meatballs and shrimp sandwich,” Paul added.

“This place makes fantastic mixed drinks, but I’ve also come here for dinner,” said Megan Kutzer, a Master’s student in ecology. “It was one of the best meals I’ve had in Lund. I ate boar meat, which was an uncommon experience.”

Despite its attractive qualities, though, this restaurant experience seems above what students would consider appropriate for typical leisure. Its bar experience might not match the liveliness of nation pubs, and the prices are not quite student-friendly. For a birthday dinner or special date, on the other hand, a better venue could not be had.

Whatever students decide, the Grand Hotel Restaurant is available for all occasions, and eagerly welcomes the Lund community as much as its most distinguished guests.

“We’ve served Kofi Annan, the Dalai Lama, and pop stars,” said Paul. “We also host a student choir that comes here every week after their rehearsals, and countless birthdays for Lund locals. The whole spectrum of life is reflected here.”

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