“The beautiful thing about Bergen is it doesn’t matter what time of year that you get here, there’s always something charming and quaint about it,” said T-Michael, a designer, tailor and worldly aesthete who has resided in this rainy Norwegian city for more than two decades.
Nestled amid the snowcapped mountains and glacial fjords of western Norway, the cloistered coastal city is often associated with its inclement climate. But you wouldn’t know it upon meeting the designer, impeccably dressed in a men’s wear kimono of his own design and a cashmere-lined poncho from the rainwear label he co-founded, Norwegian Rain. Embracing the outdoorsy local spirit, the Ghanaian-born sartorialist says his adopted hometown is best admired from atop Mount Floyen, one of several surrounding peaks. “When it’s wet and raining, there’s something melancholic about it,” he said, before sharing five favorite haunts in Norway’s compact second city.
“For pizzas and oysters,” T-Michael goes to this hip, hole-in-the-wall pizzeria, which opened in early 2018. “The wine selection is brilliant, and I like that it’s quite toned-down. There’s nothing fancy about it.” His go-to order here is the white pizza with local cheeses, which is best “punched up slightly with chilies for some fire.”
Nygardsgaten 29; facebook.com/Hoggormpizza
This artist collective and gallery space is “the new spot for art and creativity in Bergen,” he said. “They have a wood and metal workshop for artists to come in and utilize to create their pieces. And there’s a gallery downstairs, which showcases new pieces. As much as I can, I like to drop by and check it out.”
C. Sundtsgate 55; aldea.art
3. Bors Bar
A favorite spot for cocktails is hidden within a 19th-century brick building that once housed the stock exchange and is now the elegant Bors Hotel, which opened in 2017. “They’ve got this really old-school interior,” T-Michael said of the mirror-walled bar. “It’s a beautiful spot to sit and have a drink, but not a lot of people know about it. Sit there, soak in the atmosphere, have a negroni and just chill.”
Vagsallmenningen 1; bergenbors.no/en/stories/baren-pa-bergen-bors
“Apollon is different because it’s a record store and a bar as well,” he said of this beloved institution known for its live music and craft beer. “You can have a drink or just stroll around and have a look at their records. I recommend that you sit by the window and watch people go past on the street.”
Nygardsgaten 2A; apollon.no
A short walk from T-Michael’s showroom and atelier in downtown Bergen, this store carries “one of the best selections of clothing in Norway,” he said. “There’s a good story to how it started up as well,” he continued, explaining how a gift from Banksy (before the artist was famous) was later sold at auction by the owner to finance the shop, which stocks men’s and women’s wear. “The name of the store is Lot333, which is the lot for the piece that was sold at Sotheby’s.”
Kong Oscars Gate 18; lot333.no