(2 May 2014) When spring and summer beckon in Sweden, the minds of wealthy locals, families and couples turn to Skåne, in the country’s sweeping south. Known as the ‘breadbasket of Sweden’, where much of the nation’s produce is grown, Skåne encompasses long, sandy beaches, rolling countryside, and the cosmopolitan port city of Malmö. 2014 sees Skåne continue to make its mark as a foodie hotspot, with some excellent new craft breweries to explore and some exciting new restaurants.
Food and drink
Meet the new breed of Swedish craft brewers
Long known as breadbasket of Sweden, Skåne is becoming increasingly well regarded for its beer and wine production too. Helsingborgs bryggeri (beer brewery) is a new local favourite run by two beer enthusiasts, who decided to re-open the old Helsingborg brewery (founded in 1850, and closed in 1967). Their ethos - to produce great beer by using the best raw materials and treating them with the utmost respect while staying true to old Skåne beer brewing culture – has served them well, with the pair winning ‘Best Pale Lager’ award for their first beer at the Gothenburg Beer Festival. Guided tours are available in English on Saturdays from SEK 250 (around £25) per person.
Join the Absolut Vodka tour
It’s a little known fact that Skåne is home to one of the world’s best known alcohol brands, Absolut Vodka. Rather than purchase raw neutral spirits (a common practice for many manufacturers), Absolut sets itself apart by taking control of the process ‘from seed to glass’ in the distillery based near Åhus. The distillery produces 600,000 litres of vodka per day, and last May released a new high-end vodka, Absolut Elyx, that’s produced on a much smaller scale.
Tours are available over summer. Visit www.absolut.com
Grand new restaurant opening at Malmö Central station in May
After being closed for over 30 years, the Royal Waiting Hall at Malmö Central station has been transformed into a restaurant, the hotly anticipated Bistro Royal. The hall is a well-kept secret - few people in Malmö even know it exists – and in its heyday (around the 1800s/early 1900s) was reserved for Royals and other dignitaries waiting for trains. Bistro Royal launched in May, sensitively restored to its former glory under Malmö restaurateur Andreas Pieplow, and will be the first time the rooms are open to the public. bistroroyal.se/
New ‘slow food’ restaurant Bantorget 9 opens in Lund
Natural followers of the slow food movement, Sweden has long been known for its dedication to using the freshest local produce and cooking meals from scratch. Bantorget 9, a new 70-seater restaurant in Lund, a pretty university town just nine miles from Malmö, is the perfect example of this, offering inventive small plates using only organic and locally sourced ingredients. The interior design is classic Scandinavian with elements from both southern Sweden and neighbouring Denmark.
To book a table, visit bantorget9.se/
Tours and experiences
Go behind the scenes of BBC Two Scandi crime drama, The Bridge
Hooked to Scandi-crime drama, The Bridge? Fans of the hit TV show on BBC Two can go behind the scenes and follow in the footsteps of lead character Saga Norén (Sweden’s Sofia Helin) and Martin Rohde (Denmark’s Kim Bodnia), as they cooperate to solve dark crimes in Malmö and Copenhagen on both sides of the Oresund Bridge. These new tours offered by Travel Gallery take viewers through Malmö to visit iconic sites in the series, from well-known tourist locations to as eerie industrial lots and unexpected places in the urban landscape of Malmö. Costs from SEK390 (approx. £35) per person.
Festivals and events
Experience the 100th anniversary of the Baltic exhibition in Malmö
The Baltic exhibition was originally held in Malmö in 1914, to showcase the art and culture of Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Russia, before grounding to a halt in the face of World War I. Now to mark its 100th anniversary, the city is hosting a ‘Baltiska Utställningen jubilee’, with exhibitions popping up across the city, including special exhibitions at the Malmö Art Museum, design exhibits at the wonderful Form / Design Center (a great place to shop for Swedish designed furniture) and a light display, shown every evening from the event opening over summer.
Starts from 15 May. For more information, visit www.malmotown.com/baltiska2014/?page_id=35
Stay at the new hotel Park Inn in Lund
Recently launched in the heart of Lund, Sweden’s second oldest city (just a 10 minute drive from Malmö), The Park Inn by Radisson Lund offers travellers the city’s first contemporary design hotel and panoramic views over the city. Hotel amenities include an onsite gym and sauna, a flat-screen television in the room, free high-speed internet and a delicious breakfast buffet.
Prices start from 1590 SEK (approximately £160) per night for two people. www.parkinn.com
Stay at Talldungen – an award-winning countryside retreat
Tucked away in some of southern Sweden’s most lovely countryside, Talldungen is regularly ranked as one of the top B&B’s in Sweden, and received Tripadvisor’s sought after ‘Traveller’s Choice Award 2014’ for its dreamy location (offering sweeping views across the rolling Österlen countryside), rustic Swedish design, and excellent restaurant serving home-cooked local specialities, including their own fresh baked bread. It’s in an ideal spot for walkers, and Talldungen’s owners have a ready supply of maps, so travellers can follow one of the many trails passing by.
Prices start from SEK 1,390 (about £139) per night for an en-suite double room with breakfast. Book at www.talldungen.se / +46 41 4732 35
In both 2014 and 2015, the Nordea Masters golf tournament (the annual golf tournament on the European Tour which is played in Sweden) will be hosted at PGA National near Malmö, in a move that will see local pro, Henrik Stenson, playing on home soil. Noted as one of the most beautiful golf courses in Scandinavia, occupying the former grounds of Norup Castle, there is also a fantastic clubhouse with a restaurant, shop and changing rooms for visiting golfers to enjoy.
Nordea Masters tee off from 30 May. Visit www.europeantour.com/
Fly to Copenhagen with SAS (www.flysas.co.uk), from as little as £79 each way.
Other airlines that fly to Copenhagen from London include Easyjet (www.easyjet.co.uk), British Airways (www.ba.com) and Norwegian (www.norwegian.com). Ryanair also has direct flights to Malmö from London Stansted. The train from Copenhagen Airport to Malmö city centre takes less than half an hour.
For more information on Skåne & Malmöplease go to www.visitskane.com
- Ends -
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As one of the most remote and exciting parts of Europe, Swedish Lapland has typically been an area of Sweden that only the most determined of travellers have had the fortune to visit.
However, that is all set to change, as Ryanair has just launched a brand new three-hour flight to Skellefteå in Swedish Lapland from London Stansted – opening up this wild and picturesque area to the UK from less than £50 return.
Each season in Swedish Lapland has its own particular charm. We’re in summer at the moment, which means there are 100 days without nights - all the better to explore the vast coastline, deep subarctic forests, lakes, rivers and charming towns of Europe’s last wilderness. Nonetheless, it’s an equally appealing winter destination, with fantastic winter activities and polar nights lit up by bright snow and millions of stars, and if your luck is in, the chance to see the Northern Lights.
Swedish Lapland is vast, and was seemingly made for a road trip. Hire a car from Skellefteå Airport and head out into nature, stopping to enjoy activities such as fishing, canoeing, mountain biking, husky training and camping. If you’re lucky, you may even spot beavers, elks or golden eagles.
It’s not just the wildlife that is exotic. Swedish Lapland is justifiably proud of its culinary heritage. The region’s food is full of wild, pure flavours and comes served with generous dose of atmosphere thanks to the superb location.
There are plenty of places for a good night’s sleep, ranging from secluded typical Scandinavian red cottages in the woods to an old lighthouse overlooking the cliffs.
So if you’re a fan of nature and you want to get away from it all and discover ultimate peace, it seems Ryanair may hold the key.
For more information about Swedish Lapland
For more information about what to do in and around Skellefteå visit Destination Skellefteå
Fly to Swedish Lapland from London
Direct flights with Ryanair from London to Skellefteå in Swedish Lapland starting April 4th 2014.
Ryanair will depart Stansted 07.45 and Skellefteå 11.45, Thursdays and Sundays April 4th - October 23rd 2014.
You can also fly via Stockholm with SAS or Norwegian to several locations in Swedish Lapland
All photos by Graeme Richardson
Photo by: Rodrigo Rivas Ruiz/imagebank.sweden.se
Eco-friendly festival set to be bigger than ever with an eclectic, A-List line-up!
This summer will see West Sweden’s vibrant city, Gothenburg, once again play host to one of Europe’s best music festivals - Way Out West, from 7 - 9 August, 2014. The environmentally-friendly festival, in its eighth year and held at Slottsskogen city park in the heart of Gothenburg, will showcase the crème de la crème of national and international music.
The exciting line-up for 2014 so far includes OutKast, Queens Of The Stone Age and Röyksopp & Robyn. Way Out West’s unique city-based location taps into Gothenburg’s buzzing music scene, with exclusive ‘Stay Out West’ performances also taking place at the city’s clubs and cultural venues during the festival.
Global superstars such as Prince, Blur, Kanye West, M.I.A, Neil Young, Lily Allen and Kraftwerk have taken to the Way Out West stage in previous years, ensuring it has always been a sell-out success, with this year’s event set to be more popular than ever. The festival has been awarded by MTV and listed by The Independent as one of the ten most interesting music festivals in Europe as well as the world leading, US based, music magazine Pitchfork.com listed it as one of the twenty most essential music festivals in the US and Europe all together.
Festival-goers will be able to soak up the Swedish summer sun in the most wonderful open space. Gothenburg’s favourite park, Slottsskogen, is made up of large areas of grassland, small hills, a forest and enclosed pastures with Nordic animals such as elk. The festival prides itself on being environmentally-certified, and is organised to respect the park’s environment as well as visitors’ safety.
From its first year the festival restaurants have offered a selection of organic food, including fresh seafood. Since two years, the food served at the festival is all vegetarian. The menu is created by one of the city’s star restaurateurs, Mats Nordström.
Way Out West is perfectly located in the centre of Gothenburg and within walking distance of two of the city’s best-loved districts - the culturally diverse Linné and historic Haga - as well as a vast array of hotels and hostels.
Gothenburg is viewed on the international music scene as a place to watch for its emerging musical talent. The city boasts a number of smaller gig venues alongside big arenas, as well as recording studios and events geared up for budding new artists. British magazine Dazed and Confused just published a video called New Music Cities:Gothenburg.
For the first time, as part of the music festival, Way Out West Music Conference is being held, an exclusive music and media conference for the Scandinavian music industry. Speakers include several Americans; Thomas Golubic, Donna Busch and Steve Schnur.
Festival-goers may wish to extend their breaks to take in all that Gothenburg has to offer, with its compact centre of elegant squares, gardens and canals, as well as a buzzing café culture, Michelin-starred restaurants and cutting-edge museums. Gothenburg is also gateway to West Sweden’s island-scattered Bohuslan coast, Dalsland’s forests and lakes and the countryside and castles of Vastergotland.
A three-day festival pass costs 1895 SEK plus service fee per person. For information about purchasing tickets, please see: http://dev.wayoutwest.se/en/tickets
Fresh new potatoes eaten all summer long are something of a Swedish institution and many dishes owe their success to the humble potato.
The first potatoes of the year are harvested in Skåne at Kullen and the Bjäre pennisula. This year was a very early year for potatoes due to the mild winter.
While it may not be on any of the superfood lists, it has become a cornerstone of the Swedish diet and is actually surprisingly good for you – packed full of B and C vitamins, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc.
On Midsummer, it is tradition to have fresh potatoes, lightly buttered and salted with herring and nubbe (Swedish schnapps).
If you weren’t lucky enough to be in Sweden to celebrate Midsummer, you can still create your own potato based dishes at home including Pytt i Panna (Swedish Hash).
Pytt i Panna is very common on Swedish tables and is often called ‘leftover food’
Read more about food and drink in Skåne
Swedish restaurant guide White Guide has just announced that the Stockholm café Johan & Nyström is the best café in Sweden. Swedes love a ‘Fika’, which can be translated as having a coffee and a piece of cake or bun, while taking a break. It’s not surprising that there are lots of amazing cafes all over Sweden!
Best coffee bar is Drop Coffee, just around the corner from Johan & Nyström on Söder in Stockholm.
Best bakery is PM Bröd & Sovel in Växjö, Småland.
Most sustainable café is Gunnebo coffee house in Mölndal outside Göteborg. While best newcomer is Söderberg & Sara Bakery in Ystad, Skåne. Fika place of the year (yup, there’s even a category for the best Fika!) is Pâtisserie David in Malmö.
The lovely Flickorna Lundgren at Skäret in North Western Skåne was voted best café worth a journey.
We headed to Malmö on 17 May for the first ever Restaurant Day in the city and what a rip-roaring success it was!
Restaurant Day is not quite how you would envisage; it doesn’t include any actual restaurants, just lots of great people who have always wanted to have their own. It is described as ‘a food carnival where anyone can open a restaurant for the day.’ From cupcakes and sweet treats to tacos and ice cream there was something to suit every taste.
If you have ever wondered if Swedish people’s homes are a beautifully designed as you had imagined, then you would be right. Every home we entered on Restaurant Day was bright and airy and buzzing with excitement.
The best way to get about during Restaurant Day is by bike, which means you can balance out all the culinary stops with some activity in between – a win-win situation!
The next Restaurant Day is happening worldwide on 17 August 2014. http://www.restaurantday.org/en.
Find out more about Malmö at http://www.malmotown.com
Photos by Rachel Mills / Rough Guides
You can also read Foodtripper’s article from the Restaurant Day in Malmö here: http://bit.ly/1wUxsbA
Photo from the West Sweden archipelago by Henrik Trygg/imagebank.sweden.se
Katie Bentley-Chan from Four bgb reviews her trip to Vrångö this Easter…
Where the Scottish Isles meets the Mediterranean is possibly the best way for me to describe Gothenburg’s southern archipelago.
Scotland because we were so far north, and Sweden’s wild, rocky islands were reminiscent of the atmospheric, beautiful islets of Skye and Mull (which, ironically, I have never visited but only seen pictures of), and the Med, because, well, it was April and the weather was wonderful: bright blue skies, a light breeze, happy families and couples soaking up the sunshine.
Last Easter was the first time I visited Gothenburg’s archipelago, and I hope it won’t be the last. My boyfriend and I visited the southernmost island of Vrångö on the archipelago, known for its spectacular walks along the coast and sandy beaches.
Here are my tips for travelling to Gothenburg’s southern archipelago:
We were advised to take the swift non stop 20 minute ferry service to Vrångö. But as it was such a beautiful day, we opted for the one hour stopping service instead, bought some good Swedish coffee on board, and grabbed seats on the outside deck for a journey which felt more like a sightseeing cruise!
Do as the locals do…
… and stay overnight in a summer cabin. Island hopping is great for day trippers but it’s definitely worth a longer stay too! A new guesthouse, Kajkanten, is opening right by the jetty on Vrångö, which will offer boathouse style cabins for really good value prices. Book your stay here: kajkantenvrango.se/en/
Stock up on local fish and seafood:
Along with a shop selling all your essential provisions (plus goodies like Swedish peppakakor biscuits, cakes, and local beers too!), Vrångö has a fantastic fish kiosk, which is well worth a visit for buying in ‘just shucked from the sea’ fresh crayfish, lobsters and fish.
Buy a Gothenburg City Card:
And you can hop to the other islands in the archipelago as much as you like for free!
Photo: Tina Stafren / VisitSweden
Swede Tommy Myllymäki tops the European delegates in world chef competition Bocuse d’Or, whilst the UK’s Adam Bennett comes sixth
9 May 2014 – Swedish chef Tommy Myllymäki was last night crowned the best chef in Europe, as he won gold at the Bocuse d’Or Europe 2014. The win, which comes at a time when Swedish food is dominating the world food scene, puts the Swede in a leading position going into the world final of the competition, dubbed ‘the Culinary Olympics’, to be held in Lyon in 2015.
Producing two dishes made from the finest Swedish ingredients – a young pig from Gotland served with truffles and mushrooms, and saithe fish with mussels and oysters – Tommy Myllymäki delighted the 14 judges with his innovative flavours. Denmark’s Kenneth Hanse and Norway’s Örjan Johannesson were awarded second and third place, making it an all-Scandinavian medal line-up.
Meanwhile, British representative Adam Bennett (head chef at the Cross in Kenilworth) was awarded sixth place and secured his position as one of the 12 European chefs who will go on to the world finals next year.
Held in Stockholm for the first time this year, all of the ingredients were chosen by the Bocuse d’Or organisers and were sourced locally from Sweden.
Winning on home soil made the achievement all the more special for Tommy Myllymäki, head chef of Restaurant Sjön in Jönköping, who commented, “The young pig was a challenge, despite it being a fantastic ingredient, but today everything fell into place. It’s great to win after weeks of training around the clock and also to win gold here at home in Sweden.”
“Tommy’s victory and his amazing food is proof that Swedish gastronomy is at an extremely high level right now”, said Mathias Dahlgren, honorary president of the Bocuse d’Or Europe.
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Assault your senses at one of these summer events in Skåne, southern Sweden. Whether you’re a music lover, a garden enthusiast or a culture vulture there is something to suit all tastes.
For the music lover:
Following the success of 2013, the Öresund Music festival is back again for another year. The joint Swedish-Danish festival will again celebrate music from both Sweden and Denmark with indie artists representing both countries. Relax to the sounds of Stereo Explosion from Sweden or dance along to Sleep Party People from Denmark. The festival takes place over two days on 30 and 31 May and costs from £150 for tickets. To book visit http://oresundsfestival.com/
For garden enthusiasts:
The Malmö Garden Show is held each year in Slottsträdgården, the beautiful castle gardens in central Malmö. Green-fingered visitors will be enthralled by the stunning Scandinavian inspired plant displays and the garden market where you can stock up for your own gardens. There will also be live music and activities for children, making it an ideal day out.
Whilst visiting, why not tickle your taste buds at local celebrity chef Tareq Taylor’s popular café which is based in the castle grounds?
The two day show runs from 31 May – 1 June and admission is free.
For culture vultures:
This year will mark the 100th anniversary of the Baltic exhibition and from 15 May there will be a number of exhibitions popping up across Malmö to celebrate.
The Baltic exhibition was originally held in Malmö in 1914 to showcase the art and culture of Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Russia, but was halted by the start of World War 1.
There will be special exhibitions held at the Malmö Art Museum, design exhibits at the Design Centre and a light display shown every evening. For more information, visit www.malmotown.com/baltiska2014/?page_id=35
Photo by Fredrik Broman/imagebank.sweden.se
New restaurant Koka (“boil” in English) will open in the end of February 2014. Owner and chef Björn Persson is closing down and renovating former restaurant Kock & Vin awarded with one Michelin star. New Koka will be less formal and less expensive but still focus on high quality ingredients from West Sweden and a gourmet experience. Björn Persson also opened up the already very popular restaurant Spisa with a Mediterranean concept during the end of 2013. Website: www.restaurangkoka.se/
This is a small neighbourhood restaurant located in the residential area of Eriksberg which opened in December 2013. Drop by for a a glass of wine and something to eat. Seafood is an important part of the menu and delicacies like oysters, shrimps are mixed with charcuteries and lighter dishes. Season and quality are core values. The beef in the special deli burger is from a local farm in Björlanda and a lot of the beer is brewed at Beerbliotek, just across the river. Website: www.deliverket.se
This restaurant specializes in gourmet burgers of the best quality in a very special environment. The décor comes from a real barn from the countryside outside Gothenburg witch the owners have rebuilt inside the restaurant. The food is a mix between American and Swedish food culture and many of the ingredients are sourced locally. Website: www.thebarn.se/
The French bistro Levantine opened in the neighbourhood Vasastan during autumn 2013. The menu combines classic French dishes with Swedish ingredients. Enjoy chèvre chaud, moules marinères or other classic dishes, before you wrap it up with a sweet dessert. You can also pop by for coffee and croissant or a glass of wine. It’s good to know that the restaurant is cash free and drop-in only. Website: www.levantine.se/
Upper House Dining is located in the new luxury hotel Upper House and opened up late September 2013. Located on the 25th floor, Upper House Dining has large windows providing spectacular views over Gothenburg. The menu is put together by Krister Dahl, former captain of the Swedish Culinary Team, and consists of six dishes composed using the very best ingredients from the surrounding area each day. As head chef, Krister Dahl has recruited Måns Backlund. Together they work to attract the attention of the Michelin Guide. Website: www.upperhouse.se/restaurang/
The food and drinks at Barabicu are influenced by southern and northern America, and together with the view over the harbor and canal this restaurant provides a unique setting with an international vibe. Here you will feel the fondness for barbecue and the restaurant grills exclusively with charcoal. The grilled meat is accompanied by Swedish produce like fish and seafood. You are offered a dynamic list of wines and several quality beers both on tap and bottle. During the weekend Barabicu invites local and international DJ:s which contributes to a club-feeling. Website: www.barabicu.se/