Translated…Good conversations [Scots] & beautiful places [Swedish]
It’s hard to believe a year passed so quickly and this blog has suffered somewhat so time to catch up! We have had a super year of Scots-Scandi interaction so here are some of the highlights, both from Sweden and Scotland culminating in a memorable stay at Wallby Säteri.
VisitSweden arrived with a delegation of business owners from the hospitality industry and visited our food studio along with other venues across Central Belt and Perthshire. We shared local food, together along with Jack from Ardoch Hebridean Sheep https://www.ardochhebrideansheep.co.uk and talked Food Tourism. They even filmed us for a documentary you can see here https://corporate.visitsweden.com/kunskap/maltid/avsnitt-4-matlagning-i-det-skotska-hoglandet/ We all keep in touch and have since had the pleasure to see Eva Gunnare of Essense of Lapland in Scotland and Magnus Nyman of Wallby Säteri in Sweden.
Eva http://eolapland.se/en/ joined us as Guest Speaker during Foraging Fortnight https://scottishfoodguide.com/places/foraging-fortnight/ over five Scottish regions from Lanark to the south up as far as Orkney, where she received warm welcomes and great reviews. It was a real pleasure to listen to her, learn valuable tips and form lasting friendships.
Magnus invited us to experience Wallby Säteri, joining his family and friends for the wonderful Swedish tradition, Julbord. We had visited Wallby earlier in the year as Guest Speaker at the Smålands Turism Workshop Day. The al fresco lunch by the lake was amazing and a great day was had by all. This time we were invited to stay and were welcomed with festive glögg by the Christmas tree followed by a spectacular six-course dinner, culminating in liqueurs in the manor house drawingroom.
His cured herring, cheeses, gravadlax and smoked seafood were mouth-watering and I had to control my intake in readiness for the courses to follow! Julbord continued with superb hams, kalvsylta, rullsylta, liver pate, moose and wild boar sausages, all beautifully presented on locally made ceramics. The following day we sought out Swahns Krukmakeri in Nye and I couldn’t resist a couple of gorgeous mugs and a candlestick!
Next came hot dishes, a table laden with meatballs, Janssons Temptation, Isterband (a delicious specialty sausage of Småland), slow cooked cabbages, saffron infused cauliflower and another Swedish tradition, dopp i grytan, the dipping of a special Christmas bread into the ham juices.
Desserts are equally important with key elements being ostkaka (but not cheesecake as you know it), homemade and a local delicacy, pepparkakor (gingerbread), chocolates with marzipan and nougat, nuts and salt liquorice…plus a glass jar of polkagris, a striped sugar sweet the region is also famous for.
Outwith Sweden one hears a great deal about Skåne and Stockholm however Småland is often said to be where ‘real Sweden’ begins – home to spectacular lakes, welcoming people and a strong food culture. It is also home to many artists and crafts so has a wealth of handicrafts, glassware and design to experience.
Swedish summers are wonderful and a summer break at Wallby would be sensational but I urge you to consider other times of the year too as there are always activities to enjoy. There is something most magical about a winter Julbord at Wallby with candlelight and fires, fabulous food and well stocked bar – I can recommend the local calvados as Småland is also famous for its orchards!
Six hours later after much joy and conversion savouring gourmet dishes of local produce in a gorgeous setting, we strolled across the festive light-strewn path to our röda stugor (traditional red-painted wooden cottages) nestling around the manor house and its attractive buildings. Each cottage is beautifully appointed with en suite and great attention to detail. The buildings are clustered on a hillock, with pasture gently sloping down to the lake a brief walk away, with sauna, boats and facilities for outdoor cooking by the shore. This is Sweden at its best – a place to while away the hours with a swim or cycle, stroll or sauna. Bring a good book and camera or be as active as you wish… relax enjoying nature…with the promise of fine food at every meal. Experience Swedish family life and immerse yourself in Wallby! https://www.wallby.se/en/
Whether you visit Sweden in summer or winter there is much to see and do. For a Scot the landscape is striking with great vistas and that special Nordic light. The white of winter is an awesome backdrop and there is always birdlife to be found and villages to explore. You may even spot moose, roe deer or wild boar. Summers are generally hot so the abundance of lakes is welcomed by locals and tourists alike for a daily swim. Swedes maximise their long summers with al fresco dining, traditional festivals for Midsummer, crayfish, autumn apples … indeed any excuse for a party and very little happens indoors. Come autumn it is hygge round log stoves with hot soups and sharing platters, friends and family, music and stories.
Back in Scotland what was on our Christmas menu? Wild Greylag Goose from the Orkney Isles where they have special licence to shoot them to help the farmers who are overrun with guzzling geese! Served with savoury cabbage, redcurrant jelly, roast potatoes and honeyed roots it too got the thumbs up from friends and family!