Travels Across Sweden
Gyllene Uttern (Golden Otter) is a simply beautiful place where you will receive a warm welcome and exceptional local cuisine. It was built in the 1930’s and developed from a petrol stop and coffee shop into Sweden’s first motor hotel. Overlooking Lake Vättern this region is steeped in history, the first kings ruled from Visingsö Island in the lake long before Stockholm held court. It is a series of intriguing buildings cleverly designed to reflect the old castles of the region, and very attractive. A great place to stop on the way north. The restaurant is relaxed and beautifully designed with a remarkably successful balance of castle and breathtaking views over the lake. The food is equally spectacular.
For a special birthday my husband treated us both to a trip to The Ice Hotel! A truly unique and memorable experience. A holiday 200km beyond the Arctic Circle with sub zero temperatures may not immediately light your fire but it is truly amazing.
Located in Jukkasjärvi, a small town 12km out of Kiruna, the Swedish Ice Hotel is the original and came about in the 1990’s when, during an exhibition of ice sculptures a bunch of visitors who couldn’t find accommodation, asked to sleep overnight amidst the ice creations and the hotel concept was born.
Arctic sleeping bags are provided and reindeer skins give added warmth. It is all remarkably snug. An unmissable part of the Ice Hotel adventure is the night trail by snowmobile or dog sleigh. The local food is delicious and be sure to take along some pocket money for Sami crafts – they are incredible pieces of art.
This is a mountain summer farm in Sweden, a ”sheiling” in Scots. This ancient tradition used to be commonplace however sadly is diminishing – indeed now non-existent in Scotland.
Margareta and her daughter Johanna produce unique butter, cheese and messmör from their cows who forage in the forest whilst Dad pops up from work in the village below. With no electricity at Torrlid, our beautiful candle lit log cabin was simple and spotless. Get up early and you can watch the milking as day begins.
We heard the cow bells as they grazed the tree strewn meadows, and ate “tunnbröds” a fine home made potato based crepe rolled with their own cheese along with lashings of excellent coffee and creamy milk straight from the cow. The cows return for milking and stay in overnight, safe from predators (wise move as I’m not very brave with bears either) and in the early morning the cheesemaking begins.
The messmör would not be ready until evening as this sweet whey butter takes 8 hours of stirring to reduce and caramelize. Most definitely Slow Food. We had an absolutely brilliant time (our fourth visit) and were made very welcome. If you wish to experience this very precious food adventure it is only available during the month of July each year.