West Sweden and Gothenburg are virtual gateways to an archipelago of a sustainable culinary experience that seeks to delight travelers and educate them, but oh, so gently. This idyllic and poetic region is even more appealing this summer as celebrity chefs add new dining spots, countryside guest houses develop new packages and seafood safaris take guests to forage for their own dinners.
New mussel bar in Ljungskile opens July 16
The folks who run the charming clock tower by the sea of Ljungskile have built a glass hothouse where they will serve their own mussels. The freshly harvested mussels are being cultivated just a few feet away. Guests prop themselves on long benches inside the belltower’s cozy boathouse to watch over the sea or simply stand by as the mussels are cooked on an outdoor pot.
Tracing a Delectable Food Chain: from Sea to Canal
Two lodging pearls of the Göta Canal experience — the 13-room countryside Styrsö Skäret Guest House and the Norrqvarn Hotel and Conference Center that dates back to the early 1900s when it was a mill – have created a two-night culinary adventure that brings guests face to face with producers and farm shops from the coastline to the channel along the chain of locally-grown foods that appear on their fine menus.
Both properties boast restaurants that have been certified by A Taste of WestSweden and are listed in the White Guide, Sweden’s leading restaurant guide that presents the trendiest, the coolest, most culturally exotic places to dine.
Guests stay one night at the beguiling Styrsö Skäret for the first night, which is a 15-minute ferry ride from the metropolis of Gothenburg to the car-free island of Styrsö. Guests are free to stroll, fish, paddle or hike enjoying the beautiful archipelago.
On the second day guests head for the Göta Canal, Sweden’s third most visited attraction,to the Norrqvarn. Guests are equipped with maps in hand illustrating the shops and farms of local producers that both Styrsö and Norrqvarn patronize to produce their menus.
Guests will visit the farm shops and the local producers on the way from Styrsö island to Göta Canal.
Besides its traditional rooms, the Norrqvarn Hotel & Conference Center has Troll Stumps that are actually comfortable rooms inside giant manmade tree stumps that can accommodate up to four people and are extremely popular with families.
Seafood Safaris and Spa Trekking on Smögen
The only thing you have to bring are your wellies to join Smögens Hafvsbad’s new crayfish adventure. You’ll go on a seafood safari with local fishermen, pull up the creels and boil the fresh crayfish in the boathouse or you might get a close-up look at the fish auction on Smögen jetty. It’s not all work, the package includes an overnight stay at this legendary turn-of-the-century hotel whose latest extension faces the sea and blends into the landscape, a dinner of the freshest catches and an old-fashioned spa treatment. Smögen is among one of West Sweden’s oldest and most authentic archipelago communities.Its polished rock face forms a dramatic backdrop for the colorful boat houses that border the seafront.
Celebrity Chef Closes One Door to Open Another
While many were disappointed to learn that last year’s Restaurateur of the Year, Stefan Karlsson, closed his Michelin-starred restaurant known as Fond, he inaugurated another. The SK Mat & Människor that will re-open on September 3, will feature seasonal local produce on its menu. Housed in a former glazier, the venue has been carefully renovated and decorated with custom-built furniture with an open kitchen. Guests who would rather act than watch, can book a cooking course.
Food Truck Brigade Hits Gothenburg
At one time the only game in town was the Strömmingsluckan, which served quotidian Swedish favorites such as fried herring with mashed potatoes and lingonberries, but it now has a lot more company. This year 10 food trucks out of 35 applicants have
met the criteria to receive licenses to tool around Gothenburg serving everything from Mexican burritos, to Swedish classics, locally produced vegetarian meals to Ethiopian cuisine and Swedish Sunday roasts made by veteran restaurateurs to young entrepreneurs. But customers have to be on their toes because food trucks can pop up just about anywhere in town. Chances are, some bright person will figure out an app to track them down.
Atelier - new restaurant at Boutique hotel
Set in the heart of Gothenburg, the Hotel Pigalle wants to impress its guests. Specifically, its = mission is to knock you off your feet. This includes doing away with natty details like being one of the first no-cash hotels anywhere. Steeped in decadent 19th century décor of sinful Paris, there is nothing decadent about how it serves up incredible dishes, some that might appear on the menu just once. The Atelier menu is internationally-inspired while relying solely on local produce, the chefs’ moods and the seasons. To stress the farm-to-table link, suppliers and the location of their farms is noted on the menu. Atelier has a popular rooftop.
Meet 2014’s World Champion Bartender at Clarion Hotel Posts
When folks at the Norda Bar and Grill at the Clarion Hotel Posts in Gothenburg claim they have Sweden’s best bartender, they’re not just bragging. Dosa Ivanov won the the coveted title of World Champion Bartender in London’s Leicester Square earlier this year. Donning a straw hat, a Chinese robe, he carried a wok filled with a mysterious cocktail that managed to dribble into the tower of glasses he stacked.
Ivanov doesn’t part with his recipes except to say he strives for cocktails made with love and harmony between sweet and sour. The Champion Bartender will represent Sweden in the World Cup in Cape Town. http://www.nordabargrill.se/en/
Photo: Henrik Trygg/imagebank.sweden.se