Perfect Swedish summer days at a Örenäs Castle

This week I spent four days in Sweden and the weather was just amazing. It was so lovely to come and experience one of the best things in the world, the Swedish summer! Sweden is famous for quite a few things, Abba, Volvo, winning the Eurovision song contest, Skype and many more, but it is not famous for warm weather. I grew up in a small Swedish seaside village and if it was a sunny day outside it was impossible to stay in bed, you had to get up and out to cherish the sun as there are never too many of them. In the summer the light is higher, brighter and lighter, and it brings out the green in the fields and forests, the yellow rapeseed fields, the colours in the flowers and a feeling of happiness and wellbeing.

This is exactly how the weather was this week when I went to a conference at Örenäs castle. It is located in the south of Sweden. Örenäs castle was built by the “sugar king” Carl Tranchell in 1914–18 and it stands in the former grounds of Maryhill Manor, just above the picturesque fishing village of Ålabodarna. I only managed to take an image from the castle from behind.

When you get there the first thing you see is the breath taking location. All the flowers were blooming, the trees are green and the lawn looks immaculate but the most eye catching is the sea view. There is something special about being near water, perhaps it is the constant change or the feeling of endless space.

From the dining room you can look across the water to the island Hven, described as “one of the most beautiful places in Sweden”. We went there for an afternoon and it was almost ridiculously picture perfect! Cycling around the lanes looking out over the water smelling the lilacs blooming everywhere was truly an idyllic experience. The island is not very large and they have 2,000 cycles to rent for everyone and this is the main way of getting around.

Örenäs castle is a perfect setting for a dinner, the backdrop is slightly formal with the starched table cloths and fine silver cutlery but the atmosphere is relaxed and inviting. The cuisine is Swedish but with European influences.

For starter we had warm smoked char with truffle infused crème of cauliflower, pork cooked with vinegar and pickle baby beetroots. It tasted as good as it looked.

To go with the smoked char we had a Chilean Chardonay, Indomita Duette. It was full of character and flavour and went really well with the mild smoky char.

For main we had grilled sirloin with apple and spring onion chutney, potato rosti, baked spring vegetables and goats cheese butter. The meat was very nice and it worked really well together. If I would say anything about the dish I would have added more spring vegetables instead of the potato rosti.

To go with this we moved on to an Australian red, named Stump Jump Red. It was velvety soft and quite buttery, great with the red meat.

Image of wine

For dessert they served violet flavoured ice cream with a freshly baked brownie and slightly charred crushed white chocolate and a raspberry sphere. It was a nice dessert but chocolate x2 and the ice cream was just a hint too sweet. The wine that was served with this was also Australian, a Museum Muscat.

After this I had quite a few glasses of white wine on the terrace, even if it was the warmest day of the year so far the evening had a bit of a chill to it and it was time to head to the room and bed around midnight. The sunshine and all the sea air made me sleep like a princess in a castle!

(All images are taken by an old phone so sorry for the poor quality!)

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