A gorgeous rural weekend can be enough to heal the fractures imparted on the soul by urban living. I love city life but it does take as much as it gives and increasingly I find I need to retreat from it, just for a bit.
I did that last weekend with a trip to Sweden with their annual Culinary Acadamy, this year to Småland and Öland in Southern Sweden. Rural and pretty with sweeping forests peppered with mirror lakes, Småland is in the South East tip and Öland is a long narrow island cosied up next to it, flat and dotted with old unused windmills scattered among wheat fields.
Wild foods abounded, I gleefully picked wild strawberries at every opportunity when walking through meadows and fields. I bet it is amazing in the Autumn when the blueberries & lingonberries rear their heads amid carpets of mushrooms too.
We spent a few days travelling around meeting producers, trying local foods, learning local recipes and eating at some of the local restaurants. For a small area there is a lot going on, and we met a few of the Swedish Chefs of the Year as we travelled, eating the food cooked by one and cooking with another.
I have lots to share but will start with some photos. I could have shared so many more, but I have – literally – thousands yet to edit. Here is a start!
I travelled to Sweden as a guest of Visit Sweden.