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The Ice Hotel: Eating Lapland & Exploring It

Lapland

Lapland

Arriving in snowy Kiruna I was so excited. There was a buzz on the flight., Most people were traveling for important birthdays and other such events, and I was so surprised to be on a flight where everyone wanted to chat. My first stop was a dash to see if the astronaut pig was still there but woe, he was gone. Maybe he is in space now?

Kiruna Space Pig – photo taken 2 years ago on my last trip

The crunch of snow underfoot followed by whispery snow was thrilling. I bounced out to the waiting bus and immediately joined a tour of the ICEHOTEL. I was dying to see it. And then I thought, it is cold isn’t it? Of course it is cold, but until you are standing there, standing on the ice, surrounded by ice, sitting on ice, does it actually hit home.

I was hungry so I made my next stop dinner. Right after I collected my all in one snow suit, huge snow boots, leather mittens that made me look like a seal or the joker, and a balaclava. I was set.

I trekked to The Homestead. Just down the road. So I followed directions, crunching through snow as I went. But where was it? After 10 minutes I spied a couple also in snowsuits and asked them. Just down there, they said. Look out for the candles. And have the burger, it is great! So, renewed I trotted on.

Around a corner I spotted an outdoor Christmas tree and some candles. Was this it? It was. Toasty and warm and very inviting, I ventured in from the snow and -10 deg outside,

The Homestead, ICEHOTEL

The Homestead, ICEHOTEL

I removed my snow suit and sat for dinner. I started with lovely fresh and bright lingonberry cocktail (with pear and vanilla).The chef freezes 300kg of lingonberries, cloudberries, blueberries and raspberries when in season to get them through the winter. For starter I had blueberry cured salmon, whichwas delicious and now, as I travel home to Ireland in the ferry, I have blueberries in my bag as I want to give that a go

Goepi Burger, The Homestead

Goepi Burger, The Homestead

Main course was the burger, the goepi burger. What is goepi? Smoked minced reindeer I was told, The burger was served rare, was that ok with me? Yes please. It was one of the most delicious things that I had on the trip, perfect burger, rare and moist with great texture. The bun was fluffy with a crisp exterior. It was huge but I managed it. I felt very full.

Cloudberries with Vanilla Ice Cream in an ice bowl

Cloudberries with Vanilla Ice Cream in an ice bowl

Next stop dessert, and I had to try the ice option. As well as carving the hotel, essentially out of the river, the ICEHOTEL also makes (1 million) glasses and plates too. Vanilla ice cream and cloudberries was served on top. How to describe cloudberries? Native to the arctic region they are an orange berry, slightly sour and almost savoury in flavour, delicately intense. I love them.

When in Lapland jump on a snowmobile. I didn’t think I would enjoy it but I loved it. I was a bit of a speed demon wanting to go faster, faster, and faster again. On my first trip, we snowmobiled for two hours or so from 11.30am to a cabin in the woods where we had a wilderness lunch. The lunch was typical of Lapland, Sami Souvas, smoked salted reindeer fried in butter and served in bread. Utterly delicious and part of the Slow Food Arc of Taste. They opened the last Terre Madre in Turin with it.

Snowmobiling in Lapland

Snowmobiling in Lapland

Cooking by the fire

Cooking by the fire

The next night I went on the Northern Lights snowmobile expedition. This is the best year for 50 years to see them, assuming there is little cloud. Unfortunately there was a lot of cloud, but we did have an amazing snowmobile ride through the forest in the dark to the same cabins, where we chowed down on moose goulash. No booze as we were all driving. Which was nice for a change.

Bleak roe, creme fraiche and white fish roe with blinis at ICEHOTEL restaurant

Bleak roe, creme fraiche and white fish roe with blinis at ICEHOTEL restaurant

My last meal was at the ICEHOTEL restaurant itself and I kept it light, although I do regret not having the ICE tasting menu where all dishes are served on ice or with ice. My starter was wonderful bleak roe (I visited a producer when I last visited Lapland 2 years ago and even popped some fish to make some myself), white fish roe and crème fraiche with blinis.

For main course I had a more hearty moose dish, a fillet which had been cooked for 50 minutes at 80 degrees C so that it was melt in the mouth tender. Served with spiced lingonberries and spatzle, this was a filling dish. So much so that there was no room for dessert, which is a shame as I do love those arctic berries.

I travelled to the ICEHOTEL with Discover the World who operate direct charter flights from Heathrow to Kiruna, with packages for 3 nights starting from £1,093pp or via Stockholm from £870pp.

ice-hotel
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The ICEHOTEL in Sweden: Sparkling, Gorgeous and So Very Surreal

The ICEHOTEL

The ICEHOTEL

The ICEHOTEL. Childhood obsession with the Snow Queen and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and all things snowy and polar lie dormant in my head. I have always wanted to (properly) see the northern lights (we saw them in Ireland when I was a child once) and the southern lights too. I love all things sparse and white. I like the idea of the space, the silence and the starkness of it all.

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland - just outside by the restaurant

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland – just outside by the restaurant

So much so, that in my brief time as a physiologist in university, I contemplated signing up for the British Antarctic Survey. I went to one of their recruitment meetings, so very keen, but realised quickly that I was not the kind of person that could survive three years there.

ICEHOTEL cabin for wilderness lunches in the woods

ICEHOTEL cabin for wilderness lunches in the woods

So I thought that I would visit there. I bought the Lonely Planet guide, studied penguins, made little penguins, bought memoirs and any book with any related stories.

But it was too expensive. So I looked at working on a ship. I really wanted to go. But I never did. I still want to go and I hope that I will soon.

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland

The level of obsession targeted at the Antarctic applies to any similar place. Arctic Canada, places near polar regions like Tierra del Fuego, Greenland, and of course Scandinavia. I want to breathe cold air, see icicles, feel the crunch of soft fresh snow under my feet and feel the sharpness of the cold on my cheeks.

ICEHOTEL reindeer doors

ICEHOTEL reindeer doors

The ICEHOTEL opened 23 years ago and has been in my sights since. I first visited Swedish Lapland 2 years ago in the Autumn and adored the landscape spotted with pretty lakes protected by towering trees. I loved the food – the reindeer, moose, arctic grouse, lingonberry, cloudberry, I even tried bear.

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland - ice room entrance

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland – ice room entrance

We saw where the ICEHOTEL would be but it wasn’t built yet. It is only built after the river Torne has frozen over, and the ICEHOTEL is built from bricks carved out of it (and snice – snow and ice – from the river sprayed over metal frames and left to solidify in the cold). The whole concept is magical.

Ice Bar at the ICEHOTEL

Ice Bar at the ICEHOTEL

What was it like? Startling, bright, cold, a little dazzling. Reindeer hide doors, bristling with a little sparkling frozen ice greet you. To the left a bar, with vodka cocktails in ice glasses and some hot drinks too.

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland - ice room

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland – ice room

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland - ice room

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland – ice room

A little further down the arched corridor on the left are the ice rooms. With an ice double bed with reindeer skins and mattresses, an ice sculpture even two ice armchairs and a table. The room itself is soft with no harsh angles, the bed angular within.

Another corridor down are the new northern lights rooms. Stunning with a beautiful recreation of the northern lights on the ceiling of the room. Only a few are ready – The ICEHOTEL has only just opened for the season and they are still building – so I go across to the other side to the Art Suites, where I will make my home for the night.

Each room is designed by different artists, and they vary dramatically. The beautifully elegant Flower room, designed by two Japanese artists, inspired by the recent trauma that Japan has had to go through, it is a symbol that there is always hope.The Eternity room, a stunning but slightly scary room with two large creatures guarding the top of the bed, with the bed facing an angel carved into the wall. There was also the gloriously bonkers Cold and Crazy and a room scattered with UFOs.

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland - Eternity Art SUite - this reminds me of Phillip Pullman's Northern Lights and I find it amazing but slightly scary

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland – Eternity Art SUite – this reminds me of Phillip Pullman’s Northern Lights and I find it amazing but slightly scary

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland - Fabulous Art Suite full of UFOs

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland – Fabulous Art Suite full of UFOs

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland - stunning Flower Art Suite

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland – stunning Flower Art Suite

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland - Iceberg Art Suite with fabulous quilted ice walls

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland – Iceberg Art Suite with fabulous quilted ice walls

My bed for the night was in Whitewater. I steeled my nerves with some cold cocktails from the bar and a hot lingonberry one then went to collect my arctic sleeping bag. When you check in at the ICEHOTEL they supply you with a snowsuit, snow boots, huge mittens and a balaclava. I was taking the balaclava in with me for the night. To stay warm, surprisingly, you must wear only thermals as anything loose on your body or more than one layer will trap cold air near your skin, and make you cold.

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland - my Whitewater Art Suite

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland – my Whitewater Art Suite

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland - dressing room door through which you dash in your thermals (and a jumper in my case) from warm to cold. The jumper had to come off before I slept though as it would trap cold air.

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland – dressing room door through which you dash in your thermals (and a jumper in my case) from warm to cold. The jumper had to come off before I slept though as it would trap cold air.

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland - in balaclava and thermals about to go to bed

ICEHOTEL, Swedish Lapland – in balaclava and thermals about to go to bed

I wrapped up, giddy with excitement and with only a small peephole to look out. I wondered if I would sleep. Then I woke up several hours later. My face and legs were a little chilly but I was ok.

I fell asleep again and woke needing the loo – WOE – how would I get out of this sleeping bag, escape the warmth and come back in? I didn’t need to worry, 2 minutes later there was a voice: “Good morning, it is 7.30am, would you like some hot lingonberry juice?”.

Grinning, for I have lasted the night and actually really enjoyed it “Yes, please”.

I drank my hot lingonberry juice and still cold, grabbed a hot chocolate and returned to my warm room where I spent my other two nights and slept again. The sleep in the cold room is very light I think.

There is no actual sunset at this time of year and it is beautifully surreal. A faint sliver of light appears over the hills behind the ice hotel at about 11.30 and then the light disappears and it is dark again. In the snow, and in the silence. Unless of course, you are in the Ice Bar and someone is dancing Gangnam style. Which I was on occasion, although only watching.

Would I recommend it? Yes, wholeheartedly. Would I go again? In a heartbeat. This is the best year for 50 years to see the northern lights, and I have yet to see the Ice Church too (they are building it). Maybe I might even try to go back in Spring.

I travelled to the ICEHOTEL with Discover the World who operate direct charter flights from Heathrow to Kiruna, with packages for 3 nights starting from £1,093pp or via Stockholm from £870pp.

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A Postcard from the Ice Hotel in Lapland

The Ice Hotel, Lapland

The Ice Hotel, Lapland

Greetings from the Ice Hotel in Swedish Lapland. I am here with Discover the World on a three night trip, and on night two. I have stolen a few minutes to post a few photos before I go stay in my ice room. I will report back!

Close up of the reindeer doors of the Ice Hotel

Close up of the reindeer doors of the Ice Hotel

Looking sketchy and cold outside the Ice Hotel. Just before I got my snowsuit and snowboots - no cold can get me now!

Looking sketchy and cold outside the Ice Hotel. Just before I got my snowsuit and snowboots – no cold can get me now!

I went out for a wilderness lunch on a snowmobile - electrifying! I am now hooked

I went out for a wilderness lunch on a snowmobile – electrifying! I am now hooked

We met these huskies on the way

We met these huskies on the way

... some cocktails before hitting my ice bed at the Ice Bar

… some cocktails before hitting my ice bed at the Ice Bar

This is my room for the night. One of the Ice Hotel Art Suites - I will report back tomorrow!

This is my room for the night. One of the Ice Hotel Art Suites – I will report back tomorrow!

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More Photos from Lovely Gothenburg

The side of Saluhallen (the food market) at night

It’s my last night in Gothenburg. I have really enjoyed it, and I have only seen the tip. It’s been quite food-centric, as you might expect, but next time I do want to get out and see the islands and get out to the surrounding countryside. This all hinges on me learning to drive this Winter, which I have promised myself I will.

I love the pace here. It’s all happy and very relaxed. Everyone is just getting on with their everyday business. For a city of its size (500,000) the food on offer is really terrific – 5 michelin starred restaurants and great mid-range ones too. It is expensive, but there are great offers too, which I have been exploring and will write about soon. For now some more photos. Enjoy!

Chefs in synchrony at Basement, Gothenburg

Amuse of beef tartare with goats cheese sauce, thyme & capers served with a shot of onion soup, at Basement

Variations of Swedish Lobster, Scallop & Seaweed Served with a Lobster Emulsion, Crispy Mature Cheese, Dill & Cucumber at Basement, Gothenburg

Great coffee at Bar Centro, Gothenburg

Familjen Restaurant, Gothenburg

Overnight Roast Shoulder of Deer at Familjen Restaurant, Gothenburg

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A Postcard from Gothenburg

Greetings from lovely Gothenburg! I am here for the weekend to explore and eat (of course). One day in and I feel so relaxed. I love a second city – really I do! Hello Cork, one of my favourites where I lived for 8 years, and I really did prefer Split in Croatia to Dubrovnik. Hey, I am already wildly off the point.

Gothenburg boasts 5 michelin starred restaurants and lots of mid range. I am exploring the gamut, hoping to get a little bit of everything. I am letting the trip evolve day by day, which I love to do.

Here are some photo highlights of the trip so far. Enjoy!

Some pizza at the end of my rainbow yesterday - pretty!

Can I have this in A3 please?

Smoked quail egg with bleak roe, reindeer and other wonders at Sjömagasinet

Smoked quail egg with bleak roe, reindeer and other wonders at Sjömagasinet

Sjömagasinet

Diners at the Central Food Market

Feskekörka (Fish Church) in Gothenburg

Catch of the Day (Plaice) at Restaurant Gabriel, Feskekörka (delicious!)

Superb chocolates from Jeanna Kanold in the Central Market or nearby at Victoria Passage

Fantastic Blueberry & Cardamom Chocolates from Kanold

de Matteo - great coffee

HALLO!

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Swedish Lapland: Indigenous Sámi Souvas (that’s reindeer to you and I)

Souvas in Lapland

It’s icy out there, bitterly cold and the grass is now a shade of mint green, each blade with it’s little frosty jacket. I do wonder what it must be like in Lapland. Definitely, much worse than this. When I was there, this Autumn, it was already starting to cool down and I had a brief insight to your upcoming, and now very much present, Winter.

I had many fine experiences on my trip, one was an afternoon with indigenous Sámi people, who introduced us first to their herd of reindeer, and second, to one of their defining traditional dishes, souvas.

Souvas in Lapland

The Sámi people are the indigenous people occupying Sápmi in Northern Europe, an arc of land consisting of parts of far northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. They are the only official indigenous people remaining in Northern Europe. Traditionally the Sámi people traditionally rely on a variety of livelihoods, including coastal fishing, fur trapping and sheep herding but their food supply remains almost entirely dependent on their nomadic herds of reindeer. Berries, wild grasses and lichens are also collected during the two brief summer months to supplement this.

Souvas in Lapland

Only 10% of Sámi are now semi-nomadic reindeer herders. The life in the harsh long winters is extremely challenging, but it is culturally and traditionally and therefore it is maintained. For this reason, reindeer herding is legally reserved only for Sámi people in some parts of the Nordic countries.

Souvas in Lapland

We met some in Kiruna, and tried their traditonal dish: Souvas. Souvas are made from reindeer meat by the reindeer herders. The meat is dry-salted and smoked in a traditional peaked tent for eight hours over a roaring open fire and is then fried and served with dense unleavened bread and lingonberries which would have been foraged by the herders.

Souvas in Lapland

Souvas in Lapland

The Souvas themselves are smoky, as you would expect, and intensely flavoured. Thinly sliced (think the thickness of a rasher of bacon) and fairly lean, they are very tender when hot with the juicy sour lingonberries a superb, mouth pursing and tart accompaniment. Dessert was a delicious little cup of foraged cloudberries and cream with tea that had been made over the fire.

Souvas in Lapland

Souvas in Lapland

Souvas in Lapland

There is little waste when they kill their reindeer for meat, they eat all edible parts and cure and use the pelts. When the animal is first killed they make a soup with the bloody and some of the offal, they smoke the reindeer hearts which are delicious with a very soft delicate texture. We ate the reindeer heart with candied angelica. Quite bitter and stringy, I didnt really take to this, but if there wasn’t a choice? Well, you’d just have to eat ot. It’s actually the only sweet thing that Sámi children used to eat (they now have access to sweets like the rest of us).

Lapland

Lapland

It was a fascinating and all too brief insight into their culture, culinary and otherwise. They live by foraging and eating only foods that are locally available. They do occasionally eat bear, alhough not often as bears are half god/half animal. In fact, each nomadic tent has two doors, one for people and everyday use, the other for carrying in bears and bringing out their dead.

We visited Nutti Sámi Siida. They arrange nature and culture experiences like the souva eating experience above.

Nutti Sami Siida
Marknadsvägen 84
981 91 Jukkasjärvi
www.nutti.se

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One Night in Stockholm: Dinner at Bakfickan

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

On my recent trip to Lapland, I had a few hours in Stockholm the night before I flew there. I was determined to find somewhere local, interesting and good that might give me an insight to their food culture. Always my three objectives, I am not always successful when I have only one option, this time, however, it was a resounding success.

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

Bakfickan – translated as the Hip Pocket – and meaning the small place behind the posh place basically, is embedded in the back of the Opera House next to its more formal and higher end sibling, Operabaren. It’s known for serving traditional Swedish food although there is clearly a strong French influence on the food here too. The two restaurants share a kitchen – although not a menu – at significantly different prices. It was definitely the one to try.

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

A large counter dominates and staff busy themselves behind, swiftly and efficiently deploying food and drinks to the diners seated around them. It feels very old school with formal service but also very relaxed. Rustic food with attention to detail appears here, lots of flavours and contrasts but with tenderness too.

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

I opted for the Uppsala Stew, tasting like a refined Irish stew with lighter glistening stock, gorgeous tender brisket and a sprinkling of fresh horseradish which livened it up. Root vegetables and sweet anka potatoes added sweetness and bulk. It was a delicious and comforting plate of food.

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

My dining companions had fried trout with lemon, creamed leeks and potatoes and the haché, I tried them both and they were excellent plates of food. The chips that came with the haché deserve a special mention as they were perfect (a rarity in most restaurants) with crispy outsides and hot fluffy interiors.

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

Sweden is famous for expensive alcohol, and Bakfickan is no exception. I opted for an ordinary enough glass of Cotes du Ventoux which cost about £8/9 per glass, about twice what I would expect to pay in London. But it’s not London, it’s Sweden, so I indulged but just had one. I find it impossible to eat out and not have wine with dinner, what wouldbe the point? 

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

And that was it, a brief but gorgeous sample of what Bakfickan has to offer. I’ll definitely go back, if only to sample the deep-fried sweetbreads with apples and truffle mayonnaise, and also pay a visit to the haughtier sibling next door.

Bakfickan, Operahuset, Karl XII:S torg, Box 1616, SE-111 86 Stockholm

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Recipe: A little bit of Pitepalt

Palt

We’re going to eat Pitepalt. Pitepalt? Yes, pitepalt. I hadn’t done my research and had no idea what they were talking about. I chose to keep my mouth shut and wait and see.

What a treat then to discover that we were going to be eating supreme comfort food, lakeside in Lapland. Potato dumplings, fried over an open fire with pork belly (YES! pork belly), and served with butter and the sugared lingonberries that we had just foraged. Rich, robust and nutty, the potato dumplings, heavier than gnocchi but delicious nonetheless, were coated with pork fat, with nuggets of pork belly for company, smothered in butter with the tartness of the lingonberries raising the tone.

Palt

Lingonberries and sugar

BUT, I can’t have any. Well, yes you can. Quick trip to IKEA for the lingonberries or lingonberry jam, and Bob’s your uncle. I can’t help you with the lake though.

This recipe is a variation of one from Paltakademin (the Academy of Palt, an association whose mission it is to spread the word of the pitepalt and help people all over the world to find out about it and enjoy it.

Greta’s Pitepalt (serves 10)

Peel and  grate 2 litres of waxy potatoes, preferably almond potatoes but as you’re not in Lapland, Anya or similar will do. Leave in a colander for at least 15 minutes to get rid of some of the moisture.

Mix the potatoes with 3 tablespoons of salt and 1 litre flour.

Cut 1 kg of cured belly of pork into dice.

In a big pan bring to the boil 5 litres of water with 4 tablespoons of salt and a piece of pork rind (optional).

Roll the paltballs (about the size of a walnut) with wet hands. If you want to fill them put some flour on the tips of two fingers, make a whole in the middle of the palt and put in about 1 tablespoon porkdice in each, then roll them again till round.

When they’re ready lower the palts into the boling water and boil on low heat for 45 minutes. Take them up with a slotted spoon. Serve with butter, the pork and lingonberries

If you haven’t filled them and want to fry them you cut up the balls, have a hot pan with loads of butter and fry until they’re golden. Serve with the pork, extra butter and lingonberries. This is also a good way to use up leftovers from filled palt.

Recipe from the Culinary Academy of Sweden.

The official Palt academy: www.paltakademien.se

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Greetings from Sweden: Postcard No 3

And, here we are! At the end of the Lapland trip. It was so wonderful. Beautiful countryside, lovely people and so interesting and mainly delicious. I am still not a lover of herring though (ducks for cover).

Another series of photos for you. More detail soon too.

Lovely lake in Lapland

Me, in Swedish Lapland. See, I told you I was there.

Tree Hotel

The Tree Hotel. I know.

Sweden Day 4

How beautiful is that bright sunshine?

Lingonberries

Lingonberries

Wild Cranberries

Cranberries

Fishing Rainbow Trout

Fishing (and actually catching) Rainbow Trout

Lingonberries!

Lingonberries for lunch, and extra for jam

Sweden Day 4

Beautiful lake. We stayed on the shore of this.

Sweden Day 4

Bleak fish, pre popping for roe

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Greetings from Sweden: Postcard No 2

Sweden Day 3, Lapland

And so we’re still in Lapland. We’ve migrated South from Kiruna, just beyond the Arctic Circle. We’re now by the river, looking at Finland. If I waved, they could see me.

Today involved an exploration of indigenous Sami food. Greta, a native Sami, brought reindeer heart, candied angelica, and other things to try. We also did some fishing, although failed to catch any fish. I blame the boys ;)

We finished the evening with a sauna dinner. I must confess that I didn’t participate in the sauna and hot tub  (I forgot my swimsuit!), but I did enjoy the dinner. And I loved sitting on the terrace, looking at Finland, eating lots of herring, reindeer and local specialities, whilst gazing at the starry sky, and… Finland!

Photographic highlights:

Day 3 in Sweden, Lapland

Reindeer Heart

Day 3 in Sweden, Lapland

Arctic Raspberries

Day 3 in Sweden, Lapland

Greta, a wonderful Sami lady

Day 3 in Sweden, Lapland

Wild Mushrooms

Day 3 in Sweden, Lapland

Perfect Spot for Lunch

Sweden Day 3, Lapland

Fresh Lingonberries

Sweden Day 3, Lapland

Hot Smoked White Fish

Sweden Day 3, Lapland

Hot Smoked White Fish

 

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Greetings from Sweden: Postcard No 1

Greetings from Lapland!

The Culinary Institute of Sweden arranged a trip to Lapland for food journalists and bloggers from all over Europe to experience their food culture for 5 days, and here I am. I have been having the most wonderful time. Over the next 5 days, where possible, I will upload a postcard in the form of the photos that represent the best part of the day, that hopefully you will enjoy. Details later. Here is the first. From Kiruna, within the Arctic Circle.

Day 1: Kiruna

Sweden Day 2 - Kiruna/Lapland

Just before Kiruna, from the air

Sweden Day 2 - Kiruna/Lapland

Kiruna, Lapland, from the air

Sweden Day 2 - Kiruna/Lapland

Greetings from the bar of the Ice Hotel

Sweden Day 2 - Kiruna/Lapland

Stewed Cloudberries with Cream

Sweden Day 2 - Kiruna/Lapland

Smoked Reindeer with Lingonberry Jam and Flatbread

Sweden Day 2 - Kiruna/Lapland

Cooking Reindeer over an Open Fire

Sweden Day 2 - Kiruna/Lapland

Reindeer

Sweden Day 2 - Kiruna/Lapland

Reindeer

Sweden Day 2 - Kiruna/Lapland

Pigs in Space

Wonderful, eh? Back tomorrow :)