We have an abundance of restaurants at our disposal here in the UAE, but one area on the world culinary map is still relatively uncharted – Scandinavia.
In recent decades, Sweden has emerged as a leading destination for foodies seeking something out of the ordinary. Gothenburg, or Göteborg, its second largest city, is home to seven Michelin-starred restaurants and the west coast it sits upon produces some of the world’s best shellfish.
After flying in to this chilled-out sea port, you can check in to the trendy Clarion Hotel Post (www.goteborg.com/en/clarion-hotel-post), set in an old post office. Once unpacked, take a short stroll to the Garden Society of Gothenburg to indulge in the local tradition of “fika”, an afternoon coffee break, at Rose Café. Spend the evening at vRÅ, one of the Clarion’s restaurants that serves Swedish ingredients with a sushi twist.
Relaxed and refreshed, kick off day two in the Magasinsgatan district, where you’ll find several food trucks, including Strömmingsluckan, one that makes a cracking dish of local fried herring, mashed potato and lingonberry jam. If that doesn’t take your fancy, pop to Restaurang Gabriel in the fishy haven of Feskekôrka and try the lemon sole with mushrooms and melted butter.
Following an afternoon wandering around the quaint Haga old town, you’ll be ready to try out one of the aforementioned Michelin-starred eateries. Koka offers a superb three-course menu for just Dhs200, so is well worth checking out.
Day three is your chance for a road trip, and after driving to Alingsås, known as the “capital of fika” for a guided tour of the cafés, carry on to Läckö Castle on the shores of Vänern, the largest lake in Sweden. Stay at the palatial Naturum hotel (naturum.lackoslott.se), the perfect base from which to discover the 400-year-old ramparts. For dinner, try the acclaimed Hvita Hjorten, which uses ingredients sourced from the castle’s garden and offers stunning views of the lake.
Head out for another adventure on your final day, with a drive to Lysekil on the Bohuslän coast, where there are no fewer than 8,000 islands. Take an oyster and mussel tour and then cook your catch on Käringeholmen island. A tasty way to finish this fabulous foodie holiday.
KLM flies to Gothenburg via Amsterdam from Dhs2,120. Visit www.klm.com.
Four of the trip highlights
With its dramatic scenery and hundreds upon hundreds of rocky islands, this is the northernmost tip of the west coast. On your tour, you’ll travel on Signe – a traditional wooden boat built locally in 1952 – to visit a mussel farm.
The old town has some delightful cafés and pretty shops found in streets full of wooden houses. You’ll also find Sweden’s biggest cinnamon bun at café Husaren, which everyone has to try, no matter how full you are..
A thoroughly modern restaurant serving contemporary west Swedish food. The visionary Björn Person and his staff serve haute cuisine at affordable prices and their efforts were rewarded with a Michelin star back in 2008.
Sitting on the sight of an old fort built in 1298, this wonderful example of 17th century baroque architecture is best discovered on one of the many tours, while during the summer it hosts a range of concerts and exhibitions.