SWEDEN: FÄVIKEN & COPPERHILL
Journey north from Stockholm and experience a bit of Scandinavian magic in the foothills of Mount Åre where the villages are named for Norse gods. Just beyond the moose and reindeer crossing signs, tucked in the knee high wildflower covered foothills, emerges one of the world's most famous food pantries. Magnus Nilsson's Fäviken shares the secrets of local Nordic treasures: smoked reindeer, Finnish fish eggs, dried rowan berries, fried pig trotters, lupin curd gratin, and pickled marigold. Arrive just in time for check-in (not a minute late--relish every minute of the 18 hour stay). Prepare to immerse yourself in the enchantment of the twenty thousand acre farm--walk in the woods, relax on the dock and enjoy the lake's lapping waves. Lay yourself in a field of flowers and fill your mind with uncommon stillness. With reverence and a sense that the world is a beautiful place, climb the stairs and turn the key to a simple room comprised of an ageless mix of natural hues, distressed finishes, and warm fur blanketed beds--an organic retreat in which to recover from a soon to be shared 30 course meal in the heart of the circa 1745 barn. The lodge's sauna is a sanctuary in which to acclimate oneself to the enchantment of this outlander environment. Oh, and while heat refreshing, nosh on moose jerky and sip local honey mead--the best ever fermented combination of hops, wildflower honey, yeast, and water. An hour before the memory making meal, meander over to the teepee to enjoy the warmth of the interior fire pit, an aperitif and conversation with a diverse group of traveller's eager to share some of the world's greatest food alchemy. Although the 3 hour dinner is served precisely at 7 o'clock, every movement appears to be in harmony with the surroundings. The staff is attentive, kind, and soft spoken and all have the grace of monastery training. The atmosphere is quiet but zinging with excitement as waves of plates arrive table side. Servings of burnt cream king crab, cloudberries, colostrum with meadowsweet, woodsy burning or bone marrow pudding arrive at the 18th century hunting lodge table and sensory feasting begins. The colors, textures and smells of the locally sourced bite by magical bite tasting menu are either hunted, foraged, or fished on this hunting estate, nature reserve and former moose fondue restaurant. The year in advance necessary planning, the remote, rustic, and romantic far and away setting, and a culinary experience unlike anything to be experienced anywhere else in the world make Fäviken a journey worthy of one of life's best memories.
Just down the road, tucked into the winding lush green covered foothills of Mount Förberget, emerge sod and birch bark roofed log houses on either side of the alpine terrain. The pristine landscape of the historical Jämtland formerly peasant republic--free of telephone poles, wires and traffic--is a haven of accessible wilderness and a 44,000 strong reindeer population.
Pass several moose and reindeer crossing signs and the ultra-modern, wood and glass American architect, Peter Bohlin, designed Copperhill Mountain Lodge rises from the extraordinary alpine landscape. Just as Mr. Bohlin did when he created the Apple store's precision-edged glass cube and structural steel free NYC masterpiece, Peter blueprinted Copperhill to create an emotional response reflecting a desire to respect place, people, and purpose. With an approach similar to his iconic Apple store creation in which he married technology and art, Bohlin sought the essence of place and people when he married nature and art at the Copperhill Mountain Lodge. The details reflect Sweden's 200 year old copper mining industrial heritage and make the most of the materials and textures that make Sweden unique. The exterior of the building is a combination of a traditional copper mine Falu Rödfärg Black painted windows and trim that glow translucently in the warm evening seemingly endless Swedish light, and an impressive long wood clad facade. Inside, a shimmering multi-story copper wall reflects light shining in from skylights. The copper wall flanks a slate stone story high fireplace and modern, comfortable begging to be sat in furniture. Scopious public spaces, including a billiards room, library, and bar, include elements of Scandinavian character: geometric wooden supports, unfussy comfort, and the warmth of what seems to be miles of natural articulated pine wood. The effect of using nature's best to construct this alpine hotel results in an extraordinary radiant atmosphere worthy of a trip to Sweden's Jämtland any time of year.
The Nordic Cook Book by Magnus Nilsson