Scan Magazine, Issue 168, July 2024

Page 1




Decoding Design

1. Is your design idea feeling a bit ______?

2. We are a design studio on the Swedish ____-_____!

3. We work with everything, including a bit of __

4. ... and we will help you _____ your creative vision!

5. We add some _______ to your projects

6. ... and create highly ______ design solutions

7. ... and we’re as _____ as we are handsome ;)

8. So you should ____

9. ...____!

We are Boid

A lively product design studio in Gothenburg, Sweden. We’re experts at creating business value by being curious about the people who will use your product.

With one paw in research and the other in industry, we strategize, dream up concepts, and bring innovation to life.

1. Blurry, 2. West Coast, 3. AI, 4. Build, 5. Oohlala, 6. Usable, 7. Smart, 8. Call, 9. Boid

Editor’s Note

Dear reader,

What a treat we have in store for you in this month’s issue. Starting off with a bang, we feature Sweden’s greatest showman, Benjamin Ingrosso, as our cover star. The singer, songwriter and producer has just released a new single, Look Who’s Laughing Now, and it seems that all the stars are aligning for him this year. Check out the hot-off-the-press interview by our music columnist Karl Batterbee, it makes for an inspiring read.

Another delight, and a tasty one if I may say so, is our guide to Norwegian cider makers. Having devoted myself to craft beer and its intricacies for almost a decade now, I had all but forgotten the joys of a well-made cider and admittedly, I had no idea that Norway was such a stronghold for cider making. Don’t miss our deep dive into some of the best cider producers in the world, and if you’re curious also read about my journey in cider.

Like an irresistible bag of pic ’n’ mix, we also cover the best in design, from talented jewellery makers to digital solutions for

kitchen design, as well as cultural gems and culinary experiences in Scandinavia and further afield. And our extensive cabin and glamping guide really puts me in the mood for an escape to an off-the-grid tiny house with panoramic views. What could be better than a peaceful few days surrounded by unspoilt nature, with something exciting to read?

Find a nice spot in the garden or perhaps on the beach, bring a delicious craft cider or something else refreshing to quench your thirst, and read our jam-packed July issue. Enjoy!


In this issue


8 Benjamin Ingrosso on becoming Sweden’s greatest showman

Swedish singer, songwriter and producer Benjamin Ingrosso has just released his latest single Look Who’s Laughing Now. The acutely self-aware song title ended up being a selffulfilling prophecy, going straight to number one on Spotify Sweden. This gave the artist – who has spent his career having to go the extra mile to prove himself – plenty to smile about.


18 Stylish beach essentials

July is the time to hit the beach or go for a picnic in the park. For what to bring on your sunny day out, take inspiration from our rundown to stylish beach essentials. We also feature Scandinavian designed stoneware, slow fashion and luxurious silk pyjamas, as well as products with fragrances from nature. Plus well-designed holiday cabins, bespoke kitchens and furniture, and a modern take on wallpapering.

This month, our food columnist Katharina Kjeldgaard serves up crispy cauliflower nuggets – perfect for wraps, served with fries or as a side to salads. And beer sommelier Malin Norman is in a reflective mood, sharing her cider journey from sweet to dry and finally craft cider.


46 The Best Cider Producers in Norway Norwegian cider is thriving and winning heaps of awards. In this special theme, we feature some of the country’s best cider producers. Especially in the regions of Hardanger and Nordmøre, cider makers are building on the proud legacy of agriculture traditions. This is a celebration of farm life, heritage, and the best that nature has to offer.

63 Made in Sweden

Sweden is known for iconic global corporations and many companies are leading in innovation, digitalisation and sustainability. In this theme, we take a look at some brands with cutting-edge ideas, approaches to balance form and function, and designs that seamlessly integrate into our lifestyle. We discover everything from soft sauna experiences to wallpaper art and digital solutions for kitchen design.


76 Timeless Elegance: Classic Design That Never Goes Out of Style

Some companies know how to perfect the art of blending pleasing aesthetics with functionality. Here, we discover three brands with comprehensive design solutions for the modern customer’s needs. This is a contemporary yet timeless design at its best.

80 Leading Jewellery Brands in Norway and Finland

This guide is a celebration of design and cultural heritage. We take a look at Norway’s leading jewellery brands and Finland’s finest jewellery makers. With respect and appreciation for traditional craftsmanship, these brands design jewellery that stand the test of time, often with untamed nature and folklore as inspiration.

90 Cabin and Glamping Guide: Unique Accommodations in Norway

When city life becomes draining and you want to escape the concrete jungle for a while, look no further than our cabin and glamping guide. If you are looking for a peaceful and luxurious way to experience the great outdoors, we cover everything from luxury tents to tiny cabins and a loft in the sky.


140 The best new events, film and music in Scandinavia

In this month’s Culture Calendar, we look into the best events in the Nordics. Our music columnist Karl Batterbee picks out the Scandinavian sounds of this summer, film enthusiast Anders Lorenzen looks at climate change in film and TV, and illustrator Maria Smedstad reflects on the challenge with Swedish recipes.


Fashion Diary

Don’t be fooled by teeth-shatteringly cold arctic photos of Scandinavia, because July means a blue sky and a blazing sun even in the North. This year is all about breathable, comfortable fabrics that capture the very essence of efficient yet stylish Scandinavian minimalism – linen, cotton, you name it.

Summer in the Nordic countries often sees daylight stretch late into the evening, if not all night, meaning that dinners, get-togethers, and parties will be taken outside. This beautiful, green Cupro halterneck dress by Norwegian brand byTiMo is light, silky and sheer with a flowy, summery silhouette. It’s perfect for anything from casual dinners to formal events, not to mention the wedding season! More than anything, the smooth viscose makes it comfortable in the simmering heat.

Cupro halterneck dress, 420 EUR


of Sweden – Maisan skirt

So far, 2024 has been the year of long, white dresses and skirts. Similar to other long skirts on the market, Tiger of Sweden’s Maisan is flowy and feminine, but its folklore-inspired look and asymmetry as well as its belt loops and drawstrings, makes it truly unique.

Maisan skirt, 349 EUR

Filippa K – asymmetric swimsuit in sunset yellow

If there’s a lake nearby, no doubt you’ll find Scandinavians lounging by the shore or playing in the water. Why not join and dip your toes in the water with Filippa K’s bright and summery asymmetrical swimsuit in sunset yellow?

Asymmetric swimsuit in sunset yellow, 1,400 SEK

ATP Atelier – Capri nappa flat sandals in black

No matter where you’re holidaying this year, make sure your shoe wear is both multifunctional and comfortable. These Capri sandals by Swedish-Italian brand ATP Atelier are handmade in Italy from Nappa soft leather, they’re fashionable and stay cool against those sizzling, sun-exposed cobblestones and sand dunes.

Capri nappa flat sandals in black, 290 EUR

Varsity Headwear – Linen legacy structured cap

Varsity Headwear is a Norwegian brand that specialises in caps, so trust them to protect you from the sun this summer. Made from 100% linen, the Linen legacy structured cap is one of its bestsellers and for good reason. Breathable, lightweight, and not to mention customisable, this cap can elevate any outfit.

Linen legacy structured cap, 90 EUR


Day’s March – Abu linen shirt in white

Every man needs a linen shirt, and more specifically the Abu shirt from A Day’s March. Made from 100% linen, this beautiful, casual and timeless piece is perfect for every capsule wardrobe, ideal for everything from café dates and strolls through the city, to wine nights and luxurious holidays on the French Riviera. Abu Linen Shirt in white, 125 EUR

Arket – linen drawstring trousers

A summer lookbook would not do without a pair of linen pants. Arket’s linen drawstring trousers have a loose and comfortable fit, with drawstring and elastics at the waist. Pair them with a white shirt for a more formal look, or if you want a more laid-back effect, knock yourself out with a boxy T-shirt.

Linen drawstring trousers, 69 EUR

Marda Swimwear – Navy mid-length swim shorts

Nothing screams “timeless” like a pair of navy, midlength swim shorts. Cool, stylish and sustainable, Marda Swimwear’s swim shorts are made from recyclable materials and are fitted with back pockets –light, soft, and functional!

Navy mid-length swim shorts, 149 USD

Photo: Jonathan Perlmann

Look who’s laughing now: Benjamin Ingrosso on his journey to becoming Sweden’s greatest showman

On Friday 14 June, Benjamin Ingrosso released his latest single Look Who’s Laughing Now. The acutely self-aware song title ended up being a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. Going straight to number one on Spotify Sweden the following day, it gave the artist – who has spent his career having to go the extra mile to prove himself – plenty to smile about.

It’s been a very rewarding few years for Benjamin Ingrosso, with commercial success, critical acclaim and an ever-increasing number of awards to place on his mantle. But 2024 seems to be the year where everything is going stratospheric for the star, and on an international level, too.

Flying high as a Kite

During the spring, Ingrosso completed a 12-city tour of Europe, achieved his first radio smash in Italy with his song Kite (an important achievement for the entertainer, given his half-Italian heritage), and he was selected as one of the interval acts at the 68th Eurovision Song

Contest in May, performing a medley of his songs with no less than 20 musicians and dancers joining him on stage.

The Eurovision performance was something of a homecoming for Ingrosso, who had represented Sweden at the 2018 Contest, giving his country a Top 10 finish. This time around, however, he felt it was an even greater buzz, as it enabled him to showcase the artist he’s become six years on: “To be able to be there and do a seven-minute medley, that’s just the best thing. I’m very honoured. Back then I was younger. I’m not a totally different artist now, because the sound of what I

was doing with Dance You Off also had the flavour of the old-school world. But now I’m a more evolved performer and artist.”

A career 18 years in the making

Few artists of his age (he will turn 27 in September) could have experienced evolution like Benjamin Ingrosso, who released his first song in 2006, at age eight. He went on to have a stint as a child star in various musical theatre productions before finally embarking on a career as a recording artist professionally in 2016. Looking back over how long it’s taken him to get to the level he’s achieved in 2024, he’s reflective: “I’ve been doing this since I was eight years old, so I know that it takes time. But it also takes the audience a lot of time to connect with an artist and realise what they can do. For me, I had to do it step by step. And now in Sweden, it does feel like people connect with me in a totally different way than they did six years ago.”

For a pop singer, if they ever do cross over into more widespread acclaim, there’s usually a turning point that you can pin it on – a moment that made everyone else sit up and listen. For Ingrosso, he reckons it was the release of his second album, the first album he recorded in Swedish. “En Gång i Tiden was a homage to the old ‘70s music in Sweden. And even the cover art for the album was an homage itself to how Stockholm looked then. It was all very organic. Before, I was ‘the pop guy’, and then all of a sudden people could hear that the way I wrote music was much broader. That made a wider audience connect to me.”

Born under Spotlights

There’s another reason why Benjamin Ingrosso has had to take it step by step in proving himself – and that’s the family he was born into; the celebrity Wahlgren dynasty. In Sweden, they are comparable to the Kardashians in terms of their

fame and their impact on pop culture, but that’s where any comparison should end. Behind the Wahlgren family are three generations of award-winning actors, singers, presenters and all-round entertainment stalwarts. Benjamin Ingrosso of course benefitted from the instant platform that comes with this, but he also had to battle the negative side of it, too – no matter what he would go on to achieve, accusations would come from some that it was not down to his talent, but his name.

On his debut album Identification, he wrote a song (Spotlights) about precisely those insecurities, with lyrics such as “You think ‘cause I’m a name, I’m a fake, I’m just doing what I’ve been told. See I can understand where they come from ‘cause I’ve been on every show.” But surely six years later and a superstar in his own right he isn’t still weighed down by such feelings, is he? “Sometimes. Es-

pecially when I’m on stage, there can be some negative thoughts that creep in. I struggle with that a lot, still. On the European tour it was kind of cool to come and see an audience that doesn’t know my family. Some of them have recently found me through Kite, and some of them have been there since Eurovision, and they don’t know my journey in Sweden.”

Back home in Sweden, Benjamin was able to address any naysayers head-on when he participated in Så Mycket Bättre in 2020, one of the biggest TV shows in the country. There, he wrote the lyrics to a song called Tänd Alla Ljus, which poked fun at those preconceived notions of him. “In that song, I was able to speak to an audience that hadn’t heard Spotlights or the Identification album. And in it, I talked about what they all think of me. It was like: ‘I know what you all think. But I have so much more to show’. That song became a big breakthrough for me.”

Photo: Jonathan Perlmann
Photo: Jacob Rangnitt
Photo: Jonathan Perlmann

The Swedish EGOT

It’s a breakthrough that has since led to him winning the Swedish Grammy award for Artist of the Year in 2022, the Kristallen award for TV Personality of the Year (for his cookery programme Benjamin’s) in 2022 and 2023, and multiple Rockbjörnen awards, too. When asked if that means he’s got the Swedish equivalent of an EGOT (the holy grail of award wins in America, where an entertainer can say they’ve won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony). But he informs us that: “As an actor I haven’t won a Guldbaggen, so that’s the last thing for me to win.” And

is that something he would potentially pursue? “In the future, 100 per cent. Or as a musical composer for a movie or something.” Then, reminding us of that dynasty, he quips: “My grandma has a Guldbaggen, so maybe I can steal hers.”

This summer, as well as riding on the wave of another number one hit, Benjamin will be heading out on the Better Days tour of Sweden. It follows on from last year’s Allt Det Vackra summer tour, which he cites as another turning point for how people in Sweden perceived him. “When we were doing the first

show, people didn’t know what to expect. And then we gave them a full-on pop show. They got to see that I’m more than this one thing and more than that one thing, that I’m an entertainer, which has always been my goal. I’m not an artist with one sound, I’m a performer and an entertainer. And that means that one song I can sit and play on the grand piano and another song I can dance and be more of a…“ Benjamin struggles momentarily to identify what he means in English, so we offer up ‘showman’. “A showman, yes! That’s the right word.” And it truly is.

Photo: Jonathan Perlmann

Denmark and Norway to shine at Tour de France

Danes and Norwegians have always been keen cyclists. It’s therefore natural that the world’s largest cycling race, Tour de France, enjoys huge popularity – helped by the fact that over the last few decades, riders from both Nordic countries have notched up memorable and significant victories and results. Is this the golden age for Scandinavian professional cycling?

In recent years, both Danish and Norwegian riders have achieved an impressive amount of success taking into consideration how many professional riders the countries have compared to the huge cycling nations such as France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain – a reasonable question to ask is if they’re punching above their weight?

The 2024 edition of the Tour de France starts on 29 June. Defending champion Jonas Vingegaard has recovered from several injuries following a horrible crash in the Spanish stage race Tour of Basque Country, which also took down a host of other top riders. The Danish cycling star, who just over five years ago was packing fish at a factory in the Danish North Sea port of Hanstholm, has been cleared to start in the race, with speculation mounting if he can take his third successive Tour de France victory.

Wild card for Uno-X Mobility

The Norwegian-Danish professional cycling team Uno-X Mobility has for the second year running been given a wild card to the world’s largest and most prestigious and many would argue hardest cycling race. “I think Denmark is around five years ahead of Norway,” Thor Hushovd, former Norwegian cycling star who earlier this year was appointed as general manager for Uno-X Mobility, tells Scan Magazine.

While Denmark is punching well above its weight and is currently ranked second in the UCI (the international cycling body) world ranking, Norway is currently number 13. And where Denmark has three riders in the top 15, the highest-ranking Norwegian rider at number 60 is Alexander Kristoff, a 36-year-old top sprinter at the autumn of his career and one of the big signings by Uno-X Mobility ahead of the 2023 season.

This season he has given the team four victories and several secondary places, resulting in valuable UCI points and

Danish cyclist Jonas Vingegaard. Photo: Tirreno Adriatico

propelling the team up the rankings.

As a ProTeam, the second division of professional road cycling, UCI points are crucial to help the team fulfil its ambitions of reaching the top flier, the World Tour. The Norwegian team is currently ranked as the world’s 18th best team. To qualify as a World Tour team, apart from meeting financial regulations, they must be in the top 20 at the end of the 2025 season.

Uno-X Mobility was founded in 2016 and turned professional in 2020. The team is owned by the Norwegian conglomerate Reitan A/S, and its sponsors (Uno-X) are fuel stations that can be found in Denmark and Norway. Uno-X sees its support for cycling in line with the business transition towards sustainable transport with investments in ultra-fast electric vehicle (EV) charging, soy and palm oil-free biofuels, and eco-friendly car washing.

From a sporting perspective, Uno-X Mobility has the unique policy of only including Danish and Norwegian riders

on its team. This is because the business only operates in the two countries as well as the ambition to create a platform for investing in and developing Norwegian and Danish cycling stars and talents.

Scandinavian professional cycling in 2024

The surging interest in professional cycling in Norway and Denmark should be seen in the light of the Uno-X Mobility success story and the fact that for two years running, Denmark has a record amount of professional cycling victories with both countries recording significant results at junior levels.

For Danish and Norwegian riders, the amount of competitors at the top level achieving consistent results and the wide versatility of riders is something not seen before in Scandinavian professional cycling. Hushovd believes the Scandinavian mentality and determination has a lot to do with the success rate.

Both Norway and Denmark have riders that can produce victories in all types of

races such as one-stage races flat and hilly, stage races – weekly and grand tours, and time trials. From Norway’s perspective, aside from Kristoff, hopes are high for sprinting star Søren Wærenskjold, who can produce good time trial results. This year, he has four victories so far. Much is also expected of Tobias Haaland Johannesen, a general classification (GC) talent. They all ride for Uno-X Mobility and have been selected for the Tour de France.

In Denmark apart from Vingegaard, Mads Pedersen is the biggest star. The former world champion has so far notched up nine victories, giving him a fifth place in the UCI world rankings. Magnus Cort, who ahead of this season joined Uno-X Mobility, is a fan favourite with his signature moustache and joking grin, and his Instagram series of hotel reviews is part of his popularity.

Denmark currently has 18 riders on the World Tour level and 17 on the Pro Tour level, whilst Norway has eight riders and 25 riders respectively.

Jonas Vingegaard in the Tour de France kit 2024 in studio. Photo: Visma Lease a Bike Bram Berkien
Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert training in the new Visma Lease a Bike kit.
Photo: Visma Lease a Bike Ellis Heijboer

The next line of Scandinavian talent

Michael Skelde is a former professional rider, team owner and now an agent with Skelde Performance with both Danish and Norwegian riders on his books. He tells Scan Magazine that taking the step up to the professional scene is even more challenging for the Nordic nations as its amateur level is often overlooked by professional teams, except Uno-X Mobility. However, he is optimistic that several young riders will take the step up to professional level next season.

Former rider Christian Moberg is now managing the Danish continental team ColoQuick (the semi-professional level below ProTeams), which discovered Vingegaard. To Scan Magazine, he says that his team is the ideal place for young riders to develop. “We are the Danish team with the best organisation as we have permanent mechanics, soigneurs and a large set-up around the riders, so they are perfectly positioned to learn what being a professional rider is like,” the sports director explains.

Preliminary start list for Tour de France

As this month’s issue of Scan Magazine goes to print, the preliminary start list for Tour de France includes eight Danish

riders, including Vingegaard, and seven Norwegian riders. All the Norwegians are riding for Uno-X Mobility. However,

it’s worth noting that a few teams are still to confirm rosters, so this could still change.

“Our ambition for this year’s Tour is to go for a stage win. Having come so close last year, we have a great chance,“ Hushovd elaborates on the goals of the Scandinavian team. Cort, Kristoff, Vaerenskjold and Johannesen are all strong contenders.

The pragmatic and realistic Danes are often hesitant to call themselves favourites. Before Vingegaard’s April crash, he was the clear favourite to win the Tour de France for a third consecutive year. Having now been cleared to ride, expect this confidence to surge. Skelde, meanwhile, is confident about Danish success, hoping for three to four wins, ideally split between three riders.

Tour de France starts on the 29 June, with the 21 stages lasting just over three weeks with two rest days included.

Thor Hushovd with Magnus Cort. Photo: Szymon Gruchalski/Uno-X Mobility
Christian Moberg talking to one of his riders at Grand Prix Herning 2024.Photo: Toke Hage

We Love This: July 2024

Who doesn’t love spending time outdoors, when the sun is finally out? July is the time to hit the beach or go for a picnic in the park. For what to bring on your sunny day out, take inspiration from our rundown to stylish beach essentials by Nordic design brands.

Granit – Solstol Trä Natur, sun lounger

Lean back and relax in a sun lounger from Swedish brand Granit. It’s ideal for the terrace and balcony, or to bring with you to the beach or the park. It has a smart folding function, so takes up little space when not in use. The frame is made of untreated wood and the seat of reinforced off-white cotton canvas, which can be removed and washed by hand when needed.

799 SEK

Lernberger Stafsing – Sun Defence Face Cream SPF50

With its Swedish heritage, beauty brand Lernberger Stafsing embodies high quality, simplicity, and grace. It offers a range of beauty products with effective and eco-friendly ingredients – in line with our busy, modern lifestyle. This moisturising and caring facial sunscreen with SPF50 provides a photostable broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB, for healthy glowing skin.

550 SEK

Eva Solo – Drinking bottle in mocca

Always remember to stay hydrated! Danish brand Eva Solo is known for its functional and high-quality design and its Drinking bottle is leak-proof, reusable and easy to bring in your beach bag. It’s made of BPA-free plastic and contains no phthalates or heavy metals. Also, it’s dishwasher-safe, although the screw-top lid must be washed by hand.

29,95 EUR

kubbs, the wooden blocks, and finally the king placed in the middle. This set is made of premium quality and sustainable wood and comes with a bag for storage. Let the game begin!

389 SEK

HAY – Maxim bag in navy and sand Danish brand HAY works with the best designers from around the world. The stylish and colourful Maxim bag by designer Bertjan Pot is handmade from recycled plastic strips, weaved in a log cabin pattern. It’s both functional and fashionable. Use it for doing your shopping or carrying items. And if you bring it to the beach, it will hold your blanket as well as other essentials and treats. Available in different sizes and colours.

From 949 SEK

Lapuan Kankurit – USVA linen tablecloth/blanket Finnish brand Lapuan Kankurit goes all the way back to 1917, when the family established its first textile factory. Now the fourth generation of weavers, Lapuan Kankurit works responsibly and respects the environment –weaving a better future. The beautiful linen tablecloth USVA (150cm x 260cm) by designer Anu Leinonen is made of 100% washed linen and also works nicely as a blanket.

169 EUR

Osmia’s fragrances abound with the glories of Finnish nature

Osmia began with a love of flowers, plants, and science. Growing up in western Finland, its founder, Eero Vänttinen, spent time in nature, wandering through forests and fields, learning the names of different wildflowers. As a chemistry student at Turku University, he developed his own sauna oils, the first ever designed for mixing with water, and sold them at local markets.

Vänttinen further explored his interest in incorporating plants within artisan soaps and bath products. Soon, Osmia was born, a perfumery that provides customers around the world with the natural scents of Finland. The products are created in a studio known as “the little aroma and soap factory,” located in the heart of Helsinki.

Pasi Väistö, CEO of Osmia, says that the company is the only one in Finland that creates fragrances for so many differ-

ent uses. “Osmia’s range is extensive. From cosmetics, home design, skincare, and cleaning, we create lifestyle products for many different purposes,” he says. “At the same time, Osmia creates fragrances for other Finnish companies as well, such as Marimekko, Luhta, and Finlayson. Osmia is popular because it connects to positive aspects of Finnish culture, such as the environment and the varying seasons.”

Fragrances that evoke memories of Finland and Finnish nature are popular not just in the country itself, but with customers in places as far away as France and Japan. “Birch is one of our most popular scents,” says Väistö. “Perfumes associated with northern European summers are also popular, such as pine forest, clover, lilac, and honeysuckle.”

Osmia’s candles will warm and create a cosy atmosphere in any room.
Osmia creates hair and skincare products in a variety of fragrances, including the fresh scent of Finnish peat.

The Finnish love of birch

Osmia is always researching new raw materials that can be blended into new fragrances. “Finns love the smell of Koivuvihta, or birch tree,” says Väistö. “Last year we developed two different fragrances for birch. One is Koivuvihta and the other is Suomi Koivulehti, or birch leaf. It’s like the scent of freshly washed hair that has been moistened and softened in the heat of the sauna. It’s also a tea-like, softer aroma, and my favourite for summertime sauna experiences.”

Väistö believes that many Finnish companies only design their products in Finland but manufacture them in other parts of the world. “Buyers can be really opposed to this,” he says. “In Japan, for example, customers want a product that is genuinely made in Finland. Osmia designs and manufactures all products here at our studio in Helsinki.”

Sustainable ingredients and packaging are crucial. Products are contained in either 100% recycled glass or plastic bottles. One litre refill bags are also available, which reduce the use of plastic by 70%. “We use domestic rye and are currently researching interesting raw mate-

rials produced as by-products from the Finnish forestry industry. These ingredients have beneficial health effects when used in moisturisers,” explains Väistö. Osmia has gained the EU’s Ecolab certificate and this should come into use in the next few months.

A growing international market Osmia’s market is rapidly expanding outside Europe. “Our online store receives many orders from Japan, export there is growing rapidly, especially among professional users such as sauna and spa companies,” says sales director Anne Mäkijärvi. “But other countries are also showing interest. This year we’ve seen our market increasing also in Korea and even Australia.”

Future plans include finding new partners for Osmia to work with. Mäkijärvi is realistic about the future; “We can do even more with partners than alone. When the current owners decide to retire, we want to be ready to pave the way for a new and ambitious leadership.”

Ultimately, Osmia hopes that customers around the globe will enjoy a bit of Finland in their bath and home products by exploring the product line. “We want fragrances that bring Finnish nature to everyone, even city dwellers,” says Mäkijärvi. “That is the purpose of Osmia’s existence.”

Facebook: Osmia

Instagram: @osmiafinland

Osmia celebrates the scents and plants of a Nordic summer in Finland.
Products infused with birch are among the most popular.
Osmia’s founder Eero Vänttinen explored Finnish nature as a young child before combining his interests in plants and science to create the company.
Body scrubs are relaxing and will cleanse your skin with subtle aromas of wild rose, bergamot, and coconut.

Original stoneware made in Denmark

A mutual interest in 20th century Danish stoneware lies behind a small company started four years ago. It creates timeless, Scandinavian designed stoneware vases, and every item is finished by hand at the workshop in Aalborg. The driving force is to keep all design and production Danish, so every piece is truly Made in Denmark.

“Keeping things local means that we can keep an eye on every part of the process and production, ensuring the highest quality of each piece,” says Alex Kronborg at Kronborg Stentöj. The company never compromises on the high quality of its vases. Danish stoneware is popular in Denmark and worldwide, but most serial produced pieces sold are not actually made in Denmark. “As our vision is to make true Danish handcrafted stoneware, we should of course produce it in Denmark,” he continues.

The beautiful vases are made to last, and both design and production are based in Denmark. They are produced in small quantities, typically around 50-100 vases per batch. “Each vase is numbered and unique,” confirms Alex. The vases

are all created from the same original model and share a Scandinavian organic style and expression. Things tend to vary in the production process however, resulting in each individual vase having a distinctive character. The mixture of the glaze, the temperature in the oven, and each vase being made by human hands all leave marks, so you won’t find two identical vases.

Creative collaborations

Part of the premise behind the idea is to work closely with Danish artists and the first partnership is with Anders Børgesen, an established artist from Aalborg. His pieces are clearly connected to the cultural heritage of Danish ceramic art, especially renowned ceramic artist and painter Axel Johannes Salto, and Børg-

esen’s inspiring and often thought-provoking work intertwines classical expressions with modern references.

Kronborg Stentöj captures a distinct Scandinavian spirit both in its stoneware vases and approach; This truly is a passion project, a labour of love, and the team wants to continue enjoying what they do best and keeping it truly made in Denmark.

Kronborg Stentöj

Hans Povlsensvej 11, 9200 Aalborg SV +45 26 36 46 80

Instagram: @kronborgstentoj

Example of the same green glaze with different results in colour and expression.
Part of the glazing process by hand.

Dammenberg makes worry-free chocolate its mission

In Sääksjärvi, just south of Tampere, the smell of chocolate wafts gently through the breeze. It is here that Marko Iso-Kungas and his team hatch Dammenberg’s vast selection of allergy-free creations. Their hand-produced treats are sent across Finland and shipped to other corners of the globe.

“People can visit our factory outlet and in the summer and wintertime, there are many tourists here,” says Iso-Kungas, who has been working at Dammenberg for 21 of its 30 years in business. IsoKungas took charge of the company in 2003 with his wife Kirsi, who works in the hospitality industry but continues to lend a helping hand with ideas. The institution was founded in Tampere and moved to its current manufacturing headquarters in 2008.

As a diabetes sufferer, Iso-Kungas set out to make chocolate that could fit with his diet, providing him with a worryfree alternative. Dammenberg states that it was Europe’s first chocolate manufacturer to have a factory focused exclusively on organic, fair trade, nut-

free, gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free, GMO-free and kosher-certified products. The company also offers dairy-free, vegan and sugar-free products, as well as chocolates that are Halal-certified.

The production team is ten-strong at Christmas time and five-strong in summer. Chocolate master Iso-Kungas has a background in food technology and engineering. He points to a black machine on the factory floor that allows cocoa beans to be roasted in-house, a process Dammenberg started in 2017. The beans have been sourced from small farmers in Peru, part of Dammenberg’s drive to ensure that product quality and purity are prioritised over price. Iso-Kungas also roasts coffee beans, though this is more a hobby than a business initiative.

Iso-Kungas says his company’s Moomin chocolates are a particularly popular product line. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the company has developed a brand-new line of treats., featuring an array of organic chocolates with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

The creations are exported to Germany, France, Portugal and Sweden. There, they go on sale in cafés and retail stores. Dammenberg’s delicacies are also available to buyers in countless other countries via an online shop.

Marko Iso-Kungas, owner of Dammenberg.
Chocolate master Marko Iso-Kungas gets involved in the production process.

Warm, sophisticated, Nordic furniture with a human touch

Holzmaier does not simply create products, it crafts environments and experiences. Well-being and people are priorities and the cornerstone of which all kitchens and furniture are crafted. Its bespoke kitchens and furniture will connect you to the people you love and create memories that last a lifetime.

The kitchen is the heart of the home. Whether you enjoy cooking for friends and family, entertaining, or savouring a freshly brewed cup of coffee in the morning, the kitchen is where everything begins. Holzmaier specialises in bespoke kitchens and furniture that reflect you as a person and your values – because home is not just somewhere we live, it reflects who we are.

“The furniture itself is not so important, how it makes you feel is what truly matters,” says Kaspar Loit, co-founder

of Holzmaier. “Our collaboration with our customers is a bit unusual. We ask them who they want to be. The home is a reflection of you.” He continues; “I think Covid-19 changed a lot for people. Before, everyone worked in offices and their homes looked like something from a magazine. Beautiful, but no real connection. Now, people work from home and spend most of their time there, so they want it to feel homely. We want to create homes that are so nice, we don’t want to leave.”

Restless souls with an affection for design

The story of our life unfolds between the walls of our home. Just like the weather, the atmosphere of our home has a profound effect on how we rest, think, feel, work, eat, and socialise. “Space

and objects certainly have to be functional, but if they are to truly serve us, they must also speak to our bodies and emotions,” says Loit. “For us, good design transcends utility and aesthetics to a sensual and social exercise, to create a framework for essential human needs of safety, identity, belonging, and purpose.”

Holzmaier understands that a home is more than a mere collection of our things – it’s a reflection of the people who live there. This is why crafting solutions uniquely tailored to each individual customer is essential. “We want to create furniture that enriches our customer’s home experiences and makes it easier to enjoy daily life. Furniture that connects you with the people you love and create memories that last a lifetime and connect generations,” smiles Loit.

While each and every kitchen is uniquely designed and crafted by Holzmaier to suit the individual client, you will be able to tell a Holzmaier kitchen miles away. Its designs have an understated elegance and sophistication combined with warm minimalism and plenty of natural light. It is the créme de la créme of furniture, the perfect balance between extremes because that is how we get the most out of life and the spaces we live, eat, work, and play in.

Timeless designs built to last Humans and nature are the measure of everything Holzmaier does. Naturally, this also means that the Estonian brand has thought about sustainability, but perhaps not in the way you expect. “We look at sustainability from a different angle. Instead of focusing primarily on eco-friendly, natural materials, we look to craft something that lasts and can create a positive impact for future generations,” explains Loit. “We create timeless designs that will last decades. Even if we live in the now, we also consider the future.”

Holzmaier uses high-quality materials that will last decades, but also considers the aesthetics of its designs, and will not always let customers go for a material they think that they want. “You should be able to live with your furniture for 15-20

years or longer, it needs to last in your home. We also look at the customer and consider what material they are ready for. Solid wood looks beautiful, but it requires a lot of care. It’s not always best to go fully natural,” explains Loit. “You really have to understand your customer, so that you craft furniture that will last them years.”

Holzmaier has a beautiful showroom in Tallinn, where you can experience its kitchens yourself.

Facebook: Holzmaier


The perfect blend of nature, luxury, and sustainability

HUBA House is designed for the wilderness. This beautiful holiday cabin offers a blend of comfort, innovation, and sustainability, perfect for guests wanting to unwind and immerse themselves in nature.

Imagine waking up to birdsong, the scent of pine, and enjoying a cup of freshly brewed coffee while taking in the scenery around you. This is exactly what guests can experience with a HUBA House, a holiday cabin the size of a hotel suite designed for the trade.

“We designed a cabin that we would like to stay in ourselves when in the wilderness. As much as people want to stay in nature, they don’t want mosquitoes, uncomfortable cabins, or cold showers. HUBA House

solves this problem,” explains Anu Madjak, co-founder of HUBA House. “It blends in naturally with its surroundings. Every detail serves a clear purpose, ensuring an experience that resonates with guests who value quality and sophistication.”

HUBA House was founded by business partners Anu Madjak and Kaspar Loit, and is a true game-changer for resort operators seeking to elevate the guest experience. The cabins are a fusion of comfort and nature. In fact, these are not

simply cabins; they are an unforgettable experience. “It was important for us to design a cabin that would complement nature and blend in with the surroundings,” says Madjak.

Photo: Tõnu Tunnel
Photo: Tõnu Tunnel

The ultimate cabin experience

Nothing is left to chance at HUBA House. Every little detail has been thoughtfully considered and everything serves a purpose. The cabins have a net area of 21 m2 and a gross area of 29 m2. There is a spacious kitchen with a dishwasher, a bedroom with a king-sized bed, and even a lounge area, perfect for enjoying your morning coffee or reading a book in the afternoon sun.

“We have big windows, which ensures that the cabin gets lots of natural light. And we have plenty of storage space, big enough to fit a drying cabinet for wet skiing gear, should you need it,” explains Madjak. “Personally, I also love that the bedroom is separate from the rest of the rooms. The cabin is designed so you can comfortably live there for a week.”

HUBA House is built a bit differently than your average cabin or tiny home. Not only does it boast high ceilings, panoramic windows, and a thoughtfully mappedout layout, but everything is already integrated and fully assembled upon arrival.

The cabin comes prefabricated from high-quality materials that can withstand the elements, whether it be strong winds, heavy snowfall, or freezing temperatures. And perhaps the best part? It is just as cosy and warm in winter as during the hot summer months. “We have built a cabin where the owners don’t have to worry about anything, except perhaps arranging for a cleaner to visit after their stay,” smiles Madjak.

A slice of heaven in the wilderness

The construction of a HUBA House is also rather unique. It is built using innovative SIP (Structural Insulated Panel) technology. The exterior walls, floor, and roof seamlessly combine insulation and structural support, ensuring top-tier energy efficiency and durability. “You can easily set up our cabins in the cold climates of countries like Norway, Finland, or Iceland. The construction method enables us to shape spaces that prioritise guest comfort, sustainability, and an unforgettable experience while effectively fulfilling operational goals,” explains Madjak.

A HUBA House comes fully assembled and setting up the holiday cabin is a breeze. On-site installation and communication hook-ups only take one day. HUBA House also offers off-grid solutions if you are truly based in the wilderness. Here, guests can enjoy all the joys and comforts of modern life even if water, sewage, and electricity are not available. The cabin also features a smart home system, so that you can control and monitor all systems and operations such as power and ventilation remotely.

HUBA House truly is a slice of heaven, perfect for anyone longing to unwind and recharge in the wilderness – but with a touch of elegance and luxury. If you are curious and want to see a HUBA House with your own eyes, you can find a cabin on display at the Estonian Golf & Country Club, just 30 minutes from Tallinn Airport.



Photo: Tõnu Tunnel
Photo: Stina Kase

Timeless classics with playful touches

Classic, feminine, timeless. These are some of the words that describe Tiina Talumees Studio, a luxury slow fashion brand nestled in the heart of Tallinn. Each apparel is carefully designed using valuable and long-lived materials, guaranteeing you a long-lasting friendship with your garments.

The journey to a feminine, confident, classy, and sophisticated you starts right here. Tiina Talumees Studio is a luxury slow fashion brand for women valuing life and sustainability.

“The world is filled with meaningless, valueless clothes that look frayed after the first use,” says Tiina Talumees, founder and owner. “The environment would benefit from people learning to use clothes long-term and make purchasing decisions not because of the price but the quality and origin of the materials. I really take that to heart. The garment’s value should not decline with time.”

Tiina Talumees Studio mainly uses fabrics from Italy, whether it’s buttery soft silk or high-quality wool. “Understandably, the consumer often falls for vain, cheap clothes that will bring them shortterm joy. But what I have noticed is that

there is a rise in customers who are willing to invest more in clothes that will last for years.”

The art of fashion

Tiina Talumees Studio is a deeply personal brand and has been from the beginning. Love and passion are the cornerstones. “The most powerful symbiosis for me is to find that one special place in the client’s heart and at the same time, the contentment in the designer’s soul,” tells Tiina. “As a person, I’m an artist and the composition of colours, shapes, and balance is my deepest passion.”

The designs are timeless with an edgy touch, making each piece an instant classic, free from seasonal trends. The pieces are meant to be cared for and cherished for years to come. “Femininity is a powerful force, and I love to say that my client is usually a grown-up woman,

who is not shaken by other people’s opinions,” says Tiina.

Each item is made in limited quantities and sold in a limited series to eliminate wasteful over-production. Tiina Talumees Studio is available online and also offers custom-made designs.

Facebook: Tiina Talumees Moestuudio

Instagram: @tiinatalumeesstudio

YouTube: Tiina Talumees Studio

Photo: Kristiin Kõosalu
Photo: Mai Grepp
Photo: Oliver Moosus
Photo: Mai Grepp

A soft embrace of comfort and luxury

From lazy mornings to cosy nights in, slipping into a pair of silk pyjamas from Karmen Pedaru is like an embrace of comfort and luxury. Made from high-quality mulberry silk, the pyjamas will feel buttery soft on your skin, melt your stress away, and add a luxurious touch to your day.

Imagine this: You come home after a long day at work. You take a warm shower or bath, put on your favourite moisturiser, and slip into your silk pyjamas. What could possibly be better? Karmen Pedaru is a small-town girl from Estonia who has been modelling since 2005. Her modelling career is what sparked the pyjamas idea.

“I would have long days of shooting, and when I got back home or to the hotel, I just wanted something comfortable. I am obsessed with pyjamas. Every time I come home, I take off my shoes, wash my hands, and put on my pyjamas,” smiles Karmen.

The pyjamas are perfect for cosy evenings, slow mornings, and holidays. Not only does the silk feel like a soft embrace; mulberry silk is incredibly breath-

able, long-lasting, and allergy-friendly. It’s impossible not to feel and look your best in these pyjamas.

A touch of magic

Karmen has been drawing, dreaming, and visualising since she was a little girl. All of which is reflected in her first collection: “Since I was little, I have always been in my head. I’m inspired by old classic Hollywood movies and actresses such as Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. The pine forest inspires me as well – I love walking in nature – and art galleries play a big role too,” she says and continues; “My hope is that my designs make others feel comfortable and a little bit more happy. Because I didn’t have these things in my childhood, I want others to feel that love and comfort.”

Whether you choose a playful print or a rich colour, the pyjamas will undoubtedly

bring joy, comfort, and luxury to your life. Each pyjama in the first collection comes with a fairytale that Karmen wrote herself. The little fairytale is hidden inside the beautiful velvet box that the new silk pyjamas arrive in. What could possibly be more magical than that?

Karmen Pedaru’s second collection is available to pre-order online now.


Artist Home – Sculpture Park – Restaurant – Museum Shop

“For me, it’s important that every design I create tells a story. In addition, creating a wallpaper pattern is a balancing act between abundance and modesty. It’s a challenge to resolve a seeming conflict between these two factors, so that each wallpaper design would tell its own story and stand out,” says wallpaper designer

Wallpapering made inspiring and innovative

Decorating your home can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to walls. Traditional wallpapering often involves meticulous measuring, messy pastes, and endless patience. Enter Baubauwall, Estonia’s first digital wallpaper e-boutique.

As the world grows more digital and many of us spend more time working from home, having a space you enjoy has never been more important. While wallpapers can truly transform a place, the messy process that comes with it takes away its appeal. With Baubauwall, you don’t have to think about that anymore. “Our idea is simple – to make the rather traditional wallpapering business modern and hassle-free,” says Anna-Kai Törs, creative business manager at Baubauwall.

After choosing your favourite design online, all you have to do is add your wall size and complete the purchase, and the team at Baubauwall will send you the pre-cut and numbered panels home, along with the appropriate adhesive, all

within a week! “This makes the process of putting up wallpaper straightforward and logical, perfect for DIY enthusiasts and design loves,” says Törs. “Not to mention, it takes away the challenge with pattern aligning and the need for calculating the needed wallpaper quantity yourself.”

Making wallpapering zero-waste and simple

While Baubauwall is a fairly new boutique, the company behind it, Digiprint, has been in the print industry for 15 years, so it has extensive experience –particularly in printing for large gallery walls. “We saw an opportunity to simplify the wallpaper experience and make it not only accessible for everyone but also more sustainable,” says Törs.

“Estonia is known for its digital solutions and from the beginning the idea was to include these skills with the help of local IT companies. Today, we have no physical store and instead run everything from our fully online boutique. In addition, we only print when an order is placed, ensuring no leftover inventory or paper waste.”

While it focuses on making the process simple, Baubauwall does not compromise when it comes to the beauty and designs of its wallpapers. “For us, wallpaper is not just about decorating walls, it’s about creating beautiful, living spaces that reflect our customers’ personal style. Whether you’re after maximalist designs, gorgeous artistic murals or soft backgrounds – we’ve got it.”

Facebook: Baubauwall wallpapers & murals

Instagram: @baubauwall

Triinu Silla
Anna-Kai Törs, creative business manager at Baubauwall.

Revolutionising breast reconstruction with a ground-breaking technique

Clinic Helena, where Finnish medical expertise meets personalised care, specialises in cutting-edge breast cancer surgeries, a unique Sensing Breast reconstruction method, and advanced plastic surgical procedures.

Having established a career as a top surgeon at a public healthcare hospital, Dr. Helena Puonti founded Clinic Helena in 1999. Now, Clinic Helena is one of Finland’s leading private clinics specialising in women’s health. “A patient’s breast cancer journey is full of challenges, but there is also a lot of hope and opportunities. At our clinic, we strive to make our patients’ journey as safe as possible and we want all our patients to feel good during and after their stay,” says Puonti, CEO of Clinic Helena and a leading Finnish plastic surgeon, microsurgeon and breast oncologist.

At Clinic Helena, the first priority in breast cancer care is to perform, whenever possible, breast-conserving surgery, which is successful in 75 per cent of cases at Clinic Helena. Then, the breast shape will be

remodelled. However, if breast removal is needed or has already been done, Clinic Helena utilises Puonti’s expertise in the field of breast reconstruction.

Ground-breaking breast reconstruction

Her research has gained global recognition and acclaim and since 2001, Puonti has been developing a breast reconstruction method that allows the restoration of a high degree of sensation to the breasts. For this, she uses free belly tissue (free MS-TRAM, which stands for Muscle-Sparing Transverse Rectus Abdominis Myocutaneous flap). According to the founder, this is an ideal tissue for breast shaping; “It’s soft and feels similar to a natural breast,” she says. “We can use it to shape round, and even large breasts – and what’s more is that patients report gaining sensation in their breast, usually as early as seven months after the surgery.”

For a patient’s quality of life, the shape of the newly constructed breast is important, and Puonti understood early on that it is equally important that the breast also has sensation. This gave birth to the Sensing Breast reconstruction method. “During traditional reconstructive surgery, only blood vessels are connected

Dr. Helena Puonti founded Clinic Helena.

– not nerves in the breast. Sadly, this results in nearly complete numbness in the breast,” the surgeon says. With the Sensing Breast technique, skin and fatty tissue from the lower belly area is transplanted to the site of the removed breast. Both the blood vessels and the nerves are grafted and connected to the blood vessels and nerves in the chest.

Not having sensation in the breasts can have a negative impact on a person’s everyday life. “Sometimes the lack of sensation can potentially also be harmful,” says Puonti. “Without sensation, a woman cannot feel if she spills a hot drink or soup on herself, for example, or she would not feel if the sun was burning or damaging the breast’s skin. Also, holding your child in your arms and not being able to feel their loving embrace can be devastating for a mother.”

Puonti wants to make a difference to people’s lives and help them regain some normalcy after a challenging period in their lives. “Losing a breast to cancer can affect a woman’s self-confidence, and it can be a painful reminder of the tough times. Building a new breast can be a decisive step in a patient’s healing – both physically and psychologically,” she states.

Helping patients from around the world

Clinic Helena’s services are available to patients abroad as well, and many patients travel to Finland to receive the best possible care. “We aim to offer our ser-

vices in the patient’s mother tongue and our staff will assist before and after their care,” Puonti assures. The clinic collaborates with and accepts guarantees of payment from international insurance companies too, which is a convenient option for patients in time of need.

In addition to breast cancer and reconstruction surgeries, Clinic Helena also offers other reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgeries. “We offer all types of breast surgeries, including endoscopic breast augmentation, asymmetry correction as well as implant changes and removals,” says the surgeon. “In addition, we offer SMAS facelifts, abdominoplasties and other body-shaping surgeries and liposuction.”

All procedures carry a level of risk, and Puonti is adamant that patient safety comes first. “We always start with an initial consultation, which can also be conducted online, as well as extensive tests in the days leading up to the surgery.”

She also strongly believes that by offering excellent aftercare post-surgery, Clinic Helena can reduce the risk of possible complications arising, adding; “We follow up with our patient care until total recovery. Our skilful medical team will assist patients with all their queries and any concerns they may have.”

By combining cutting-edge techniques with care individually tailored for each patient, Clinic Helena is a premier destination for patients worldwide seeking first-class and compassionate medical care.

Facebook: clinichelenafinland

Instagram: @clinichelena

Miss Universe Finland, Petra Hämäläinen, is Clinic Helena’s goodwill ambassador.

Derma MediSpa: all about you

Located at Kilden health centre in Stavanger, Derma MediSpa offers a range of nonsurgical aesthetic treatments customised to each patient. Dr. Irina Ibanescu leads a small team of trained medical professionals devoted to helping people look and feel their best.

Dr. Ibanescu’s journey into aesthetic medicine began in 2015, specialising in laser treatments. Despite gaining valuable experience in a variety of clinics, she identified a lack of holistic care and genuine patient prioritisation in the industry. This inspired her to start Derma MediSpa, where well-being is paramount.

Founded in 2021, Derma MediSpa has grown steadily, focusing on advanced, innovative treatments tailored to each patient’s needs. Unlike clinics that prioritise profit through aggressive upsales, Derma MediSpa ensures that clients receive honest advice and the best care, including referrals to other clinics if necessary. “We aim to enhance natural beauty and boost confidence without

techniques with its policy of obtaining a clear understanding of what each client is hoping to achieve. This way, the team can offer patients the most effective treatment according to their specific needs.

Embracing the beauty of ageing

Offering a wide-ranging, carefully curated list of treatments, Derma MediSpa pairs cutting-edge cosmetic technology and

Dr. Irina Ibanescu, founder of Derma MediSpa. compromising integrity,” says Ibanescu. “We focus on prevention and improving skin structure, texture and quality.”

The founder values a responsible and ethical approach to cosmetic treatments. She believes that modern beauty standards are putting a huge amount of pressure on people, especially women and that there are harmful ideas around ageing in particular. At Derma MediSpa, the term anti-ageing – one of the most commonly used in the beauty industry – is not welcome. “We don’t like the term antiageing. Ageing is beautiful,” Ibanescu says. “Getting older is a privilege not everybody gets to experience. As we move through life, wrinkles and signs of age will naturally appear.”

While the team is committed to promoting healthy and balanced views around beauty, it has a deep understanding of

the fact that a lot of people struggle with inner conflict and worry about their appearance. “Spots, scars, discolouration and other skin concerns can impact a person’s self-esteem, and we’re committed to helping people feel good about themselves,” says Ibanescu.

A thorough approach

As part of the service, Derma MediSpa carries out a thorough consultation and follow-up appointment. Once the initial consultation has established what the client’s needs and concerns are, a skin analysis is performed to identify the best treatment or skin program. “Before we treat a client, it’s important to find the right treatment, discuss what the relevant procedure will entail and possible side effects,” Ibanescu explains. “We take pictures to assess progress, and every patient attends a post-treatment evaluation.”

The clinic turns away potential clients who are not suited to the type of cosmetic procedure they want, or who expect too much from the results. “We always discuss reasonable expectations from our treatments. We don’t perform plastic surgery, and we want to ensure the client’s expectations are realistic from the outset. It’s important that our clients are happy with the service we provide.”

The team discourages young people from undertaking excessive cosmetic procedures. In fact, the clinic only accepts patients over the age of 21. “A lot of young girls and women are requesting filler

treatments, which I find worrying. I don’t think every young girl should have big lips just because that’s the current trend,” says Ibanescu. “We prefer not to alter a person’s appearance needlessly and focus more on skin quality.”

Quality in focus   Ibanescu and her staff take part in courses and conferences to learn new developments and maintain their knowledge and skills. “The quality of our service is paramount. We offer only effective, well-documented treatments performed safely by trained, experienced professionals,” she says. “This industry moves fast and

changes happen every day – we have to stay up to date.”

In addition to the clinic, Derma MediShop sells medical-grade, science-backed products. Derma Medi Academy will also be launched this year with the aim of teaching others the art of medical aesthetics. Only pure, environmentally friendly and sustainable products are used and sold at the spa. “The products we choose provide excellent results,” adds Ibanescu. “Most of our products are cruelty-free, hypoallergenic and well-suited to a range of different skin types.”

Derma MediSpa is now among the best clinics in Norway, recognized for its exceptional patient care and pioneering treatments. Its unique and engaging social media content often sets industry trends, with many other clinics emulating their ideas. Ibanescu’s unwavering commitment to ethical practice and breaking the pattern of profit-driven upselling proves that prioritising people over profit leads to success. Experience the difference at Derma MediSpa, where your well-being is the priority.


Instagram: @derma_medispa

Forerunner in the cement industry revolution

Swedish industry is adapting its production to make sure it can reach its carbon dioxide emission goals. Heidelberg Materials is one of the companies leading the cement industry revolution. Its plant in Slite is on track to be one of the world’s first full-scale cement plants with net-zero carbon emissions.

Heidelberg Materials is one of the world’s largest integrated manufacturers of building materials and solutions with leading market positions in cement, aggregates, and ready-mixed concrete. As the pioneer on the path to carbon neutrality and circular economy in the building materials industry, the company is working on sustainable building materials and solutions for the future.

“We are frontrunners in the Swedish industrial transition,” says Karin Comstedt Webb, sustainability director for Northern Europe, and senior vice president of Heidelberg Materials Sweden. “Our success will determine whether the Swedish construction industry reaches net-zero emissions by 2030.”

Malleable, durable, and strong development

Heidelberg Materials’ cement plant in Slite, on Gotland’s east coast, is on the path to net-zero CO2 emissions and enabling a carbon sink by 2030. This

cement plant, which is one of the largest in Europe, operates 24/7. Regardless of the time of day, people are on site, controlling, monitoring, and optimising the operations. The two huge steel cement kilns – 60 and 80 meters long –rotate and work around the clock, all year round. They’re the heartbeat of the plant that never sleeps.

In the kilns, the limestone is heated to make cement, which, with sand and water, becomes the world’s most common and important building material: concrete. Thanks to cement’s binding properties, concrete is malleable, durable, and strong, making it a good foundation on which to build our society on. “Every day, we manufacture 7,000 tons of cement, the weight equivalent of 4,000 cars. About three-quarters of the cement used in Sweden comes from Slite,” Comstedt Webb says.

The carbon footprint from the cement plant is continually reduced. An important

Karin Comstedt Webb, sustainability director for Northern Europe, and senior vice president of Heidelberg Materials Sweden.

contributor is the fact that the cement kilns are increasingly heated with biofuels. The plant is on track to be rebuilt by 2030 and will then be one of the world’s first fullscale cement plants with net-zero carbon emissions and the possibility of enabling a carbon sink.

“Cement is the main ingredient in concrete, which is the backbone of our society – from new infrastructure and houses to new wind turbines. Moving forward, we’ll be completely dependent on cement that comes without a carbon footprint, or even better, with negative emissions,” says Comstedt Webb.

Emissions captured and permanently stored

Today, the plant is already one of Europe’s most environmentally developed cement plants, and with innovative CCS (carbon dioxide capture and storage) technology, the plant will reach net-zero carbon emissions. “By 2030, our plant in Slite

aims to capture the carbon dioxide from flue gases before it reaches the atmosphere - and then transport it to a permanent storage site deep in the bedrock under the seabed,” explains Comstedt Webb.

In the cement industry, CCS is a proven method and therefore crucial for the Swedish construction and infrastructure sector’s desire to achieve its goals of climate-neutral concrete by 2030, adds Comstedt Webb. “The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also identifies CSS as one of the necessary solutions for reaching the two-degree target. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Climate Policy Council have identified carbon capture as essential for a progressive climate policy.”

CCS is one of the technological solutions that make Comstedt Webb optimistic about the future from a

climate perspective: “The industry has the technology, the power, and the potential to lead the climate transition. Alongside technological development and implementation of carbon capture, significant effort is put into creating new, innovative types of cement and concrete products based on alternative raw materials.”

The limestone-based cement is still needed to initiate the chemical reaction that binds the concrete. The alternative materials primarily used today are blast-furnace slag, a steel industry by-product, and fly ash, a by-product from coal power plants. Other materials are under development. “We work to reduce total emissions in all parts of our cement production and our value chain – from increased use of bioenergy in production and the electrification of the transportation to recycling materials in cement and concrete.”

However, there are also challenges in completing the new CCS facility. “CCS is an energy-intensive technology and a significantly strengthened and stable electricity supply to and on Gotland by 2030 is crucial for our success,” Comstedt Webb concludes. “We, and the society as a whole, must also pick up the pace on all fronts if we are to achieve this by 2030.”

LinkedIn: Heidelberg Materials

Instagram: @heidelbergmaterials

A sustainable base to explore Espoo and Helsinki

Snug in Espoo’s dynamic Leppävaara district, GLO Hotel Sello is within easy reach of Espoo and Helsinki city centre. Guests can play their favourite albums on a turntable in the unique Vinyl Record Room. And the hotel puts sustainability first, drawing up a comprehensive programme to that effect.

Petri Uronen, the hotel’s general manager, plans for GLO Hotel Sello to become a forerunner for sustainability in Finnish hospitality. The hotel was awarded environmental certification by Green Key Finland in 2015. Last year, it received a Sustainable Travel Finland certificate from Visit Finland, and earlier this year the hotel added its signature to the UN Tourism’s Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism. The declaration commits the tourist industry to work together in order to half the emissions by 2030, and to reach net zero as soon as possible before 2050.

GLO Hotel Sello backs onto the vast Sello shopping centre, where guests can enjoy its activities and services. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the GLO Grill Kitchen, and the outdoor terrace en-

joys frequent use in sunny weather. In the summertime, guests could ask at reception to hire bikes free of charge. Uronen confirms that the hotel also welcomes pets. There is plenty on offer nearby and only 15 minutes to Helsinki city centre via public transport, with Leppävaara station just 200m from the hotel.

The one-of-a-kind Vinyl Record Room

The hotel’s Vinyl Record Room is a unique theme not shared by any other hotel in Finland. “I think there are only 12 rooms like this in the whole world,” Uronen explains. “An archivist donated 50 records. The donator wanted me to do something for the community, and asked that I present scholarships to a few schools that were taking action against bullying.”

Two months ago, the hotel began working with Urban Climate Leaders in Tourism, a Finnish collaborative group that brings together Visit Tampere, the Helsinki city council and a host of other major tourist companies. Uronen says that GLO Hotel Sello is also working with Skål International, another organisation that connects tourist companies worldwide. He adds; “With small and responsible actions, we can all make the world a better place for our future generations.”

Staff welcome guests to GLO Hotel Sello, which has plans to be a sustainability forerunner in the hospitality business. Photo: GLO Hotel Sello
GLO Hotel Sello sits in Espoo’s lively Leppävaara district. Photo: Studiokuva Jarno Koivula
The hotel’s Vinyl Record Room. Photo: Studiokuva Jarno Koivula
The hotel terrace is the perfect place to wind down on summer days. Photo: Studiokuva Jarno Koivula

Get 30% discount on the Honulele Retreat at Honulele Spa, The Lodge, this summer! Your day spa package begins with access to Honulele Spa, where you can sink into our 38°C warm infinity pool, bathe in a wood-fired sauna, cool off in our refreshing plunge pool, and enjoy sweeping views over the vast Skåne fields below. Next, the Aloha Spa Ritual awaits, taking you on a guided journey through the Hawaiian archipelago with seven unique stations featuring exclusive, beneficial products. The ritual concludes in our VIP relax area "The Nest," where you are nestled in our comfortable lounge beds with the Skåne fields… This is how we believe a spa day should be!

Crispy cauliflower nuggets

It’s hard to believe that these nuggets mainly consist of cauliflower. A versatile and nutritious vegetable that can be cooked and used in so many ways. Boiled, fried, shredded or eaten raw. It can be disguised in pizza crusts, in smoothies or in nuggets, like I’ve done here.

Cauliflower nuggets may sound “too healthy” but I promise, they are just the right amount of crispy and greasy. Use them in wraps, serve them with fries or as a side to various salads. They can be enjoyed both cold and warm.

Amount: 20-25 nuggets

Easy to make Time: 1 hour


1 cauliflower (or about 600 g without leaves)

175 g wheat flour

1 handful of flat-leaf parsley

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

2 cloves of garlic

2 tsp onion powder

90 g sesame seeds

40 g panko breadcrumbs oil for frying


1. Remove the green leaves from the cauliflower and cut it into quarters. Boil until completely tender and they fall off a fork. Then drain the water and let them cool. All in all, it probably takes about 30 minutes. The cauliflower can cool completely, but it doesn’t have to.

2. Put the cauliflower in a bowl and blend with a stick blender. Chop the garlic and parsley and add to the bowl. Also add wheat flour, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Stir well until you have a uniform mixture. Mix panko breadcrumbs and sesame seeds in another bowl.

3. Lightly moisten your hands and form small patties. You can decide how big or small you want them. Then dip them in the breadcrumb mixture and place on a large plate. You can do this continuously as you fry. Pour plenty of oil into a pan and heat it over medium heat. Put your nuggets in and fry them for about 5-8 minutes on each side or until they are golden and crispy.

Katharina Kjeldgaard is a Danish food blogger, influencer and cookbook author from Copenhagen., Her blog is one of the most-read vegetarian food blogs in Denmark, always focused on locally sourced ingredients, full of delicious recipes and never boring. She has three little kids and loves going to markets, being in nature - and cooking with all kinds of vegetables and legumes.

Blog: Instagram: Beetrootbakery

A journey in cider, from sweet to dry and finally craft

Growing up in Sweden, my introduction to cider was thanks to the two leading manufacturers at that time, Kopparberg and Rekorderlig. Many apple ciders and pear ciders were consumed at house parties, music festivals and camping trips. I remember flavours such as strawberry, elderflower and rhubarb coming later on and they had to be tried too, of course.

When I some years later studied in Brighton in the UK, I was introduced to the British pub culture – what an exciting new world! If I didn’t order a pint of Guinness, I usually went for a pint of Strongbow dry cider. Sometimes with a splash of blackcurrant cordial, which I believe is called Cider & Black. Ah, this brings back memories.

As I eventually discovered the joys of craft beer, I forgot all about cider. It was only when I went to Asturias in northern Spain some years ago that I rediscovered the beverage, or sidra as it’s called there. This is completely different from the sweet Swedish ciders and the crisp, refreshing British ciders. Sidra is more intense, musty and tart.

In Asturias, sidra is much more than a drink though, it’s a deep-rooted tradition and part of the culture. You always share it with others, before the pandemic it was even the same glass being passed around. And it’s poured by waiters who lift the bottle high above their heads and then pour it into the glass, which they hold by their hips. This aerates the cider and unlocks the flavours. I have such admiration for the Asturian cider makers and the proud waiters who pour it (without splashing).

This issue of the magazine features cider makers in Norway and makes me want to explore the craftsmanship and the many award-winning ciders in the Hardanger region. Perhaps this will

Malin Norman is a Certified Cicerone®, a certified beer sommelier, an international beer judge and a member of the British Guild of Beer Writers. be the next step in my cider journey, to figure out what is real cider?

Photo: Unsplash

A taste of Italy in Oslo

With a deep commitment to honouring Italian artisan dessert traditions, two friends started Paradis Gelateria wanting to bring a little piece of Italy to Oslo’s residents and visitors. With seven locations including a kiosk dotted around the capital, discover for yourself what may be Norway’s best authentic gelato.

Alfonso Pepe and Haron Ascanio Cazzaniga met at an Italian ice cream shop in Oslo when they were both in search of a taste of home. Bonding over a shared appreciation of the food and desserts of their native Italy, the pair became fast friends and soon started dreaming of opening their own gelateria to share the joy of Italian ice cream traditions in Norway.

A journey begins

The original Paradis Gelateria opened in the charming neighbourhood of Tjuvholmen in 2012 and quickly became a hit. In the following years, their gelaterias popped up at the food destination Mathallen in vibrant Vulkan, in the charming

neighbourhood Sørenga in Oslo’s Old Town, and in Torggata, known for its great eateries and trendy shops.

You will find the two most recently added locations at the main shopping street Karl Johans gate and close to the MUNCH museum in beautiful Bjørvika, where the Oslofjord meets the city. A small Paradis Gelateria kiosk is situated at the capital’s idyllic harbour promenade so people can buy a treat on the go. “We’ve chosen to place our shops close to Oslo’s main attractions,” says Haron. “We want people to know that one of our locations is always nearby, so they can pop in for a tasty treat anytime.”

For the two friends, running gelaterias is a way of life and a true passion project. There are a lot of challenges involved in running a successful one, however. Demand depends hugely on the time of year and the weather on any given day, which makes planning ahead complicated. “We have to be dynamic,” says Haron. “Flexibility is key – we need to be able to adapt quickly and think on our feet.”

Photo: Oslobukta
Photo: Paradis Gelateria

Despite challenges along the way, their resolve has never faltered. “Ours is a story of people who started out with a vision and never gave up. It’s been a real journey,” says Haron. “We’ve seen a huge cultural shift since opening our first location 12-13 years ago – with time, more and more people have taken an interest in gelato.”

Fresh, natural, delicious

Gelato is ice cream made the Italian way. The frozen dessert is creamier, smoother and more dense than traditional Norwegian ice cream. “According to the old artisan gelato traditions, you must make it fresh,” Haron explains. “We start every day by making our gelato fresh from scratch, using natural ingredients of the best quality.”

Authentic gelato is a lighter, healthier alternative to traditional Norwegian ice cream. The main ingredient in Paradis Gelateria’s gelato is milk, which is mixed with fresh, natural ingredients. “Norwegian milk is of very high quality, which makes it easy to make delicious ice cream,” says Haron.

The quality of their ingredients is a primary concern for the gelato makers. They source some of their ingredients from the homeland, such as lemons from Sorrento, hazelnuts from Piedmont and pistachio nuts from Sicily. Delicious Norwegian strawberries are used when they’re in season. “We spend a lot of time and effort finding the best ingredients. We travel all over the world, testing different products and providers to ensure we get first-rate ingredients,” says Haron.

Something for everyone

Paradis Gelateria carries all the traditional flavours popular in Italy, such as chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, hazelnut, and much more. The varied speciality chocolate flavours are a huge hit, and the team is always experimenting with exciting new flavours and combinations. “Our recipes are under continual development – we’re always working to see if we can improve on something. Small changes and tweaks can make all the difference in the world,” says Haron.

Alongside the wide selection of Italian gelato, delicious cakes and other sweet treats, exquisite Italian coffee is also on offer. Paradis Gelateria’s ice cream cakes are very popular, and of course a delectable tiramisu, one of Italy’s most belov-

ed desserts, is also on the menu. Paradis Gelateria also offers a selection of vegan, lactose-free and gluten-free options. “We want to have something for everyone,” Haron says.

At all Paradis Gelateria shops, you’ll find a typically Italian atmosphere – a warm and welcoming meeting place with a lively vibe, where people can experience authentic gelato and a range of other delicacies. The tasty treats can also be delivered locally in Oslo. With delightful desserts to suit all palates and preferences, everybody’s welcome to sample what may be Norway’s best homemade gelato!

Facebook: ParadisGelateria

Instagram: @paradisgelateria

Owners and founders Alfonso Pepe and Haron Ascanio Cazzaniga. Photo: Paradis Gelateria
Photo: Oslobukta
Photo: Paradis Gelateria
Photo: Paradis Gelateria

Ocean Plastics by

Guided by the principle of simple Scandinavian design, Happy Ears has created a reusable earplug for whatever your need.

Try our newest earplugs made of ocean plastics. An important product when you know more than 1Bil single use traditional earplugs are used and thrown away each year.

Better product, less waste. This is Happy Ears. Made in Sweden since 2010.

Visit our shop here and try one of our Discovery Packs, which offer you a money back guarantee.

With a taste for Italian delicacies

Kahvitupa Laurentius offers authentic Italian delicacies, including irresistible pizza, focaccia and award-winning homemade gelato. The family-run business is located in Vantaa, close to Helsinki Airport, so you can drop by on the way to or from your next flight.

For years, Ilona Jantunen and her husband Neal Saponi nurtured a dream of having their own business. When they eventually heard that the owner of Laurentius wanted to sell, they knew it was the right opportunity. In April 2019, Kahvitupa Laurentius opened its doors in the old Hannusas building in Vantaa, not far from Helsinki.

The previous venue was a traditional Finnish café, but the couple intended to transform it into a cosy Italian cafeteria. “It wasn’t easy in the beginning, we had to convince a lot of people about our business plan and ideas, but we did it!” says Ilona.

Upon opening, Laurentius offered lunch, coffee, cakes, focaccias, and Italian gelato. “At first, we bought gelato from a supplier but decided to make it ourselves.

So we went to Italy, did a course in ice cream making, and bought the right equipment.”

When the pandemic hit, the couple continued to offer takeaways, including brunch, lunch, cakes and gelato, and had many clients returning every day. In the summer of 2020, they also opened Pizzeria Laurentius, a food truck in the garden with a wood-fired pizza oven.

Passion, pizza and award-winning gelato

The delicious gelato is made daily so it’s always fresh and silky smooth, and has already won awards at the Ice Cream and Chocolate Carnival in Helsinki. “We only use high-quality ingredients and make our gelato with heaps of passion,” smiles Ilona. “In summer, we always sell out. The Finnish people really love their ice cream!”

Every year, Laurentius offers new flavours of gelato and in summertime makes a lot of tasty fruit sorbets, which are refreshing in the hot weather. “This summer, we’re planning to make gelato with rhubarb and raspberry, as we know that Finns love these flavours. Let’s hope it will be a beautiful summer!”

You can only buy the popular gelato at Laurentius, although it will also be available at a few concerts and events this summer.

Instagram: @kahvitupalaurentius


A bubbly toast to nature and Norwegian flavours

Nestled along the staggeringly beautiful Hardangerfjord in Norway, there’s a farm where cider production has been perfected over generations. At Harding Økologiske Sideri, the cider is not just a fun bubbly drink, but an ecological celebration of everything nature has to offer.

Norway’s picturesque Hardanger region is known for majestic mountains, fjords, lakes and glaciers, and its apple orchards. Here, the cider-making tradition dates all the way back to the 14th century and can be credited to the climate with long daylight hours and cold temperatures.

Tucked along the famous Hardangerfjord, one farm has taken this old tradition even further. A gem of sustainable agriculture and artisanal crafts-

manship, Harding Økologiske Sideri, or Harding Organic Cidery, is known for its commitment to organic farming and traditional cider-making methods, carving out a niche in the growing market for high-quality, environmentally conscious beverages.

Family tradition and fermentation

“One of the things that makes our beverages unique is the fermentation process,” says Jan Ove Nes, farmer and founder of Harding Økologiske Sideri. The commitment to sustainability and organic farming enhances the flavour of their ciders and also supports and nurtures the existing biodiversity on site. “Most of the time, we use the natural yeast on the apple skin to ferment the cider, making it completely natural. This means that it takes

longer than some other fermentation processes, but it’s sustainable and natural. The leftover pulp from the press goes to a neighbour’s cows to avoid waste.”

Thanks to the sun, rain, and fertile soil, the family has been able to plant organic fruits from apples to plums for generations. Located on ancient land, Nes’ family farm stretches back many generations and there are several burial mounds dating back to the Bronze Age on the grounds. It was not until the 90s, however, that the idea to start Harding Sideri was born.

“When I moved here to take over the family farm, my grandfather taught me the family recipe he had been using to make cider for the family at home,” says Nes. “Since then, we’ve made a few adjustments to the original recipe. Now, the process has been perfected and adjusted for the production of a modern, organic drink.”

Initially, Nes began by developing a classic Hardanger cider. While it took some time to perfect the product, Harding Økologiske Sideri was finally established in 2020, at the height of the global pandemic. “Every year we’re working to develop more fun flavours that people will enjoy. Right now, we are testing out an

unfiltered cider with honey, and a mix of apple juice with lingonberries,” he says.

Flavours and fun for everyone Harding Økologiske Sideri offers a diverse range, each with a distinct character. Sparkling Harding Cider, its flagship product, is crisp with a refreshing taste and balanced acidity, pairing well with seafood and poultry dishes. In addition to the original Hardanger Cider, the company has also developed a dry, and a non-filtered (Pet Nat) version, which in addition to the apple and citrus aroma has a hint of butterscotch. Other fun products include Red Harding Cider made of 100% rosette apples, and Kjøpmanns Harding Cider with only 4,7% alcohol.

“We’ve also developed a range of non-alcoholic drinks, with everything from

non-alcoholic cider to a pasteurized raspberry juice,” Nes says. Other apple drinks include Eplekyss and Epleklem, both of which are pure, unfermented juice straight from the apples in the apple orchard.

In addition to its drinks, Harding Økologiske Sideri also sells honey. The Heather Honey has a unique and sweet taste and is rich in antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties. If you are looking for floral honey, the Summer Honey is perfect for cakes, pastries, tea, coffee, or just on its own.

“Becoming cider producers was a natural next step for us, as our farm and orchard already produces organic fruits and berries,” Nes adds. “Now that we are established, we look forward to developing and creating more high-quality, tasty ciders and non-alcoholic drinks.”

Are you the designated driver? No worries, Harding Økologiske Sideri also offers a range of non-alcoholic ciders.

Harding Økologiske Sideri is evidently more than just a producer of fine, award-winning ciders; the company is a steward of tradition, a champion of sustainability, and a beacon of quality in the world of organic beverages. With every

bottle, it offers a taste of Norway’s rich horticultural heritage and a commitment to preserving it for future generations. As the demand for organic and artisanal products continues to grow, Harding Økologiske Sideri stands out as a shining

example of what can be achieved when purpose meets passion.

Facebook: Harding Økologiske Sideri

Instagram: @hardingsideri

The happy Harding team showing off its fun ciders and delicious honey.

Trading in teaching for life on a Norwegian apple farm

Growing up on a farm in Sekse in west Norway, Ingrid Sekse never wanted to be a farmer. She trained as a teacher and worked in primary education. But when her father died after a short illness in 2013, Ingrid decided to take the plunge. In 2014, she became the tenth generation to run the farm.

In 2021, Ingrid and her husband built a production facility of 500 m2 for making cider and apple juice. They now have 10,000 apple trees and in 2023 harvested over 90 tons of apples. “When I became a farmer I couldn’t drive a tractor or prune fruit trees,” says Ingrid. “Fortunately, we have wonderful neighbours who helped! I also found that learning by doing was the best way to gain experience.” Hardangerbonden now produces apple cider, cider with added flavours, ice cider and apple juice, and offers tastings and tours, plus a farm shop.

“We only make ciders from pure apple varieties and we don’t mix different types of apples, which gives the unique flavour of the cider. If you drink an apple juice or cider from us, I can point out which tree it comes from.” When the apples are ripe, they are harvested by hand. The apples

are then ground and pressed into juice. The entire process takes about 3 to 4 months. “You have to be patient, watch carefully and wait for something special to develop, namely cider from Hardanger,” says Ingrid.

Once labelled, Hardangerbonden’s products are named after important people in the life of the farmer Ingrid. “On the front of the label, the characters are illustrated and on the back you can read their history,” explains Ingrid. “We want to give customers a sense of where the product comes from and who made it.”

The cider tastings at Hardangerbonden begin with a walk amongst the apple trees. Here, you have a view of Sørfjorden with the glacier Folgefonna in the background, and get to learn about fruit growing. If the

weather allows, the first cider is served in the apple orchard. After this, you continue into the cider house for a tour of the production facility. If the time is right, you will get to taste cider straight from the tank and afterwards, relax in the cider lounge.

Hardangerbonden’s ciders go well with a variety of foods. “They are delicious alongside cheese, fish, and shellfish, and our ice ciders go nicely with creamy desserts such as crème brûlée, or a Norwegian favourite, apple cake with ice cream.”

In Norway, there is a growing interest in buying local food directly from the producer. However, for those unable to visit the farm, Hardangerbonden sells its products at restaurants and hotels as well as Vinmonopolet. Cider production is a labour of love, but it can also be great fun, adds Ingrid. “If you want to learn about fruit growing and life as a cider producer, or just have a good laugh, you can follow us at @hardangerbonden on Instagram.” Instagram: @hardangerbonden

Enjoy the best sips of summer with Aga Sideri

In the heart of Hardanger, where tall, rolling mountains meet the blue water of Sørfjorden, a large orchard is bursting with red and golden apples. After seven consecutive generations of traditional farming, the Aga farm has a new lease of life producing fun and fresh ciders.

When Joar Aga took over the family farm in 2018, he found that some of the traditional farm activities didn’t really appeal to him. Having always been interested in good food and drink, he decided to cease milk production and instead try out something new.

“Not long before I took over the farm, I happened to be in Portugal with my partner. We were driving along the Duoro Valley, where we tasted locally made food and wine produced at different vineyards. It was such a magical experience, and I wanted to take the essence of this and apply it to Hardanger,” Joar says.

Known internationally for its magnificent natural surroundings, some people might overlook the other great qualities of Hardanger, including its world-class cider scene. With its fertile soil, warm and sunny summers, and the peak location for growing apples with a balanced sweetness and acidity level.

Hardanger is home to many of the country’s best cider producers. Cider from the area is not only a beverage, but is considered to be a piece of Norwegian heritage, even making “Cider from Hardanger” a protected title with strict requirements.

“After we started in 2018, it has really kicked off and today, our Humlepung is Norway’s bestselling cider,” says Joar.

A fruitful adventure

Before Joar took over the farm, he had been dabbling in cider production as a small passion project, thinking that he might be able to make cider for friends and family for when they came to visit. He decided to join the amateur category in Hardanger’s annual cider contest for fun, not expecting to come out on top in the category. “It gave me the motivation and reassurance to take my cider making ideas to the next level, and Aga Sideri was established in 2018,” he says.

“I returned to the contest the following year with our traditional Lagmann cider, but this time I participated in the professional category. It would be

an understatement to say that I was nervous to participate among all these great cideries who have been producing for decades, some for generations.” But he had nothing to worry about, as Aga’s cider came home with the first prize, an honour Joar struggles to put words to. “Because we can’t advertise alcohol in Norway, winning that title did so much for our little cidery. It gave us an incredible start to our journey.”

With keen eyes watching and the confidence to keep going, Aga Sideri’s cider adventure took off. Today, the farm produces 200,000 litres of cider per year, and the brimming orchard is unable to keep up with the demand as it continues to introduce more bestsellers.

“It’s truly been an adventure,” says Joar. “I’m grateful for all the help from other farmers and producers in the area. We all work together to create a community

where high-quality cider production can thrive, and I’m proud that Aga Sideri gets to represent Hardanger with all these other amazing cideries.”

Community, history, and identity in a bottle

Aga Sideri’s drinks are much more than just fun, fruity, and delicious; they are an homage to the history and people from the area. Joar explains that when making these drinks, each one tells a story. “Our cider Lagmann, for example, was named after the powerful Sigurd Brynjulfsson who lived on the Aga farm 800 years ago,” he says. “Similarly, Bøddel was named after Samson Isberg, Norway’s second-last executioner, who grew up near Aga. Despite his job title, he was described as a kind-hearted man.”

The most interesting cider, however, might be Humlepung, which happens to be the beverage telling the story of the ci-

dery’s founder. Humplepung, which also happens to be the country’s bestselling cider, is a traditional Hardanger cider that gets its unique flavour from the common hops plant. “The word humlepung means an insult used towards someone who does something stupid,” Joar explains with a grin. “Traditionally, ciders should be made from 100% apples, and if my grandfather had seen how I add hops in this cider, he would definitely have called me a humlepung.”

Humlepung is not the only beverage that sees old traditions and new impulses come together. Humlepung Rosé offers a delicate and floral twist to the original Humlepung and is a great alternative to white wine. “We want people to see that cider is Hardanger’s answer to wine, and that it offers just as much, if not more, to any culinary experience,” adds Joar.

If you’re not too fond of alcoholic drinks, don’t fret. Aga Sideri’s non-alcoholic beverages range from Humlesus, a

non-alcoholic variant of the bestseller, to delicious and flavourful juices that pair local apples with the best berries and plants nature has to offer.

No matter what you’re eating this summer, pair it with a drink from Aga Sideri for a bit of history, fun, and of course, an incomparable flavour. In addition to producing ciders and other alcohol-free drinks, Aga Sideri offers tours around the orchard and a range of other gastronomical experiences incorporating the Aga Cider.

Facebook: Aga Sideri

Instagram: @agasideri

Cider and juice creation is a labour of family love at Spildegarden

Overlooking the idyllic Hardangerfjord in west Norway lies Spildegarden, a farm focusing on apple cider and juice production, freshly baked goods, and other homemade delicacies. Like many historic farms in Norway, Spildegarden has been in the family for generations. Since 1997, Geir Henning Spilde has been running the farm with his wife Jane. As a trained chef, Spilde ‘s goal is to make Spildegarden a centre for locally produced food and drink.

The historic farm Spildegarden began as a dairy farm with fruit as a secondary focus. However, Geir Spilde’s father, Arnvid, always felt that growing fruit was the area on the farm that engaged him the most. Today, Spildegarden has over 50 varieties of fruit, including apples, plums, and berries, with an annual production of 80 tons of apples.

The farm experiments with planting new and different varieties of fruit to create

fresh and exciting flavours. It also combines apple juice with other fruits. “Our berry juice, for example, should taste of the berries we use and is balanced with apples instead of sugar or other additives,” says Spilde.

Spildegarden processes 50,000 litres of juice and cider a year, delivering products to restaurants and speciality markets throughout Norway. The cider and juice can also be found on the menu at the farm’s restaurant on-site.

A natural production process creates a superior product

The cider at Spildegarden is made without adding yeast. The fermentation process happens naturally at low temperatures and takes about six months. Spilde and his team make several different types

Spildegarden’s owners with their children.
Lunch in the garden at Spildegarden.

of cider, but currently have six varieties, from dry to sweet. “Cider goes very well with all kinds of food, but really stands out when served with fish and shellfish,” he says. “And cider is, of course, delicious on its own or as an aperitif.”

The farm also offers cider tastings to visitors. Here, cider enthusiasts can taste a number of different ciders with a few snacks on the side. Alternatively, tastings can be combined with a three to fourcourse dinner. The tastings also include storytelling and a visit to the production site, which is close to the historic old eldhus, one of few original buildings left on the farm. The eldhus also houses the farm restaurant which was established in 2021, which can also be booked for meetings and special events. As a trained chef, Spilde acts as head chef in the restaurant.

After the cider tasting, visitors are welcome to check out Spildegarden’s farm

shop with everything from apple cider and juice, to jams and locally produced cured meats, cheese, and beer. There is also a bakery focusing on making sourdough bread, cinnamon buns and, of course, apple cake.

Spilde finds that running Spildegarden together with his family is highly reward-

ing. “With the location by the fjord, the beautiful nature, and locally produced food and drink…it’s something people are interested in and want to experience,” he reflects. “With our enthusiasm for the place, our products are easy to sell.”

Instagram: @spildegarden

Wearing traditional Norwegian dress at Spildegarden.
Outside the farm shop at Spildegarden.
The view over the fjord at Spildegarden.
Lunch served in Spildegarden’s farm restaurant.

With a love for apples and cider-making

Norwegian craft cider is thriving and award-winning Alde Sider is one of the leading producers. A pioneer and a driving force in the craft cider wave, founder Olav Bleie is on a mission to show us what real cider is, and it starts with planting the tree.

The Hardanger region on the west coast of Norway is a stronghold for cider. One of the leaders in the cider revolution is Alde Sider, located on Bleie Farm in Sørfjorden, surrounded by mountains, the Hardangerfjord and the Folgefonna glacier. Olav Bleie runs the farm, which has an annual production of around 100,000 litres of cider, as well as 50,000 litres of apple juice and 10,000-15,000 litres of other fermented products such as ice cider.

Bleie inherited the farm from his father 20 years ago, learned how to grow apples and make cider, and eventually took the step to produce cider commercially in 2014. “For years, I was running the farm

and at the same time experimenting with apples and cider, whilst also doing my master’s degree in chemistry and later

working on a PhD,” says the farmer. “It was scary to finally start the cider business, but the product was so great and very different from every cider I had ever tasted. Taking a product that our forefathers were so familiar with, we can finally show how fantastic it is to people in Norway and further afield.”

From monks to craft cider revolution

Cider from Hardanger is well-known both in Norway and internationally, with popularity reaching new heights and local producers winning heaps of prestigious awards. In fact, this is now a geographically protected brand name, like Champagne.

It all started when Catholic monks visited the area back in the 1200s and left seeds for local farmers, and it is believed that cider production dates as far back as the 1700s. Apples have been pressed and

processed here for generations – including Gravenstein, Discovery, Summerred and Aroma apples – giving the cider a light, tart and aromatic flavour.

The recipe for success is a combination of the terroir, the microclimate and the apples, and the dedicated farmers. “The Gulf Stream brings warm ocean water all the way to the coast of Norway. This provides a stable climate, similar to southern Europe, which is beneficial for growing apples,” says the cider maker. “Also, the long daylight hours in the growing season, which lasts from May to September or even longer, give the apples the red cheeks but also an acid buildup and a lot of esters and polyphenols – this is the perfect starting point to make some of the world’s best ciders.”

Back in 2014, when Bleie started his cider business, the total amount of cider produced in Norway was only around 25,000 litres per year. Now, this number is quickly climbing to somewhere between half a million to a million litres. Impressively, 80 per cent of the cider produced in the country comes from Hardanger, which has no doubt given the region a boost.

Cider tourism and award-winning cider Alde Sider is a leading producer but also an award-winning one. Most recently, Alde Rosé Sider won gold in the category rosé cider at the prestigious International Brewing Awards, whilst Alde Sider won silver in the category modern cider (dry). One might wonder, what makes Bleie’s cider so special? “Our apples are rather low in tannins but high in acidity. This

makes the ciders acid-driven, which puts them in the modern style category, compared to tannin-driven French ciders,” he explains. “In short, our ciders are more fruity, like a Riesling with almost tropical notes from the apple. The flavour is a bit of a surprise, and hopefully a nice one!”

Bleie is a pioneer not only in producing cider but also a driving force in the Hardanger cider wave. “The goal is to enlighten people, to open up their eyes to what real cider is, to tell the story of the product, and to bring them along on the journey – it’s much more fun that way,” he smiles. “Our cider is a product of nature and it starts by planting the tree. What’s hanging from the trees here on the farm is what you get in the bottle. If you drink the 2022 cider, you will taste what the weather was like in Hardanger and how the fruit developed that year. This is why it’s so rewarding to work with cider, it changes every year.”

In addition to running the farm and making award-winning ciders, Bleie is involved in the Hardanger International Ciderfest, and also welcomes cider tourists to the area. “We are currently building a Norwegian community for real cider,” he says. “Cider tourism is booming in the area. You can come to see the beautiful Norwegian fjords, but you also have a second reason to visit – the apples and the cider, it makes Hardanger a worldclass destination.”

Facebook: Alde Sider

Instagram: @aldesider

Outside the farm shop at Spildegarden.
Alde Sider’s founder Olav Bleie.

Extraordinary cider from the heart of Fjord Norway

At an idyllic location in Sørfjorden, one of the innermost branches of the spectacular Hardangerfjord, Lofthus Sideri is building on the proud legacy of local agriculture traditions. Here, four friends are making delicious juice and cider from hand-picked apples of the highest quality.

Hardanger is renowned for its ideal conditions for growing fruit and long history of making apple cider. English monks began growing apples and making cider in Hardanger as far back as the 13th century, and cider making competitions have been held in the area since the 1700s. All along the magnificent fjord, charming old fruit farms cling to the steep mountainsides. The area is known as the fruit orchard of Norway, and apple juices and ciders from Hardanger are considered to be some of the best in the world.

Lofthus Sideri is the joint venture of four childhood friends whose families have run farms in the area for centuries. Fruit farmers Ivar Eidnes, Halldor Gjernes

Lofthus, Halldor Elling Eidnes and Åsmund Eidnes Nedrevåg have continued the work that their ancestors have been doing for generations. In 2008, they

brought the impressive local heritage to new heights by launching juice based on high-quality apples from Lofthus, followed by the addition of cider in 2018.

“We are committed and passionate fruit farmers – it’s truly a lifestyle,” says Ivar, managing director, who represents the 9th generation of his family to farm in Lofthus. “There are long-standing traditions of apple farming at Lofthus and in Hardanger, and we’re proud to be part of it.”

Keeping proud traditions alive  Lofthus Sideri combines generations of specialised knowledge and experience with modern methods to create extraordinary drinks. 70% of the apples produced at the four farms are cultivated for consumption, while the remaining 30% goes into the team’s juices and ciders. The expansive fruit fields carry seven different varieties of apples, and each variety has its own unique qualities and characteristics. The close-knit team

Photo: Siv Dolmen
Photo: Ivar Eidnes

makes juice from all varieties, but only four are used for cider.

According to Ivar, the most important element in creating a good juice or cider is the quality of the ingredients. “In order to create exceptional products, the ingredients have to be exceptional,” he says. “We’re lucky to have an optimal starting point. The climate is well-suited for growing fruit, the soil is excellent and our apple fields benefit from plenty of sun, so the conditions are just right for our apples to grow well.”

A lot of work goes into ensuring the apples are of the best possible quality and making the most of them. The apples are all harvested by hand directly from the trees in the orchards and stored according to best practices before being pressed. “To create the best drinks from apples, you need to have a conscious relationship with the process. The right things need to be done at the right time,” Ivar explains.

Lofthus Sideri uses single varieties rather than mixing different types of apples with the aim of producing drinks with a pure and intense flavour. “We believe the best juice and cider is created by bringing out and highlighting the distinctive qualities of the apple varieties – we want people to be able to taste and enjoy the different kinds of apples,” Ivar says.

A stunning location in the heart of the fjords

Guests are welcome to visit the cider house located at the end of the Queen’s Hiking Trail, a popular mountain hike

offering panoramic views of Hardanger. Based in an old barn from the 19th century, Lofthus Sideri offers the perfect atmosphere for enjoying refreshing drinks and tasty local food with beautiful views of the surrounding scenery.

The cider house is open for visitors every day during the summer, and the team holds cider and juice tastings for groups of up to 45 people as well as guided tours of the charming fruit orchards. Lofthus Sideri products to take home can be purchased from the farm shop or found in Vinmonopolet shops across Norway.

Though their days are busy, the dedicated team is always working on new ideas. The most recently launched product is an

ice cider made with a unique method of freezing freshly pressed juice and straining the thawing juice before fermentation. The process results in an intensely flavoured cider that brings out the apple’s sweetness as well as emphasising its tart and fruity qualities.

An alcohol-free cider is currently in development and will be launching this autumn. “The sparkling non-alcoholic cider is an important addition as we believe there’s a big market for this. We’re excited to be able to offer a new tasty, alcohol-free alternative alongside our juices,” says Ivar.

Facebook: Lofthus sideri

Instagram: @lofthussideri

Photo: Ivar Eidnes
Photo: Ivar Eidnes
Photo: Siv Dolmen

Award-winning cider made with endangered apples

Nestled by the sea in beautiful Aure in the traditional district of Nordmøre, you will find the historic apple farm Solbu. Here, Tore Weum and Monika Wessel welcome visitors to spend the night in idyllic surroundings, enjoy local food and sample delicious cider from Villeplet.

Villeplet’s cider production is based on Norwegian crab apples and European cider apples. The crab apple has a genetic variation that is unique to Norway and carries a historic and cultural significance. In fact, a bucket of crab apples was found on Osebergskipet, one of the finest artefacts from the Viking Age dating back to the year 820. Despite its value, this apple variety is in danger of extinction. “It’s important to preserve and protect this unique resource,” says Wessel. “Our mission is to make crisp, dry cider that pairs well with food while doing our part to save the endangered Norwegian wild apple.”

Norwegian cider is usually made from apples cultivated for consumption, which are aromatic, flowery, and delicious. Crab apples carry vastly different qualities –they are small and sour, and despite not

being very tasty, they are well-suited for cider production due to their high acidity, bitterness, and tannins. “We avoid unnecessary additives and sugar, to let the natural flavour and qualities of the apple shine,” Wessel says.

Villeplet’s cider is made with the traditional method used to produce Champagne. “It’s more labour-intensive and time-consuming,” explains Weum. “Producing our cider takes a minimum of two years. But the reward is worth the effort.” Villeplet’s cider is known for premium quality and the first cider Dugnad has won prestigious awards. “Our production method ensures that the apples are the most prominent element, creating what we consider a more pure and complex cider,” Weum adds.

Beyond apple farming and cider production, the couple also offers extraordinary

overnight stays and culinary experiences in this beautiful part of Norway. Guests can spend the night at the idyllic apple farm Solbu, which dates back to the 1930s, and enjoy the view of the apple orchard with around 1,700 apple trees. Another excellent option is to stay in the off-grid cabin in the forest nature reserve.

Aided by Wessel’s background in the wine industry, the couple runs cider and wine tastings as well as exclusive dinner events. The food is based on local, preferably organic ingredients. “We have an abundance of fantastic ingredients around here that we need to make the most of,” says Wessel.

Alongside the preservation of the endangered crab apple, Wessel and Weum are committed to sustainable practices. Weum concludes; “In every decision we make, sustainability is the most important consideration – protecting our climate, nature and environment is crucial.”

Facebook: Villeplet Instagram: @villeplet

The historic Solbu apple farm.
Lake Rennsjøen by the property.
Picking endangered crab apples.
Ciders Dugnad (the first, award-winning cider) and Stas.
The apple orchard at Solbu apple farm.

A sparkling ode to heritage and craftsmanship

Tucked in the picturesque fjords of Nordmøre, Strupstad Farm is home to Tingvoll Sider – a celebration of farm life, heritage, and the best that nature has to offer. Served with Michelin meals in Trondheim, for instance, Tingvoll Sider offers an exclusive taste of the Norwegian countryside.

When Silje Osnes’ great-great-grandfather Knut Nesje bought Strupstad farm for his son Jon in 1927, he noted the land’s wonderful ability to grow fruits, and how right he was. In addition to the traditional farm activities, the family established a large fruit garden, from which they would pick and sell apples to neighbouring towns. Jon had the apples juiced on the other side of the fjord and brought the liquid gold home to make wine.

As the years passed and other generations took over, the apple adventure was put on the shelf and the tradition was unfortunately lost. That was until 2020, when Osnes decided to re-establish the farm. “My background as a teacher is a world away from farming and cider production, so it’s safe to say that it took some time to re-adjust,” says Osnes, who

runs Tingvoll Sider. “But I wanted to start my own business and continue the work of my ancestors, this time with the intention of producing and distributing cider.”

Today, the farm has just over 2,000 apple trees. It’s true craftsmanship, as everything is poured and sealed by hand. In addition, Osnes sells her products at the picturesque farm shop and offers tours and tastings. She describes the work as hard, but incredibly rewarding as the cider has already won prestigious awards and is sold out every year.

The reason for the high demand is likely the unique flavour. Made from pesticide-free old apple varieties that thrive higher up from the country’s large fruit districts, this cider offers something different. Some of the apple varieties have

been unknown to the public for a long time. While they’re not always the best to eat raw, these apples give the cider its special flavour.

The ciders Hustru Gyrid, Gammel-Nesje and Strupstadsider have made a name for themselves on the national market, and Sval, the non-alcoholic sparkling option, has also been received well. Osnes concludes; “I suppose the long-term goal is to make the world’s best cider, but for now, we’ll be happy to get our drinks into yet another Michelin-star restaurant, in addition to restaurant Credo in Trondheim.”

Facebook: Tingvoll Sider

Instagram: @strupstadgarden

Photo: Monica Almskaar Heggset Photo: Eline Karlsatter Fladseth/Visitnorthwest
Photo: Kristin Solem
Photo: 14safety

but not as you know it

By the edge of Sørfjorden, an arm of the Hardanger Fjord and surrounded by mountains, lies Store Nå, a farm that has been owned by the same family since 1724. It is currently run by Eirik Nå Aga, the tenth-generation farmer, who is combining the family legacy with craft cider.

Farmer Eirik Nå Aga is proud of his family history and wants to be able to pass the farm on to his daughter in the future. And he wants her to inherit a farm with a profit she can live on. However, farming has changed over the centuries, making a profit is harder, threatening the future of farms all over Norway. But when a new law in Norway allowed the sale of stronger cider, Nå Aga saw an opportunity.

In 2018, Store Naa Siderkompani was established. The farm Store Nå has always been growing fruit, so cider production fit perfectly with the farm’s history. “Hardanger has the best apples in the world,” says Nå Aga. “The idea was that the cider should smell and taste like apples straight from the tree.” Judging by the national and international awards received, he has succeeded.

Achieving that level of quality means no cutting corners, no added water, just

100% apples. Three types of apple are used for each type of cider. Each is fermented separately before being combined for the perfect balance of sweet and tart. The apples are picked and fermented at the farm, but pressed at Aga Sideri, a few minutes away.

Currently, there are three types of cider on sale. The first is 57/2, a classic, Norwegian cider. It is carbonated and works nicely as an apéritif or with fish and seafood. The name is taken from the old farm number.

A cider with even deeper roots to the farm’s history is 57/2 Kårkall. An old farmer was called kårkall once he retired and the next generation took over. This cider is made using kveik, a beer yeast similar to a sourdough starter. “Ours is 150 years old,” Nå Aga explains. “I thought, why can’t we use it for cider? So we tried. It gives the cider a slightly more

characteristic taste, with umami flavours.” When Nå Aga’s sister shared the news that she was getting married, it was obvious that his wedding gift would be a wedding cider. The result was 57/2 Brudeferd, a rosé cider made of 95% apples and 5% red and black currants.

Cider has always been a great alternative to beer, and these ciders are certainly giving wine some serious competition.

Facebook: Storenaasiderkompani

Instagram: @storenaasiderkompani

High quality cider needs high-quality apples.
Store Nå has been in the same family for centuries. Eirik Nå Aga, left, is the tenth generation.

Business that is good for prosperity, people and the planet

Why Sweden? Not surprisingly, this is a question I often get when I speak about Swedish companies and investment opportunities. Sweden may be a small country, but we are known for iconic global corporations such as Ericsson, Volvo, Saab, Scania, and Spotify – largely thanks to rapid business acceleration and cutting-edge ideas.

Many Swedish companies are leading the way in innovation, digitalisation and sustainability. And this is why Sweden is spearheading change in everything from energy, green batteries and transport to healthcare and manufacturing.

Sprung from a society that puts social and environmental responsibility high

on the agenda, these companies are part of a vibrant and expanding ecosystem of fast-growing startups, established big tech and a first class triple helix collaboration environment where academia, industry and government work together. Add a history of industry disruption and you will find an ideal breeding ground for bold ideas that need an ecosystem of development, testing, and scaling up for global reach.

This position is more important than ever. But that is just part of the story. There is now an unprecedented need and demand for new solutions, technology and expertise that can accelerate the green transition and help countries, industries and companies tackle economic and climate challenges.

Business Sweden is at the forefront of helping Swedish and international companies make the right export, trade and investment decisions – so they remain competitive and sustainable, now and in the future. With offices and local teams in over 40 markets worldwide, we use our networks and knowledge to connect products and services with customers, companies with new partners, business leaders with policy makers and investors with opportunities.

When you partner with us, you will get strategic advice and practical assistance to help your business reach new heights.

Read more about our services at

Jan Larsson, CEO of Business Sweden. Photo: Business Sweden

A design powerhouse — rooted in craftsmanship and tradition

Åry Trays has been around for a long time: founded in the small Swedish town Nybro in 1952, the company has experienced a monumental growth journey that has turned them into the market-leading brand for interior design and furniture. The original birch veneer trays are still at the heart of the production, which has been expanded with a wide range of products perfectly tailored for homes and hospitality.

Åry Trays is an entrepreneurial success story originating in the deep forests of the southern county in Småland, Sweden. Its moulded birch veneer trays have remained a popular product from the start, gaining traction thanks to the high-quality and unique design that lasts across generations.

The craftsmanship has helped maintain and expand the customer base and take the company into new markets around the world. While Åry Trays primarily sells its products to retailers and acts as a sub-contractor for numerous well-known international design brands, products are also available to private customers through the sister brand Åry Home.

Ӂry Trays has become market leading in private label and bespoke products

for companies around the world,” says Thomas Hagström, CEO. “What started as a small business with local talent and quality trays at the core, has become an international company that creates anything from small items to unique designer furniture for trusted and distinguished names on markets around the world.”

Sustainability and transparency is key throughout production. Local skills and products are utilised as much as possible, along with well-researched wood providers from FSC-certified forests, and all waste goes into heating the premises and machines. The mode of production and expertise creates sturdy products that are proven to last for decades.

”So many people - from private consumers to global corporations and hospitality

brands – are looking for ways to reduce plastic usage and replace it with sustainable alternatives that guarantee quality. Åry Trays has put all the accumulated expertise into creating collections to meet these needs, that can be tailored to specific requests and industry requirements in ways that few others can,” Hagström concludes.

Instagram: @arytrays @aryhome

Linkedin:  ÅRY AB - Åry Trays, Åry Home, Designbrickan, Åryform

Thomas Hagström, CEO

75 years of redefining wellness

Whether it’s to feel invigorated, relax or sleep better, using the sauna is now as trendy as it is traditional. Indeed, it is an ever-growing market with increasing demand, and something that sauna brand Tylö is at the very heart of. On a mission to help people feel better, Tylö delivers high-quality sauna experiences with traditional sauna, steam and infrared warmth to customers all over the world.

“Not everyone knows that Tylö is Swedish,” explains marketing manager Kajsa Nydahl. “Saunas naturally have strong connotations to Finland, but what makes our offering unique is our combi heater which gives you an experience we call Soft Sauna.”

Unlike Finnish sauna, Soft Sauna combines a traditional heater with a water tank and works as a steam generator. This allows users to lower the sauna’s temperature to, for instance, 60 degrees (it is normally around 20 degrees higher) while raising the humidity to 30 per cent. “This combination is perfect for those who find the traditional ‘dry sauna’ too

hot and harsh, as the Soft Sauna technique gives them the same experience but with less intensity.”

The floor-standing sauna heater Crown has a

Heat on your own terms

Technicalities aside, saunas are generally loved for their many wellness benefits. Perhaps the relaxing aspect is the most obvious, but there are more reasons to why we enjoy the heat so much. Some use saunas to improve their blood circulation and to sweat out any toxins. Others do it to relieve stress. And some simply see beauty benefits and improvements in the way their skin looks and feels. “To us, feeling good is the most important thing and we think saunas are a great way of achieving that,” says Nydahl. “We’re also strong believers that heat therapy comes with a lot of positives. Some customers even say that using saunas has helped them ease various health issues.”

Choosing Tylö is choosing flexibility. The brand offers a wide range of products and services including sauna, steam and infrared warmth which can be tailored to each customer’s needs. For instance, sauna shoppers can browse everything from

symmetrical design combined with elegant lighting pattern.

doors and glass sections to wall panels and seating. There are even modular sauna rooms for fast and easy assembly. And all of Tylö’s heaters, rooms, control panels and steam generators are made in Sweden and quality tested. They’re also easy and safe to use, and beautifully designed with low environmental impact.

Those searching for an at-home steam experience will cheer too thanks to Tylö’s selection of steam rooms and showers. “A steam experience is tomorrow’s place for relaxation and wellbeing. And with speed steam, cloud connectivity and modern design, our steam products are made to fit into our customers’ modern lives,” assures Nydahl.

Crown and Reflection

One of the newest additions to Tylö’s range is the floor-standing sauna heater Crown. Living up to its regal name, Crown has a symmetrical design combined with an elegant lighting pattern that casts a warm glow across the room, creating a serene and relaxing ambience. The eye-catching Crown grill allows optimal airflow and heat circulation throughout the sauna, making sure that users receive the full benefits of the heater´s technology.

Another newcomer is the sauna room Reflection. Designed with attention to detail, Reflection incorporates exclusive

craftsmanship and advanced technology solutions for a comfortable and immersive sauna experience. The well-hidden electronics and lighting in the portal create a seamless and easy-to-use experience, allowing you to fully enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Another reason to opt for Tylö is the energy efficiency of the products, which can help reduce electricity consumption for both private and commercial use. For instance, Tylö heaters can heat up your sauna room twice as fast as other heaters, enabling energy savings of up to 27%. This efficiency is particularly beneficial for hotels needing tailor-made spa solutions, making Tylö a valuable partner

in creating cost-effective and sustainable wellness experiences.

And although Tylö is available at hundreds of retailers globally, it maintains a high standard of quality and customer service.

“Some of our distributors have worked with us for over 50 years and know our brand inside and out. It’s reassuring to know that the people who have been with us since the early days are still here, acting like guardians of the brand,” tells Nydahl.

“That sense of trust also ties back into the whole wellbeing aspect of Tylö. After all, feeling good is what makes us tick.”

Instagram: @tyloglobal

The Reflection sauna room incorporates exclusive craftsmanship and advanced technology solutions.

Furniture that transforms spaces into living experiences

With a passion for design and premium materials, Davsjö strives to create furniture that balances form and function. Its foldable chair is an example of something much more than a piece of furniture, it blends beauty and practicality as a form of art.

Davsjö’s design is elegant, with smooth surfaces and geometrical shapes. “Furniture should do more than just fill a space, it should tell a story,” means David Sjöberg, founder and designer. “We believe that design should seamlessly integrate into your lifestyle.”

With a background in industrial design, Sjöberg tries to find a balance between form and function whilst always keeping the user in mind. “Our collection reflects a commitment to form, craftsmanship, sustainability, and the pursuit of enduring aesthetics,” he says. Each piece is crafted with a meticulous eye for proportion, balance, and detail, ensuring that the visual allure complements the functionality and durability of the product.

The furniture is designed and made in Sweden, showcasing the material and Davsjö’s technical expertise but also capturing the emotional connection that well-made furniture can create. The close relationship between design and manufacturing, combining modern ma-

chinery with traditional craftsmanship, enables a process that consistently delivers premium products.

The foldable chair as functional art

Davsjö’s first collection of furniture was launched at the beginning of this year. It consists of a pair of dining chairs, DS10 and the foldable DS11, bar stools and ladders, where form meets function. With matching design elements, they ensure a cohesive look that complements the existing decor.

The foldable chair defies traditional folding constructions and challenges convention with its design where the seat and backrest appear to be floating. “One of the challenges was to create a foldable structure with a distinctive form yet with a mechanism that remains visually discreet,” says Sjöberg. Unlike conventional foldable chairs that are relegated to closets when not in use, Davsjö’s design stands out as a decorative piece.

The clever design is the very essence of Davsjö. “It allows the users to expand their dining setup with foldable chairs that share the same style as the regular arrangement,” says the designer. “It’s a practical solution for accommodating unexpected guests or creating a temporary seating arrangement for special occasions.”

The bar stool, with a sculpted seat shaped after the body, has the same sense of a visually pleasing design which is also comfortable. Sjöberg explains the idea; “Throughout the design process, our aim was to create a sense of continuous, seamless connection between the leg structure and sculpted seat, to enhance not only the aesthetic appeal but also create a comfortable seating experience.”

Also, the ladder is an example of where practicality meets beauty. “You can hang it effortlessly on the wall with the matching wall mount, which transforms it into a decorative masterpiece that adds a touch of elegance to the living space,” says Sjöberg. Make it a statement piece that deserves to be showcased, and just grab it when you need to reach that top shelf in the kitchen.

A mix of aesthetics, function and durability

In the intricate process of developing form, Davsjö embraces a holistic approach, carefully considering various

facets that contribute to the overall design. “We believe that aesthetics extend beyond mere visual appeal,” explains Sjöberg. “It’s the art of pleasing the eye while harmonising with the other crucial design elements.”

Durability is a cornerstone of Davsjö’s commitment to sustainability. Here, Sjöberg highlights the responsibility of the designer; “True sustainable design is an exquisite dance of form, function, quality materials, and a durable construction.” He means that it’s not just about creating beautiful objects, it’s about crafting enduring legacies that stand the test of time, considering every aspect, embodying the essence of thoughtful design and environmental responsibility.

An example of Davsjö’s sustainable design approach is the wooden salad utensils, made of leftover pieces of wood from furniture production. The eco-friendly utensils feature sleek lines inspired by nature’s elegance, adding a sophisticated touch to the dining experience.

This autumn, Davsjö will introduce more products to its line-up, including a dining table, a desk, and lighting. “Our identity and design expression will be reflected also in future products,” ensures Sjöberg.

Instagram: @davsjodesign Pinterest: davsjodesign

Bespoke quality kitchens in Scandinavian design

Nordiska Kök challenges convention with a digital solution for kitchen design. The customer’s journey, from inspiration to purchase, is handled digitally but all kitchens are custom-made and built from scratch. Premium kitchens at an affordable price –this is the future of kitchen design.

Established in 2017, Nordiska Kök has a vision to challenge the conventional way to sell and build kitchens. “Traditionally, it has been very expensive for private consumers to buy premium, custom-made kitchens,” says Johan Lundkvist, co-founder and creative director, who started the business together with Magnus Vansvik and André Strömblad. “With Nordiska Kök, we wanted to change this and offer high-quality design kitchens but at an affordable price, by taking the kitchen sector into the digital era.”

Inspired by e-commerce, the business is based on a digital solution. It’s a new

approach; no retailers are used, no home visits are conducted, and there are no staffed showrooms. Instead, customers get in touch with the team of designers online. “We can offer high-end design kitchens, fully custom-made, at a price that is no more expensive than mass-produced standard kitchens, thanks to our digital process,” says Lundkvist. “It’s possible to plan for a more financially sustainable solution from the outset, and the kitchen will look fantastic.”

The team collaborates with leading interior architects, designers and pro -

files, and is often featured in Swedish and international press, which praises the unique design approach and digital business idea. Nordiska Kök’s design can be seen for instance in one of Sweden’s most renowned restaurants, Daniel Berlin’s Vyn Restaurant in Österlen, which has recently been awarded with two Michelin stars. Not surprisingly, the company has received multiple awards, including EY Entrepreneur of the Year, Business of the Year, and the prestigious Stora Formpriset by Residence Magazine.

Quality and flexibility design

The kitchens are made to order and built from scratch in the company’s own local carpentry outside Gothenburg. Every kitchen is custom-made and takes into account the measurements as well as the customer’s needs and preferences in terms of design,

Daniel Berlin’s Vyn Restaurant in Österlen, designed by Nordiska Kök.

material and colour. In a way, it brings back the creativity and flexibility to the customer. “As the manufacturing takes place in our own carpentry, we can ensure premium quality throughout, from order to delivery, which is crucial for us,” adds Lundkvist.

Nordiska Kök has an unmanned concept showroom in Ekerö, outside Stockholm, and will soon open similar showrooms in the Gothenburg and Oslo areas. Customers can book an appointment to familiarise themselves with the kitchens and the quality, at their own pace in an inspiring setting. “But the fact is that over 80 per cent of our customers buy a kitchen un-

seen, as in they have not seen a kitchen in reality,” adds the co-founder. “Therefore, it becomes even more important that we live up to their expectations on design and quality once the kitchen is in place in their home.”

Social media and European expansion

With its innovative digital process and continued growth, Nordiska Kök is a strong challenger to traditional kitchen companies both within Sweden’s borders and now also in Europe. “Since the beginning, we have seen a high demand from abroad, above all because all our communication channels are global,” says Lundkvist. In fact, Nordiska Kök is one of the world’s leading kitchen design accounts on social media with around 300,000 followers on Instagram.

As of November 2022, Nordiska Kök delivers to most countries in Europe. The main markets right now are Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the UK. “We have received an incredibly positive response, which is great fun,” Lundkvist concludes. “We will continue to produce premium kitchens from scratch in our carpentry outside Gothenburg to ensure cost-effective production and the highest quality.”

Instagram: @nordiskakok

TikTok: @nordiskakok

Precision crafted strength equipment since 1957

Discover Eleiko Prestera, a complete strength system that evolves with your needs. We put everything we have learned in more than six decades of perfecting equipment for Olympic Games and training facilities into one customisable and scalable system optimised for long-lasting performance and safety.

145 years of experience in wool integrated with modern design

This year, Klippan Yllefabrik celebrates its 145th anniversary. The company cleverly combines its heritage in wool spinning with modern Scandinavian expressions. The designs are available in heaps of vibrant colours and patterns, for our modern-day homes.

Klippan Yllefabrik was founded in 1879 by spin master Jöns Petter Magnusson, to help nearby farms take care of their wool so they could make clothes. Over the years, the business grew to include a dyehouse, and in the 1980s Klippan was the fourth biggest spinning mill in Sweden. Today, the fifth generation is in charge of the company, which is best known for its warm and comfy wool blankets in a wide range of colours and patterns.

”Every year, we produce around 600,000 wool blankets,” says Pernilla Roos, who runs the company together with her brother Petter Magnusson. The product development still takes place in Sweden, in the same location as the original factory, however nowadays the weaving mill is located in Klippan’s own factory in Latvia.

Whilst the best-seller is still the popular wool blanket, now also available in trendy

colours and patterns for our modern interior style, Klippan has a broad portfolio including pillowcases, towels, aprons, and much more. The products are available in some 30 countries around the world, from Germany and the UK to Korea and the US.

Trending fabric and design collaborations

Klippan manufactures its products in pure wool, which is a fantastic material that is now making something of a comeback. “Wool is a breathable, renewable and a climate-smart natural material that both warms you up when it’s cold and cools you down when it’s hot,” says Roos. “In our production, we focus on sustainability and work with everything from recycled and organic wool to Swedish wool.”

The company regularly collaborates with Scandinavian artists and designers such as Lisa Larsson, Olle Eksell and Tove Jansson for its collections. The most re-

cent collaboration is with designer Sophia Forslund, who creates large, colourful floral patterns. “Her expression is strong and lively, a dynamic retro style that’s flirting with the 60s and 70s,” says Roos. “These vibrant patterns and colours really make you happy!”

Klippan’s factory shop has been named one of Sweden’s five best outlets by Visit Sweden. The products are also available at distributors in Sweden and abroad, and in the web shop.

Facebook: Klippan Yllefabrik AB

Instagram: @klippanyllefabrik

Design collaboration with Sophia Forslund.

Add beauty to your home with Sandberg Wallpaper

With one foot in tradition and the other in a more contemporary boot, Sandberg Wallpaper is a globally known brand loved for its original artwork which has the power to transform any home – and create a more beautiful everyday.

“It’s all about the handicraft,” says Sandra Willund, creative director. “Everyone in the team is passionate about the designs and takes great care when producing them. In fact, all our designs are hand-painted to emphasise the great level of detail in the artwork. The patterns also pay homage to our historical and cultural heritage and we often find ourselves standing in our old archive with designs from the past, finding inspiration in the present to create new and timeless expressions that will last for generations.”

These designs are created with sustainability in mind and always finished with the highest quality. Additionally, the designs have carefully considered names as they all have interesting stories to

convey about people and places that inspired the team when creating them. The inspiration for both colour and design often comes from the Swedish landscape and the surrounding nature.

“Our passion for our work is something that was noticed when we were appointed Royal Court Supplier, a title that stands for Swedish quality and Scandinavian design of the highest class,” says Willund.

Those who are curious to know more can find further inspiration on the brand’s website, where they can browse collections based on whatever room is in need of a spruce-up. And whether choosing wallpaper for your walls or the ceiling (it is the fifth wall, after all), any choice of

Sandberg Wallpaper ensures a timeless and cohesive look that will make homes feel more, well, homely.

“We can help customers find their unique style and find that perfect flow throughout their home. Put simply, some do wallpaper, we do Swedish wallpaper art,” concludes Willund.

Facebook: Sandberg Wallpaper

Instagram: @sandbergwallpaper

Discover Swedish wallpaper art.

Stabilotherm: genuinely designed for life outdoors

Expert makers of outdoor cooking tools, the small but mighty team behind Stabilotherm brings Swedish handicraft, quality and care to people all over Europe. It is a genuine brand with tradition and longevity at heart, simply built on a desire to inspire.

“Our mission is to inspire people to get out and enjoy the outdoors together,” says owner Fredrik Byström. “As a team, we’re passionate about cooking in nature and want to show others how easy it can be. There’s no need for a day-long hike,

unless you want to of course, just walk somewhere nearby and bring a few tools and matches in your bag.”

One such tool is Stabilotherm’s Jägarstekpanna, which translates to hunter’s frying pan. This rigid, yet light, carbon steel pan was first made in the 1980s and has remained pretty much the same since. Designed with a foldable handle which makes it easy to fit in a backpack, this pan works as well on a campfire as on the grill. Stabilotherm also has a popular collection of sustainably made wood products, such as mugs and utensils.

“We design everything here in Ulricehamn and pride ourselves on the originality and care that go into each product.

We also enjoy sharing recipes and ideas with users on social media to inspire their cooking. There’s something particularly rewarding about seeing how consumers respond to our content, and of course, knowing that they enjoy our products as much as we do,” concludes Byström. Facebook: Stabilotherm Instagram: @stabilotherm

Designed with a foldable handle, the hunter’s frying pan is easy to transport.
Nothing tastes as good as food cooked outdoors.


Redefining comfort with Nordic design

In the competitive hospitality industry, the ambiance and comfort of a space is essential in creating a memorable experience for the guest. Recognising these elements, Norway-based company Sitting Scandinavia has established itself as the go-to furniture provider for restaurants, hotels, and conference venues.

When developing a space for guests and clients, it’s always important to have an intention in mind. Not only does the designer need to consider who the space is for, but also what it is for and how the space can successfully elevate someone’s experience. With nearly 30 years in the industry, Norwegian furniture brand Sitting Scandinavia has perfected the art of blending aesthetic appeal with robust functionality for its clients, showcasing the commitment to quality, innovative design, and sustainability.

“Our focus is on offering customers high-quality products and competitive prices, in addition to customisation of furniture. Everything we do is intended to

make our clients’ lives easier, while also providing a unique design that in turn allows their customers to feel at home,” says Marita Norman, designer and project manager at Sitting Scandinavia.

The company’s work and experience does not only stretch over a long period of time but also across borders, as the team works both nationally and internationally, and closely with producers all over Europe. No matter what your project is, Sitting Scandinavia makes sure to fit your needs.

Quality, sustainability and customisation

Starting as a small interior firm in the city of Drammen in the east of Norway, Sitting Scandinavia – previously known as PKS – wanted to establish a good name and reputation for high-quality and design furniture in Norway. After nearly three decades, it had exceeded its own expectations.

“We work closely with our clients from start to finish to ensure that the furniture serves not only the purpose and aesthetic, but also preserves the dignity of its historical or modern surrounding,”

Photo: Rømskog Spa og Restort
Photo: Rømskog Spa og Restort

says Norman. “As well as working with the customer, we dedicate ourselves to quality and a high standard, hence why we also collaborate with architects, designers, and other providers so we can offer our clients the very best product.”

In addition to its focus on preciseness, functionality and good design, Sitting Scandinavia offers to develop, renovate and produce custom-made furniture for its clients, most of which are hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars. “Of course, creating high-quality and long-lasting products is perhaps the best thing you can do for the environment to begin with, but as a company we try to think sustainably in everything we do,” says Norman. “While some customers like changing out their old furniture, some old pieces are too good and have too much potential to be thrown out. In those cases, we offer a “soft renovation” to give the pieces a new life.”

A “soft renovation”, Norman explains, is not only better for the environment, it also helps the client keep their costs down. “We did a soft renovation of an old bar at Manis Mat og Bar in Kongsvinger. It worked perfectly fine, but it didn’t fit the rest of the furniture that the client had picked out, so we gave the bar a makeover with a brass plating and a black stone top,” she explains and emphasises the bar’s exclusive look.

“It’s important to us that we do what we can to ensure that the furniture we put out there is long-lasting, not only in terms of materials, but also in style. We want to promote a warm and welcoming expression, using soft textiles and colours, encouraging cosiness and comfort,” she says. “Arriving at a hotel room should feel like coming home and guests at a restaurant should feel welcomed and taken care of. The furniture is a vital aspect of this.”

As Sitting Scandinavia looks to the future, Norman highlights the commitment to its customers, explaining that the most important thing is that each and every client is left feeling seen and heard. “We want them to feel like the renovation and purchase was worth every single penny.”

Facebook: Sitting Scandinavia

Photo: Strøm Mat & Bar
Photo: Strøm Mat & Bar
Photo: Lovlund Hotel
Photo: Manis Mat og Bar
Photo: Manis Mat og Bar

An interdisciplinary approach to design and art

Winther Design offers comprehensive design solutions, from residential to commercial projects, as well as custom-made curations, art, objects and furniture.

Winther Design was founded in 2017 by Tania Winther, a multidisciplinary artist, product designer and interior designer based in Trondheim, Norway. Projects include multifaceted, experiential environments across residential, hospitality, commercial, and retail sectors, alongside collections of art, objects, and product designs. Often in collaboration with others around the world.

“I find great inspiration and enjoy learning through multidisciplinary collaborations which I’m fortunate to have with artists, artisans and designers,” says Winther. This is what gives Winther Design its distinctive style and a perspective that extends beyond the design itself, which leads to unique experiences for the users. For instance, designing a colourful and playful lake house or converting an old stable into a Scandinavian townhouse.

Winther Design has recently won an international design award for The Green Wow-

Room at St.Olav Hospital, NTNU in Trondheim. Here, the challenge was to create a 6 sqm multifunctional space to be used as a patient room, office and showroom. With clever use of design features such as colour and light, the room is an example of how user-centred interior design and architecture can help to promote health.


elegance and futuristic cocoons

Winther Design’s latest project is the conceptual design for Bank Frøya, a local bank in the Trondelag region in Norway. It covers an area of 300 sqm and is a great showcase of how timeless elegance elevates interior design. “Our design is inspired by the proximity to the fjords, with the featured curves representing the ocean and the waves,” explains Winther. The feature wall and the reception area accentuate this design, from the moment customers enter the bank.

Another exciting project is the Cocoon House, a futuristic micro home developed

in collaboration with Andres Femayor, a US-based architect, which is part of an ongoing architect competition. “This is an off-the-grid, functional and well-designed home consisting of 25 sqm, designed for a couple to live and work together comfortably,” explains Winther. “As the tiny house community is growing, this is a sustainable, low-cost option with a modern design. It has everything you need for a fully functional living space.”

Winther Design is also working on several new product and furniture designs, a few of which will be launched later this year.

Facebook: Winther Design

Instagram: @winther_design_

LinkedIn: Winther Design

The Green Wow-Room at St.Olav Hospital, NTNU in Trondheim.
From conceptual to finished design for Bank Frøya.
The futuristic Cocoon House, a micro home developed in collaboration with Andres Femayor.
Tania Winther, founder of Winther Design.

Traditional and timeless craftsmanship to last generations

Surrounded by the best of Norwegian landscape, Hallingdal-based Fjellmøbler produces handcrafted, high-quality furniture with nature as inspiration. The small company seamlessly blends the rich heritage of Norwegian design with the modern customer’s needs, creating pieces that are contemporary, yet timeless.

Spending weekends and holidays at a hytta, or cabin, is a long-standing Norwegian tradition that has allowed people plenty of restitution in picturesque areas such as Geilo and Hemsedal. Hallingdal, in which both of these are situated, is not only home to tens of thousands of these cabins, but also Fjellmøbler, a furniture producer who has perfected the craft of furnishing these second homes.

“We specialise in unique and customised furnishing,” says Per Egil Vårdal, founder of Fjellmøbler. “In addition to the Hallingdal area, we deliver furniture to cabins, hotels and restaurants all over the country, but also internationally, and offer a range of customisable high-quality furniture series.”

After some time in Canada where he learned about furniture customisation, Vårdal established the company on his

own in 2014. The business quickly grew, and today a team of six people are working closely with the customers from start to finish to create exclusive furniture for each individual space. “All of us at Fjellmøbler are passionate about our work, and I think that shines through in the products we make,” he says.

Bringing the outdoors inside

In addition to customisation, Fjellmøbler prioritises high-quality designs that are not only functional but also beautiful. Taking inspiration from nature, Vårdal explains that they use locally sourced natural materials – often wood – as well as natural colours and textures, in order to bring the great outdoors inside. “There’s also an incomparable quality to many of these natural materials. If you look at our Tyra series, which is made mostly from solid oak, you’ll see that the wood not only gives a robust and long-lasting

structure, but also a beautiful texture. Even after staining or painting the oak, the natural structure shines through, giving that timeless, elegant look.”

As the company continues to grow, Vårdal ensures that it remains steady in its own commitment to quality and the needs of its customers. “Our goal has never been to become a mass producer. We want each project to be unique,” he adds. “Our main priority will always be to deliver timeless, personalised products that we are proud of.”

Facebook: Fjellmøbler

Instagram: @fjellmobler

Fjellmøbler will go the length to make your space exactly what you want it to be. Photo: Uthus Photography
Photo: Fjellmøbler
Photo: Norefjell
Photo: Norefjell
Photo: Fjellmøbler

Iselin embraces the personal and timeless in jewellery

Designing jewellery played a large part in Iselin Strømsvåg’s life for over a decade. After running a jewellery design company, Dreams of Norway, with her colleague Nina Einarsen for 13 years, Strømsvåg took some time away from the business to think about what she really wanted to do. Jewellery design continued to be at the heart of her plans. So in 2022, Strømsvåg started over with Iselin, the company that bears her name.

Strømsvåg trained in fashion design at Esmod, the school of fashion and design at Kristiania University in Oslo, Norway. After this, she worked for well-known Norwegian apparel brands. Soon, however, jewellery design became her passion.

Jewellery as an expression of the personal and infinite Strømsvåg believes that the jewellery people choose to wear is cherished. “It’s intimate to wear a piece so close to the

skin. Jewellery is often chosen based on the feeling it evokes in the wearer,” she says. “Perhaps it’s a reminder of a value the person has in life, a reminder of someone they love, or a talisman for happiness. With the jewellery I make, I wanted to share a small part of my heart with people around the world.”

At the same time, Strømsvåg sees her pieces as everlasting. “I want to create jewellery that can be passed down from mother to daughter. A necklace, for example, that embraces a specific feeling, or a bracelet that represents an important moment in life.”

Appealing to a wide customer base

Strømsvåg’s customers come from a variety of backgrounds and demographics. “I have both younger customers and ones

Silver, coral and pearl earrings and ring from Nature’s Treasures.
A gold ring from Nature’s Treasures.

that are older,” she says. “They have different interests and styles. I find it an exciting challenge to create jewellery that can suit all target groups, while ensuring that designs are true to the spirit of my work.” Strømsvåg works with both gold and silver. “Younger customers are most interested in slightly smaller and lighter jewellery, such as my shell earrings. And more mature customers prefer larger and more sculpted pieces.”

The jewellery designer especially enjoys the process of making larger pieces. “It’s like making a kind of portable sculpture,” she says. Strømsvåg also enjoys wearing her own jewellery. “A personal favourite of mine is the Surf collection. I love the undulating, smooth surfaces. These are designs I can wear with any outfit and for any occasion.”

Stømsvåg’s jewellery production is unique. She uses mouldable clay made of 99.9% pure silver. Once fired in a ceramic oven, you get a piece of silver that is finer and brighter than more traditional sterling. In this way, each piece is completely individual. You may even notice faint fingerprints left on the surface in some places. For gold pieces, the silver is thickly coated with 18k gold.

Prolific collections

Iselin showcases three main collections. Flow is inspired by the creative flow that Strømsvåg experiences when she designs her work. “It was the first collection completed after my break. There is a sense of coming home,” she says. The Nature’s

Treasure collection tries to emulate the feeling of finding treasures in nature, such as a shell or pinecone. And the third collection, Aurora, is an ode to love. “Aurora is my daughter’s name and the collection was born from the feeling of embracing all that is light and love,” muses Strømsvåg.

The three collections form the backbone of the company. “I’ve been working on these three themes since I started Iselin a year and a half ago. They feel like an inexhaustible source of inspiration.” Strømsvåg finds inspiration for her work from the wildness of Norwegian nature. “I experience nature here as quite rough. There are vast mountains, great contrasts…and a lot of varied weather! I think this is reflected in my jewellery, which has

the feeling of being quite untamed,” she reflects.

Thoughts of the future

Currently, Iselin’s main business is in the online shop. In the future, Strømsvåg hopes to open up to a larger global market. “In the long term, I’d like to have stores or showrooms in a selection of cities across Europe and even the US. Currently, many of my customers come from countries such as Denmark, Germany, France, and the UK,” she says. “I think my style could become popular in Asia, as well. It would be exciting to test that theory.” Facebook: StudioIselin Instagram: @iselin_jewelry

A variety of different silver rings and a bracelet from the Flow collection. A gold chain necklace from Flow.
Wave circle silver earrings and ear cuff from Flow.
A gold floral necklace and earrings from the Nature’s Treasures collection.

Celebrating Norwegian design and cultural heritage

Whether it’s designing silver to wear with costumes for special events or filling daily orders for private customers and boutiques, Huldreverket is creating distinctive pieces that reflect the natural world and Norwegian folklore.

Starting your own business is always an adventure, especially when the world is just getting back on its feet after a global pandemic. But in the summer of 2023, this is exactly what the designers behind the jewellery company Huldreverket did. Lotte Lysa, Tonje Høgberg, and Marit Lintrup Svendsen, all trained goldsmiths, are heavily involved in the daily production of Huldreverket, their bustling workshop located in Skien, Norway.

“Our customers are interested in Norwegian design and quality,” says Høgberg. “Cultural heritage is important to many of them and we often produce silver pieces for national costumes and bunads. These are worn for important public holidays and even when people get married. But we also make jewellery that reflects our customer’s identity and belonging, both to Norway and the environment they live in.”

Huldreverket works with both silver and gold. “We are inspired by people who lived here hundreds of years ago, making handmade beautiful pieces that were used in everyday life,” says Høgberg. “Many of them were women, often left out of history books, but whose talents and ingenuity really helped to shape Norwegian design.”

The team works hard to ensure that the art of goldsmithing remains alive in Norway. “There are many small-scale jewellers in Norway who sell their work on social media,” Høgberg reflects. “Sadly, there are also companies who manufacture in lower-cost countries. We think this is unfortunate and fear that Norway will become poorer in terms of craftsmanship if jewellery-making and design disappear. Our customers appreciate that each piece we create is made in our own workshop in Norway.”

In addition to an online store, Huldreverket sells its jewellery in shops all over Norway. It is also represented in the Norwegian box at Gardemoen airport, an exclusive vending machine in the international departures hall.

For the future, Huldreverket hopes to continue to grow. “We want to continue to make a living from this job we’re so happy doing,” says Høgberg. “We’d like to hire more jewellers eventually. For now, our main market is in Norway but we would love to expand to other countries in the future.”

Facebook: Huldreverket as Instagram: @huldreverket

The jewellery designers behind Huldreverket.
An ash tree seed made of silver with drop pendant by Huldreverket is both feminine and timeless.
An intricate pattern made of silver and an amethyst-coloured crystal on a bunad pin.
Pins designed by Huldreverket to be worn with the traditional Norwegian dress, the bunad.

Celebrating nature’s beauty through timeless jewellery

Based in Tromsø, Wabi Sabi is a small jewellery brand known for its intricate designs and nature-inspired creations, seamlessly blending the wild, untamed beauty of the Norwegian wilderness with the sophistication of jewellery-making. The result is a collection of pieces that are as unique and enchanting as the landscapes that inspire them.

The Japanese concept of “wabi-sabi” is one that finds pleasure and beauty in imperfection and transience, seen as being a part of the ups and downs of the journey that is life. In interior design, you might find this in broken vases reassembled and sealed with gold, and in jewellery you will find it in a store in Tromsø, Norway.

Taking its name and philosophy from the Japanese concept, Wabi Sabi is the creator of handcrafted jewellery inspired by clashes and comings together. “The wabi-sabi philosophy is reflected in each and every one of our products, all handcrafted here at our workshop in Tromsø,” says Ann-Merete Øines, marketing manager at Wabi Sabi. “No two items are the same, that’s the beauty of our designs.”

Since its founding in 2015, Wabi Sabi has found inspiration in its arctic home. Little pieces of nature find their way into each piece, whether it’s the rugged mountain ridge or the majesty of a glacier’s silhouette. “But we also find inspiration in the modern and urban world, which has a life of its own,” explains Øines. “While nature and city life don’t always go hand in hand, we find beauty in this imperfect clash.”

When everything comes together, Wabi Sabi’s collection is a living, breathing tapestry of the very best of Norwegian nature and urban life. “For a while now, we’ve been working on a project that focuses on sharing Tromsø’s authentic beauty even further,” she adds. “The Mingle collection is already inspired by local city life, but some of the pieces

also include stones from the surrounding mountains. Not only is this more sustainable, but it also offers customers their own little piece of Tromsø.”

The makers at Wabi Sabi prioritise quality, individuality and timelessness. To them, it is crucial that every piece is unique and personal, representing a special occasion or memory to its receiver, but also that these memories can be passed on and enjoyed by generations to come.

Facebook: Wabi Sabi


Wabi Sabi’s jewellery is designed and hand-made at the local store in Tromsø.
The ring features rocks from the Tromsø mountains, making each design special.
Photo: David Jensen

Family-run goldsmith offering handcrafted, traditional pieces

Based in the quiet village of Heddal in the historical region of Telemark, Brendemo Gull & Sølv produces handmade jewellery with a special focus on traditional bunad accessories. A profound respect and appreciation for the craft traditions of the area is at the heart of the family-run business.

Brendemo Gull & Sølv offers a wide range of beautiful jewellery, all handmade and manufactured on the premises. Its main focus is accessories related to the bunad, Norway’s national costume. There are around 450 distinctive designs across the country, and these regional garments are

decorated with bunadsølv –silver or gold jewellery made with different techniques according to the region.

Since establishing the business in 1998, Ivar Brendemo has run it with his daughters, Linda and Camilla. Telemark has a rich history and culture, and the family of goldsmiths is committed to honouring the proud traditions of the area. “We value our heritage deeply and tradition is at the heart of everything we do,” says Linda.

While tradition must be respected, the family also values creativity in their work, including a range of stunning jewellery designs as well as high-quality bunad hats. “There’s a lot of interest in bunad

accessories and other handcrafted jewellery,” says Linda. “People appreciate being able to choose or make their own designs, and we love making unique pieces.”

Alongside the self-developed designs, the family creates custom pieces as well as repairing and engraving jewellery. Brendemo Gull & Sølv delivers almost anywhere in the world.

Facebook: Brendemo Gull og Sølv  Instagram: @brendemosmia

Redefining luxury with sustainable jewellery

A brand to look out for, Ulrikke Vogt Jewellery is synonymous with beauty and craftsmanship. Combing traditional Norwegian aesthetics with contemporary elegance, its creations truly stand out in a vast landscape of accessories.

Growing up surrounded by the natural beauty of her native Norway, Ulrikke Vogt’s journey into the world of jewellery began with a deep appreciation for traditional folk patterns, often inspired by the twists and turns found in the great outdoors. Combining this with the formal training in fine arts and jewellery design that she received across the pond at Central Saint Martins in London, Vogt now creates iconic, award-winning pieces.

“I originally established Ulrikke Vogt in London, but decided to leave my workshop and return home where I then started the brand in 2014,” she says. “Since then, I’ve been creating jewellery and bespoke pieces for all sorts of occasions.”

Vogt explains that she finds inspiration everywhere, from art museums to forests. “The idea for the Lazy Lace collection, for example, was born when I spotted some pieces of lace at a market in London, and the Bud Floret collection was inspired by the buds on the trees in spring. I take these little memories and turn them into delicate jewellery.”

Because she takes so much inspiration from the world around her, Vogt prioritises quality and sustainability in her work and uses ethically sourced materials to create the jewellery. In addition to a quality that can be passed down for generations, all her work is handcrafted, meaning that no two pieces are the same, making them truly unique.

Facebook: Ulrikke Vogt Jewellery

Instagram: @ulrikkevogtjewellery

Visit the shop: Vibes gate 18, 0356 Oslo, Norway

Rosesølje in 925 sterling silver with a layer of 585 gold, well-suited for bunad or to be used as a decorative brooch.
Bunad hats can be personalised with different designs and accessories.
By Celina Tran
Photos: Ulrikke Vogt Jewellery

Handmade sparkling jewellery from northern Finland

Born from a desire to find the perfect pair of earrings, Mimo Design creates jewellery inspired by architecture and nature in a range of different shapes and vibrant colours. The playful yet feminine designs are lightweight and sparkle beautifully in the light.

For years, Anu Sederholm was struggling to find the perfect pair of earrings and finally decided to make her own. After trial and error, testing materials and styles, she eventually set up Mimo Design in Oulu, often called the capital of northern Finland. Inspired by architecture and nature, the graceful and feminine earrings are lightweight and sparkle beautifully in the light.

All designs are handmade in Anu’s workshop in Oulu, with materials sourced

from local producers. With a wide range of designs and colours to choose from, you will no doubt find a pair that works with every outfit in your wardrobe and for any occasion. With her designs, Anu wants to encourage others to enjoy the little things in life. “If you look and feel great, you can tackle your day more easily,” she says.

Mimo Design’s jewellery does good for the wearer but also for the community,

as a part of the profit goes to charity. Every year, the founder chooses a different charity; “Children and the elderly are close to my heart and I want to support them where I can. So, for every piece of jewellery sold, I donate a portion to the chosen charity.”

Also suitable as a gift, the jewellery is available in hair salons, clothes boutiques, hotels and souvenir shops, and will soon also be available abroad. If you want to hear more about the inspiring story of Mimo Design, Anu will attend a number of events in Finland this year.

Shaped by hand, created with love

Tammi Jewellery combines masterful artisan skills, careful finishing, and recycled fine silver and gold. The biggest source of inspiration comes from Finland’s nature, and the country’s iconic scenery and associated symbolism are strongly present in the collections.

The story of Tammi Jewellery began in 1954, when goldsmith Alpo Tammi started his business. From the beginning, Tammi Jewellery from Turku, on the southwestern coast of Finland, has represented sustainable beauty and Nordic design.

The city has a longstanding history of goldsmithing, and Miia Saarikko, owner of Tammi Jewellery, followed in Alpo Tammi’s footsteps when she took over the company in 2014. “I’m a creative and visual person, and honoured to work as an advocate for high-quality jewellery design,” she says.

Symbolism and nature as inspiration

Tammi Jewellery’s Archipelago collection consists of abstract jewellery inspired by the Turku archipelago and its nature. The collection’s distinctive and refined design language with its stunning contrasts and surfaces is a hallmark of Archipelago – and what Tammi Jewellery is best known for.  The designs draw inspiration from and incorporate symbolism of the surrounding water, light, rocks and forests, which Finland is famous for.

“We’re a bit of a hidden gem, a small Finnish company producing good qual-

ity jewellery with a lot of heart,” says Saarikko. What makes Tammi Jewellery special is the delicate shaping and polishing of the pieces, which is all done by hand. “The details on the jewellery are intricate, thanks to the hand-crafted pieces. The common denominator with our jewellery are the timeless designs,” she states.

Some of Tammi Jewellery’s best-selling collections are the ones bearing a symbolic meaning, and they make for perfect gifts for all kinds of special occasions. “Our collection Together, for example, is inspired by orchid leaves. The collection Bouquet, on the other hand, is designed for wine-lovers as it’s in the shape of a droplet of wine,” the owner explains.

Saarikko is getting married soon, and she has plans to create a lab-grown diamond

Tammi Jewellery is a small Finnish company producing good quality jewellery with a lot of heart.

The details on the hand-crafted pieces are intricate.

wedding ring for herself. “An oak tree is a beautiful symbol for a long marriage,” she hints with a smile. “Our name comes from the Finnish word, tammi, which means oak tree. It’s a fitting name and symbol for a brand that is living in the present, but has strong roots creating things that stand the test of time,” she continues.

Handcrafted designs that stand the test of time

The jewellery is handcrafted in Finland by carefully selected and skilled goldsmiths, using the finest materials. “What makes the jewellery special is our hand-shaping and hand-polishing, which is how we are able to create the intricate contrasts and lively surfaces. The contrast between smooth and ridged surfaces work beautifully in harmony in our designs.”

The design work always starts with the wax moulds, which are used to create the shape of the jewellery. Then, the jewellery gets moulded into shape. “The design often has a certain symbolism or some other beautiful idea behind it. Nature itself is one of the biggest inspira-

tions. It’s where the Nordic sleek, cleanlined design language is also always present,” the manager says.

Tammi Jewellery strives to create pieces of art with a distinctive look – and that will stand the test of time. “A timeless design language is important for us. We want to create sustainable beauty for years to come,” adds Saarikko. For now, Tammi Jewellery’s pieces are sold in goldsmith shops in Finland as well as online. “Soon, we’ll be launching our online shop for international customers, and we are excited to introduce our collections to people around the world.”

Tammi Jewellery is always produced from recycled fine metals, therefore being able to continue its life cycle. The good quality metal also means that individual pieces are durable – and alongside the classic, timeless designs, these are pieces of art that can be passed down through generations, and worn time and time again.

Facebook: tammijewellery

Instagram: @tammijewellery

Paperwood is designed by Anderssen & Voll ( NO ) and Braid Sofa is designed by Norm Architects ( DK )
Paperwood is designed by Anderssen & Voll ( NO ) and Summit Lounge chair is designed by Norm Architects ( NO )
Braid Designed by Norm Architects ( DK )

Timeless jewellery – inspired by the sea and the soil

Meet the handcrafted and slow jewellery, inspired by the beautiful and sometimes rough nature found in Åland, the island located between Sweden and Finland.

In an old smokehouse amongst the boatsheds in Sjökvarteret (the Maritime Quarter) in Mariehamn, you will find GULDVIVA. It started as a small traditional goldsmith’s shop in 1989, carrying out repair work and selling jewellery produced by others. But head goldsmith and GULDVIVA’s founder Maria Karlström soon realised that they had the knowledge and the ambition to create their own jewellery.

The inspiration comes from nature around the island. It can be something flying between blades of grass or on the rocks or the sea. “This is where the ideas spring from – with one foot in the sea and the other in the soil,” says Karlström. Today GULDVIVA only sells its own designs in the shop, and several people are working full-time with orders coming in from all over the world.

The jewellery is stylish yet easy to wear and there is a certain sense of calm about

the designs. “Our designs are inspired by childhood summers, the sound of lapping waves, bare feet on sun-warmed rocks, your grandfather’s hand holding yours. Each and every piece of jewellery from GULDVIVA holds this feeling, a sort of tranquillity,” Karlström explains.

Karlström, who is a trained goldsmith, also won the competition Finland’s Most Beautiful Ring in 2022 with the stunning ring EVA. All jewellery is handmade out of either recycled 925 sterling silver or 18K gold. GULDVIVA’s bestseller is BLOMMAN™, meaning flower, a design that was born from the playful relationship between hand, silver wire, and pliers. It’s a timeless design and many associate it with cowslip, called gullviva in Swedish, which is the national flower of Åland.

BLOMMAN™ is so significant to GULDVIVA that the company has chosen to trademark it. With its five hand-forged

curves, it forms a shape that many adore and never get tired of. “We started making it in 1992 and since it’s handcrafted, no two are quite the same. Out of all the jewellery I’ve made over the years, it’s BLOMMAN™ I wear the most myself. I always come back to it,” says Karlström with a smile. This timeless design really makes it a perfect gift for those special moments to remember.

Facebook: GULDVIVA

Instagram: @guldviva_jewellery

YouTube: @guldviva_jewellery

TikTok: @guldviva

BLOMMAN™ is GULDVIVA’s most famous design. Photo: Samuel Stenroos
Maria Karlström, founder and head goldsmith at GULDVIVA. Photo: David Lundberg
EVA, named Finland’s Most Beautiful Ring in 2022. Photo: Tiina Tahvanainen
Photo: Tiina Tahvanainen


A hidden haven in the Norwegian countryside

Tucked along the Norwegian west coast, a small farm is frozen in time. Located by the fjord, surrounded by greenery and with a café and organic bakery, Aarvik Gard is a place where you can truly step back and catch your breath.

While no one loves the busy-bee life and bright lights like metropolitans, the noise and crowds can become just a little too much, especially at the height of summer. Why not escape somewhere completely new for a while, swapping out the choir of honking and city noise for birdsong, warm, swelling summer nights, and the lulling seaside?

Located along the Aarvik river in Vestland County, Aarvik Gard is so much more than just a place of accommodation. The family-run farm is also a

place of history, an organic farm-to-table kitchen, and of course, a bakery and café. From comfortable sleep on Nature eco-mattresses and homegrown

food to animals and natural surroundings, everything about Aarvik Gard allows guests to be in perfect harmony with nature.

“We want to be a place where people can slow down and find peace, but also connect with other people in a way introverted Norwegian culture doesn’t always allow,” says Ranita Styve Aarvik, who runs Aarvik Gard and bakery along with her husband, Sveinung Aarvik.

“More than anything, though, we want to be a place where guests can be a part of nature. They get to see and learn how their food is made, how animals and humans co-exist on a farm, and how all of us – humans, animals, and nature – rely on each other as part of a bigger social and ecological picture.”

Step into peaceful and natural surroundings at Aarvik Gard. Photo: Vigdis Øvreeide
Photo: Viktorija Valionyte

A farm frozen in time

Upon arrival, guests will be greeted by a traditional farmstead consisting of 13 buildings, four of which stand in a cluster. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wondering if you’ve time-travelled back to a 18th or 19th century Norwegian farm, because many of the buildings can be dated all the way back to then, while the smokehouse and the forge likely being even older. “Aarvik Gard has probably existed since before the 16th century due to its good soil and location by the river and sea,” Ranita explains. “There are many interesting and historic pieces scattered around, from old, hand-carved furniture made by Sveinung’s ancestors, to equipment, utensils and even remains of an old sawmill.”

In more recent times, Ranita decided to bring her knowledge and skills as a baker to the family farm. In May 2020, she opened Mrs Aarvik’s Bakery and Garden Kitchen, where guests and locals can enjoy homemade, organ -

ic baked goods. Also

are the many homegrown vegetables and berries, as well as jams and other products produced on-site – completely free of pesticides and artificial fertilizers.

As eco-farmers, Aarvik Gard collaborates with nature to ensure great biological diversity above and below ground. “And of course, we have different animals here, such as coastal goats, bunnies, chickens, minipigs and cats. All of us, even the animals, play a role in taking care of one another and the farm. The cat chases mice, the other animals help protect the chickens from any predatory birds, and so on,” says Ranita.

Photo: Vigdis Øvreeide
Photo: Viktorija Valionyte
Photo: Viktorija Valionyte

“It’s beautiful to be part of something bigger. There would’ve been no bakery or accommodation without friends and neighbours. From Veronica and Dag at Lygre Livsgard helping us move, to Maren, Trine and Ketil S. Thorsen from Pavlovastova helping us decorate

‘Oldemors Stove’, we relied on our local community and farmer friends to turn the farm into a happy place for everyone.”

Now, guests at Aarvik Gard get to kick back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of the local collective labour, all with an excellent view over the fjord and tasty pastries.

Explore the sights of rural Norway

While Aarvik Gard is located rurally, don’t fret – there are plenty of things to do, even on the farm itself. With a great deal of local history on their hands, Ranita and Sveinung offer tours for anyone interested. In addition, Ranita runs workshops where she teaches sourdough baking with heritage grains, as well as yoga weekends. “Of course, the possibilities outside are endless. We’re right next to the seaside, so many people like to go swimming or fishing,” she says. “We also have a rowing boat that guests can borrow if they’d like to hit the waters without getting wet.”

Ranita also recommends exploring the local area, which is full of natural sights and terrains. If you’re new to hiking, Heleknappen is a great and accessible trip for beginners, and if you want something more challenging, Våganipen is also a fantastic hike. For a magnificent nature experience, explore Yddal Nature Reserve in Vestland county, where wildlife is rich and some of the trees are over 300 years old.

And for those who don’t want to dive straight into a physical challenge, there is everything from award-winning cheese farms to stunning greenhouses at Dalahagen. A particularly interesting spot is the Holdhus Stave Church. It’s one of Western Norway’s oldest wooden

Photo: Viktorija Valionyte
Photo: Viktorija Valionyte
Photo: Viktorija Valionyte
Photo: Viktorija Valionyte

churches and home to the country’s only Madonna and the Child sculpture from the Middle Ages.

After days of exploring other local farms, old architectural wonders, or natural sights, you can return to the artisan bakery and café at Aarvik Gard where you’ll be welcomed by homemade fresh buns, bread, and a variety of seasonal baked goods and pastries. “And hopefully, once our guests leave, I hope they take home a bit of the peace and happiness they found here, but also knowledge and appreciation for nature and everything it gives us.”

Facebook: Fru Aarvik

Instagram: @aarvikgard

Try organic, home baked goods at the farm’s bakery. Photo: Viktorija Valionyte
Photo: Vigdis Øvreeide
Photo: Viktorija Valionyte

A unique cabin experience close to nature

With an ideal location just an hour from Oslo, NEST Kringlevann is a fantastic destination for nature lovers looking for a quiet getaway. This stylish design gem overlooks the idyllic lake Kringlevann, offering panoramic views of stunning natural surroundings.

The architecturally designed cabin was produced and built in Lyon. Until now, the design has only been available in France and the Alps, and the cabin is the first of its kind in Norway. Opening its doors last year, the cabin is the second location in NEST Norway’s portfolio, with the first being a luxurious mirror-glass cabin in Bunnefjorden.

With its extraordinary architecture and design, the cabin blends in beautifully with the surrounding landscape – in fact, nature is a major part of the experience. The large floor-to-ceiling windows provide plenty of natural light, and the entire front of the cabin can be opened to let nature in. Carefully selected colours and high-quality furnishings ensure a warm and inviting feel in the cabin’s interior.

Every inch of the cabin is designed with the intention of giving guests a feeling of

tranquillity, calm and comfort. The cabin is equipped with all the amenities needed for a comfortable stay, including a modern bathroom with a rainfall shower and a kitchenette. The outdoor terrace and luxurious jacuzzi offer a beautiful view, and a private jetty leading into the lake is the perfect excuse for a morning swim. The cabin is air-conditioned to ensure guests’ comfort during the warm summer months, and free parking is available just 50 metres away.

The cabin presents an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. NEST Kringlevann invites guests to enjoy total relaxation, with a panoramic view of the glittering blue lake and the surrounding forest from the comfort of their bed. “This is the perfect spot for a getaway – private, peaceful and close to nature,” says owner Frederik Iversen-Ivarson. “A lot of people book for special occasions

like birthdays, and couples have chosen this location to get engaged. It’s amazing to play a part in unforgettable experiences like that.”

Though the cabin is located just an hour from Norway’s capital and close to Sandefjord Airport, it gives the feeling of being remote. The local area and the historic city of Tønsberg offer fantastic opportunities for outdoor activities and experiences if you can pull yourself away from the comfort of the cabin.

Instagram: @nest.norway

Big experiences in a tiny cabin

For travellers who love small and distinctive spaces, the Konglehytta cabins at Mjøsli in picturesque Strandlykkja are an experience that can’t be missed. Located just 30 minutes from Oslo Airport, the quirky cabins represent the perfect blend of basic and modern, simple and luxurious, unique and comfortable.

The name Konglehytta (pinecone cabin) stems from the cabin’s unusual architecture. The tiny cabins were designed by the Estonian company Iglucraft, which manufactures handcrafted cabins and saunas from natural materials, merging traditional shingle technology with modern craftsmanship. “Konglehytta follows the old Nordic building tradition and techniques that were used for stave churches,” says owner Tormod Tvinnereim. “The cabins’ design, especially the exterior, really set them apart.”

Featuring a private sauna and a west-facing terrace with a gorgeous view of Mjøsa, Norway’s biggest lake, the wellequipped cabins are the perfect spot for a memorable getaway. In fact, travel expert Torild Moland included Konglehytta in her book presenting 110 of the most unique overnight stays in Norway. “We feel so proud and happy every time a

guest tells us that they enjoyed their stay. We never get tired of that!” Tvinnereim says with a laugh. “Our guests come from all over the world, and we love that people have a great time here.”

The original Konglehytta was established in 2018, and due to its popularity, two more cabins in the same style have since been added. Each cabin sleeps two guests, with space for two more people available in an annexe at an added cost. Alongside the unforgettable experience in Konglehytta, guests can also enjoy a stay in one of the luxurious glamping tents at Mjøsli. “It might be Norway’s best glamping experience,” Tvinnereim says. “Waking up to the beautiful view of Mjøsa is unlike anything else!”

Fantastic hiking and cycling opportunities await in the local area as well as a pond used for swimming in the warm-

er months and skating during winter, when the snow also allows for skiing and sledging. Families with kids will find plenty to do, with football and sand volleyball courts, a playground, a trampoline, a disc golf course, a climbing jungle, a bocce court, and an esports gaming area. A farm close by offers horseback riding, while Tangen Zoo is a popular destination for animal lovers. “There are so many fun experiences and activities here – there’s really something for everyone,” says Tvinnereim.

Facebook: Konglehytta

Instagram: @konglehytta

Interior of Konglehytta, sustainably designed by Iglucraft.
View of lake Mjøsa from a glamping tent.
Mjøsli with its many cabins.
Sauna in the same style, also designed by Iglucraft.

Experience countryside glamour with Kleppa Gard & Glamping

Enjoying the wonders of nature doesn’t have to come at the price of your comfort. Along the Norwegian west coast, Kleppa Gard & Camping offers a luxurious way of experiencing the great outdoors.

The family-owned farm Kleppa Gard has been a cornerstone of rural life for generations. Surrounded by charming landscape, dotted with ancient trees and a front-seat view of the fjord, the farm has transformed parts of its land into a haven for those looking to reconnect with nature without sacrificing comfort.

Elin Kleppa and Lars Erik Hauge returned home to take over the Kleppa family farm in 2019 after spending years exploring the world. A great deal of their time in Kenya was spent exploring local nature, and in turn, they became familiar with safari tents, which unlike normal tents are kitted with proper beds and bathrooms.

“It showed us that we could combine nature and comfort, an experience we wanted to share with others once we settled down back home,” says Kleppa. “When you run a farm, it can be hard to

find the time to go travelling like we used to, so opening a glamping space has been a way of keeping in touch with the rest of the world. So, while we can’t leave as often, other people can come here!”


and views of the fjord

The glamping site offers guests the opportunity to stay in a robust dome with open skylights and views of the fjord. There are facilities for outdoor cooking right outside the tent, but if you wish to just kick back and relax, you can get hold of Kleppa and Hauge who offer deliveries of fresh meals straight to the door. Only a short distance away, the renowned local restaurant Smaken av Ryfylke also offers an impeccable culinary experience using local ingredients.

“While our farm has a rural location, there are plenty of things to do,” says Kleppa. “Our setting offers access to the sandy beach, where you can paddle

or swim. And if you want to go hiking, there’s a range of mountains in the area.”

For those looking to use the dome as a base for exploring the larger area, make sure to visit the magical fairytale forest and have a go at Norway’s most famous hike to Preikestolen, the Pulpit Rock. If you’re only looking to relax on-site, however, make good use of the farm shop, explore the local flora and fauna, and stay up to see the stars under an unpolluted sky for a truly unforgettable experience.

Facebook: Kleppa Gard & Glamping

Instagram: @kleppagardglamping

In the spring, Kleppa Gard is a sight for sore eyes. Like something straight out of a fairy tale book, the farm bursts with beautiful blooming apple trees. Photo: Visit Ryfylke
Photo: Visit Ryfylke
Situated by the fjord, all visitors get the wonderful opportunity to watch the golden sunset on the horizon. Photo: Visit Ryfylke
Photo: Visit Ryfylke

A unique glamping experience in unspoiled nature

Nestled within beautiful surroundings in the mountain village Brokke in the heart of Setesdal, Brokkestøylen is a fantastic glamping destination. Founders and owners Gro Furset and Erik Berglihn have created an extraordinary nature resort that offers a peaceful stay, award-winning food, and unique experiences in pristine nature.

Brokkestøylen offers an exciting mix of old and new architecture, including six ecolux glamping pods and two well-designed restaurants. The traditional Støyl dating back to the 1850s is an intimate rustic space where seasonal tasting menu experiences can be shared, while the modern Glasshouse functions as a gourmet restaurant offering tapas, wine, and gin tastings in addition to hosting events and conferences.

Excellent culinary experiences are a major focus at this stunning nature resort. In fact, Brokkestøylen has won awards for its food, most recently being named LUXlife’s Most Scenic Dining Experience. Furset and Berglihn rely on local, wild, and organic ingredients for their gastronomic delights, much of which is grown in their garden or foraged in the forest. “We really enjoy what we do. Welcoming guests, making delicious food, and creating memorable experiences – this is our

passion,” says Furset. “Our work here is so rewarding. It reminds us to slow down, to breathe, to enjoy life.”

Spend the night in a glamping pod

The exclusive glamping experience is a calm and peaceful escape for adults, who can enjoy some much-needed peace and quiet. Guests can experience comfortable glamping pods made of recycled plastic in a traditional igloo shape. Luxury king-size beds, as well as high-quality hypoallergenic bedding, providing maximum comfort. “A good night’s sleep is so important,” says Furset. “Guests tell us that spending the night in our pods feels like sleeping on a cloud!”

The husband-and-wife team run a range of interesting courses and activities related to grounding, wellness and being present, such as breathwork sessions, yoga, sound healing, cold water thera-

py, and forest bathing. Guests can enjoy the modern and spacious sauna, and the stunning natural surroundings can be explored during hikes, bike rides, canoeing, climbing and more. Berglihn is a certified Wim Hof instructor, and the couple will also be offering an exclusive biohacking retreat this autumn.

“People can find the way back to their roots here,” adds Furset. “A lot has been lost in our modern society. We’ve forgotten some of the things that are so important for our bodies and minds – like breathing well, connecting to ourselves and spending time in nature.”

Facebook: Brokkestøylen

Instagram: @brokkestoylen

A luxury glamping experience in the Norwegian wilderness

Tucked away in the lush valley Namdalen in the north of Trøndelag, you’ll find a luxury tent in historic surroundings. Surrounded by the unspoiled nature of Høylandet, family-run Arctic Dome is a true hidden gem of glamping getaways.

When guests book a stay at Arctic Dome at Råsetran, they reserve the use of the entire setertun. For over a thousand years, keeping animals at mountain pastures for grazing was standard practice in Norway, and Råsetran is an excellent example of a seter harking back to a bygone era. Owners Maria Haldorsen and Eivind Fiskum have taken great care to conserve and restore the space using traditional methods with the help of Kulturminnefondet, a state fund that supports private owners of cultural heritage sites.

The mountain farm has been in their family for generations, and the old buildings date back to the 1700s and 1800s. “It’s like time has stood still in these buildings. Preserving them and sharing our common heritage with others is important to us,” says Maria. The family is committed to protecting the traditions and cultural landscape of this beautiful part of Trøndelag. The desire to share

this unique area steeped in history with visitors was a driving force for the creation of Arctic Dome.

The mountain glamping experience welcomes guests all year round, with all-inclusive packages in winter. Here, one can explore local nature, culture and history with the down-to-earth feel of camping, elevated to ensure maximum comfort and serenity. There is a 1,5 km walk from the parking lot, but guests can book ATVrides to the site. “This is the perfect place for exploring Norway while recharging your batteries with a peaceful getaway,” Maria says.

Inside the high-quality tent, you will find a cosy fireplace and comfortable seating, and you can also enjoy the terrace and outdoor fireplace. A kitchenette and extra sleeping compartments are situated in one of the historic buildings on the premises. Decked out with a comfortable

mattress and luxurious bedding, the tent offers an amazing sleep experience. With panoramic views from the ceiling and at the front of the tent, stunning nature is a permanent fixture of your stay. In fact, guests have described the dome as a luxury hotel room in the wild.

“Our guests look forward to peace and relaxation and are amazed by the perfect calm and stillness here,” says Maria. “You can achieve a sense of tranquillity in the mountains like nowhere else. Being so close to nature, enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery – it’s like a conditioner for your body and soul.”  Facebook: Arctic Dome Namdalen Instagram: @arctic_dome_namdalen

The dome is a large luxury tent. Photo: Line Berre
Photo: Line Berre
Photo: Line Berre
Cosy fireplace which guests themselves will light. Photo: Arctic Dome Namdalen
A kitchenette and eating space are also available in the old building. Photo: Line Berre

Stay at your very own castle in the sky with Eagle Nest Eco Lodge

Amongst towering treetops of Gudbrandsdalen in Norway, Eagle Nest Eco Lodge offers guests the rare opportunity to spend the night in the sky, surrounded by fresh air, greenery, and majestic peaks as far as the eye can see.

The hustle and bustle of city life can become draining, especially in the summer when the flow of everyday life is interrupted by the many people on summer holidays. Do you want to escape the clammy and loud concrete jungle for a while? Come to Gudbrandsdalen, where the only noise is chirping birds and humming summer evenings.

In 2021, Ingrid Tho and Geir Lyftingsmo opened the doors to Eagle Nest Eco Lodge. A dream made possible by a skilled team and the support of Mother Nature, the lodge came to stand on a mountaintop where no one thought anyone could live, just like in the magical Norwegian fairytale of Soria Moria castle.

“While the lodge is the product of very real and hard work, the magical fairytale feeling is not lost,” says Tho. “Upon arrival, guests will find themselves immersed in incredible natural surroundings, both inside and outside the lodge.”

With all the facilities one could possibly need, including a hot tub under the stars and a terrace with a panorama view, it’s the perfect place for anyone who wants an escape without sacrificing the comfort and luxuries of metropolitan life. “Adventure awaits on the doorstep, with hikes for all levels,” adds Tho. “Rondane National Park is close by, and if you miss civilisation, the closest town is a short drive away.”

If you’re just looking to kick back, unwind and relax, however, Eagle Nest Eco Lodge offers the possibility of getting food straight to your door, but also private yoga and massage sessions at the lodge.

Facebook: Eagle Nest Eco Lodge Instagram: @eaglenesteco

Wake up to the most exquisite view every day during your stay.

Exploring Forsvarsmuseet Rustkammeret – The Armoury: a journey through Norway’s military history

While present-day Norway might be known for its peaceful nature, gentle people, and democratic values, it wasn’t always that way. All the way from the Viking Ages to modern times, Forsvarsmuseet Rustkammeret in Trondheim offers an unparalleled glimpse into Norway and Central Norway’s military history, as well as the road to independence and democracy.

The small and vibrant Norwegian city of Trondheim is known for many things – food, shopping, and culture, not to mention its incredible history and historical architecture. While taking in the incredible sights of Nidarosdomen and other historical buildings, why not check out Erkebispegården, the Archbishop’s Palace in English, and learn all

about how the Trøndelag region came to be what it is?

Dating all the way back to the 12th century, Erkebispegården is, along with Nidarosdomen, one of the best-preserved medieval structures in Norway. For over 800 years, it served as a meeting place for military figures and powerful people, so it’s rather fitting that its West Wing now houses Forsvarsmuseet Rustkammeret, a museum where guests can learn all about Norway’s and the region’s military history.

Rustkammeret, or The Armoury, is a reference to an old, historical term for a weap-

on storage and repair facility. “We’re located in a building from the 1700s, which along with the many interesting historical artefacts makes for an incredible experience,” says Major Tormod Overland, who overlooks the museum.

The museum itself was established in 1826, making it one of the oldest museums in the country, and has since then worked on informing and teaching the public about the interesting regional and national history. “The museum’s permanent exhibitions cover everything from the early Viking Ages to the end of the Second World War, the latter of which is particularly important,” says Overland.

World War II, post-war exhibitions, and the military’s role in Norwegian democracy

Trondheim, like the rest of the country, was occupied by the Nazis, who had plans for the city and its people. As many foreign visitors don’t know much about World War II and the battles taking place in Norway, the exhibition is a good introduction to this part of history.

Through both historical walking tours in Trondheim and the permanent exhibitions, visitors at the museum get the opportunity to learn what life was like for the locals under violent occupation, as well as local resistance fighters and their brave

fight during the occupation. The permanent exhibition about resistance fighting includes a range of interesting artefacts, as well as museum recreations of events.

While the World War II exhibition mostly focuses on the local and national fight, Overland explains that the well-informed museum workers try to give visiting international guests a snippet into their own country’s military involvement in the area. “When British tourists visit, for example, we often try to include information about the British Military operations in Trøndelag during the Second World War. And when French visitors come, we mention the allied French forces fighting in the region during the early stages of the war,” says Overland.

This is a part of the museum’s mission to be a conveyor of knowledge and history. Overland explains that informing the next generations about the military’s involvement in the country’s history and as safe-guarders of Norwegian democracy is especially important to the museum and its staff.

“We work closely with schools to educate young people on how present-day Norway has come to be,” Overland says. “More than anything, we don’t want them to take freedom and democracy for granted. It’s important to understand

that the peace we all enjoy today was fought for by real people and that it came with great sacrifices.” forsvarsmuseet-rustkammeret Facebook: Forsvarsmuseet Rustkammeret | Trondheim Instagram: @rustkammeret

If you’re travelling with young ones, make sure to check out Herregården’s activity booklets for children for a fun and educational experience.

Explore history, fashion, seafaring, and more with the Vestfold Museums

Home to all sorts of idyllic sights and sounds, from UNESCO Geoparks to terminal moraines from the ice age, Vestfold shows that the smallest county in Norway might also boast the title of the most impressive. In addition to beautiful natural landscapes and thrilling metropolitan experiences, Vestfold’s incomparable museum scene is bound to impress visitors from all over the world.

Larvik Museum

Situated in the coastal town of Larvik, visitors can explore the city’s culture and history from the 1700s to present-day at Larvik Museum. “The town’s location in a county created for Count Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve would make it stand out along neighbouring towns, and Vestfold was an attractive area for Danish nobles,” explains Henriette Hedemann Skogvold, marketing advisor at Vestfoldmuseene. “Its role in housing Denmark-Norway’s most important iron works for over 200 years would also put it on the map.”

While Norwegian separation from Denmark in 1814 meant the end of the traditional county system in Norway, the

Manor House remains on the museum’s grounds. Visitors can see the interior from the 17th and 18th centuries, and the museum continues to be an important source of Larvik’s history.

Its location along the water continues to influence the town, so Larvik Museum has dedicated the maritime section of the museum to the many naval explorations of Norwegian adventurers, including Larvik’s brave wartime seafarers. “I recommend going to see the canoe that the local boys Reidar Teigen and Odd Ekanger Olsen used to paddle all the way from Larvik to Kenya,” says Skogvold.

The Aluminium Museum

Unless you live under a rock, you probably use aluminium every day. Whether scrolling through social media on your phone, when you tip-tap away on your computer, or when travelling. “Very few metals serve as many purposes as aluminium,” says Skogvold. “In one lifespan it’s a part of someone’s kettle, and in the next, it’s a part of your brand-new car.”

The Aluminum Museum is a modern museum where you can learn all about the metal itself, but also its important role throughout Norwegian industrial history.

Photo: Georg Aamodt
Photo: Georg Aamodt

Berger Museum

With a brimming collection spanning across both time and borders, Berger Museum offers a glimpse into the Norwegian and European textile industry over 122 years. The exhibitions give visitors the opportunity to learn all about the production processes and the influences that would grow to become Norwegian and European Art Noveau, Art Deco, and Modernism.

“While you’re there, you should check out the three original patterns of Thorolf Homboe, celebrated Norwegian artist and the man considered to be Norway’s first industrial designer.”

Located in the previously decommissioned Fossekleven Factory in Berger, evidence of the production that once filled its rooms still lingers. While the museum focuses on textiles, the old worker’s apartment attached to it is a wonderful way of seeing what life was like in the area in the late 19th and early 20th century.

The Eidsfoss Ironworks

In the tiny town of Eidsfoss, it can often seem as if time has stood still. Should you venture over to its old ironworks, which is now a museum, you will find what was once the beating heart of the community.

“Eidsfoss Ironworks was a special community where everyone, in some way or another, was part of the production of iron or iron objects,” says Skogvold. “From the smallest kitchen utensils to the big agricultural equipment, iron was important in all aspects of life.”

Notable sights at the museum include a casting furnace from 1755 and the parterre garden in the courtyard, which has canons from the 1800s. On the weekends, the museum also hosts a range of activities, including lectures and the chance to be a blacksmith for a day.

Haugar Art Museum

Vestfold is not only home to historical museums, it also has a bursting art scene. With artwork from all over the world, Haugar Art Museum in Tønsberg is a museum with ever-changing exhibitions. “The museum actively tries to convey contemporary art in different forms to people from all over,” explains Skogvold.

In addition to different programmes, guided tours, and permanent exhibitions, this summer will see the opening of two new exhibitions; The Workers, featuring work by a range of artists, and Midtkarriere Retrospektiv by Ane Mette Hol.

The Thor Heyerdahl Institute

Thor Heyerdahl is perhaps best known as the adventurer who led the Kon-Tiki

While on the first floor of the established Haugar Art Museum, make sure to explore every hallway, nook and cranny to get the most of Samlingspresentasjonen - a small, curated selection from a large, varied collection, where the newest addition is Almanakk by Siri Aurdal.  Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen

expedition, a journey across the Pacific Ocean on nothing but a raft made from balsa logs. Heyerdahl’s book about the expedition was translated into nearly 70 languages, and the documentary film won an Oscar in 1951.

“Today, the Thor Heyerdahl Institute in Vestfold continues to develop his ideas and ideals within interdisciplinary research, in addition to teaching Heyerdahl’s life and expeditions, of course,” says Skogvold.

In addition to educating and promoting international dialogue and cooperation for environmental protection, the museum now offers a VR experience tracing Heyerdahl’s steps throughout Larvik, his hometown.

If you are curious, read more about Vestfold’s incomparable museum scene. Facebook: Vestfoldmuseene|Sandefjord Instagram: @vestfoldmuseene

Photo: Georg Aamodt
Photo: Georg Aamodt
Photo: Georg Aamodt

Lindesnes Lighthouse Museum - A journey through time and tide

The southernmost point in mainland Norway is also where you find Norway’s first lighthouse, Lindesnes Lighthouse. Its light was first lit in 1656. Lindesnes has been an important landmark for those sailing between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea since the Middle Ages, and is a place of great cultural and historical Importance.

Lindesnes Lighthouse is steeped in history. This is where the North Sea meets the Skagerrak Sea. Many ships have gone aground in this area, due to storms and strong ocean currents, so a lighthouse was desperately needed.

The Lindesnes Lighthouse Museum Foundation was founded in 1992, to safeguard the lighthouse as a protected cultural monument and share its history and coastal culture. “So much of the old lighthouse is intact, while the landscape around the facility is so wild,” says Espen Frøysland, the museum’s director.

Due to terrible weather in the autumn of 1655, the coal shipment from England never made it across the North Sea. The three-storey wooden lighthouse used candles instead, which was not a great

substitute. The light went out, not even a year after it opened. It would take 69 years before the light was lit again, in 1725. This time as a coal brazier placed directly on the peninsula’s stone ground.

Almost 100 years later, in 1822, the brazier was moved inside. A closed lantern room was built on a brick foundation with ducts to ensure an even burning, and this foundation is still preserved. The lighthouse was rebuilt in 1854 and fitted with a first order lens and a modern kerosene wick burner. This lens was moved into a new cast iron tower in 1915 and a new engine house was added in 1920, with the addition of fog sirens.

During the occupation by Germany throughout World War II, the Germans built a fort, where almost 400 men were

stationed, with bunkers and passages underneath the lighthouse. A large part of the underground complex has been restored and is now available to the public.

Where there are lighthouses, there is often rough weather, but visitors should not be put off. “Lindesnes Lighthouse Museum is exciting in all seasons,” assures Frøysland. “The weather can be spectacular, with storms and rain or snow, but also completely quiet with sunsets where the sky lights up in all colours from yellow to violet.”

Facebook: lindesnesfyr

Instagram: @lindesnesfyr

The lighthouse experiences all types of weather.
Sunset from the lighthouse tower.
The blue hour.

Unveil Norway’s prehistoric rock art with Alta Museum

Travel back in time with Alta Museum and learn all about how people in Alta lived through the ages. With rock carvings and paintings stretching back more than 7,000 years, this UNESCO World Heritage Centre is bound to leave an impression.

Safely tucked in a bay that looks out on the beautiful Altafjord, Alta Museum is the home to over 3,500 rock carvings. Upon arrival, visitors are greeted by ancient rock carvings on both sides of the bay, inviting them to step into the past.

“Alta Museum is both a museum and a World Heritage centre, meaning that we have a responsibility to protect and take care of the rock art, as well as our own local history,” says Anita Tapio, marketing manager at Alta Museum.

The rock art in Alta is one of eight must-see attractions on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in Norway, and no wonder. With rock art scattered all over the region and over half in the museum’s area, visi-

tors get the chance to see 2,000–7,000 year-old rock carvings, all exploring the lives of the earliest Alta citizens. “Our knowledge of the prehistoric locals is very much owed to the rock carvings, which teaches us about their interactions with reindeer, moose, bears and other animals, as well as hunting traditions, boats, and religious rituals. It’s a fascinating peek into the past,” says Tapio.

Offering both indoor exhibitions and an outdoor rock carving area, there are plenty of things to see. Whether you are a history or archaeology fan, an avid hiker who appreciates a nice walk, or a curious museum-shop explorer, Alta Museum has something for you.

Instagram: @cosytimesceramics.kerteminde

Facebook: Alta Museum – World Heritage Rock Art Centre Instagram: @altamuseum


Dancing under the midnight sun at Turku Sea Jazz

The islands in the archipelago around Turku, Finland are popular for a range of different activities during summer – boating, swimming, island hopping, and enjoying a glass of wine in the midnight sun. A relatively recent pastime is listening to jazz at the annual Turku Sea Jazz.

First held under Covid restrictions in the summer of 2021, the popular Turku Sea Jazz will take place for the fourth time this summer, from 31 July to 3 August. It is part of a family of four archipelago festivals, which includes the traditional Baltic Jazz, Korpo Sea Jazz and, more recently, Åland Sea Jazz. Each festival has its own focus, and Turku Sea Jazz offers a youthful and grooving repertoire.

The artistic director of Turku Sea Jazz is musician Jussi Fredriksson. The festival

aims to highlight dynamic international performers as well as popular domestic ones and hopes to connect its jazz roots with other genres of music, including soul, hip-hop, electronic, and world music.

A tremendous amount of planning goes into the festival, according to Sanna Vartiainen, producer. “The biggest names are usually booked a year before the event,” she says. “Every year, we also try to come up with something new and exclusive. For smaller gigs, artists are often determined by the facilities of the venue; whether a grand piano can fit, whether sound reproduction is needed, how many musicians can be on the stage, and so on. Bookings may happen at the very last minute, even right before the program is released!”

The hostel boat Bore. Photo: Aleks Talve
Max Zenger performing at Turku Sea Jazz. Photo: Aleks Talve

Exciting and eclectic line-up this year

The festival’s line-up for this summer promises to be exciting and eclectic.

“There will be daytime concerts in Turku’s maritime museum, Forum Marinum, on Wednesday 31 July with top names in domestic jazz such as Linda Fredriksson, Severi Pyysalo, Kaisa Mäensivu, and Eero Koivistoinen,” says Vartiainen.

Finnish jazz legend Olli Ahvenlahti, who recently released a new album, will perform on the penultimate evening of the festival, Friday 2 August. The second band on Friday will be jazz visionary Teppo Mäkynen’s The Stance Brothers. And Saturday 3 August promises the new band of soul genius Tuomo plus another exciting experience, top Finnish-Palestinian trio Wishamalii with a world music flavour. Vibraphone master Panu Savolainen’s solo concert fits well with the historical atmosphere of the Seili Island church, which is also the venue for several other acts. More experimental jazz is suitable for the atmosphere of the island and the Superposition Quartet, which is currently on tour, is a good choice.

Whilst the festival’s opening day programme is free, you can also listen to jazz musicians at Forum Marinum for four days for just the price of a museum ticket. Forum Marinum’s main concerts cost 45 euros per night, with discounted tickets available for students, senior citizens and children. The Seili Island concert trip on 1 August costs 70 euros and includes boat transport. And on 3 August, there will be a special concert and a threecourse Sea Jazz dinner for 85 euros.

Jazz music is growing in popularity in Finland and top-level jazz musicians trained here are highly valued internationally. Musicians who dare to break genre boundaries with their own sound are rising in global popularity, for instance, saxophonist Linda Fredriksson and trumpeter Verneri Pohjola. Turku Sea Jazz is working on boosting jazz appreciation by hosting the Jazz Camp for Girls, which is a globally spread concept originally launched by the Danish Jazz Association.

Turku as a memorable destination

Vartiainen emphasises the fantastic location. “Our festival’s highlight is the world’s most beautiful archipelago. Turku is the gateway to the archipelago in the Baltic Sea,” she says. “Visitors can experience this during our concerts on

Seili Island or on a picnic cruise to Åland. In addition, the 700-year-old Turku castle is located by the sea. You can walk along the beautiful riverside and learn more about the history of Finland’s oldest city. And our most active jazz scene can also be found here.”

Besides the festival, Turku attracts visitors because of its culture and hospitality. “Turku has wonderful restaurants, from Göran for seafood, to Smör for fine dining, and Tiirikkala for Sunday brunch,” Vartiainen adds. “There is a variety of places to stay, but you should book hotels well in advance. You might even come across jazz musicians at the breakfast table!”

Facebook: archipelagoseajazz

Instagram: @archipelagoseajazz

Arriving at Seili island. Photo: Aleks Talve
The concert venue at Forum Marinum. Photo: Juha Kurri
A concert on the island of Seili during Turku Sea Jazz Festival. Photo: Aleks Talve

Breaking boundaries and redefining contemporary dance

Susanna Leinonen Company pushes the boundaries of contemporary dance with unique movement styles and striking visual aesthetics. Led by the visionary executive and artistic director Susanna Leinonen, the company’s acclaimed works – seamlessly blending ballet with contemporary techniques – have captivated audiences worldwide for over two decades.

Founded in 2001 by Susanna Leinonen, the company embodies her vision of long-term collaboration with a dedicated and familiar group of dancers. Renowned for its distinctive, intricate, and physically demanding movement language, Susanna Leinonen Company’s visually striking and mesmerising performances have earned accolades from audiences and critics alike in nearly 30 countries.

Leinonen’s background in classical ballet, combined with her innovative approach in integrating techniques from various dance styles, allows her to break conventional barriers and cross borders. “I always want to challenge the body’s

limits – but in a sustainable and ergonomic way. The key is to find the sweet spot where the body’s movements are at their full capacity, but with minimum strain to it,” explains Leinonen.

Gravity-defying movements and breathtaking visuals Susanna Leinonen Company’s works are celebrated for their unwavering artistic integrity, stunning visual aesthetics, and original music compositions. Exceptional lighting design and costumes crafted by leading artists further enhance the visual experience. The collaborative processes underpinning the company’s acclaimed productions result in works of pure art, where visual elements, sounds, and movement work in perfect harmony.

“The creative process begins in the rehearsal studio, where I’m looking for the movement characteristic of the work. The body is at the core of all my work, and it’s my biggest source of inspiration,” she adds. Leinonen draws inspiration from sports and athletes, particularly in how their bodies move during physical challenges, how far they push themselves, and how they maintain stamina throughout exercises. “The human body

Dancer and choreographer assistant Tatiana Urteva will perform in BIRTH.
Photo: Riikka Kantinkoski
Nasty sold out four shows in January at Dance House Helsinki in 2024.
Photo: Dirk Sevenants

is amazing. And the development of the body is continuous.”

Leinonen’s renowned trilogy, Nasty (2018), Toxic (2020), and Body (2021), delved into themes of women’s equality, their bodies, and their place in society. “Since childhood, my body has been wrapped around dance, and over the years it has given and taken a lot. As a woman, my body has also been subjected to harsh outside scrutiny,” Leinonen explains. “Every change in my body has inevitably affected the way my mind moves – and vice versa. That connection can never be broken, although sometimes it may get lost – but only momentarily.”

Anticipating the next masterpiece, BIRTH

Leinonen’s next work, titled BIRTH, will premiere 2-5 October at Dance House Helsinki’s Erkko Hall. BIRTH will be shaped by Leinonen’s emotions, thoughts, and movements, both conscious and unconscious. “The starting point of the work is that everything starts at birth,” she says. “Even if the world is destroyed, I believe that there will still be a small nugget of human DNA and everything will start all over again. Where, how, and in what form is an interesting thought.”

The performance has already sold over 2,000 tickets, not surprising as Susanna Leinonen Company was the venue’s big audience success of 2023. “We’re excited to get the magnificent Erkko Hall at Dance House in Helsinki, which has capacity for 700 spectators at a time. We’re looking forward to autumn and full stands for the new work.”

Imaginative costume design and soundscape

Leinonen began collaborating with costume designer Sari Nuttunen in 2018 with Nasty. She feels lucky to find someone so bold and imaginative. The pair also collaborate in visual design, which starts early in the stages of their creative process. “Our discussions and her drawings always put my thoughts on new tracks, keeping ideas moving, and once I see the costumes, they will serve as visual inspiration for the physical movements of the performance,” Leinonen continues. The soundscape of the work is by Kasperi Laine, a recipient of the Finland Award in 2016. Kasperi is known for his significant contributions to music and sound design, and their collaboration has lasted 20 years.

Leinonen is always on the lookout for non-verbal expression through the body’s movements. To her, dance is a universal language attached to something primal. “One of the many beauties of dance is that the audiences interpret each movement and each story in their own way,” says Leinonen. She is particularly fond of dance as a form of expression because there are no rules – or rather: if there are rules, they can all be broken. In her opinion, bodily inspiration is never-ending. It may change shape along the way, but the journey continues.

“I don’t offer any solutions, despite making bold statements at times,” she concludes. “I hope that the physical, bodily experiences expressed during our performances also transfer into the audience. I also hope that my works are thought-provoking. Although dance is a non-verbal art, body language can be so strong that its message remains haunted. And change begins.”

Facebook: Susanna Leinonen Company  Instagram: @susanna_leinonen_company Vimeo: susannaleinonen

Body premiered in 2021.
Photo: Anastasia Pajanen
Breaking the Fury was commissioned work for Skånes Dance Theatre and Malmö Opera in 2012.
Photo: Mats Bäcker
Finland’s former President Tarja Halonen and her spouse Dr. Pentti Arajärvi with Susanna Leinonen at Dance House Helsinki 2023.
Photo: Juho Kantinkoski


Discover Lapland’s hidden gems

Visitors and explorers, meet your ideal holiday in Finnish Lapland: from eco-friendly rural retreats to picture-perfect urban stays and night skiing under the Northern Lights. Hilla Villas serves as a match-maker between holidaymakers and Lapland’s best-kept secrets.

Hilla Villas has a clear promise: to connect holidaymakers with premium-quality service providers in Finnish Lapland. “The quality of the villas is what defines us and therefore we choose them carefully based on very strict criteria,” says Jukka Oksaharju, co-owner and one of the founders of Hilla Villas.

With all the information in the world at our fingertips, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially when trying to organise a holiday in a foreign country. This is exactly why eight friends, all living in Finland, decided to help visitors. “We

realised that there was a gap between Finnish Lapland’s amazing services, exceptional villas and breathtaking local

experiences and a wider market of international and domestic travellers, who were hungry for a complete vacation experience package,” Oksaharju explains.

Tailor-made, unforgettable experiences Oksaharju founded Hilla Villas alongside Jussi Vatanen and a team of other experts in the field of travel and now, Hilla Villas is the first digital service designed specifically to match holidaymakers with a carefully-selected collection of properties and experiences, all locally-produced in Lapland.

For Hilla Villas, premium-quality does not mean compromising on sustainability and it looks for companies that use renewable energy sources and materials from local or environmentally-friendly suppliers. Hilla Villas holds authenticity and transparency in high regard – and believes in

offering tailored service to all guests. “We treat our guests exactly how we would want to be treated,” the owner says. “With us, what you see is what you get – highclass accommodation and honest pricing – and a memorable holiday, of course.”

Hilla Villas has partnered with a network of villa owners and local service providers and has access to insider knowledge on the best places to be and what to see in Lapland. “We’ve designed a full service that delivers bespoke holiday experiences to visitors, while supporting the livelihood of local entrepreneurs.”

Luxurious villas and local expertise

Oksaharju does not see Lapland as just a travel destination, however. “It’s a holistic experience that challenges all your senses and opens your heart to surrounding nature and culture, which is as rich and diverse as its people. Lapland offers both first-timers and experienced travellers unforgettable moments,” he says.

One of the gems is Villa Ailo, a new, stylish, six-bedroom villa with all the amenities, located in the heart of the iconic Levi ski resort. Boasting two bathrooms, a sauna and a hot tub, this is the ideal spot to unwind. Another unique location is Live Levi, a premium villa for 12 people in the stunning landscapes of Utsuvaara, near ski slopes and the world-famous Levi Igloos. From the villa’s terrace, guests can admire the rugged landscapes of Levi, the enchanting changing seasons – and the Northern Lights.

Lapland is an increasingly popular holiday destination for holidaymakers from

abroad and Finland alike. Here, the ski season runs from around November through to April – and there are plenty of excellent-quality ski slopes, as well as thousands of kilometres of cross-country skiing trails. Alongside reindeer snowmobile safaris, sledding, reindeer rides and ice swimming, there is no shortage of activities in the region. “We are experts in the exploration of Lapland, and no one knows Lapland and its hidden gems better than we do. We are here to help visitors find a perfect villa to meet all their needs,” Oksaharju says.

In addition, the company will connect guests with the best local experience providers. “Whether you are wanting to experience an exclusive candle-lit dinner prepared by a private chef, or an action-packed

holiday with a group of friends, we can arrange it all. Our goal is to make our guests’ stay a unique adventure, and we are here along the whole journey to help with any questions that may arise,” he adds.

Hilla Villas is a one-stop-shop where visitors wanting to explore Finnish Lapland can find all they need. “Lapland is one of the most wonderful places to visit. Someone referred to Lapland as an ‘amusement park of nature experiences’, and I think that is a good description of all the wonders and magical atmosphere here,” Oksaharju summarises.

Facebook: hillavillas

Instagram: @hillavillas

LinkedIn: Hilla Villas

Destination of The Month, Norway

Kristiansand: a rising hub of art and culture

A charming coastal city in southern Norway, Kristiansand has long been known for its stunning natural landscape and vibrant maritime history. In recent years, however, it has also emerged as a burgeoning centre for art and culture, especially with the milestone opening of the new Kunstsilo Museum, which promises to redefine the city’s artistic landscape.

The city of Kristiansand has long been known as the sunny capital of southern Norway, home to an incomparable archipelago, an urban beach, a full and fun metropolitan experience, and of course, Dyreparken – the famous zoological garden and amusement park. In the last few decades, however, the area has also invested heavily in cultural infrastructure, transforming itself into a lively destination for art enthusiasts.

The Kunstsilo, or Art Silo in English, is a recent addition to this local cultural renaissance. Described by CNN as one of the world’s ten most significant

architectural structures this year, this 38-meter-tall former grain-silo-turnedart-museum is now home to three collections, including the world’s largest collection of Nordic modernist art.

Upon entering the building, visitors are overcome by an awe and almost cathedral-like feeling. If you look up, you’ll find yourself under a towering hall that stretches upwards into what used to be a silo that held 15,000 tonnes of grain.

The building has long been considered one of Kristiansand’s most iconic architectural sights, so it’s only fitting that it gets to continue its lifespan as the conveyer of art and cultural knowledge in the region. In addition to the permanent Tangen Collection, Sørlandet Collection, and Christiansand’s Image Gallery, the museum will continue to host international digital contemporary artwork, temporary exhibitions, workshops, and arrangements.

Photo: Alan Williams Photography
Photo: Alan Williams Photography

After exploring the many art pieces, the museum has to offer, check out the Brasserie for a delicious meal or the rooftop bar for drinks and the most incredible view. The museum is of course only one of several cultural elements Kristiansand has to offer. Impossible to miss and just next door to the Kunstsilo, Kilden Performing Arts Centre is a landmark building that hosts an array of cultural events throughout the year.

Kilden is a great place for people of all ages and interests, with all sorts of performances ranging from classical music to opera and theatre. This July, it will host a range of free concerts in the foyer, inviting people to explore and experience the beauty of classical music.

A coastal gem full of history and fun

While art and music are growing forces in the city, a cultural visit to Kristiansand would be incomplete without a visit to its popular historical sites. The picturesque old town, Posebyen, also offers a glimpse into the history and lives of the coastal city. With its cobbled streets and old, white wooden houses, a walk through Posebyen is idyllic, especially on a nice summer day.

Founded in 1641, the coastal location of the city – where the Skagerrak strait meets the North Sea – has made Kristiansand an important port and commercial hub. This maritime heritage takes form as a bustling fish market, which is lined with plenty of restaurants where you can get the best of fresh seafood.

The best possible way of exploring the area is by getting on a boat and seeing

the archipelago. Kristiansand is surrounded by nature, and being out on the glittering water and seeing all the islands, islets and skerries is an experience like no other.

Another wonderful thing about the city is that once you’re in the centre, everything is easily accessible. You can walk from attraction to attraction, ride a boat from the docks, and enjoy all of the fantastic foods and flavours out in the sun. And if you’re an international tourist without a car, don’t fret – you’ll still be able to get around. The friendly and welcoming city of Kristiansand has different transport arrangements from the airport to the city available, including a Boat to Gate journey straight to the docks!

And once you have had your fill of art, culture, and beautiful sights, don’t for-

get to visit Norway’s biggest attraction, Dyreparken. The zoological garden is situated in a scenic woodland area, allowing visitors to observe all sorts of creatures in large spaces designed to mimic the animals’ natural habitats.

The zoo focuses on conservation and education, offering opportunities for visitors to learn about wildlife preservation and environmental stewardship. In addition, Kristiansand Dyrepark features an extensive amusement park with rides and attractions suitable for all ages, incorporating charming and immersive elements of Norwegian literature, culture, and history.

Sit back and enjoy the magical views of Kristiansand’s archipelago. Photo: René Bjerregaard
Photo: Magnus Furset
Photo: Adam Read

Family Experience of The Month, Denmark

Den Blå Planet, National Aquarium Denmark

– not just for rainy days

At Den Blå Planet, Northern Europe’s largest aquarium, visitors can experience life beneath the surface, promising a day of magnificent sights and delights. Outside, a combination of recreational and educational activities make for hours of learning and having fun in the sun.

With 23,000 animals, seven million litres of water, and 727 species, Den Blå Planet is a favoured destination among families. One of the aquarium’s lesser-known highlights is its attractive outdoor area, which provides stunning views of the Øresund strait and a beautiful setting for relaxation.

The outdoor space features a water playground, sun loungers, the Wild Pond and a scenic boardwalk, making it perfect for families and nature enthusiasts. “A lot of people, especially families, are surprised by how time flies at our water playground – people spend hours playing,” explains Amalie Stubkjær Nissen, from communications. “Moreover, we tried to create a nice, relaxing atmosphere with loungers, ice creams, and other little extra touches during the summer months.”

In the Wild Pond, visitors can explore aquatic life with nets and magnifying glasses. More interactive experiences are offered inside. At the tropical touch pool, you can get up close and personal with species like cownose rays and bamboo sharks. “You just experience things differently when you get your hands in the water, and it is not just the children – the adults can’t help but try it as well,” says Nissen.

In the Rainforest, animals like birds, sloths, and insects roam freely as you stroll through. Just as popular is the aquarium’s adoring population of sea otters. If visiting this summer, another highlight is the Underwater Photographer of the Year exhibition, showcasing 55 breathtaking underwater photos that

capture the beauty and mystery of aquatic life as seen through the eyes of talented photographers. More info on the exhibition and a daily programme of events can be found on the aquarium’s website.

Conveniently, Den Blå Planet is located a 15-minute trip by metro and foot from Copenhagen Airport and a 30-minute trip from the capital’s central station. To ensure the best experience and guarantee entrance, tickets should be booked online. This is essential, particularly during the busy summer holidays.

Facebook: Den Blå Planet

Instagram: @denblaaplanet

The impressive reef shark is one of the 23,000 inhabitants of Den Blå Planet.
The Australian spotted jellyfish are among the aquarium’s newest inhabitants.
The aquarium’s outdoor area provides hours of fun.

Travel Profile of The Month, Estonia

Explore Estonia’s beautiful nature, romantic architecture and rich culture

Estonia is an interesting mix of Scandinavian, German and Russian influences and offers visitors plenty to see and do, from the medieval Old Town in Tallinn, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, to the beautiful island Prangli.

Locally owned tour company Prangli Travel offers guided tours in Tallinn, north Estonia and the northern Estonia islands. “We started 15 years ago by organising trips to the island Prangli, which inspired the name of the company, and eventually added tours to other beautiful places in Estonia,” says Annika Prangli, founder and CEO.

Prangli is a small island on the coast, just one hour from Tallinn. Here, you can go to the beach, eat freshly caught fish, and see how the locals go about their life. Annika and her team can also provide accommodation and rental bikes as well as seal watching tours in summer, which is a

highlight for many visitors.

The company also offers a range of day trips outside Tallinn, which can be booked via Tallinn Daytrip. “We wanted to offer excursions outside the city, so that tourists can experience our beautiful nature and see the Estonian way of life,” says Annika.

The most popular trip is to Lahemaa National Park, just east of Tallinn. Here, you can check out the fishing villages along the coastline, admire the Jägala waterfall, go on a hike in the mystical wetland area, and visit a historic and romantic manor house.

Another recommendation is the Rummu submerged quarry and coastal cliffs. The tour combines hiking along the

coastline with a visit to Keila waterfall and some historic sights. For instance, you can explore a former Soviet-era prison and an abandoned naval fortress, including winding dark underground tunnels.

Hotel of The Month, Sweden

Mediterranean lifestyle at Sweden’s riviera

The city of the sun might be a perfect way to describe Karlstad, where the Mediterranean-inspired Hotel Fratelli is located. An engulfing experience with cosy furnishings, a variety of restaurants and an interesting story will have you returning for more.

Hotel Fratelli is best described as a boutique hotel, based on experiences, fine dining and a nod to southern European everyday life. The building itself used to be an exclusive retail location, with an authentic 1950s vibe. “The building is centrally located in Karlstad and was built in the early 1950s by a local family,” says CEO and partner, Anders Pertun. “It’s a brick building in the middle of town, next door to something the locals call Soltorget. It was originally built for selling apparel across two levels.” Soltorget is Swedish for Sun Square – the main square where two of Karlstad’s oldest streets cross.

Speaking of the sun, it’s a reoccurring theme at Hotel Fratelli and the city itself.

One of the quaint hotel’s three top-class restaurants is a conservatory with a courtyard and plenty of natural light, located on the top floor. Isola is sort of play with words, with the Swedish word “sol” – sun – right in the middle. “Isola is popu-

lar for meetings because it’s welcoming, and again, inspired by southern European lifestyle,” underlines Pertun. “It has a lot of plants, citrus and olive trees – if you’re having a meeting, you’ll want a setting that inspires.”

Sunny connections and culinary experiences

More on the sunny connections later. But before that, what’s a corporate gathering without a good meal and a thirst-quenching beverage? If you ask the CEO, the culinary experiences at Hotel Fratelli’s restaurants are the true narrative. “It was important to create three different types of restaurants,” he explains. “Each with a separate kitchen, to make it as genuine as possible.”

There’s still a common denominator, as you’ll never have to leave the building for culinary variety; the three venues offer their own and unique experience. “That’s important to us. The feedback

Allegria spa and retreat is the perfect place to relax.
The welcoming lounge will have you returning in no time.

from our guests is that they enjoy the different themes: ‘Today we’ll have a bite at Vicino, and tomorrow we’ll have dinner at Isola!’”

Vicino is the centrepiece if you will, the main restaurant at Hotel Fratelli. Every detail has been thought through, from the colours, to the plants and the handpicked list of 500 wines. “We want our guests to feel like they are amongst friends and family,” says Pertun. “Also, this is where we serve our breakfast buffet.”

More than just a trip to the south

The Mediterranean theme was clear from the start. Founded initially by two brothers, the name Hotel Fratelli became the obvious choice. “Brothers in Italian is fratelli,” adds Pertun. “We felt early on that we want a Mediterranean, southern European flair. One thing led to another and the name became Hotel Fratelli. We have a clear ambition to grab our position as Karlstad’s new food scene. This has been essential for us.”

After experiencing nearly 2,000 square metres of dining areas and connecting with loved ones, or perhaps negotiating with business associates in the “riviera” of Karlstad, it’s time for some relaxation. Allegria spa and retreat offers an array of soothing experiences with bathtubs, saunas and tropical showers. Turquoise pools, exotic plants, and rustic brick walls provide a true sense of well-being. A perfect way to activate

your senses even if you’re not spending the night at the hotel.

In addition, there are two decorated meeting rooms, but not with the traditional conference vibe. These meeting rooms can take 12 and 20 people respectively, with all the technical refinements such as audio-visual fittings camouflaged in the furniture and interior decoration. The two meeting rooms also double as dining areas if needed. “We’ve built them as chambre séparée, keeping in mind that guests can eat there and still feel like winners. My sense is that we are done with sitting in traditional conference venues from the 1980s.”

So, if you’re looking for an experience like no other, don’t miss Hotel Fratelli. And chances are, you won’t be able to when you’re in town. “We avoid saying that we have a hotel with restaurants,” concludes Pertun. “Instead, we’ve built restaurants, bars and a spa, with a hotel.”

Fancy being transported to the French Riviera? Make sure to stop by Karlstad this summer and you will see why it’s always sunny here.

Facebook: hotelfratellikarlstad

Instagram: @hotelfratelli_karlstad

Wine for every occasion.
Vicino is the main restaurant, of a total of three at Hotel Fratelli.
Natural light with a drink, at Isola.

Hotel of The Month, Finland

Redefining Nordic luxury: an elegant getaway in the heart of Helsinki

Exquisite, luxurious, and always welcoming – this is the ethos behind The Hotel Maria, located in Helsinki’s city centre. The hotel offers guests a stay in a five-star setting, coupled with first-class service.

The Hotel Maria is located in the historic Kruununhaka district, near the Presidential Palace and iconic Senate Square. The newly-opened hotel’s design and décor are timeless and elegant. It consists of four historical buildings, built between 1885 and 1930, and is protected by the Finnish Heritage Agency.

“We’re proud to be part of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Legend Collection, which includes the world’s most celebrated independent hotels and resorts,” says Katriina Moksi, The Hotel Maria’s general manager. “We offer guests a five-star hotel experience in a wonderful setting.”

Indulge in luxury and Nordic hospitality

The Hotel Maria boasts 117 rooms, including 38 private suites. “For us, providing a comfortable stay for our guests is of utmost importance, which is why our rooms

are spacious and our beds are big and comfortable,” Moksi explains. “We do our best to fulfil our guests’ wishes, and there are also two concierges and a wellness concierge who can curate a tailor-made wellness programme for guests.”

Out of the 38 suites, 19 have a traditional Finnish sauna or a steam sauna. The largest suite, the Imperial Suite, and the Penthouse Suites include a private butler and breakfast served to the room. The hotel’s spa has a comprehensive treatment menu and provides the ideal setting for guests to unwind: the spa has a plunge pool, a large hot tub, a cold dip pool, a traditional Finnish sauna as well as a steam room.

The Hotel Maria’s restaurant Lilja offers guests a fine dining experience inspired by French cuisine, sourcing the finest

ingredients and an extensive wine list, including 31 different champagnes. The Garden Terrace is a brasserie-style all-day-dining restaurant. In addition, Bar Maria’s signature cocktails are tailor-made by the hotel’s talented bartenders.

Elevate your events to the next level

The Hotel Maria also has an array of elegant event and meeting spaces to suit guests’ needs, and the stunning Maria Ballroom can host up to 100 people. The hotel encapsulates the finest elements of Nordic hospitality and its blend of historical elegance, impeccable service, and modern amenities make it a premier destination in Helsinki. “Whether it’s a Helsinki wedding, a family occasion or an important business conference, our highly experienced team will help you create a remarkable event,” the general manager concludes.

Facebook: The Hotel Maria

Instagram: @thehotelmariahelsinki

LinkedIn: the-hotel-maria

Restaurant of The Month, Finland

Two culinary gems in Finland’s boating paradise

With its rich seafaring history and position as a gate to the Baltic Sea, the charming town of Hanko is a popular destination for boaters and adventurers alike. It is also home to many restaurants and eateries, with two hotspots being Stranden Bar & Kitchen and its sister restaurant Bryggan.

Both situated in the idyllic Eastern Harbour, Stranden is an all-year-round restaurant for lunch and á la carte customers, while Bryggan is a cosy bistro focusing more on summer guests and people visiting Hanko by sea.

Hanko itself is a real summer gem for holidaymakers who enjoy the mix of sea, great food and beautiful scenery. And thanks to its position as a peninsula in the south of Finland, Hanko is known for its large guest port which attracts boaters from all over.

“The town’s population triples in summer, mainly thanks to the port which makes Hanko a natural pitstop for seafarers,” explains restaurant owner Mats Rehnström. “But we also have many guests coming via

train from Helsinki to enjoy the fresh air, and of course, the great food.”

A hit all year around

Stranden Bar & Kitchen has been open for three years, successfully feeding hungry guests in summer as well as winter. A versatile restaurant with lots to offer,

Stranden serves coffee and breakfast in the morning – an offering popular with locals who use the café as a meeting place to connect. Come lunchtime, Stranden provides a daily lunch menu and offers á la carte evenings and weekends.

“Our menu is always driven by seasonality, and we work closely with local producers to ensure the best quality and taste for our guests. For instance, we often source fish such as zander from Åland, vegetables from Turku and prawns from Gothenburg,” says Rehnström. “Naturally, fish and seafood are particularly popular and something that guests crave when they come to eat.”

The summer go-to Bryggan on the other hand, is a summer restaurant with one of Hanko’s sunniest terraces. This bistro is well established, now in its 13th year of business, and is open from May to August. As with Stranden, the same mentality goes into the bistro’s menu, with seasonality and

Hanko is a summer gem offering sea, great food and scenery. Photo: Bryggan
Photo: Bryggan

great produce outlining its overall offering. Here, fresh seafood is the top pick along with fish & chips.

A couple of things that connect the two restaurants are the warm customer service and the authenticity. Indeed, both eateries have a genuine feel about them, always showcasing the best that Hanko has to offer and celebrating the town’s culture, too.

And speaking of culture, Hanko in summer is an excellent destination for those hoping to catch a sailing event. “We have a close partnership with the local sailing association, which arranges a great sailing race during the first week of July each year,” says Rehnström. “And with

plenty more boating events and races to watch in Hanko throughout summer, we encourage and welcome everyone to enjoy the mix of thrilling competitions and delicious food.”

Surf and cycle

Sailing and summer aside, Hanko is also a fantastic destination to enjoy activities like hiking, golf, horseback riding and cycling all year around, with a local bicycle factory established in the town itself. Perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, you can even windsurf in the middle of winter – an exciting activity which is becoming increasingly popular.

In fact, many say that Hanko shows its absolute best side during autumn and winter. However, no matter the season, visitors can always enjoy superb hotels and a welcoming atmosphere, wherever they go. “More and more, you notice that peo-

ple come here because of the peaceful nature and the beautiful sea. The scenery around Hanko is truly stunning, so it is a great place to visit whenever you need to recharge your batteries, or just enjoy time away from home,” explains Rehnström.

And thanks to its somewhat humble size, Hanko is the sort of town that is easy to get around by foot, especially in summer. So you can enjoy all the sights and activities the area has to offer at ease, perhaps starting off with a hearty breakfast at Stranden to fuel you for the day ahead, then finishing off with a cool drink and freshly caught fish down at Bryggan’s sun-drenched terrace in the afternoon or evening. Sounds like your cup of tea? Well, then there is only one thing to do.

Facebook: Stranden Bar & Kitchen

Facebook: Bryggan Hanko

Both eateries have a genuine feel about them, with great service. Photo: Stranden Bar & Kitchen
Photo: Bryggan
Photo: Bryggan
Photo: Stranden Bar & Kitchen
Photo: Stranden Bar & Kitchen
Photo: Stranden Bar & Kitchen

Restaurant of The Month, Estonia

Homely atmosphere and delicious food by the sea

Restoran Võru on the outskirts of Tallinn is a treat, with a homely atmosphere, a tasty menu, and a beautiful view of the sea. If you visit the capital of Estonia, make sure not to miss this hidden gem.

Restaurateur Aron Rahu and his partner Eva-Liisa Joala were searching for a suitable venue for their new restaurant for a long time, but could not find what they were looking for. Just over two years ago, they finally stumbled upon what was to become Restoran Võru, an idyllic restaurant situated by the sea, on the outskirts of Tallinn.

What is most striking about Restoran Võru is the homely atmosphere. “This was the goal from the outset. We wanted to be able to welcome guests to a nice venue and make them feel right at home,” says Rahu. The popular restaurant serves up a versatile culinary experience. In the daytime, it offers a convenient yet tasty lunch menu and in the evening, the chefs serve classic and delicious à la carte.

The food is a fusion of Scandinavian and European cooking. “Basically, we cook what we enjoy eating ourselves,” smiles the owner. “For instance, we serve salmon carpaccio with salmon roe and apple, as well as asparagus risotto, and slowcooked lamb with beetroot, carrot and chanterelle sauce. And for dessert, you can try our blueberry soup with ricotta cream, or why not go for the Cheese plate De Luxe?”

Honouring tradition with a modern touch

Võru is the name of a town in southeast Estonia, but it also means bracelet. “The name symbolises friendship and respect,” says Rahu. “Võru is traditional yet modern, this is what we want to reflect in our restaurant as well, from the interior to the food and drink offering.”

The restaurant is also ideal for events such as birthday parties with a special menu, guests sharing long communal tables, and the possibility to bring your own band. “Our guests appreciate the intimate atmosphere,” adds Rahu. “It’s a nice venue to celebrate a special occasion.”

Restoran Võru is located by the sea promenade, a few kilometres outside the city centre of Tallinn. The terrace is a popular spot in summer, with a view of the sea and the beautiful sunset.

Restaurant of The Month, Sweden

Stockholm’s vibrant new oasis by the waterfront

Right by the waterfront in Gamla Stan, newly opened venue Karamell is a colourful oasis, tempting with a festive atmosphere and impressive culinary delights – the perfect spot for locals and visitors in the city to meet up for a meal or a cocktail.

Stockholm has an exciting new venue to check out, with one of the city’s best views. Karamell is located on Skeppsbrokajen just a few metres from the water, overlooking Skeppsholmen in one direction with Strandvägen and Gröna Lund looming behind, and Slussen and Södermalm to the south. And not to forget, it sits right in the picturesque area of Gamla Stan, or Old Town.

Karamell opened its doors this spring, with a fabulous opening bash, and is already a popular spot for locals and visitors in Stockholm. The name means candy, and true to its name this is an irresistible treat just like a bag of pic ’n’ mix. “Karamell is a fusion of colours, shapes, and flavours – enticing people’s curiosity,” says owner Christos Neo. “The name symbolises variation. Every bite should

evoke the sensation of sweet, salty, sour, and above all tasty.”

Culinary delights for all the senses

Similarly to its sister venue Glashuset, a modern brasserie located on Strandvägen in Stockholm, Karamell serves up a culinary journey that embraces Scandinavian flavours and Mediterranean delicacies. The beef tartar with Dijon mustard mayonnaise and yellow beets sounds smashing, as does the flank steak on sourdough bread, not to mention the octopus with bulgur salad and preserved lemon. And the cocktail named Oh Snap! with gin, sugar snaps, kalamata olives, lemon and soda is sure to become a hit.

Karamell is not just a culinary hub though, this is also a feast for the eyes with tastefully decorated interiors, a lush

outdoor terrace right by the water, and a bar that prepares colourful cocktails. “The atmosphere needs to reflect what we serve on the plate,” says the restaurateur. “Whether our guests come for a lunch with co-workers on the terrace or a festive dinner with family or friends at night, we want them to have a memorable experience.”

Facebook: Karamell

Instagram: @karamellrestaurang

Restaurant of The Month, Estonia

Refine fine dining with Estonia’s Restoran Pompei

Situated in the heart of the cobbled, charming city of Tartu, Estonia, Restoran Pompei has made a name for itself among food enthusiasts and casual diners alike. With an innovative menu, elegant ambience, and commitment to quality, a meal at Pompei is set to elevate your dining experience to new heights.

While most travellers in Estonia might gravitate towards Tallinn, others might argue that the place to go is Tartu. Perhaps best described as the country’s cultural and intellectual centre, Tartu offers a wide range of experiences to remember, including a fantastic gastronomical scene.

Among the culinary masters of the city, Restoran Pompei stands out as an experience to remember. Named after the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, the restaurant offers refined and seasonal Italian food with hints of Nordic techniques and flavours, taking what we traditionally think of an Italian restaurant to a whole new level. “The idea for the restaurant developed after the first wave of Covid

in 2020, when a few restaurants and bars did not make it through the summer and a potential venue opened up. Since we manage another restaurant in the same building, we decided to take a leap of faith and hope for the best,” says frontof-house manager, Tõnis Nöps.

As everyone knows, the pandemic left everyone uncertain, but by the start of 2021 after a few inspiring trips, the small team had a clear idea of what they wanted the restaurant to become. Today, the team of four young, but experienced hospitality professionals has turned the Italian-Nordic restaurant into a busy space, serving a variety of delicious meals, including the pasta dish cacio e pepe, which has developed a cult following of its own. “Some regulars have it four to five times a week!” says Nöps.

A kitchen where tradition meets innovation

While the restaurant pays homage to the classical meals and traditions that we all love about Italian cuisine, Nöps explains that they also try to pave out a direction and style for themselves. “While we do honour traditions and classical techniques for prep work in the kitchen, we have come to the realisation that sometimes less is more also applies to food.

Using simpler techniques and fewer ingredients might give a new outlook on a certain dish or shine a light on a rarely used component. We also try to break the mould of classical dinner service and push the concept of sharing plates.”

The restaurant’s guests dine contently with the promise of fresh food, as nearly everything is made in-house every day, including pasta, focaccia and fresh cheese. The latter, in particular, is a recommended staple. “All of our mozzarella, stracciatella and burrata is made in the morning and served in the evening,” says Nöps. “We use milk from a small farm located 25 kilometres away and fresh milk is delivered every day. Using local high-quality milk for our cheese gives us a chance to present and serve something totally unique.”

For years, the team has been trying to push towards using more locally sourced produce and ingredients, both for the sake of the environment and supporting the local community. “Fortunately, we have seen a huge improvement in the quality and seasonal stability of local produce, and farmers are more will-

ing to cooperate with restaurants. Years ago, the farm-to-table concept seemed out of reach but we’ve recently realised that getting there is a long but achievable process.”

Whether celebrating a special occasion or simply indulging on a night out, head to the restaurant in Tartu! Restoran Pom-

peii promises fun, traditional, yet innovative flavours for both mind and soul. And while browsing the food and drinks menu, why not try the Pompei Limoncello for an even better time?

Facebook: Pompei Restauran

Instagram: @Pompei_trt


Arctic Roe of Scandinavia is the pioneering producer of the world’s most unique delicacy, Black Caviar, produced without a single fish having to die. Sturgeons have become extinct and making Black Caviar without killing the fish aids in the recovery and survival of the world’s sturgeon population. A microchip is affixed to each sturgeon so its growth curve and harvests can be monitored over a decade or longer. Every second year, the females are milked for caviar, and on each caviar tin or jar sold, the name of the individual female sturgeon and the date of production are printed on a label.

The female sturgeons occupy an abandoned paper mill in southern Sweden on the banks of the

massive river Lagan that empties into the North Sea. The aqua system at Arctic Roe recycles more than 99% of the daily water consumption, and on-site wells provide water for the property. Swedish Black Caviar can be found in several Guide Michelin restaurants, fish delicacies and retail stores. It can also be ordered directly from the company.

Arctic Pearl Caviar by Arctic roe of Scandinavia was served to 1,350 guests including the Swedish Royal family and all Nobel prize laureates at the Nobel Prize Award dinner on December 10, 2023 in Stockholm City Hall. |

Restaurant of The Month, Estonia

Cuisine rooted in Estonian tradition

MEKK Restaurant & Bar is a renowned restaurant in the heart of Tallinn, honouring the culinary art of its ancestors in a modern, stylish setting. The restaurant primarily uses local ingredients, creating a connection between you, the farmer, and the land. Loved by both locals and tourists, MEKK is a must on your Tallinn itinerary.

Mekk translates to taste in Estonian, and that is exactly what you can expect from a visit to MEKK Restaurant & Bar: A taste of Estonian cuisine served in a modern, stylish space. The restaurant is nestled inside the Radisson Collection Hotel in Tallinn, and is loved by both locals and visitors alike. MEKK Restaurant & Bar describes its menu as fusion cuisine that is deeply rooted in Estonian traditions.

“We bring our history into the food by using traditions, techniques, and knowledge from our mothers and grandmothers, but serve it in a nice, modern way,” tells Rene Uusmees, executive chef at MEKK Restaurant & Bar. “When designing the menu, we always think about using ingredients that belong to our culture. We use what grows and belongs here. This means you will find plenty of

fish on the menu, as we are surrounded by water. Using as many local ingredients as possible is important to us as it creates a connection with our people, our grandmothers, our farmers, and the land.”

A taste of Estonian history

Since 2009, MEKK Restaurant & Bar has been fuelled by passion, belief, and a connection to its ancestral roots. From picking mushrooms in the vast forests of Estonia and making sauerkraut and pickled cucumbers, to baking its famous black bread, which carries similarities to the Danish rye bread – and the similarity to the Danish rye bread is no coincidence. Throughout history, Estonia has been influenced by mainly four countries; Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and Russia, which is reflected in Estonian cuisine. When visiting MEKK Restaurant & Bar,

one thing is for sure, your taste buds will be pleasantly pleased. Whether you choose hot smoked salmon with potato salad, pork belly, or the Estonian black bread, you will get a taste of Estonian history.

MEKK Restaurant & Bar has a pop-up restaurant in Villa Ammende in Parnu, the Estonian summer capital, during the summer months. The restaurant is also featured in Falstaff, an international guide for wine and food.

Facebook: MEKK Restaurant & Bar

Instagram: @restoranmekk

Rene Uusmees, executive chef at MEKK Restaurant & Bar.
Photo: Ketrin Piljavets
Photo: Søren Dam Thomsen
Photo: Søren Dam Thomsen
Photo: Søren Dam Thomsen
Photo: Søren Dam Thomsen

Brewery of The Month, Finland

Savouring the craft at Finland’s southernmost brewery

Hanko Brewing Company is a craft brewery based in the coastal town Hanko, at the southernmost tip of Finland. Known for its dedication to quality and craftsmanship, the brewery is almost like an antithesis to our fast-paced society. This is a place where visitors get to experience and savour the products of carefully crafted mastery.

Hanko is a picturesque beach holiday town, known for its historic wooden villas, stunning sandy beaches, vibrant culture and gastronomy scene. Adding to the town’s mix of bars and restaurants, Hanko Brewing Company was founded in 2020 and is now run by Georg Varsanpää and Niki Wickman. Wickman is the brewmaster, who lovingly brews beers with near-scientific precision.

What sets Hanko Brewing Company apart from other craft beer companies is that it’s almost like an antithesis to our usual pace of life, where instant gratification is key. This brewery focuses more on quality rather than quantity. It’s a microbrewery producing just 200 litres of

beer per batch, amounting to less than 10,000 litres per year, which is a small volume for a brewery. Most of the com-

pany’s featured beers are lagers, pale ales, IPAs and hazy IPAs. “We are passionate about making local beer and we do it with plenty of time, love and attention,” says Varsanpää.

Serious about beer

“We’re serious about beer. Because we brew only small batches at a time, we’re able to use the very best ingredients to produce our beers, which is not possible for larger brands,” the founder says. “We’re also lucky to be able to use Hanko’s excellent soft natural water, which is a perfect base for building the unique water profiles for our beer styles.”

Hanko Brewing Company has garnered recognition and a loyal fan base within the craft beer community for its carefully brewed beers and genuine passion for what they do. The company has been keen to step away from the typical craft beer scene, and go with the heart instead. “For us, craft beer doesn’t have

to be extravagant and experimental. Instead, we focus on approachable, traditionally made and simply tasty beer. It’s what we do best, and it has yielded us new and happy customers from outside the typical craft beer crowd.”

A testament to the brewery’s success is that the bar and terrace are often packed with beer lovers, who have purposely travelled to Hanko Brewing Company to give its latest beer batch a try. “The brewery is a bit of a hidden gem, tucked away right at the end of the coastal cape, so customers have to make a bit of an effort to get to us – and most of the time, they do! The proof is the fact that the beer is often finished,” Varsanpää says, half-jokingly.

Not compromising on quality

“Keeping our beers’ cold chain intact ensures the freshness of the beer and the best possible preservation of aromas, especially in fruity and aromatic hops. Therefore, we have planned the production and storage of our beers so that the beer is kept continuously cold all the way to the customers’ glass,” Varsanpää ex-

plains. He is also adamant that the company is looking into ways of expanding –but without having to compromise on, or elaborate, its recipes. For now, potential customers have to go to the brewery itself to enjoy the taste of Hanko Brewing Company’s beers, and the brewery also sells bottles of beer to customers directly.

Despite going with traditional brewing methods, the brewers are not afraid to push boundaries. Recently, Hanko Brewing Company organised a beer-pairing evening, where customers had the chance to try beers paired with a mixture of sweets. “We like to think outside the box, and want to broaden people’s views and knowledge of beer – to encourage them to also find new ways to savour our beers.”

Hanko Brewing Company reflects the unique character and spirit of Hanko. Despite being known as a holiday destination during the summer, the town is also worth a visit even off-season. According to Varsanpää, once the tourists leave and the summer draws to an end, the rugged beauty of the town comes alive. “Off-season, we brew special private batches for our most hardcore fans, which is a good way to keep us warm during the winter times,” he laughs and concludes; “We’re here for anyone who wants to add a touch of luxury to their beer tasting experiences, and for people who want to enjoy Hanko in full sips, all year round.”

Facebook: hankobrewingcompany

Instagram: @hankobrewingco

The company organised a beer-pairing evening, where customers could try beers paired with a mixture of sweets.

Brewery of The Month, Norway

Award-winning artisanal beer and liquor from Vennesla

Based on the island of Hunsøya in Vennesla, Hunsfos Bryggeri og Destilleri delivers world-class craft drinks of exceptional taste and quality. Fresh from a gold medal win at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, this dedicated brewery and distillery is on a roll – and showing no signs of slowing down.

Hunsfos Bryggeri was established in 2014 by a team of beer enthusiasts eager to create local craft beer of excellent quality. Within a few years, their award-winning beer was sold internationally. However, trouble was on the horizon in a way no one could have expected. As Norway shut down during the pandemic, the brewery’s beer sales dried up. The team weighed their options and knew they had to think outside the box. With plenty of time on their hands to plan and experiment, they applied for a

licence to distil spirits from the premises with the aim of diversifying the product line. Before long, an exciting new venture was born.

Immediate success with award-winning gin

After extensive internal testing, the team developed its first liquor product – Nordic River Citrus Flavoured Gin. The speciality gin was produced in 120 litres per batch to ensure optimal quality and flavour. “We sent our first locally produced

Nordic River Citrus Flavoured Gin to the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2022,” says CEO Gjøran Thomassen. “We were overjoyed when our product won a gold medal just a month after we completed our first official batch!”

Two years on, the team has added several exciting liquor offerings to its varied line of products. Hunsfos Bryggeri og Destilleri have once again won the gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2024, this time for the fresh raspberry gin with no artificial ingredients. “Our Nordic River Raspberry Gin has been very well received. Its balanced sweetness and freshness have impressed competition judges and consumers alike,” says Thomassen.

Photo: Hunsfos Bryggeri

While the dedicated team’s gin offerings have won awards and accolades, the pure vodka containing only Norwegian ingredients and the small-batch, barrel-aged aquavit have also been well-received. The liquor from Hunsfos Bryggeri og Destilleri is based on curiosity, creativity and attention to detail, as well as a deep appreciation of fresh, high-quality ingredients and Nordic distilling traditions.

Tight-knit team with a passion for craft drinks

Working under the motto “it’s not just a product, it’s a state of art”, the team behind Hunsfos Bryggeri og Destilleri is eager to share the love and passion for exceptional drinks. Since the start, their work has been focused on quality and craft. “Our goal is to create high-quality products that will provide a wonderful and exciting taste experience, with distinctive characteristics that will inspire greater curiosity and interest in artisanal drinks,” says Thomassen.

The resourceful team is working in surroundings that are well-suited to the entrepreneurial spirit. Hunsfos Bryggeri og Destilleri is based in the old mill house of the historic Hunsfos Fabrikker, a former paper mill on the island of Hunsøya in Vennesla, located in the south of Norway. The team is keen to keep the industrial past alive and has integrated elements

of the old mill into the modern brewery and distillery in an effort to preserve the local history, culture and values. “The locals that worked here for generations earned a reputation for excellent craftsmanship, and we’re happy to be able to produce drinks on the same premises,” says Thomassen. “We want our products to reflect the hard work and precision required to achieve that kind of craftsmanship, and we want to feel proud of what we produce.”

The brewery and distillery opens its doors for guided tours as well as tastings where the handcrafted beer and liquor can be sampled. In addition to tasting the award-winning drinks, the tours and tastings are giving people the opportunity to

learn about the area’s interesting history and the fascinating production processes. Visitors can purchase products to take home from the shop and a new outdoor area has just been unveiled. Beyond the focus on locally-crafted drinks, the venue also plays host to a range of exciting cultural events and concerts.

“This isn’t just a job for us, it’s a lifestyle,” adds Thomassen. “We’re continually experimenting with new products and our latest is a limited-edition whiskey which will be aged in oak barrels for several years. It’s been exciting, and we feel that our journey is just getting started!” Instagram: @hunsfosbryggeri

Photo: Vennesla Tidende
Photo: Hunsfos Bryggeri
Photo: Hunsfos Bryggeri
Photos: Hunsfos Bryggeri

Architecture Profile of The Month, International

OKRA: designing healthy cities and meaningful outdoor spaces for the future

Award-winning landscape architecture firm OKRA envisions the world of tomorrow as a place with a positive impact on people and nature. The team designs healthy cities – solutions that offer vibrant, resilient and sustainable urban environments for the future.

The international and interdisciplinary team at OKRA, a landscape architecture and urban design firm based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, is developing creative solutions to turn cities into green, hospitable, sustainable and healthy living environments. “We believe in creating better places,” says Martin Knuijt, founding partner. “In our view, cities can function as natural habitats, places where people and nature can thrive, and live together in a healthy way.”

The design solutions result in vibrant, resilient cities with a rich, inclusive urban life, a rebalanced mobility system, meaningful social cohesion, and a true connection with nature. “At the same time, we always make sure that our designs are rooted in the magic, humanity,

and stories of places – and that people can continue to experience and enjoy this,” says Knuijt. “That’s how we help realise the connections and relationships that are the lifeblood of tomorrow’s cities and communities.”

Three components in designing healthy cities

Aiming to contribute to green cities, OKRA’s urban designs offer the right conditions for new urban biotopes with diverse planting that improves air quality, mitigates flooding and drought, provides spaces for recreation and socialising, and much more.

In addition to biodiversity, there also needs to be a balance between place and movement in the city, which calls for

directing the use of space. “For instance, we need to improve the balance between fast and slow transport, between targeted exercise and recreational activity,” the founder says. “In our designs, we translate this into a strategy that turns motorways into green corridors, bustling streets into green boulevards, and a new notion of shared space.”

Marina Park in Cork, Ireland, provides a landscape solution for urban adaptation.
Photo: Jason Gairn
Photo: Jason Gairn

Thirdly, creating a healthy city is about liveability and social inclusion. “Ultimately, the cityscape should strengthen social relationships and contribute to resilient communities,” means Knuijt. “A well-connected public realm network provides the basic conditions for healthy living.”

ReThink Athens, Marina Park and Catharijnesingel

The project ReThink Athens in Greece is one of the great examples of how a historic city centre can be transformed thanks to OKRA’s strategy of creating resiliency, shifted mobility and vibrancy. “Decades of explosive growth have created infrastructural problems and a socio-cultural imbalance in Athens,” explains Knuijt. “ReThink Athens takes innovative ideas about climate control, traffic flow reduction and public realm programming a step forward. The integrated design creates a resilient, accessible and vibrant city.”

Marina Park in Cork, Ireland, is another interesting project which is currently ongoing. The new park is planned on a former industrial area along the river, adjacent to the city centre. The park plays an essential role in retaining stormwater runoff, not just within the park but also for the surrounding residential areas and future dockland development. It provides a landscape solution for urban adaptation by creating space for the temporary storage of increased or extreme rainfall events and rising sea levels.

And in OKRA’s hometown Utrecht, Catharijnesingel is a fantastic showcase for

how the team has created a catalyst for a healthy city. A former motorway has been turned into a green walkway along the historic canal structure around the old part of Utrecht. It has led to a pedestrian-friendly, green urban space that is connected to the past, the present and the future. Not surprisingly, Catharijnesingel has won several awards, including the European Prize for Urban Public Space and the Rietveldprijs award for the best architectural project in the Utrecht area.

Holistic approach and winning the Architizer Popular Choice Award

OKRA has recently won the Architizer Popular Choice Award “Best Landscape Design Firm” at A+ Awards. This achievement celebrates the company’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of landscape design and creating meaningful places that inspire, engage, and enhance the environment. “We are honoured to receive this award,” Knuijt adds. “This recognition is a testament to our team’s

hard work, creativity, and passion for landscape design, and a highlight to our celebration of OKRA’s 30th anniversary this year! We are grateful to our clients and partners for their trust and collaboration, which has enabled us to achieve such high standards of excellence.”

With its designs, OKRA creates valuable, liveable spaces for people and nature. Knuijt emphasises the team’s holistic approach; “Our work is based on understanding how landscapes have been transformed over time, how cities have been growing in the landscape and how we can take the next step into the future by linking today’s challenges and needs to the spirit of the place,” he says. “Time should be on our side. The design should fit in a way that after some time, people are thinking it has always been there.”

Instagram: @okra_landscapearchitects

LinkedIn: OKRA landscape architects

ReThink Athens in Greece is a great example of how a historic city centre can be transformed into a resilient, accessible and vibrant city.
Catharijnesingel, before. Photo: Utrecht city archive
Catharijnesingel, after. Photo: OKRA

Architecture Profile of The Month, Estonia

Architecture that enhances the human experience

Estonian studio ARGUS was founded from a passion for innovative design and a commitment to enhancing quality of life. It pushes the boundaries of traditional architecture, while valuing sustainability, aesthetics, and functionality. From the Estonian Embassy in Copenhagen to retreats and private homes; you will recognise the handwriting of the studio in every project.

Studio ARGUS has been on a mission to push creative boundaries since the beginning. Commitment to innovation and creativity defines the Estonian architecture studio. Instead of following

established norms or replicating traditional designs, the team explores innovative ideas, techniques, and concepts that challenge conventional thinking. “Pushing creative boundaries

is essential for standing out and leading in the design world, reflecting a proactive and dynamic approach where experimentation and creativity are highly valued,” explains Margit Argus, founder and owner.

No matter the project, studio ARGUS has a strong focus on context and storytelling. Whether it be the restoration of historic buildings, such as Park Hotel in Viljandi (in collaboration with LUMIA), or a brand-new building, creating narratives

Photo: Terje Ugandi

and strong concepts serve as the framework for architectural or interior design projects.

“The goal is to create spaces that reflect the user’s aspirations, tell a story, and contribute positively to the world,” Argus says. “We explore various design styles and practices, driven by a fascination for how spaces influence human behaviour and emotions. We believe architecture shapes and enhances the human experience.”

Architecture that embodies Estonia

Studio ARGUS works on a variety of projects of varying scales, from the Tallinn Airport project in collaboration with DAGOpen Architects and apartment buildings to residential houses and museums. The architectural studio has also worked on several large-scale heritage conservation projects and has for instance converted several castles and given new functions to various industrial heritage sites across Estonia.

“We like to create intrigue in a space,” says Argus. “A beautiful example is the Fahle Gallery, where the old industrial

complex, long abandoned, seemed to have been taken over by nature. Trees were growing on the building’s walls, and the roofs had collapsed.”

In collaboration with Kino landscape architects and LUMIA, studio ARGUS developed a solution where the space still appears to be overtaken by nature, with trees and bushes pushing through the floor tiles. At the same time, the old industrial architecture is preserved and modern, comfortable commercial spaces have been created.

“The goal is to create spaces that are functional, aesthetically pleasing, and resonate

with users and their environment,” Argus says. “The approach is characterised by a commitment to innovation, sustainability, and human-centred design.”

Embracing Nordic aesthetics

Nordic aesthetics is central to studio ARGUS’s identity. The studio embodies simplicity, functionality, and respects nature. It emphasises clean lines, minimalism, and natural materials, which creates calm and tranquillity in our fast-paced world.

This is beautifully reflected in all the designs, including the Estonian Embassy

Photo: Terje Ugandi
Rendering: studio ARGUS
Photo: Terje Ugandi
Rendering: studio ARGUS
Rendering: studio ARGUS

in both London and Copenhagen. The Estonian Embassy in London is located in a beautiful neoclassical house from 1857. Studio ARGUS remodelled the house in 2015 and has managed to maintain its historical charm while serving as the embassy. Argus explains; “When we designed the embassy, we wanted it to feel like you are in Estonia. The wetlands, lakes, and forests are all captured in the embassy and interior elements like peat

bogs, thicket, and birch accents also reflect Estonia’s landscape.”

Likewise, the Estonian Embassy in Copenhagen showcases Estonia’s beauty through design elements inspired by nature and culture. “Here, we have brought in oak wood and forest motifs, as well as colours inspired by the Northern Lights in the kitchen and lounge area for a magical touch. We have

also incorporated smoked wood walls in the bathrooms, which evokes a modern sauna-like atmosphere.”

Design rooted in nature

The team also works on private residential projects. Villa Lohusalu is a beautiful example of how studio ARGUS elegantly combines sophistication, sustainability, and nature. The 400 m2 private residence is nestled among pine

Photo: Siim West
Rendering: Siim West
Rendering: Siim West

trees by the Baltic Sea. The building is designed to fit within the pine forest, preserving the existing trees. The gabled roof design blends seamlessly with the surrounding environment, the deep brown facade harmonises with the surroundings, while the interior features light natural wood.

At the moment, studio ARGUS is also involved with the design of a luxury wellness retreat in the Baltic Sea with designer Hannes Unt from UNT + CO. and Tiit Trummal, which will open in summer 2026.

The retreat is designed to be minimalistic, calming, and eco-friendly, where wellness meets Nordic charm, inspired by the location’s natural purity and tranquillity.

Another exciting challenge was the collaboration with the luxury yacht manufacturer YYachts GmbH. The new low-carbon yachts are known for innovative design, and the team at studio ARGUS participated in workshops to design a new product, incorporating minimalist Nordic design in the luxury yacht’s design.

“In all our projects, sustainability and a connection to the natural environment are crucial,” adds Argus. Prioritising sustainable materials, maximising natural light, and ensuring harmonious integration with the surroundings reflect this commitment.”

Facebook: studio ARGUS

Instagram: @studio.argus

Photo: Tõnu Tunnel
Photo: Terje Ugandi
Photo: Tõnu Tunnel
Rendering: studio ARGUS
Rendering: studio ARGUS

Details that matter.

Just as the child seat in your vehicle is approved and tested to provide maximum protection in accidents and unexpected events, the safety of the GARO Entity Compact is equally paramount. It is a minimalist wallbox, yet it is packed with details that ensure secure charging at your home. In GARO Entity Compact, all the necessary components for safe charging are already built-in, saving you from unnecessary additional costs.

Find your retailer.

Wallbox GARO Entity Compact

The Scandinavian sounds of summer 2024

Two of Norway’s biggest music exports unite on a hot new dance track that’s just dropped. Producer Alan Walker and singer/songwriter Ina Wroldsen (she’s written number one hits for the likes of Kylie Minogue, Calvin Harris, James Arthur, Clean Bandit and Anne-Marie) have joined forces for Barcelona – a song which, funnily enough, sounds like it’s tailor-made for fiestas in the Balearics, just south of the Catalan capital. The sun-soaked soundscape is made all the more enjoyable by the la-la-la lyrics of the chorus – convenient to sing-along to once it inevitably gets stuck in your head!

They’ve recently worked together with Nelly Furtado on Love Bites, now Sweden’s Tove Lo and her pal SG Lewis have paired up again for a whole EP. Summer just got a whole lot hotter – thanks to

Monthly Illustration

Swedish recipes

A friend recently asked for a Swedish recipe for a European-themed dinner party. Most of my recipes are in Swedish, so I was delighted when I found a whole website dedicated to Swedish recipes in English. Or I was, before I started looking through them. Scrolling through page after page, I found an abundance of recipes for the same thing. Gravad lax (fish), meatballs and Janson’s temptation (potato and fish). I felt outraged.

Surely there’s more to Swedish cooking than fish, meatballs and potatoes?! Where were all the recipes for the wonderful food that we enjoy during the holidays, for a start? I started listing them in my head. Christmas, when the snow is softly falling and we put on a delightful spread of… well… gravad lax, meatballs and potatoes. Midsummer! A totally different holiday, when we decorate our tables with flow-

HEAT! It’s a 15-minute, four-track journey onto the sweatiest dance floor you can imagine – t-shirts optional. On it, we’re treated to a glimpse back at early-’00s trance (hello Desire) as well as a nod to late-’00s electro-house (hej Busy Girl). But it’s the title track HEAT that is warming up to be the potential song of the summer.

Swedish entrepreneur, influencer, makeup mogul, talk-show host and occasional popstar Bianca Ingrosso is stepping back into that aforementioned occasional popstar role now, with the release of a new single. Co-written by her little brother Benjamin (whose new tune Look Who’s Laughing Now you’ve already read about in this month’s cover feature), her Boys In The Sea plays on that old adage “plenty more fish in the sea”

ers, dance around maypoles and enjoy… gravad lax, meatballs and potato. Easter! The time for hiding ornate, paper eggs for the kids and tuck into… oh no… gravad lax, meatballs and potato.

Disheartened, I gave up on the festive seasons and their foods and turned instead to our everyday dishes. This is

and is a chilled-out r&b-pop jam about taking your sweet time in reeling one in. There are some big, warm summer vibes to be enjoyed right here.

where finally, triumphantly, I recalled one of my favourites from home. Comforting, humble, yet delicious – it doesn’t get much more Swedish than palt! What’s palt, you may ask. It’s a… well… it’s a potato meatball. Thanking me for my assistance, my friend made an English cake, sprinkled some broken-up Daim bars on top and declared it Swedish. I’m told it was a great success.

Maria Smedstad moved to the UK from Sweden in 1994. She received a degree in Illustration in 2001, before settling in the capital as a freelance cartoonist, creating the autobiographical cartoon Em. Maria writes a column on the trials and tribulations of life as a Swede in the UK.

Scandinavian Film & TV

For this month’s column, I’m looking at a new Danish drama series that’s not only expected to be one the biggest – if not the biggest ever – Scandinavian productions, largely helped by the fact that it’s filmed in five different countries, but it’s also the first Danish drama series where the centrepiece of the storyline is the climate crisis.

When Thomas Vinterberg collaborated with three other Danish film directors for the Dogme experiment in 1998 and subsequently produced Festen (The Celebration) out of that project, one of the best Danish films ever made, he was by many described as Denmark’s most promising director, and at least in the years to follow he struggled to live up to the high expectations.

Now for the first time in his career, Vinterberg is stepping away from film and instead directing the seven-episode-long climate-themed Familier som Vores (Families Like Ours). Accompanying him is an all-star cast, indicating the scale of the production.

The plot centres around a not-too-distant future where Denmark faces evacuation due to rising water levels. The country is placed in a refugee state with everyone having to seek refuge in another country. The wealth of the citizens determines where they can be relocated. As the nation prepares to leave their

homes, high school student Laura must choose between her divorced parents and the boy she’s fallen in love with.

The series is filmed over the course of 12 months in Denmark, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Romania and France. In addition to the star-studded Danish cast, the production includes 40 international actors and 2,500 extras from across Europe. It’s due to premiere in Denmark this autumn. Studio Canal owns the distribution rights internationally, but as of yet no information has been unveiled when international audiences will be treated to this blockbuster series. But due to the nature of the subject, it will for sure generate lots of debate both in Denmark and abroad.

Climate change in film and TV

The 2015 Norwegian drama Series Occupied (Okkupert) was the first Scandinavian TV series to centre around the climate crisis. An immediate stop to oil production due to extreme climate impact events is followed by a global geopolitical crisis of epic proportions.

I warmly recommend watching this and it’s still streaming on Netflix.

The 2018 Danish/Swedish Netflix post-apocalyptic sci-fi production The Rain has undertones of the climate crisis but without mentioning the issue. Closely related to the sci-fi film genre, but not exclusively including sci-fi, the term cli-fi (climate fiction) is emerging as a genre description of films where the setting in some way is related to climate change. The genre is rapidly taking off, and there have been several calls directed towards scriptwriters to embed climate change when crafting storylines.

Anders Lorenzen is a Danish blogger and film and TV enthusiast living in London.
Photo: Sturla Brandth Grovlen, Zentropa TV 2
Photo: Arnesen, Zentropa TV 2

Scandinavian Culture Calendar

Your guide to the goings-on that you can look forward to around Scandinavia throughout the coming weeks.

The Tall Ships Races (4-7 July)

The Tall Ships Races, billed as Europe’s largest free family event, takes place in the Baltic Sea every four years. And for the first time since 2013, it’s coming to the Finnish capital. Helsinki will serve as one of the race’s host ports, which is expected to attract around 500,000 visitors to the city. And as well as the main event, there’ll be plenty more lined up around town to keep families well entertained. Helsinki, Finland

Simon Fujiwara: It’s a Small World (until October 2024)

Simon Fujiwara’s very first solo exhibition in Finland is It’s a Small World, featuring key works from the full span of the artist’s career. It includes his latest project, Who the Bær. As they search for their ‘true’ identity, the lovable cartoon bear morphs effortlessly into various art styles, people and objects – such as an Aalto vase or Marimekko’s Unikko print pattern. It promises to be a treat for the eyes, as well as the mind.

Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki

Riddu Riđđu Festivàla (10-13 July)

With a focus on creating a stronger awareness and sense of pride in Sámi culture and people, Riddu Riđđu Festivàla is an international indigenous festival. It’s been going for over three decades now, taking place in the NordTroms county of Norway. The festival is open-air and has a varied programme of activities and events for the whole family, as well as live music you likely won’t be given the opportunity to enjoy anywhere else.

Manndalen, Kåfjord, Norway

The Tall Ships Races. Photo: Lauri Rotko
Riddu Riđđu Festivàla. Photo: Marakatt Bertelsen
Simon Fujiwara: It’s a Small World. Photo: Pirje Mykkänen

Styrsö Art Tour (13-14 July)

An annual event since 2008, the Styrsö Art Tour invites visitors to discover the creativity of local artists and craftsmen in the stunning Gothenburg archipelago. Guests have a unique opportunity to experience the beautiful island of Styrsö via carefully curated exhibitions that painters, sculptors and craftsmen host in their own studios and homes. With that personal touch added, it’s a rare chance to experience art with the artist.

Styrsö, Gothenburg, Sweden

Aarhus Jazz Festival (13-20 July)

This summer, music fans will be able to choose between more than 300 jazz concerts at 40 different venues throughout Aarhus at this internationally renowned jazz festival. The scope of what’s on offer includes jazz for children, jazz brunches and concerts with both international stars and local musicians performing. Aarhus Jazz Festival presents all styles of jazz to

attendees and is proud of doing so. This year, the festival is placing an extra focus on community, cohesion and the interplay

between musicians. Aarhus, Denmark

Styrsö Art Tour. Photo: Lillemor Andreasson
Aarhus Jazz Festival. Photo: Poul Nyholm

Stockholm Pride (29 July to 3 August)

The largest Pride celebration in Northern Europe has rainbow-hued festivities planned all across Sweden’s capital. Aimed at lifting and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, everyone else is invited too. It’s the Pride Parade on the Saturday afternoon that is traditionally the most popular event, attended by all. In the wake of tougher political climates and intensified public debate, the theme for this year’s Pride is Starkare Tillsammans (Stronger Together).

Stockholm, Sweden


Festival (1-4 August)

Every year, the population of the Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) in Iceland goes from 4,000 to approximately 20,000 for four days at the end of July or the beginning of August. Icelanders travel from all over the country to attend events such as concerts, bonfires, fireworks displays and the festival’s signature crowd sing-along which takes place on the Sunday night. There are few festivals around the world that offer revellers views like this!

Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

Stockholm Pride. Photo: Olav Holton
Þjóðhátið Festival Photo: Gunnar Ingi

Scan Magazine Issue 168 July 2024

Published 07.2024

ISSN 1757-9589

Published by

Scan Client Publishing


Stibo Complete

Executive Editor

Thomas Winther

Creative Director

Mads E. Petersen


Malin Norman


Vera Winther

Graphic Designers

Mercedes Moulia

Mauro Salerno

Cover Photo

Benjamin Ingrosso

Photo: Andreas Johansson


Anders Lorenzen

Celina Tran

Emma Rodin

Hanna Margrethe Enger

Heidi Kokborg

John Sempill

Karl Batterbea

Katharina Kjeldgaard

Malin Norman

Maria Smedstad

Maria Sødal Vole

Marie Westerman Roberts

Molly McPharlin

Ndéla Faye

Nina Bressler

Signe Hansen

Trine Jensen-Martin

Xander Brett

Sales & Key Account Managers

Emma Fabritius Nørregaard

Johan Enelycke

Veronica Rafteseth

Victoria Hagen


To Subscribe

Scan Magazine Ltd

3rd floor, News Building, 3 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9SG, United Kingdom

© All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of Scan Magazine Ltd.

Scan Magazine® is a registered trademark of Scan Magazine Ltd.

This magazine contains advertorials/promotional articles

Simon Fujiwara: It’s a Small World. Photo: Iisa Smeds

Michael Fabiano – Gustav III

Fredrik Zetterström – Anckarström

Joyce El-Khoury – Amelia

Elizabeth DeShong – Ulrica

Marina Monzó – Oscar

Anton Ljungqvist – Horn

Anders Lorentzson – Ribbing

Magnus Lindegård – Matrosen

Helsingborgs Symphony Orchestra

Choirs from Bjäre and Helsingborg

Pier Giorgio Morandi – conductor

Staffan Valdemar Holm – stage director

The opera is performed in Italian. Subtitles in Swedish and English.

Giuseppe Verdi

Open air-concert at Båstad tennis stadium


The 2024 Birgit Nilsson Days are organized by the Birgit Nilsson Foundation in collaboration with Birgit Nilsson Museum, Birgit Nilsson Society, Helsingborg’s Symphony Orchestra, Julius Production and S & E Destinationsutveckling Backahill.

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.