Scan Magazine, Issue 133, February 2020

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Nordic Design Luxury From the Pantone colour of the year to the luxurious touch of Italian tailoring, our design section shows you how to go Scandi in style – including with a monochrome capsule wardrobe.


Peculiar Delicacies and Hoppy Happiness We list some of the less talked-about Scandinavian delicacies that every self-respecting Scandiphile should try, while beer columnist Malin Norman explains how you can go hoppy to get happy. In addition, we highlight two of Stockholm’s hottest dining experiences right now.



Jump and Go Whether you’re a skiing fanatic or a nature lover, our featured Norwegian travel destinations are sure to please. Head for Holmenkollen for Olympic history and excitement, or further north for the northern lights, whale safaris and simply stunning cottage accommodation.


A Taste of Scandinavia – Sweden From the world’s best gin to vegan treats and nutritious baby food, the Swedish culinary scene never disappoints. Quality, sustainability and heritage are keywords among these brands, which are showing the way for a healthy, yummy, ecofriendly 2020.


Danish Education Special Following in the footsteps of N.F.S. Grundtvig, the Danish education system is the envy of much of the world, and we’ve spoken to a few of the passionate people in the field to find out more.


A Taste of Scandinavia – Norway You may think of ice when you think of Norway, but do you think of ice cream? Norwegians, as it happens, are the world’s third-biggest consumers of the stuff, statistics show, and we might have found the reason why. In addition, we’ve found local, simply beautiful cheese, thirst-quenching craft beer brews, and traditional fruit and berry flavours.


A Taste of Scandinavia – Denmark Innovation has always been one of culinary Denmark’s strengths, and our trio of featured brands are no different. One is changing the way the market of stainless-steel kitchen products works, another is revolutionising Asian familystyle dining, and the third serves steaks so delicious they’re winning international awards.

Tina Nordström: Her Journey into Your Kitchen You may know her from Swedish television, where her broad dialect and infectious, enthusiastic energy have inspired even the laziest, most tired of home cooks. Scan Magazine spoke to Tina Nordström about growing up surrounded by food, creative projects and a blank sheet, and what it was like when it all started 20 years ago.




From Hyper Questions to A Warm Welcome Keynote columnist Nils Elmark explains why we need to learn to think big and ask more so-called hyper questions, while a Danish entrepreneur makes a compelling case for a very warm welcome – something we could all do with in this day and age.

CULTURE 113 Sweet Nostalgia If you’ve yet to make it to Abba The Museum and you don’t have a Stockholm trip in the diary, don’t fret – London’s O2 will get you your ABBA fix. Those whose nostalgia travels back even further in time than to the Eurovision Song Contests of the 1970s need not look further than Denmark, where an open-air museum provides a very real historical experience indeed.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 8 86 92 102 106

Fashion Diary  |  10 Street Style  |  11 We Love This Hotel of the Month  |  88 Holiday Profile of the Month  |  90 Spa Experience of the Month Restaurants of the Month  |  98 Breweries of the Month  |  101 Café of the Month Attraction of the Month  |  103 Experiences of the Month  |  105 Museum of the Month Gallery of the Month  |  108 Artist of the Month  |  112 Humour

Scan Magazine  |  Editor’s Note

Dear Reader, Did you know that the Nordic countries are world leaders when it comes to sustainable food production, not least with regards to vegan options? That the world’s best gin is made in Sweden, or that there is a very special, nutty replacement for parmesan that can only be made here, in a small dairy up north? Scandinavian culinary culture is about far more than meatballs, pickled herring and smørrebrød – and even if those are the very things you’re the most excited about, we are convinced that you can learn a whole lot more from our food and drink special this month. In addition to talking to the people behind our absolute favourites on the current Scandinavian culinary scene, we’ve done our duty and listed the more traditional yet quirky delicacies too, just in case you’ve got a Nordic trip booked and you want to know what to keep an eye out for, or – who are we to judge – you’re keen on an alternative type of drinking bingo while galavanting through the streets of your chosen Nordic capital. Moreover, we’ve spoken to who can arguably be called the face of Swedish food culture: Tina Nordström, whose TV shows and cook books have made life a whole lot easier, more fun, and of course yummier, for most Swedish families.

Cover star Nordström’s key motivation is to do good, and to help people, something that chimes in with the ethos of the unique schools we’ve featured this month, most of which are inspired by the educational ideas of N.F.S. Grundtvig, thus emphasising wellbeing and togetherness. As for Ingmarie Halling, creative director of Stockholm’s ABBA The Museum, she recalls Benny Andersson talking about music as a connecting force, too – as a comfort for a lot of people. If you’re in London this spring or summer, you can find out more at the ABBA: Super Troupers exhibition at the O2. Alternatively, naturally, find comfort in food. Sandwich cake or bread cheese, anyone?

Linnea Dunne, Editor


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6  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Fashion Diary

Fashion Diary… The monochromatic style shows us that wearing one single colour is anything but boring. Try mixing different shades and tints of your preferred colour, whether it’s a neutral one or a bolder choice. Multiple layers with different textures will make your outfit interesting and chic – a great trend for the Scandi minimalist. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Press photos

A neutral such as beige is an excellent choice for a monochromatic outfit. Simple and classic, beige will add a timeless elegance to your outfit. Pair this luxurious loosefit, round-neck jumper with these smart caramel-coloured trousers, both from House of Dagmar, and you are ready for spring. House of Dagmar, ‘Talia’ sweater, £222 House of Dagmar, ‘Antionette’ trouser, £249

With big lapels, built-in flap pockets and slightly enhanced shoulders, the Paris blazer from Weekday is a classic suit jacket for that ultimate power dressing look. Throw it over your monochromatic outfit to add an extra layer of beige – a staple piece you will be thankful to have in your wardrobe. Weekday, ‘Paris’ blazer, £80

A belt can also help break up an outfit and make it more interesting. A timeless classic, this one from COS, made from smooth leather in a warm shade, will make a bold addition to your smart workwear looks this season. COS, classic leather belt, £35

These beige ankle boots from Acne Studios are crafted to a squared toe from supple leather and then set on a triangular, stacked heel – a pair of statement shoes you’ll be wearing for seasons, because they’ll go with everything. Acne Studios, square-toe leather boots, £490

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Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Fashion Diary

Grandpa is a Scandinavian lifestyle boutique offering a different way of shopping through a carefully curated and always updated collection emphasising the brand’s key values: service, atmosphere and inspiration. We love this rib-knitted beanie in lambswool from the collaboration with classic Swedish manufacturer Sätila. Grandpa, beanie, approx £38

The key to getting the monochromatic style right is to mix different tones of the same colour, and we think this light-blue knitted pullover in lambswool blend from Tiger of Sweden will look great under the darker blue overshirt. Tiger of Sweden, ‘Aint’ pullover, £119

We all need a modern and simple bag. Designed with multiple straps, this large, soft-structured nylon bag from COS can be worn in a number of ways, making it a versatile accessory to carry around this year. COS, versatile soft nylon bag, £55

Stay right on trend this year with classic blue. Rich, dark shades teamed up with lighter hues will create a sophisticated, monochromatic look. This versatile overshirt from Arket delivers a neat, clean appearance with a warming quality. Made from a blend of wool and recycled polyester, it is twill-woven for a smooth, slightly lustrous texture. Its slightly heavier top-stitches grant a workwear feel. Arket, wool blend overshirt, £99

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  9

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Street Style

Nordic Humans of London Scan Magazine’s brilliant Sanna Halmekoski has once again hit the streets of London to find out what the Scandinavian fashion fanatics are wearing. Cool, sleek, and full of statements, this is a little piece of Scandiland in the United Kingdom. Text and photos by Sanna Halmekoski  |

Oda Bakkeli Eide Norwegian fashion photographer

Felicia Alsterhed.

“My style is quite practical. I wear a lot of black trousers and white shirts, and it’s very Nordic of me to like pure wool. Last year, I only bought second-hand items, no new clothes. I also like to buy stuff on the street on my travels in places like Paris and Berlin. Today, my shoes are by Ganni, the bag is vintage Calvin Klein, the jacket is vintage Wilsons Leather, the T-shirt is by a sustainable brand called Sabinna, and the trousers are by H&M.

Oda Bakkeli Eide.

“My style is quite minimal, and therefore pretty Nordic. I travel a lot for my work and like to wear clothes that are comfortable and easy to match, but which also look stylish. I buy and wear a lot of vintage clothes. My jacket and trousers are by Nomen Nescio in Helsinki, the bracelet is vintage from a flea market in Helsinki, the ring is by Pitango, my shoes are by Moreschi, and my glasses are by Persol.”

Felicia Alsterhed Swedish sales assistant and media student @feliciialinnea “My style is quite relaxed and a little bit Nordic. I usually wear quite monochrome colours like black, grey and white. I am really into rock music and my style is influenced by my musical taste. I always wear Dr. Martens boots and carry a tote bag. I try not to buy loads of new clothes since the textile industry has a huge impact on our environment. My shoes are by Dr. Martens, my dress is by H&M, my jacket is by Stradivarius, and the bag is merchandise from an artist.”

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Niko Luoma Finnish photographer and lecturer @luomaniko

Niko Luoma.

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  We Love This

We love this… This year is all about Classic Blue, according to Pantone, who selected it as the colour of the year for 2020. We show you how you can add accents of this rich, calming and timeless shade to your home and life to be right on trend. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Press photos

The Troll vase takes its name from a famous painting by the 19th-century Norwegian artist Theodor Kittelsen, which depicts a mythological water spirit rising from the dark waters of a forest pond. This trio of beautifully rounded vases displays a gradient of colour due to the change in thickness of the glass – a lovely addition to any home, and a simple way to add Classic Blue this year. Menu, ‘Troll’ vase, £50

The Doze lounge chair by Norwegian design duo Anderssen & Voll arose from a desire to create a design with a modern expression, referencing the ideas of Scandinavian design with hints of 1970s design for a contemporary perspective on the archetypical lounge chair. With its calm, blue tone, it is perfect for lounge areas in hotels or offices, as well as for relaxing at home in front of the TV or with a good book. Muuto, ‘Doze’ lounge chair, £2,308

Skandinavisk has collaborated with Tekla to produce a limited edition bathrobe in a blue reminiscent of the sea and distant shores. The bathrobe is inspired by Scandinavian bathing culture – in all weathers – and the thick, oversized design offers deep pockets and a substantial hood for protection against the elements. Skandinavisk x Tekla, bathrobe, £115

This Norr tray from Danish brand Skagerak, part of a limited edition blue collection, will help you enjoy a calm moment. The simple, rectangular form and the tactile leather grip make it easy to carry, whether for servings in bed, on the balcony or around the fireplace. It’s time for some hygge. Skagerak, ‘Norr’ tray, £79

Inspired by the shapes of gemstones, the Moor rug is designed by All The Way To Paris and produced by &Tradition. It focuses on shape, colour and texture without any patterns, which makes it a versatile item that brings a room together both emotionally and aesthetically. The rug is handloomwoven, a production technique that produces a dense, soft and highly exclusive, velvet-like expression. &Tradition, the ‘Moor’ rug, £2,852.97

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  11

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Harder

Harder is seeing a growing interest in its made-to-measure service.

Owners Henrik and Flemming Harder.

A fit for the future Much has changed since Harder, Denmark’s oldest menswear shop, first opened its doors in the heart of Aarhus in 1895. But the old cash register from 1917, which has been an instrumental part of Harder for over 100 years, still stands the test of time.

“It’s more relevant than ever before to have a strong online presence. Harder is always ready to face the future of tomorrow – but while staying true to our values and traditions.”

By Camilla Pedersen  |  Photos: Harder

“It’s Denmark’s oldest cash register that’s still in use, but there’s still plenty of life in it. It has almost become symbolic to how we operate our business. We handle everything manually – our receipts are written by hand, and there’s no electronic stock control. This is only possible because we’re 100 per cent independent,” says owner Henrik Jensen, who is gradually taking over the family-owned business from his father, Flemming Jensen. Harder’s approach may seem somewhat old-school, but with clients driving from across the country to browse the unique collection of menswear that has been carefully handpicked from leading European high-quality brands, they seem to be onto something. “We go to Italy four to six times a year to pick out new items for our shelves – always with a focus on exceptional quality and good craftmanship. But we also strive to offer our cus12  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

tomers something that they don’t find elsewhere. A visit to our shop has to be worth their time – and with many regular clients, we have earned enough goodwill to be able to introduce new brands that we know they’ll like.”

Tailored for success Harder is seeing a growing interest in individually tailored clothes such as suits, jackets, trousers and shirts – clothing made just like in the old days. “Our customers really see the difference when we demonstrate why it matters to have a garment made to measure. There is always a big buzz when the master tailor from the Italian brand Caruso visits our shop twice a year to do measurements like no other – true to proud Italian tailoring traditions,” says Jensen, who, at the same time, finds it important to keep up with the changing times, which is why a web shop is on the drawing board.

About Harder: – Both Flemming and Henrik Jensen are on the floor daily to welcome their customers. – Harder employs eight sales people, two tailors and an office   assistant, all passionate about   well-crafted menswear. – With a wide selection of anything   from tailored suits and shirts to   soft cashmere sweaters, hand  made shoes and stylish accessories, Harder has you covered no matter if you want to   suit up or dress down. – Brands include Caroso, PTO1, Jacob Cöhen, Gran Sasso, Stenströms and Eduard Dressler. Facebook: harderaarhus Instagram: @harderaarhus

Scan Magazine  |  Food and Drink  |  Column

Photo: Magnus Skoglöf,

Louise’s Nordic kitchen: löjrom By Louise Hurst  |  Photo: Louise Hurst

Nine times out of ten, when I tell people that ‘löjrom’ is my all-time favourite caviar, they look back blankly. Löjrom is barely known outside the Nordic countries. This indulgent, brightly-coloured coral roe is only available from the brackish waters of the Bothnian Bay in the north of Sweden and has a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), the same star-quality status as Champagne, Dijon mustard and Palma ham. Surprisingly, this roe is harvested from the small, insignificant-looking vendace fish, which only grows to a mere 15 centimetres. The tiny females carry a staggering two tablespoons of this rare delicacy. Roe squeezing is a skilled and timeconsuming process, so understandably, löjrom is an expensive extravagance. Interestingly, the vendace fish is not considered important in culinary terms in Sweden, with very little demand for it as a food. However, it is popular to eat in Finland – hot smoked, tinned or as an integral part of dishes like ‘Kalakukko’, a 14  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

fish-and-rye pastry pie that is a speciality of the Savonia region. Löjrom is packed with minerals and nutrients and is famously described as being ‘like fireworks in the mouth – little bubbles of salty, sea-tasting amazingness exploding around the teeth’*. The classic way of serving this delicately flavoured caviar is quite simply with a dollop of sour cream, finely chopped red onion, a wedge of lemon and toast. It’s also an indulgent addition to Toast Skagen, an appetiser comprising sweet, juicy, north Atlantic prawns, combined with sour cream, mayonnaise and dill, piled high on toasted bread or as rårakor – potato cakes topped with löjrom, sour cream and red onion. My personal favourite would have to be steamed, white asparagus (in season from late April to June), served with a löjrom sauce and only one other ingredient: creme fraiche. Pure, simple indulgence! *Source unknown

Cordon bleu trained food creator Louise Hurst marries her passion and professionalism to create stunning, stylish Scandinavian dishes. With a touch of love and a pinch of nostalgia, she brings a deliciously fresh approach to ‘husmanskost’ – traditionally homecooked Swedish fare – along with her own creations. Read more at

Scan Magazine  |  Food and Drink  |  Column

Photo: Unsplash

Head to the pub – for love and hoppiness By Malin Norman  |  Photo: Malin Norman

I’m a firm believer that beer should be enjoyed in the company of others. Some say that beer makes people talk but, more importantly, the beer community can be good for your health. Pubs, or public houses, were first intended as social drinking establishments – a kind of focal point in the community, where people gathered to gossip and could get help. This is still true today: the pub can be a place for companionship, friendship and support.

Loneliness is a problem also in Scandinavia, and many people, both young and old, live alone. A pub or a beer bar can serve as a familiar place removed from work and home, to breed a sense of identity and connection. Some bars organise quiz nights, live music and beer tastings, and there are even beer running clubs for those who want some physical activity before heading to their favourite watering hole.

Recently, I heard of a campaign in the UK that aims to fight loneliness in pubs. The beer-advocacy group CAMRA is campaigning not just for real ale but also for the important role that pubs play in tackling loneliness and social isolation. They have found that people who visit a local pub or bar have a wider support system of close friends. In fact, not only does it help improve their social skills, it also increases life satisfaction.

If you are feeling lonely, why not pop by your local pub, beer bar or taproom for a bit? It doesn’t even have to involve alcohol. Nowadays, there are so many tasty, low-alcohol and alcohol-free beers available – or you can grab a coffee, tea or soft drink. The most important thing is to spend some time together with others, ideally in a place where everybody knows your name, just like in that old TV show, Cheers.

Malin Norman is a certified beer sommelier and a member of the British Guild of Beer Writers. With a background in international marketing, she has a particular interest in consumer trends in the beer market. Malin writes about beer for Scan Magazine as well as international beer magazines, and also creates beer-related content for global producers.

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  15

Semla. Photo: Magnus Carlsson,

Top ten peculiar delicacies from Scandinavia You may have tried the meatballs with lingonberry sauce in IKEA, but do you know your real Nordic delicacies from the sanitised, well-travelled clichés? Here are some treats, snacks and arguably quirky dishes from the lands up north, which every self-respecting Scandiphile must try. By Linnea Dunne  |  Photos:

1. Semla If you’ve never tried a Swedish lenten bun, also known as ‘semla’, you’re missing out. These fluffy cardamomflavoured buns are cut in half to create a lid, then scooped out, filled with a sweet marzipan mix, topped with whipped 16  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

cream and the bun lid, and then finished off with a sprinkling of icing sugar. Semlor make the main treat on Shrove Tuesday, known as Fat Tuesday in Sweden, but can these days be enjoyed throughout January and February in cafés across Sweden.

Semla. Photo: Susanne Walström,

Scan Magazine  |  Top-Ten Feature  |  Peculiar Delicacies from Scandinavia

2. Æbleskiver Literally translating to ‘apple slices’, æbleskiver are in fact fluffy pancake-like balls made in special pans and served with jam and a sprinkling of sugar. Hugely popular in the build-up to Christmas and at Christmas fairs, they are also commonly served at birthday parties and other celebrations.


3. Lutefisk


Gravad lax. Photo: Magnus Carlsson,

All Nordic nations have versions of this delicacy, but ‘lutefisk’ fish is a quintessential Norwegian dish. Made mostly using stockfish – dried white fish, most commonly cod – it is pickled in lye, giving it a gelatinous texture and its characteristic flavour. Lutefisk appears at every Christmas dinner in Norway but is also enjoyed regularly as part of a traditional meal.

4. Gravad lax More fish! Gravad lax, a dish that has travelled and even kept its original Swedish name abroad, looks a lot like smoked salmon – but it’s not. The two dishes have in common that they consist of thinly sliced salmon, but while smoked salmon is, well, smoked, ‘gravad’ means cured. Gravad lax, then, is cured using salt, sugar and dill, and makes a natural part of every smörgåsbord, Christmas dinner and Midsummer celebration. Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  17

Scan Magazine  |  Top-Ten Feature  |  Peculiar Delicacies from Scandinavia


5. Karjalanpiirakka (‘Rice pies’) Pies, pastries, pierogis – call them what you want, but these savoury rice delicacies are a remnant of Finland’s ties to Russia, their roots specifically in the Karelia region. Mixing rye and wheat for the dough, the pies previously came filled with whatever was in stock and affordable, but these days the most popular version comes stuffed with rice and egg butter – chopped, hard-boiled egg mixed with butter.


6. Smörgåstårta (‘Sandwich cake’) This favourite of every Swedish granny, smörgårstårta, meaning sandwich cake, pretty much does what it says on the tin. It’s made of layers of white bread with generous amounts of creamy fillings, including egg and mayonnaise as well as a selection of sliced fish or cold cuts and cucumber, tomato, lemon, grapes and caviar. A must at every summer celebration. Comes with ‘90s vibes.

7. Toast Skagen Everybody knows that Scandinavians are fans of open sandwiches. Add the newfound knowledge of the ‘sandwich cake’ above, and you won’t be surprised to hear about Toast Skagen – indeed, small, often triangular pieces of white toast topped with mayonnaise, prawns, caviar and dill. Again, popular at various types of smörgåsbord-friendly happenings. Extra delicious with a glass of something cool and light, like white wine or Prosecco, in the summer. 18  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

Toast Skagen. Photo: Jakob Fridholm,

Scan Magazine  |  Top-Ten Feature  |  Peculiar Delicacies from Scandinavia


8. Lefse Is it food or dessert? Who knows! The potato in the batter suggests the former, but then the accompanying cinnamon, sugar and jam say otherwise. In any case, these Norwegian pancake-style flatbreads are comfort food at its simplest. And perhaps the real beauty of them is that you can choose: why not make it dinner by adding some gravad lax, or go heavy on the sweet stuff for a filling dessert?


Photo: Jakob Fridholm,

9. Leipajuusto (‘bread cheese’)

10. Chokladbollar

Why choose between bread and cheese when you can have both – in one? The Finns have thought of everything. Leipajuusto, meaning ‘bread cheese’, is the best savoury type of evening snack you can imagine. Sometimes referred to as ‘squeeky cheese’ because of the sound it makes when you bite into it, it was traditionally made of cow’s milk from a cow that had recently calved, but these days it comes in a range of interpretations, including using reindeer or goat’s milk. We’re tempted to freestyle and call it Finnish halloumi.

Chokladbollar, or chocolate balls, are perhaps the easiest no-bake treats imaginable, made with oats, butter, sugar and cacao, perfect for stress-free (but admittedly a little bit messy) treat-making with children, and almost justifiable as an after-school snack, what with the healthy oats and all. For adults, add some coffee, or perhaps experiment and go vegan with dates and the likes? Suffice to say, the way to a Swede’s heart goes via traditional chocolate balls, which will evoke memories of sunny days running barefoot across the grass to a picnic blanket with raspberry squash and – you guessed it – chokladbollar. Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  19

A playful restaurant with a world-class wine bar Arnold’s is an elegant and playful restaurant situated in Stureplan’s perhaps most iconic building. Here await a vibrant atmosphere, great food and, above all, fabulous service. Recently, wine bar Ferdinand Vinrum opened in the cellar. Everything is set for a great evening out.

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Everything for the guest Arnold’s is one of the trendiest venues in Stockholm. You can enter the grand Renaissance building and stay for the whole

By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Arnold’s

Christer Von Arnolds opened a restaurant in Arnoldshuset (the Arnold building) back in 1986. It was called Arnold’s on street level and Arnold’s Salonger on the first floor. He was Stockholm’s leading restaurateur for many years and managed prominent restaurants such as Djurgårdsbrunns Wärdshus, Glada Laxen, Vaudeville, Källhägens Wärdshus, Hamburger Börs, Claes på Hörnet and more.

appreciate, which makes them feel welcome and at home.

These days, Arnold’s is run by Stureplansgruppen, Sweden’s leading company in the hospitality industry. The idea behind Arnold’s was clear from the start and lives on with pride and dignity. The concept is simple, tasty and familiar with focus on the small details. When visiting Arnold’s, you can feel the pulse from the heart of Stureplan but also the homely atmosphere. The staff at Arnold’s know what guests want and

The team at Arnold’s.

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Experience Feature  |  Arnolds

evening. The colourful dining room is playful yet elegant, with a vibrant gallery of paintings, sculptures and photo art. With around 40 seats, it is intimate without being pretentious. After a fabulous dinner in the restaurant, you can relax in the bar and enjoy one of its signature cocktails (don’t miss the cucumbertini!).

Miami, which is run by the famous Argentine chef Francis Mallman. “Coming to Arnold’s is really exciting,” she says. “With my experience come some useful tools, and I really enjoy setting up teams, creating routines, starting up projects and developing menus.”

salmon, with apple, cucumber, celery and pickled coriander. Or try the seabass with barbequed broccoli and a spicy chili butter. And don’t miss the chocolate fondant with everything chocolate – ice cream, sauce and crumbles – without a doubt, a hit.

Anniversary and wine bar

Arnold’s has just celebrated its first anniversary with a jubilee week full of surprises, and there are plenty of things happening throughout the year. In particular, Olander praises the restaurant’s newly opened wine bar, Ferdinand Vinrum in the cellar, which is run by experienced sommelier Hans Wejnefalk Larsson. “Our new wine bar downstairs is a must,” concludes Olander. “Ferdinand Vinrum is a brilliant wine bar with an amazing sommelier who is in charge of the world’s best wine list. A great place to start or end the evening with us!”

But what makes it truly special is the level of service. “Arnold’s has a super team of staff working together, with incredible competence and a passion for customer service,” says Malin Olander, restaurant manager. “We are so proud of the vibrant atmosphere, the fantastic service by our talented staff, and of course the tasty food. Add to that Stockholm’s best location, and you have the answer to what our secret is. We do everything for our guests.”

The kitchen is managed by chefs David Knabäck and Fanny Rönnblom. Both have extensive experience from restaurants of different kinds, in terms of both level and flavours. The timeless continental kitchen is mixed up with fresh greens, fish and seafood. The chefs have chosen favourites and paired them with weekly dishes on the lunch menu, and there are plenty of alternatives for a quick, spontaneous dinner or a full evening.

Olander has heaps of experience in the hotel and restaurant industry. She has worked at the renowned Restaurant Geranium in Copenhagen and Oaxen Krog in Stockholm, to name a few, and did her internship at Los Fuegos in

“At Arnold’s, we have chosen to cook food that we enjoy ourselves,” admits Olander. “We don’t want to limit ourselves to a special region but instead serve something that we love.” She recommends the ceviche, which is currently based on Facebook: restaurantarnolds Instagram: @arnolds

Hans Wejnefalk Larsson, sommelier.

Ferdinand Vinrum.

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  21

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Profile  |  Kol & Kox

Kol & Kox serves genuine Italian food made using only the best produce.

Hearty Italian food in the heart of Stockholm It is a grey, dark and rainy day in Stockholm and you wish for nothing more than a trip to sun-kissed Italy, enjoying the renowned cuisine and remarkable wines. Despair not, for there is no need to cross neither country borders nor seas to enjoy authentic Italian food; simply head to Kol & Kox Ristorante Italiano, where hearty dishes are served with exciting wine pairings, always in a familiar and buzzing atmosphere. By Nina Bressler  |  Photos: Kol & Kox

Kol & Kox Ristorante Italiano can be found on a side street a few short steps away from Hötorget in central Stockholm. Despite its central location, this is a restaurant that you often need to know about to find; however, once there, you are very likely to return. “Many of our guests are locals and regulars who have visited us for years,” says Riccardo de Matteis, owner and head chef. The true Italian kitchen is characterised by quality and flavour, and so too is the kitchen at Kol & Kox. The focus is on creating authentic Italian food with a modern twist, by always using the best produce and with a menu that changes with the season to increase the utilisation of lo22  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

cal products. Sustainability is important, and this is one of the restaurant’s ways of showing that. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner and also hosts regular wine makers’ dinners, when well-known connoisseurs and producers teach the guests about Italian food and wine, obviously accompanied by delicious tastings. Kol & Kox’s offering includes signature dishes from all of Italy, north to south. Different regions are represented with courses such as Risotto al funghi, L’ossobuco and Pasta alle vongole, and the wines are imported directly from distributors in Italy. The wine list is exciting, offering some rare examples of aged and natural wines, and if you are unsure of

which one to choose, the staff can advise you of the perfect pairing with your chosen food. The same goes for the food, if you’re not sure of what to choose; the solution is ‘Ci penso io’ (‘we’ll sort it’), a menu where the chef creates a special menu just for you – the perfect option for the indecisive and for those in the mood for trying something new. Enter Kol & Kox and you will find a small piece of Italy, only much closer to home. Facebook: Kol & Kox Ristorante Italiano Instagram: @kolkoxristorante

Scan Magazine  |  Festival Feature  |  Holmenkollen Skifestival

Photo: Magnus Nyløkken

Unforgettable skiing moments in Holmenkollen This March, come to Norway and join the cheering crowds in the winter capital of the world during Holmenkollen Skifestival. Here, at the very heart of skiing, you can watch the stars battle it out for prestigious World Cup points at a festival that aims to focus on sustainability and equality.

experiences that will minimise the festival’s footprint while promoting gender equality and good health,” Sæterøy explains.

By Ingrid Opstad  |  Photos: Christian Haukeli

Intending to encourage and promote women in sports, the festival is a case in point that women can also rock the ski industry. “We are proud that the women this year will ski the long-distance threemile race as the main event on the Saturday. For the second year, the women will also jump in Raw Air on par with the men, which is very impressive,” Sæterøy smiles. “It is fitting that we end the festival on International Women’s Day!”

“Holmenkollen has a unique place in all sports fans’ hearts. For the world’s best athletes, the events here are some of the most important during the season. The cheering from the crowds and the Norwegian enthusiasm towards skiing are truly special. Around 150,000 spectators from all over the world are visiting, which creates an amazing atmosphere,” says festival manager Kristin Vestgren Sæterøy. Loated in Oslo, with a state-of-theart arena and its skiing course cutting through the capital’s forest, Holmenkollen has a long history of winter sports. In fact, the first skiing competition here took place in 1892. Today, as one of the most famous sports facilities and the single most visited tourist attraction in Norway, Holmenkollen is the perfect setting for unforgettable skiing moments. The World Cup Nordic (Skifest) and Raw Air take place on 6 to 8 March, with thrill-

ing competitions such as ski jumping, cross-country and Nordic combined. “Raw Air is the most extreme ski jumping tournament in the world. It is a nobreak, ten-day event across four venues in Norway, and we are very pleased that it all kicks off in Holmenkollen every year,” says Sæterøy. Two weeks later, on 20 to 22 March, the arena will again be abuzz with excitement, as the world’s biathlon elite meets at the shooting range during the World Cup final in biathlon.

Focus on sustainability and gender equality With a new sustainability strategy, Holmenkollen Skifestival focuses on creating an understanding of environmental and health challenges, while promoting gender equality. “As the first international sporting event to commit to the UN’s sustainability goals, we want to work to create unique winter sports

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  23

The northern lights dancing over Reinefjorden Sjøhus. Photo: Kenan Hurdeniz, @oldkyrenian

Live through history on the islands of Lofoten Lofoten in the north of Norway is a popular place to visit among people who’d like to catch the midnight sun or the northern lights. At Reinefjorden Sjøhus, you can do just that, while also being immersed in the history of the old fishing village. By Linnea Dunne  |  Photos: Reinefjorden Sjøhus

Hotel manager of Reinefjorden Sjøhus, Linn Maria Therese Larsson, says that though people often associate Lofoten with hiking and stunning views, it has a lot more to offer, including great photo opportunities, the northern lights, the midnight sun and fishing. “It has become a destination that people visit all year round. From September to April, we have the northern lights season, and our location is a perfect spot to see it. Then from February until the end of summer, it’s possible to see the magnificent killer whales and enjoy never-ending days with the midnight sun,” she says.

Hiking trails Reinefjorden Sjøhus is located in Skagen, Hamnøy, at the edge of the famous fjord 24  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

Reinefjorden in the west of the Lofoten islands. “We have numerous popular hiking trails, like Reinebringen, Munkebu, Tindstinden, Kvalvika and Ryten, which are located just a short drive away. In the close surroundings, you will also find a wide range of activities and restaurants,” says Larsson. Reinefjorden Sjøhus is a place steeped in history. Previously, the area was a small fishing village, and the owners have chosen to keep elements of it intact for the authentic atmosphere to remain. “All the buildings have some sort of history; Villa Væreiergården, for example – the house that is suitable for big groups – was the house where the owner of the village lived with his family,” Larsson explains.

The owner was the man who oversaw everything in the village, and therefore his house was also very grand. Væreiergården can accommodate up to 20 people for meetings and 12 for sleeping. The house has a meeting room and space for conferences. Since Lofoten offers a range of different activities, it is also ideal for groups wanting to go somewhere for a team-building experience.

Overlooking the water The smaller houses that were once used for other activities in the village, including fishermen’s cabins and seaside houses, are suitable for smaller groups and families to stay in. “Most of the houses have large windows overlooking the water and the fjord, so you get great views before you even step outside,” Larsson continues. The current owners bought the village in 2014 and ended up rebuilding it with better-insulated, homely buildings. “The focus on comfort was important when

Scan Magazine  |  Travel Feature  |  Reinefjorden Sjøhus

they renovated, so all the beds and other furniture are very comfortable, and all of the buildings have fully equipped kitchens,” Larsson says.

Welcoming to all Reinefjorden Sjøhus aims to welcome anyone who wishes to visit and offers three fishermen’s cabins, all accessible for people with disabilities, as well as universal accessibility throughout the main floor and the outdoor areas. It is situated immediately by the water’s edge and is surrounded by fjords. “We always recommend that people who stay with us go out on the water at least once, as it’s a magnificent experience,” says Larsson.

Boat hire It is possible to rent boats directly from Reinefjorden Sjøhus, including those that are accessible for wheelchair users. “There are a lot of different things you can do on the water – fishing trips are very popular, as is going out on a kayak,” Larsson says. All accommodation is located away from the main road, which means that there is very little noise pollution. But though it’s

Most of the cabins and apartments have windows facing the fjord.

nicely secluded, and somewhat of a hidden paradise, it is not too far away from civilisation, with a small car journey taking you to the nearest shops and restaurants.

A short drive from Reinebringen One of the main draws of the location is its close proximity to the mountain Reinebringen, which is only a short drive away. With its 445 metres, it’s the perfect place to go if you want a scenic hike and

a good view of Reinefjorden and large parts of the Lofoten islands. “It depends on those taking the hike, of course, but it usually takes around an hour to get up,” Larsson explains. Reinebringen was upgraded less than a year ago, when the Nepali Sherpa team built stone staircases all the way up, like they have done at other famous sights, including the Pulpit Rock. It is therefore easier than ever to climb up the 1,600 stone steps to the summit. “But you still need to be careful and watch your step, stay on the stairs and keep an eye on the weather – it’s an amazing but steep hike!” stresses Larsson. Since Reinefjorden Sjøhus first opened in 2017, it has had almost exclusively positive feedback. “We focus on providing great service as well as excellent information, alongside the good location and comfort,” says Larsson.

The view from the top of Reinebringen.

In short, Reinefjorden Sjøhus is a place that ticks most people’s need for a unique break – be it an active holiday, time away with family and pets, or a relaxing business trip.

Our cabins are located by the water in the harbor of Hamnøy.

A lucky family enjoying the view from their apartment. Photo: Photo: Dtor Suephakdee, @dtor_c Facebook: Reinefjorden Sjøhus Instagram: @reinefjordensjohus

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  25

Photo: Lennart Weibull

26  |  Issue 132  |  January 2020

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Tina Nordström

Tina Nordström – ‘I want to enter the hearts of people’s homes’ 20 years have passed since Tina Nordström first appeared on Swedish TV screens, bringing joy and simplicity to kitchens from north to south. An impressive number of cook books and TV shows later, Scan Magazine talks to the iconic Swedish chef about a healthy dose of competition, the perfect ‘kalops’, and wanting to do good. By Linnea Dunne

“I have so many scent memories from my childhood – like my parents coming up from the inn downstairs to say good night, smelling of smörgårdsbord, meatballs and sill,” Tina Nordström recalls. She describes being shaped by two worlds: that of the fine dining at her parents’ inn and that of simple, Swedish ‘husmanskost’ at her grandparents’ house, where she spent a lot of her time. “Food is never strange to me; I’ve seen everything, tasted everything. There’s a security in it for me, and an element of care – like when the chef from the inn would knock on my granny’s door and bring in ‘prästanäsa’, that’s goose backside, which he knew was one of her favourite things.”

A safe bet to go down the road of becoming a chef, then, one might think – and Tina agrees, at least to some extent. “You could call it laziness! I was tired of school and already knew everything when I started at restaurant school. No need to cut the cord – I didn’t need to try hard at all,” she says. “But I’m ridiculously competitive, too, so you could say that there were three enjoyable aspects to it for me. Firstly, back when I started, there were very few girls in kitchens, and I’m more than a bit unruly… It had nothing to do with feminism – I just had to have access to the closed spaces. Secondly, like I said, I loved to compete. And finally, I loved cooking!” Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  27

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Tina Nordström

Photo: Linneväveriet

‘I want to do good’ In 2000, Nordström competed in Årets kock (Chef of the Year), which quickly led to TV appearances and, soon enough, the cookery show Mat (‘Food’), which she co-hosted with journalist Tomas Tengby. Her contagious enthusiasm and joy for cooking made her a household name in Sweden almost overnight, and the TV show became a huge success. “Everything was so different 20 years ago, it’s almost hard for people to understand,” she reflects. “We didn’t have social media and all the TV channels and everything – I was really alone out there, and when I published my first book I’d have long queues of people waiting for me to sign them. It’s a wonderful thing to have experienced.” There’s an instant likeability about Nordström, and there always was: a deeply honest approach, practical and optimistic – and often a little haphazard and messy. “You are what you cook,” she says, “so my way of looking at food is about who I am as a person. More and more, I see that mission very clearly – that I want to do good. The teaching aspect of my work is loads of fun, and I love trying to explain things; I’ll show you something and you can go off and own it, you don’t need to credit me – I don’t need to be seen or heard. But it’s extremely important to me to contribute something useful, 28  |  Issue 132  |  January 2020

Photo: Linneväveriet

to benefit the greater good. I want people to cook more.” She laughs. “It can resemble somewhat of a cross-examination these days when I question people about various projects before saying yes. If I’m going to put my name to it, it needs to make an impact.”

so unaffected. They’re young, they don’t have any experience – it’s all fun and lust and silliness, and they don’t care what anything looks like. I’ve been tying back hair and wiping snot – it’s amazing.”

The goal? “I want to end up on people’s kitchen table,” she asserts. “But I can’t be in everyone’s kitchen, so I have to figure out how to do that – how to enter the hearts of people’s homes without being there. Is it through their shopping bag? No. Social media? Sometimes, yes. But that’s all I want.” Another chuckle: “Maybe I need to turn into a ghost and haunt people!”

Between Sveriges Yngsta Mästerkock and Hela Sverige Bakar (‘All of Sweden Bakes’), Nordström makes no more than 25 TV shows a year – a very conscious decision, aiming to leave enough space for her to explore other creative projects. “I’ve had a dream for a long time, and we’re finally getting there… I don’t even really know what it is yet, but we’ve taken over these incredible premises, almost like a Pippi Longstocking house, in a beautiful location – there’s graffiti and it’s so creative. It’s like a clean slate – I’ll make cook books, but there’s capacity for so much more. Whatever it ends up being, it’s pure luxury to get to start with a blank sheet,” Nordström enthuses, describing her work with the TV shows as the secure foundation that allows her to feel safe enough to embrace the uncertainty of the new project. But as a creative at heart, always full of ideas, she is aware that her work can sometimes be hard for others to fully understand. “My daughter once asked me, ‘Mum, is your job to be a bit annoying?’,”

In addition to having built up an impressive bibliography of culinary delights and everyday tips and tricks, Nordström has continued to choose the TV route into the homes of Swedes, most recently as judge on Sveriges Yngsta Mästerkock (‘Sweden’s Youngest Master Chef’), something she speaks of with plenty of that characteristic enthusiasm. “It’s always wonderful to work with kids. I have two of my own – they’re 14 and 11 – and they don’t like my food, they really don’t. But they’re my guinea pigs; they don’t know that I add chicken liver to the bolognese,” she says. “Children are so naked in their emotions,

The creative potential of a blank sheet

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Tina Nordström

Photo: Lennart Weibull

she laughs. “I guess I can be a bit like the irritating little sister – constantly keeping an eye on everything, pointing out that the oven isn’t on yet, poking my nose in everywhere.” As a native of the county of Skåne, which belongs to Sweden but was previously part of Denmark, Nordström believes that the strengths of the different Scandinavian

culinary cultures are more similar than most of us think. “We’re incredibly good at making the most of very limited resources and local ingredients – think a really good but oh so simple pea soup, for instance. But what we in Sweden put on our smörgåsbord, in Denmark you’ll find on the smørrebrød; it’s the same thing, really,” she says, licking her lips. “It doesn’t need to be complicated. It’s such a joy

when you get the perfect ‘kalops’ [a traditional Swedish beef stew] with perfect beets and allspice. Delicious!” Or, as her trademark exclamation goes: ‘jättegott’! You’ll find all Tina Nordström’s cook books as well as recipes, news and collections she’s collaborated on at:

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  29


EN F D E O ia E SW ec T p S S – TA VIA A A N DI N A SC m he


Arvid Nordquist. Photo: Petrus Iggstrom

How Sweden will become the world’s most sustainable food nation We know that the production of food – from farm to fork – has a negative impact on both the environment and the climate. This is an indisputable fact. But we also know that if we are to feed a global population that is estimated to reach ten billion by 2050, the production of nutritious, high-quality food and drink must increase. By Björn Hellman, CEO of The Swedish Food Federation

The Swedish solution to both these challenges is to drive the development of sustainable, efficient food production, which values the environment and climate as highly as flavour, quality and nutrition. In order to speed up this work, the Swedish food industry – the third-largest industry in the country – has committed to a sustainability manifesto with five concrete aims: 1. a fossil free industry by no later than 2030; 2. halving food waste by no later than 2030; 32  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

3. 100 per cent recyclable packaging by no later than 2030; 4. guaranteed good terms throughout the supply chain; 5. streamlined water use. Our manifesto is based on what the scientific consensus says about the damage caused to the environment and climate by human activity. The Swedish food industry is and should be a driving force towards reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN’s global goals for sustainable development. I am incredibly proud of

all the efforts our member companies and our industry have already undertaken – but that doesn’t mean that we’re satisfied. We will intensify our efforts and cooperate even more closely with the other links in the food production chain: farmers, retailers and consumers. Throughout the 20th century, the food industry made good, safe food and drink available to billions of people. The challenge of the 2000s will be to make food production climate- and environmentally neutral. If we can do this in Sweden – which we have all the prerequisites for – we can show the way for the rest of the world. So now, we shift into the highest gear. Today’s consumers, future generations, and we ourselves demand it. It is a responsibility we can’t and won’t fail to take.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Taste of Scandinavia – Sweden

Västerbottensost. Photo: Fabian Björnstjern

Björn Hellman. Photo: The Swedish Food Federation

Photo: Sproud

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  33

Back to the roots of brewing Oppigårds Bryggeri is one of Sweden’s most popular craft beer breweries, praised over the years for high-quality, tasty brews. Its award-winning range will be extended this spring, with three new beers in the Heritage Collection. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Oppigårds

brewery building was set up in 2016. “As an independent craft brewery, we need to have a plan for how to be profitable and survive long-term,” says Björn Falkeström, owner and CEO of Oppigårds. “This means that we can decide how much we want to grow, if at all. Right now, we’re the ideal size to maintain a sustainable production that also supports the local area.”

Established in 2003, Oppigårds is one of the most successful craft beer breweries in Sweden, with numerous prestigious awards and best-selling beers to its name. Its first year in business, the brewery produced 8,000 litres for sale in the local area around the village of Hedemora in Dalarna. Now, the brewery produces around 2.2 million litres, available across Sweden. However, it is still a family-owned and independent business.

Production centred on sustainability

Following a number of successful years, and to meet increasing demand, a new

Part of the long-term plan is a sustainable production model. For Oppigårds, this means taking care of by-products

34  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

from brewing, and a large part is used as animal feed by farmers in the region. Spent grains consisting of malt residues from mashing become food for dairy cows, whereas yeast, hops and hot brake become prime pig food. “Not many breweries think along these terms,” admits Falkeström. “Waste products are the down-side of brewing, and breweries should have a plan for how to handle this. It’s second-hand produce; it can actually be used again.”

Björn Falkeström, owner and CEO.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Taste of Scandinavia – Sweden

Unlike other breweries, Oppigårds has its own waste water treatment plant. All the waste water from brewing goes to the plant located close by, and is purified until it reaches drinking level. The brewery is also constantly looking at ways of reducing overall waste by recycling, overseeing work procedures and conducting staff education. “The brewery is the right size in order to handle waste products,” reiterates Falkeström. “If you’re too small, nobody is interested in the by-products. And if you’re too large, transportation will become too expensive. At our size, we can easily distribute waste products to the farms in the local area. There’s really no reason for a brewery to be bigger than this.”

New additions to the Heritage Collection In line with the sustainable approach, Oppigårds is going back to the roots of brewing by introducing some traditional beers and thereby extending the Heritage Collection, which already consists of Hedemora Porter. In early March, the brewery is launching Hedemora Pilsner, Hedemora Dunkel and Hedemora Weissbier in Germanstyle half-litre bottles. These classic beer styles are well-balanced and easy

to pair with food, and will likely become an appreciated addition to the range of beers it has at restaurants, as well as for the consumer at home. “Over the years, we have embraced lots of new trends, brewing techniques and hops

varieties,” elaborates Falkeström. “For a while, brewers were trying to make more and more extreme beers, for instance stronger, hoppier and more elaborate IPAs. But when you’ve been in the industry for a while, you tend to eventually go back to the roots of classic beer styles.” He concludes: “With the Heritage Collection, we want to highlight more traditional beers from districts where they were first made. In our view, this is also a more sustainable way of looking at brewing.” About Oppigårds Bryggeri Located on the old family farm in the village of Ingvallsbenning in Dalarna. Produces around 2.2 million litres of beer every year. 80 per cent of sales are through the Swedish state-owned Systembolaget. Also available in Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, France and Spain. Best-seller: Oppigårds New Sweden IPA. Facebook: Oppigards Instagram: @oppigardsbryggeri

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  35

Cheese master Thomas Rudin. Photo: Erik Hillbom

Västerbottensost – a love story between a country and a cheese With an exquisite and inimitable flavour, a legendary history dating back to 1872, and a craft passed down through generations of cheese masters, it’s hardly surprising that Västerbottensost has become Sweden’s most beloved cheese. But despite the fact that the cheese is mostly known for its unique flavour and has been served both at royal dinners and Nobel banquets, it still remains a mystery how the characteristic flavour comes about.

made. At this small dairy, each day is much like any other, and there is a calm pace where the cheese is allowed to decide for itself when it’s ready – because in Burträsk, it is a well-known fact that ample time and diligent care contribute to a richer flavour.

By Linnea Dunne  |  Photos: Fabian Björnstjerna

Västerbottensost is a hard cheese, matured for at least 14 months. With its unique flavour, combining sweetness, saltiness, bitterness and umami, it is perfect served as it is as part of cheese platters and in all forms of cooking and is enjoyed daily throughout Sweden and beyond. Västerbottensost is a natural part of Swedish holiday feasts, where the characteristic Västerbottensost quiche has become a classic during both 36  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

Midsummer and the traditional crayfish parties. In fact, Västerbottensost is so well-liked that it ended up in first place in YouGov’s 2019 Buzz Rankings list of the most positively talked-about brands among Swedish daily goods.

The cheese that won’t move In the small village of Burträsk in northern Sweden, you’ll find Burträsk dairy. Only here, Västerbottensost can be

In fact, the cheese does not take kindly to being moved. Attempts have been made to make it elsewhere, but in vain – something that puzzles many, including the cheese master himself. “Despite using the same recipe, and the same ingredients, getting that exact Västerbottensost taste has been impossible outside of the home dairy. There’s simply something special about the Burträsk dairy and its unique flora that’s required for the real Västerbottensost

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Taste of Scandinavia – Sweden

character to appear,” says cheese master Thomas Rudin.

A lucky coincidence The secret Västerbottensost recipe came about one day in 1872, when the skilled dairy maid Ulrika Eleonora, by a lucky coincidence, left the curdling vat to sit for a little longer than usual. At first, the cheese was considered ruined – but when

it was tasted much later, the unique flavour was discovered. Fortunately, Ulrika Eleonora passed on her new knowledge to those who came after her by carefully documenting every step of the process – a document that has since been known as the top-secret recipe of Västerbottensost, which only a handful of people know. The recipe may well be one of Sweden’s most important state secrets,

and one that made Västerbottensost a royal purveyor, deeply treasured by both Swedes and visitors. The mystery behind the Västerbottensost riddle may never be solved, but to understand the secret behind the cheese so cherished by successive generations of Swedes, perhaps simply tasting a piece of the special delicacy will suffice.

Västerbottensost Visitor Centre in Burträsk. Photo: Erik Hillbom

Västerbottensost quiche.

Ways to enjoy your Västerbottensost: Västerbottensost is a delicacy in its own right, perfect to enjoy on its own, as part of a cheese platter, or with your favourite drink. To experience a Swedish classic, try making a Västerbottensost quiche – full of flavour and perfectly comforting. To add a touch of luxury to a quick everyday dish, grate a generous amount of Västerbottensost over your favourite dish.

Västerbottensost Visitor Centre in Burträsk: Would you like the chance to experience Västerbottensost with all your senses? Västerbottensost Visitor Centre in Burträsk gives you an insight into both the history behind the cheese and the mystique that surrounds the unique taste. Visit for more information and inspiring recipes with Västerbottensost.

Outside of Sweden, Västerbottensost is available in Finland, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Germany, the UK, Spain and Hong Kong. For more information about distribution, please contact

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  37

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Taste of Scandinavia – Sweden

Future proofing potato cultivation Seemingly unfazed by dietary trends, the beloved potato remains a popular ingredient in most European kitchens. In fact, the average European ate a staggering 71 kilogrammes of the stuff in 2013. Consequently, it is not surprising that a farm devoted to the good old spud is currently flourishing. By Pia Petersson  |  Photos: Fredrik Rege

The farm in question is called Larsviken, and it is located in the county of Skåne, southern Sweden. Family-owned and run for generations, Larsviken is a haven for potato nerds. Why? For a start, the collection at this farm comprises roughly 550 different kinds of potatoes. A central part of what the enthusiasts at Larsviken are doing right has to do with their production of crisps. From cultivation to production to management of rubbish and residue – it all happens on the farm. In this way, a zerowaste approach is ensured throughout all stages of the production, which in itself is characterised by a closed loop system. Of course, no sacrifice is made when it comes to the most important thing – 38  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

making super-tasty crisps. “We’re the only crisps producers in the country who have the whole production chain on our farm,” begins Bitte Persson, part of the seventh generation of the family running the farm. These days, due to a new partnership with the airline SAS, Larsviken’s crisps are sold on all its flights, and so have now attained a global reach. What next excites Persson and the rest of the family is the fact that Larsviken has been chosen to be included in a new UNISECO project. This is – put simply – a European research project aiming to strengthen the sustainability of EU farming systems. Each EU member state has picked ten farms that are to take part in

the project, and Larsviken is one of the ten Swedish farms included. “We want to do the right thing and take responsibility for the environment. Our participation in this project serves as proof that we’re on the right path. It’s amazing to be involved in these processes and to see that putting in an effort towards more sustainable farming is worthwhile and makes a difference,” Persson says. Regarding plans for the future, Persson explains that it is business as usual. “We’ll continue the work of previous generations and manage our land in order for future generations to put food on the table. And we aim to ensure that future generations can enjoy the type of open countryside that’ll only survive because of farming,” Persson concludes. Facebook: larsviken Instagram: @larsvikenslantbruk

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Taste of Scandinavia – Sweden

Henrik Samuelson.

For a life full of flavour This Finnish, family-owned company has been introducing us to new flavours and quality products since 1876, when young entrepreneur Gustav Paulig laid its foundation in Helsinki. What started as a venture focusing on coffee is today a leading northern European business with many well-known brands in its portfolio. Time may have passed, but the search for new flavours, ideas and ingredients from destinations near and far is still very much present.

One of many examples of this is the fact that Paulig exclusively uses Fairtrade, certified organic or UTZ-certified beans for its coffee production. For the other brands, an increasing amount of renewable or plant-based materials for the packaging is being used.

By Kristine Olofsson  |  Photos: Paulig

Taste is the guiding star at Paulig and is central for all its brands. Santa Maria has been one of the jewels in its crown since the ‘90s and is today the leading seasoning brand on the Nordic market, with exciting flavours within spices and Tex Mex, Asian Food, Indian Food and BBQ. “Tex Mex is amazingly popular, and we see this as an opportunity for our customers to get together,” says Henrik Samuelson, SVP Paulig Scandinavia & Central Europe. “Here at Paulig, we talk a lot about the importance of sharing – not only tasty food, but also the time we spend together.” The company puts emphasis on the health aspect, and many of the reci-

pes and products encourage vegetarian versions. One of the company’s most exciting brands is Gold&Green with its Pulled Oats, which are revolutionising plant-based food. Not only are the Pulled Oats 100 per cent vegan and free from additives; they also contain more protein than, for instance, chicken. Another much-loved brand in the portfolio is Risenta, with its strong health focus and continuous innovations.

As the company has been passed down from generation to generation, it has stayed true to its mission of continuously introducing high-quality taste to its customers for a life full of flavour.

Thoughtfulness on each level Quality and sustainability can be seen not only in the end product, but also throughout the value chain. “The idea of doing the right thing is strongly present in the company,” explains Samuelson.

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  39

The great taste of Arvid Nordquist’s coffee always starts with the selection of the beans.

Great taste, quality and sustainability – all in one cup of Swedish coffee The story of the manufacturer behind one of Sweden’s most-loved coffee brands begins in a small delicacy shop on Nybrogatan in Stockholm, Sweden. It was 12 September 1884 when Arvid Nordquist himself, after several years as a clerk behind the desk, had saved enough money to buy the little shop and brand it with his own name. A lot has happened since then, but Arvid Nordquist still produces high-quality coffee with delicious taste, while ensuring that the process from bean to coffee cup is sustainable and carried out with complete commitment to both people and the environment. By Kristine Olofsson  |  Photos: Jesper Florbrant

Arvid kept the shop and the little family business as neat as himself — each thing in its own place, with busy personnel roaming around in newly starched shirts and dark suit jackets. This immaculacy was also clearly reflected in the quality and flavour of the products. It didn’t take long before the 26-year-old and his shop were well established, with a solid base of frequent clients. A large milestone that cemented the product excellence was reached in 1907, 40  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

when Arvid Nordquist became a royal court supplier, an honourable relationship that is ongoing to this day. The passion, entrepreneurship, attention to detail and pride that go into the products haven’t changed since then. The Classic coffee launched in 1962 and is today known as Arvid Nordquist Kaffe. The company has been familyowned since day one and is now run by the third generation, led by CEO Anders Nordquist, who brings the tradition of

high quality forward, with heavy emphasis on sustainability.

Sustainable beans for a great taste experience “The great taste of Arvid Nordquist’s coffee always starts with the selection of the beans. Coffee should taste good. That’s why we only use the finest beans, with a rich and complex flavour, grown in the best conditions,” says Wilhelm Nordquist, purchasing director, coffee dept. Quality and flavour are in focus when selecting the 100 per cent topclass Arabica beans, famous for their strong, yet sweet and fruity flavour. The company was the first coffee roastery in the Nordic countries to secure a production that uses exclusively sustainably certified coffee beans. “When you buy sustainably certified coffee, you know that there are systems, training and a third party controlling that all criteria

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Taste of Scandinavia – Sweden

are met in order to minimise the risk for unsustainable methods. The certification also means that we pay the coffee farmers more – money that helps them develop their agriculture and create a better working environment for their employees,” explains Nordquist. The result is fairly produced, high-quality coffee beans transformed into coffee that consumers can enjoy with a clean conscience. “Great taste has always been in focus at Arvid Nordquist. However, the taste experience today is not limited to our taste buds. More than ever, we eat and drink with our conscience, which simply gives coffee produced with care a better taste,” says Jenny Nilsson, head of marketing, Nordics.

Climate compensation through tree planting Global coffee production is threatened by climate change, pollution and labour shortages, with the risk of coffee becoming more expensive and tasting worse in the future. “We are determined to offer

the highest-quality, responsibly grown and ethically traded coffee, to create a better future for coffee farmers and a stable climate,” says Erica Bertilsson, sustainability director at Arvid Nordquist. “When enjoying our coffee, you should feel confident that you made a good choice, from a taste, people and environmental perspective. We actively work to reduce climate emissions throughout the value chain by only buying 100 per cent sustainably certified beans, roasting them in a fossil fuel free way, and using packaging containing 70 per cent plantbased plastic. We also have a growing assortment of organic coffee. For the climate emissions that remain, we compensate by planting trees in coffeegrowing countries. The trees counteract global warming and contribute to poverty reduction,” says Bertilsson.

Grown by women Part of Arvid Nordquist’s sustainability work is an initiative that improves living conditions for female coffee growers and their children. An important part in

the battle against poverty is to involve women more in the economy and labour market. With this being one of the UN’s development goals, Arvid Nordquist pulls its weight with the project Grown by Women and the coffee AMIGAS — made from beans from coffee farms run by women. The concept supports female coffee growers in the long-run by signing longer-term agreements and enabling and helping them to plan their businesses and educate themselves in agricultural practices, such as pruning and investing in the right type of fertilisers for the crops. “70 per cent of the world’s coffee is grown on small family farms, often in poor countries affected by civil war. Women often do a great deal of this work, but without earning enough to live a decent life. Grown by Women helps to improve these women’s living conditions,” says Bertilsson.

Great taste has always been in focus at Arvid Nordquist. Photo: Petrus Iggström

The company was the first coffee roastery in the Nordics to secure a production that exclusively uses sustainably certified coffee beans.

The coffee is 100 per cent sustainably certified. Photo: Arvid Nordquist

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  41

Creating the world’s best gin, inspired by nature Hernö Gin Distillery has a clear ambition: to create the world’s best gin. It’s an ambition that’s coming to fruition, too, as the distillery has by now received numerous awards as the world’s best, and its founder has even been inducted to the Gin Magazine Hall of Fame. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Hernö Gin

Hernö Gin Distillery is the first dedicated gin distillery in Sweden. What started as a passion for gin and continued through explorations across the world for ‘ginspiration’ has evolved into pure craftsmanship. Amazingly, this is the most prized gin distillery in Europe. Hernö Gin has been named International Gin Producer of the Year, World’s Best Gin, World’s Best London Dry Gin and World’s Best Gin & Tonic, amongst many other awards. But as the talented Hillgren explains: “Even though we have succeeded with our products and won some of the most prominent awards, we will continue to focus on what is at the heart of the business: producing high-quality organic gin.” 42  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

Hillgren himself was inducted into the Gin Magazine Hall of Fame in 2019 for his contributions to the world’s gin industry, alongside gin icons such as Christopher Hayman and Charles Maxwell. “It was completely unexpected as we are still new in the industry, but of course a great honour!” he says.

The award-winning range includes Hernö Dry Gin, Hernö Navy Strength Gin, Hernö Old Tom Gin and Hernö Juniper Cask Gin, plus limited editions a couple of times per year: for instance, Hernö High Coast Terroir Gin and Hernö Blackcurrant. As of April 2019, Hernö Dry Gin and Hernö Old Tom Gin are available at Sweden’s two largest airports, Arlanda in Stockholm and Landvetter in Gothenburg.

Juniper berries, floral and citrus Far from a one-hit wonder, Hernö Gin boasts aromas and flavours that are outstanding – but what is the secret? Hillgren explains: “With our hand-hammered copper stills, we are crafting the organic gin from natural ingredients, giving it plenty of flavour from juniper berries but also floral tones of meadowsweet and freshness from lemon zest.

Jon Hillgren, founder and master distiller.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Taste of Scandinavia – Sweden

Interpretations by Hernö Gin is a collectors’ series of gin with a creative twist. For instance, newly released Hernö Botany Bay Dry Gin is a collaboration with Four Pillars in Australia, a botanical dream with an exotic touch of floral pepperiness. “We have worked with Four Pillars before and are really proud to continue our collaboration,” says Hillgren.

Open House and Cocktail Awards Hernö Gin is available in around 30 markets, including in Europe, Asia and Australia, and the expansion continues.

New at the distillery this year is a fresh restaurant with a cocktail bar, and the distillery can also welcome visitors without pre-booking on Wednesdays through Sundays this summer, starting on 1 July. There are guided tours with information about manufacturing, gin tastings, cocktail tastings and cocktail courses, as well as after-work sessions with food and cocktails. The distillery’s tastings are incredibly popular, and last year, around 3,500 people took the opportunity to visit and learn all about the fascinating story of gin.

For even more exciting gin experiences, Hernö Gin Cocktail Awards is the yearly cocktail competition hosted at the distillery. It is considered one of the most challenging gin competitions in the world, with some of the best bartenders on stage. Here, skills, creativity and the bartenders’ ability to push the limits are crucial. Facebook: hernogin Twitter: @HernoGin Instagram: @hernogin

Cocktail: Hernö Clover Club.

Clover Club: Clover Club is a true classic that really highlights everything that is great about a cocktail – a neat aperitif, perfect for mingles. – 50 ml Hernö Dry Gin – 20 ml lemon – 20 ml simple syrup – 1 egg white – 6–8 fresh raspberries Glass: Cocktail Shake all the ingredients, without ice, to get a foam. Add ice. Shake it like you mean it for about ten seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with raspberries.

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  43

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Taste of Scandinavia – Sweden

Unbeatable biscuit Year after year, the Swedes are blind-testing ginger biscuits to crown the tastiest. And year after year, there is one definitive winner – Kronans. What’s the secret recipe of success? Is it the fact that Kronans uses methods in the manufacturing process that date back to the early 1900s? Perhaps it’s the cedar oil, which brings a unique spiciness to the biscuit? Or might it be that the company is familydriven and cherishes history and heritage? Most likely, it’s a combination of them all, and regardless, Kronans ginger biscuits have an outstanding record of being appointed Best Ginger Biscuit in Sweden – recently by

one of the biggest newspapers in Sweden, Expressen. The panel writes, ‘WOW! It looks homemade and beautiful. The notes of citrus are a perfect complement to the spicy flavour. A superb ginger biscuit.’ The owner of Kronans, Ulf Broman, explains his take on the success: “Our products are high-quality, with a genuine heritage, and are packaged in a way that makes them a unique combination of delicacy, souvenir and present,” he says. They are a pop-

By Sara Wenkel  |  Photos: Kronans

ular product at Swedish airports, and the company has noticed a significant demand abroad. “Our export is growing, and we are very proud to be available at retailers in Finland and Germany,” says Broman. Chocolate and jams are other products in Kronans’ range of delicacies. “The acidity of our cloudberry jam and the spice of the biscuit complement each other perfectly,” Ulf Broman promises, “making the perfect appetiser for a welcome drink or aperitif.”

Delicious snacks with nothing to hide Working to create a healthier snack industry, Dig/Get Raw are on a mission to build a junk-free future for us all. And they’re showing that it’s possible – without compromising on taste. By Emma Rödin  |  Photos: Dig/Get Raw

It all began in 2012, when Carolina von Rosen, today co-founder and CEO at Dig/ Get Raw, tried a raw chocolate cake when visiting Costa Rica. To von Rosen, who had long dreamt of starting her own business, this moment became an eye-opener. “The cake tasted so heavenly I couldn’t believe it

Dig/Get Raw is all about great-tasting, junk-free snacks.

46  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

contained nothing but goodness,” she says. Filled with inspiration, von Rosen teamed up with her mother to eventually start Dig/Get Raw – presenting organic, vegan and glutenfree snacks with absolutely zero junk. Seven years on, the business is flourishing. “The first few products were created in

my kitchen, where we also managed the initial orders,” explains von Rosen. “It was mad, but things have really taken off since.” Today, the Dig/Get Raw product range includes raw bars, a healthy take on the classic Swedish chocolate ball, and no-bake crumble pies. The latter was introduced last year with a fantastic response from customers, both on ground and in the air. “We have an ongoing partnership with SAS,” says von Rosen. “They’ve been selling our Raspberry Crumble for about a year now but will soon switch to our new White Chocolate Blueberry flavour.” Working with one of Scandinavia’s most well-known brands has opened many new doors for Dig/Get Raw, but that doesn’t mean they’re slowing down. Quite the opposite – they’re just getting started. Instagram:

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Taste of Scandinavia – Sweden

The unusual whisky distillery that’s taking the world by storm.

Atmosfär will be available on SAS business flights from 1 March.

The northern whisky wonder There are many distilleries in the world making great whisky, but only one of them sits on the 63rd parallel north latitude – perhaps an unexpected location for whiskymaking, but key to the global success of this Swedish distillery’s fantastic offering. By Emma Rödin  |  Photos: High Coast Whisky

The High Coast Whisky (previously Box) distillery sits on the banks of the Ångerman river in northern Sweden’s Västernorrland district. This is an area with four distinct seasons and significant temperature variations throughout the year – something that is crucial in the process of maturing whisky. “When the temperature changes, the exchange between the oak and spirit intensifies, contributing to a unique flavour development,” explains Henrik Persson, CEO at High Coast Whisky. “This plays a huge part in characterising our whisky.” Another rare attribute of this distillery is the year-round access to the Ångerman river’s ice-cold water. “The ability to cool the spirits in the distillation process is incredibly important, because it means that we can condense

the spirits efficiently, helping to achieve the right depth, flavour and elegance,” says Persson. These rare circumstances, paired with knowledge and passion, have built a brand that caught the attention of whisky lovers right from the beginning. From exciting start-up to well established distillery, High Coast Whisky’s popularity has somewhat exploded after launching the Origin series in 2019. With names like Hav (Swedish for ‘sea’) and Berg (meaning ‘mountain’), this four-piece collection is a tribute to the distillery’s rich heritage and dramatic surroundings. “The entire series has been a tremendous success, but Berg is the definite best-seller as it’s sherry-matured, something that’s popular among whisky connoisseurs,” says Persson.

There’s also a visitor centre for those who want a fuller experience. Here, guests can enjoy whisky tastings and monthly events, book a distillery tour or sit down in the atmospheric restaurant for a whisky-paired meal. Then there’s of course the popular whisky festival, held here the first weekend after Midsummer each year. “The festival is a must, not only for whisky lovers,” explains Persson. “It’s a two-day event packed with enjoyment, music, parties, food and great people – simply the highlight of the year!” High Coast Whisky is more than just a product; it’s an experience that’s heading for the skies, quite literally. “We’re launching whisky to go exclusively on the menu for passengers flying business with SAS from 1 March,” explains Persson. “To partner up with such a well-respected airline is a true milestone, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.” Instagram: @highcoastwhisky

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  47

Swedish craft beer pioneers Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri was one of the first craft beer breweries in Sweden. Brewing classic beers such as Bedarö Bitter and Landsort Lager, it grew a big group of fans. And this quality-focused brewery is still gaining ground with its award-winning beers. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri

Set up in 1997, Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri was a pioneer within Swedish beer culture. At that time, there were only ten breweries in the country, including the large-scale producers. These days, there are around 400. “Back in the day, it wasn’t cool to be a brewer,” smiles Marcus Wärme, marketing manager. “Brewers were considered weird oddballs and clients were not interested in having a variety of beers. Now it’s very different, and even the smallest pizza place wants at least five or six different beers on tap.” 48  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

It all started with a members-only beer club known as Hagges Bärsklubb, set up by a group of friends with a common interest in tasty beers. They met up once a month, and eventually the group’s joint passion for beer developed into a pub with hundreds of beers for around 1,000 members. Four of the core members began brewing together and launched their first beer. More than 20 years later, the founders Lasse Ericsson, Tony Magnusson, Cribba Johansson and Pelle Hedlund are still very much part of Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri.

“It wasn’t easy to become a brewer back then, and there were plenty of challenges,” reflects Wärme. “For instance, getting a permit to brew was difficult, and suppliers were not used to a microbrewery’s small quantity of ingredients.” Thomas Hansen, CEO, was also involved in the brewery from the start, and agrees. “Everything was suited to large-scale producers back then, from

Thomas Hansen, CEO and Marcus Wärme, marketing manager.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Taste of Scandinavia – Sweden

equipment to ingredients and how to sell beer,” he says. “Also, communication was an interesting challenge. There was no internet and we had to contact suppliers via fax. These days, you can Google how to make beer, find cheap equipment from abroad and be up and running fairly quickly.”

From Bedarö Bitter to Landsort Lager Bedarö Bitter was the first beer produced by the brewers. “It’s a cross-over English Bitter with American hops, something that was considered an extreme beer at that time,” laughs Wärme. “Nobody was prepared for it back then. What was seen as an extremely bitter beer is now viewed as a well-balanced Swedish classic. Consumers nowadays have a more developed palate and expectations are different than 20 years ago.” Despite being so unusual compared to other beers on the market, Bedarö Bitter gained a growing group of fans and was eventually included in the standard range of beers at Systembolaget, where it became a best-seller. In the early 2000s, the brewers made Landsort Lager, which was well-received by customers and also made the same journey onto the Systembolaget shelves.

In addition to these classics are other outstanding beers, such as Indianviken Pale Ale and Brännskär Brown Ale, as well as different lagers. Around 2008, the brewers also made a Barley Wine, which is released once a year in November. At 9.1 per cent, this is perfect as a winter warmer. It was awarded Best Barley Wine at the World Beer Awards in 2011, and has become somewhat of a collectors’ item. There is also a limited-edition barrel-aged version for spring-time.

Collaborations and new beer launches The brewery has grown slowly over the past 23 years. Last year, Nynäshamns

Ångbryggeri produced around 900,000 litres of beer. “Slow and steady is how we do it,” confirms Hansen. “A company and its staff should be able to grow organically, with time to mature in the task at hand. That’s why we take it one step at a time.” Wärme agrees: “We try not to be too anxious, so we don’t brew trendy and experimental beers. Instead, we focus on quality and continue to do what we do best. One part of our quality work is a well-developed lab, which has become an important competitive advantage.” Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri sometimes collaborates with other breweries, such as Ska Brewing in Colorado, USA, and Magic Rock Brewing in the UK. “It’s fun to brew together, and we learn a lot every time,” says Wärme. “It usually works really well as we’re similar types of people.” In April, another new beer will be released: Ankarudden Aussie Pale Ale. “Our Australian brewer, Andrew, has created a beer with Australian hops,” Wärme explains. “It’s a bit like an IPA but lighter. This is something that was missing in our portfolio, so we’re really happy.” They have also started brewing Belgian-style beers, with a triple launched last summer and both a double and a quadruple coming later this spring. Instagram: @nynashamns_angbryggeri

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  49

The proof is in the porridge Anyone who has ever, or is currently, trying to introduce a baby or toddler to good food and healthy eating habits knows how hard it can be. Any help is hugely welcome, especially if it comes in the form of nutritious, variable and tasty food. Alex&Phil is changing the market of ready-made meals for children, one yummy pouch at a time. By Pia Petersson  |  Photos: Alex&Phil

With a background as a human rights lawyer and a diplomat at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jenny Wessblad Hårdh is not the most obvious entrepreneur in the world of baby food. “Even though I’d always had a great interest in food, I had no experience from the food industry when I started Alex&Phil. In a way, I think it has been advantageous since I entered the industry with no idea of what’s possible or customary. Instead, I’ve set our re50  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

quirements specifications based on what I want to achieve – creating first-class baby food that’s nutritious, without additives – unlike how others in the industry work,” Wessblad Hårdh begins.

The secret recipe Like so many other great ideas, Alex&Phil was born out of a realisation that there was something missing on the market – namely genuinely natural, good and

nutritious ready-made meals for small children. “I started Alex&Phil because I couldn’t find any baby food of such quality that I’d like to eat it myself. For the same reason, I didn’t want to give it to my child. I simply thought it was wrong that the baby food available didn’t taste, smell or look like real food,” Wessblad Hårdh explains. Along with a range of fruit- and berrybased porridges and smoothies, Alex&Phil also includes tasty meals such as cod, chicken, vegetables and several vegan meals with good protein sources, something that is brand new in the baby food business. So, what is it about this brand that makes it stand out from the crowd? To begin

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Taste of Scandinavia – Sweden

Photo: SOS Children’s Villages

with, Alex&Phil food does not contain rice, rice flour, juice concentrate, sugar or salt, and it’s produced with the nutritional needs of small children in mind. For the same reason, all smoothies and porridges contain rapeseed oil, which is full of essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 – crucial to growth and development in children. “In addition to rapeseed oil, we always combine fruits and berries with oats, amaranth or quinoa to maximise nutrition,” says Wessblad Hårdh. All the Alex&Phil smoothies, porridges and meals have significantly higher Jenny Wessblad Hårdh.

nutritional values ​​than their competitors, both in terms of energy and protein. “It may sound simple, but we’re changing the whole baby food industry with our specific focus on natural, nutrient-dense baby food without additives and concentrates,” Wessblad Hårdh points out.

Social responsibility and green production methods The fact that Wessblad Hårdh has a background in human rights shines through in the way she runs her company. “We think it’s vital to do more

than to run a super-premium brand; we also want to help children in need. To achieve this, for each package sold we give roughly €0.05 to SOS Children’s Villages, to help children in need in the Central African Republic,” Wessblad Hårdh emphasises. Along with a growing worldwide demand for socially responsible companies, Alex&Phil has made sure to produce CO2-neutral products. “Environmental work is important to us, and we always want to be at the forefront when it comes to new packaging solutions. Therefore, we’ve just launched plant-based packaging for our porridges and smoothies, and we’ll continue to switch to the most sustainable packaging available on the market,” says Wessblad Hårdh.

Parents and children Finally, Wessblad Hårdh adds: “We tried to have children for many years before we finally succeeded. We are, of course, far from alone in having had to go through this. Essentially, I believe that all parents want to do the very best for their children, once they’re born. This is the philosophy behind Alex&Phil, and that’s also the reason why the company is named after our two boys, Alexander & Philip,” she finishes. Facebook: Instagram:

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  51

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Taste of Scandinavia – Sweden

Fria gluten-free bread and cakes provide exciting alternatives for people on special diets.

The good, gluten-free life Founded at a time when gluten-free products were a rare item on the food shelves, the bakery Fria today paves the way for more flavours for a broader audience than ever. With a rapid expansion into the European market and new products continuously added to its range, one item stands out as the all-round favourite: kladdkaka! By Nina Bressler  |  Photos: Fria

The bakery was founded in 1996 by Gunnar and Lena Adås, who at the time thought that the selection for people with gluten intolerance and coeliac disease was too scarce, and wanted to contribute to change. Fria was founded, and today its exciting range offers bread, cakes, food and seasonal food, with new products constantly being added. It has grown from a small family bakery into an international company where it, in addition to being the leader within gluten-free products in the Nordics, is breaking ground in Germany, the UK, Benelux, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, among other territories. But while its market grows, its base and production stay put in Gothenburg, Sweden. 52  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

“For us, flavour and consistency are the main aspects of what we do; we want to fill the gap for the people who are unable to enjoy regular bread with something that tastes and feels almost the same, and sometimes even better than the original,” says Kristian Medailleu, head of marketing and innovation at Fria. Comparing current times with the beginning of its journey, it has noticed a great shift in attitude towards gluten-free and alternative diets, a trend that has benefited its mission to make gluten-free foods more exciting and accessible. Fria’s products make a great option for anyone on a gluten-free diet, but a spe-

cial focus goes to customers with coeliac disease. Fria is BRC-certified, and it participates in research and education on the subject. Its in-house coeliac specialist helps to provide expertise so that you can enjoy its bread, pizza, muffins or ‘kladdkaka’ (Swedish sticky chocolate cake) without worrying that you might ingest the wrong thing. Another secret to its success? The secret mix! A concoction that only a very limited number of people have access to, and something Medailleu believes is key to why Fria’s buns and breads taste so good. “In the end, it all comes down to flavour. And on that point, we are doing a really good job,” Medallieu concludes. Facebook: FriaGlutenfreeFood Instagram: @friaglutenfritt

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Taste of Scandinavia – Sweden

Top left: Sproud’s plant-based milk, one of the strongest sustainable choices of proteins for the future. Bottom left: Make a Mocha Cortado by stirring a teaspoon of chocolate buttons into your espresso. Turn 5cl Sproud into creamy foam and sprinkle cocoa on top to impress your friends. Middle: Mouth-watering ice coffee with pea-powered milk. Right: Who knew yellow split peas could be turned into something this tasty?

Anyone for a cup of pea? Here’s an eco-clever milk substitute More and more people are searching for healthy and sustainable food sources, and now, an innovative company from Malmö, Sweden, has revolutionised the concept of milk. Sproud’s tasty substitute ticks all the eco boxes – and it is vegan and gluten- and soy-free. Coffee and this very unlikely choice of beverage are like peas in a pod. And that’s precisely what it’s made of, too – peas!

nitrogen from the air to its roots, which eliminates the need for environmentally harmful fertilisers, and it contains a lot of protein that can be extracted without chemical solvents.

By Ulrika Kuoppa-Jones  |  Photos: Sproud

But will it give that lush, frothy foam in our lattes? “Baristas all over the world love our product, since it tastes so much like cow’s milk. It’s also easy to froth, and it has a beautifully creamy texture. A ‘good elasticity’ in barista lingo,” laughs Tegman.

Consumer behaviour is changing as we’re becoming increasingly conscious of the future of our planet. Never before have we had so many new legume-based products on the supermarket shelves. Sproud’s pea milk is the exciting new kid on the block, available in Scandinavia, Finland and Britain. “The most important thing was to find a healthy and sustainable alternative to bovine milk, which tasted as close to the real thing as possible. Now that even the world’s fussiest milky tea drinkers, the Brits, have welcomed us with open arms, we know that Sproud has the perfect neutral taste!” says Maria Tegman, head of brand at Sproud.

“When we started to look into sustainable vegetables and grains, we were looking at several alternatives. Soy was out of the question, what with all the bad press, and oats were too sweet for our liking. That’s when we thought of an old Nordic favourite – the yellow split pea. Peas fit the bill perfectly since they can grow almost anywhere and are not that weather dependent. Rainwater is sufficient and the crop is tough enough to make do without pesticides,” says Tegman. Drinking pea protein is a good choice for the environmentally conscious. The crop won’t compete with rainforest, like many other milk substitutes. It extracts

Pea is an old source of protein that has been kept from being commercialised because of its strong taste of grass, which is difficult to eliminate. But Sproud made it, much to their own surprise: “Yes!” laughs Tegman. “When we tasted the end result after many failed attempts we were like, ‘What? Wow!’” Facebook: besproud Instagram: @besproud

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  53

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Taste of Scandinavia – Sweden

Refuel and recharge with vitamin-packed smoothies In a life of juggling a multitude of activities, it can often seem difficult to find enough time to eat, let alone to eat healthily. Dejunked is the company that has created a solution to this problem: try its delicious, nutritious and filling smoothies, which can be devoured on the go. By Nina Bressler  |  Photos: Dejunked

Dejunked was founded by good friends Sarah Weibull and Catherine Bentzel, who wanted to prove that a quick meal doesn’t need to be unhealthy and nutrient-poor. Since the launch in 2016, they have introduced a range of smoothies where a blend of chia seeds

and fresh fruit gives the perfect nutritional and filling pick-me-up during a hectic day. “We’ve been in the situation where small kids, work and everything else in your daily life puzzle becomes an almost impossible equation. In the midst of all this, how are

you supposed to have time to eat healthily? Our smoothies are created to fill that gap,” Weibull and Bentzel explain. Their aim is to make a positive impact not only on your health, but also on the planet. All their smoothies are organic, and even though their clever packaging has helped reduce their food waste to zero, they have decided to make climate compensation a standard throughout the business. Their vitamin-filled contribution is made for everyone, as is their conscious pricing, allowing all types of customers to enjoy healthier lifestyles, with no added sugar or unnecessary additives – quite simply, no junk. Two new product lines are reaching the market in 2020, and more countries will be added to the distribution list – additions that will give your health, happiness and everyday juggle a fresh boost each day. Instagram: @dejunked_se

Frozen goodness – from seed to plate Wiveca P. Almgren was only 20 years old when she took over the family business, located in the south of Sweden. Today, several years later, she continues to pursue her father’s dream of shaping a company that develops, produces, imports and sells frozen products from the plant kingdom, focusing on the organic and convenience aspects. By Kristine Olofsson  |  Photos: Magnihill

“Closeness, authenticity and inspiration – these are the core values of Magnihill,” says P. Almgren, CEO and owner at Magnihill. “Long-lasting relationships with our farmers, producers, customers and employees are extremely important to us, always with high-quality organic products in focus.” The company is devoted to sustainability and the idea of going back to basics. “We build long-term relationships with our growers,” explains P. Almgren. “We look for the best, traditional, and maybe forgotten varieties, and question why these are not grown more frequently here in Sweden. We are reaching a point where both consumers and restaurants are de54  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

renewable energy and fossil-free fuels. The company puts great emphasis on quality and the environment at all levels – from seed and cultivation to production, the freezing process, packaging and stocking. “The sustainability work we do is always ongoing. Our actions today will affect generations to come,” concludes P. Almgren.

manding quality over a low price.” The perks of frozen vegetables are many, such as harvesting the products when they are at their best and ready to be eaten. Freezing them shortly after not only preserves the vitamins and nutrition, but also ensures the freshness, taste, smell and texture of raw, ripe vegetables, free from preservatives. A large portion of the company’s products is organic, and Magnihill works with

Wiveca P. Almgren. Facebook: magnihill Instagram: @magnihill Twitter: @Magnihill


RK A OF NM cia E e E ST – D Sp A T A VIA A IN D AN C S m he


Large cooker hood for professional kitchen. Photo: Wilno Rustfri ApS.

An adventure of steel Chocolate dispensers, bar tops, kitchen counters, food trucks – no two days are the same in Wilno Rustfri Aps, a family-owned company that has fulfilled stainless steel orders for professional kitchens for over 30 years. By Camilla Pedersen  |  Photos: Nørgaard Storkøkkener

One minute he’s on the phone to a customer, the next he’s preparing sketches that need to be sent off for approval before he creates the prototype – and then it’s off to the production facility where he might join his team of smiths in the production of orders that are in progress. As the owner of Wilno Rustfri Aps, Claus H. Olsen wears many hats in a day – and he likes it that way. “I’ve been part of the company since my dad established it in 1985 and never considered a change of paths. When I started out, I mainly swept the floors while learning the craft and the ropes of running a business, and in 2013 I took over,” Olsen says. Wilno Rustfri Aps specialises in stainless steel kitchen furniture for professionals. Worktops, cooker hoods, refrigerated 56  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

counters and many more kitchen essentials are made to measure based on the needs and wants of the individual customer, and always with an uncompromising focus on quality. “Much has changed since my father started the business back in the day. There are stricter regulations, and the internet has introduced fierce competition. People want fast delivery and low costs. But while we always strive to keep up with the changing times, some things will never change – for instance, our constant focus on customer service and quality,” Olsen says.

From idea to finished product – all under one roof Throughout the years, Wilno Rustfri has produced and delivered stainless steel solutions to hotels, restaurants,

cafes, an airport lounge, elderly care homes, schools and canteens. “We have no standard products, and that’s what makes it fun – even after more than 30 years,” says Olsen. And while he and his team produce quite a few countertops and cooker hoods, there are also the odd jobs – like, for example, the chocolate dispensers that they made for all of Peter Beier Chocolate’s shops. “We created a solution of dispensers of stainless steel that not only had the right look, but also kept the chocolate from melting, while of course adhering to regulations from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration,” says Olsen. The production facilities can handle up to 12-metre-long steel furniture. “We produced 12-metre-long and three-metrewide cooker hoods last spring. Orders like that call for appropriate production facilities. The same goes for the eightmetre-long U-shaped bar that we created for Radisson Blu in Aarhus. Each order is unique, and it’s always exciting to

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A Taste of Scandinavia – Denmark

go on a journey with each customer, no matter if they’re big or small,” Olsen enthuses. “An important part of the process is to work out what is the right solution for them, and this is where I get to use my extensive experience to guide them.” All parts of the process, including sales and administration, take place under the same roof on the outskirts of Helsingør, also known as the hometown of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and located 40 kilometres north of Copenhagen. “Our Danish suppliers source the steel from trusted suppliers in Finland and Germany, and we then process it here in our production facilities. It simplifies the process for everyone that there are no intermediaries, and it’s my guarantee that we deliver the best quality possible.”

A new chapter Simplifying processes also made Olsen see new opportunities. Wouldn’t it be great to also be able to supply large kitchen machines that would complement the professional kitchen furniture? Olsen seized the opportunity and started the webshop Nørgaard Storkøkkener in 2014, selling fridges, freezers, ovens, dishwashers and other big kitchen machines for professional kitchens. All products are from Electrolux, Samaref and Comenda – Italian quality brands selected with care. “Every two years, I participate in an Italian

Electrolux Professional kitchen appliances.

Bar for Radisson Blu Hotel Aaarhus. Photo: Wilno Rustfri ApS

trade fair for kitchenware. It’s important for me to see and feel the products, so I know that we’re offering our customers the very best products on the market. I also need to make sure it’s possible to get spare parts for the machines. In the unlikely event that an issue arises, a solution is only a phone call away, as I like to say to my customers,” Olsen smiles. Nørgaard Storkøkkener is running under the same roof as Wilno Rustfri. “It just made a lot of sense to be able to offer customers the full package – not just tabletops and other furniture, but also ovens, washing machines and so on. It makes the process simpler for the customers,

Samarf refrigerator.

who can then have most of their professional kitchen needs looked after with only one point of contact – just like the Eventyr Lounge in Copenhagen Airport did after I set up the second business. Nørgaard Storkøkkener supplied refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers and ovens, while Wilno Rustfri delivered countertops, and – even though it’s not something it usually produces – also shelves and wine racks. It shortens the processes, and everyone can rest assured that the quality is second to none throughout,” Olsen says.

Comenda dishwashers. Left: Chocolate dispensers for all Peter Beier’s shops. Photo: Peter Beier Chokolade. Top right: Food transport trolley for Danish hospitals. Photo: Wilno Rustfri ApS

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  57

Shaping the dining revolution Copenhagen’s restaurant scene has an international shooting star in amongst it. In Nørrebro, acclaimed chef Lisa Lov’s restaurant Tigermom offers delicious familystyle food, inspired by Asia and crafted from local and organic ingredients. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Hedda Rysstad

Talented chef Lisa Lov was raised in New Zealand by Chinese-Cambodian parents. Prior to coming to Denmark, she worked in casual eateries in New Zealand and in a Thai restaurant in Vancouver, Canada. In 2010, she moved to Copenhagen with the aim to get some more high-profile restaurant experience. “I got a job with Christian Puglisi at his then newly opened Restaurant Relæ,” Lov explains. “I was drawn to it because it was very different from where I had been before. The ingredients were sim58  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

ple, the tastes were clean and the ideas were very innovative. There, I learned about the importance of the quality of ingredients and seasonality.”

Inspired by Asian cuisine The idea for her own restaurant, Tigermom, came during Lov’s time at Relæ. “I missed home and I missed Asian food, so I started to cook dishes for the staff that reminded me of home and my family. My colleagues at Relæ loved the food and we came up with Asian Saturdays, which was my day to make staff meals.”

Lov started to do pop-up events under the name Tigermom, which turned out to be a great success, as other people in the city were also craving the same flavours. “I had the idea to open Tigermom and spent years thinking about what would make it a great restaurant. Basically, Tigermom was created out of the values and experiences that I have had throughout my working career, my upbringing and my travels.” What makes Tigermom what it is today is the dedication to the quality of the products used, and the creative process to consistently progress the menu throughout the Danish seasons. “During my time at Relæ, I learned to value local, organic and seasonal ingredients, and I combined that with influences from

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A Taste of Scandinavia – Denmark

Photo: Petra Kleis

abroad and high-quality imported ingredients, such as fragrant jasmine rice and our premium fish sauce.”

The secret to Tigermom Tigermom brings an innovative take on Asian flavours while staying true to the best of local ingredients, and that is what makes it unique. The restaurant is certified organic and works with local farmers for high-quality meat and produce, and also grows herbs in a hydroponic tent in the basement. “What makes Tigermom different from other restaurants is, first and foremost, the quality of the ingredients that we use,”

elaborates Lov. “Everything is certified organic, we use the best local, grass-fed beef and fresh local seafood, and we work with seasonal ingredients because they are the tastiest. We want to reflect the locality of the restaurant, as well as showcasing an Asian-inspired approach.” The menu is ingredient-driven, so you’ll not necessarily see the classic dishes found at your local Thai spot or Chinese restaurant. “We have a creative approach to combining Asian flavours from anywhere from Thailand to Vietnam, China and Japan, and you don’t know what you’re going to eat before it gets served to you. I try not to limit my influ-

ences; I really see Tigermom as a global kitchen. We just serve the food in an Asian format, and we use the best of the local ingredients as our base.”

Family-style dining Guests should expect to be surprised by the menu, which is served family-style and with rice. Tigermom also offers a spicy pairing with different types of home-made chilli and spicy condiments that are served on the side of each dish. “A lot of our guests appreciate that the spicy stuff is served on the side, so whoever is dining can choose if they want to add some or not. They are all very different and range in levels of heat. Many people love them so much that they ask to take some home!” On 24 February, Tigermom will join Noma, Barr, Iluka, 108, Sanchez and Hart in a fundraising dinner in support of the Red Cross and the World Wildlife Fund in Australia in aid of the bushfires. “We are very proud to participate in this good cause,” says Lov, and concludes, “and as for the restaurant, we are planning on opening a weekend brunch service this year and bringing a creative take on an Asian-style brunch to Copenhagen. I am very excited about this!”

Chef Lisa Lov. Photo: Petra Kleis Facebook: tigermomcph Instagram: @tigermom_cph

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  59

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World-class steaks and a secret butter recipe Louisekroen on Bornholm serves top-quality beef from Finland, steaks which have won the World Steak Challenge for two years in a row. The steaks are served with a much-loved butter that hasn’t changed since Louisekroen opened. But beware – once you dine here, you’ll want to come back again and again. By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: Rie Una

Grethe Damgaard opened Louisekroen in 1973, with inspiration from her family’s restaurant, A Hereford Beefstouw. The building is more than 200 years old and used to be a smallholding. “The kitchen used to be a barn, and the dining area used to be bedrooms and living rooms. Although we changed some things when we bought the restaurant in 2018, we have kept much of the original interior,” the owners, Jan Handberg and Vibeke Kruse, say.

deeply about animal welfare as well as quality, and it just so happens that the two go hand in hand,” says Jan.

And it is not only some of the original interior that has remained; so too have the tasty steaks. “We serve world-class steaks that have won the World Steak Challenge twice. Our beef comes from grass-fed cattle from Finland. We care

“Our guests love our butter. We make it with either garlic or parsley, and it’s the original recipe from 1973. The recipe is still a secret, so you’ll just have to come and taste the butter for yourself,” Vibeke smiles.

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Have a vegetarian in the family? Don’t fret; as of 2018, a delicious veggie steak is on the menu. The food is served on hot plates, meaning your steak will keep its temperature even after the first few bites. The famous and much-loved homemade butter – which melts perfectly on the hot plates – is the cherry on top.

Besides the top-notch steaks and the secret butter recipe, the guests love the original decoration, such as the rustic tables. Another nice touch is how each table is named after a town on Bornholm. “We make it very cosy here by doing little things like that. We also have fresh flowers from our garden or from the beach, which helps create a cosy and nice atmosphere. Even though we serve worldclass food, you certainly don’t need fancy clothes to dine here.” Not only can you come exactly as you are; you can also sit at the table for as long as you like, while you are being taken good care of by attentive waiters and waitresses. Louisekroen is open from April to December. Facebook: Louisekroen Instagram: @louisekroen


AY W F R O ia E NO ec T p S S – TA VIA A A N DI N A SC m he


Photo: Josefin Linder

Playful gastronomic experiences Recommended by The New York Times as one of the top 25 places to visit in 2020, Jevnaker is a small town worth discovering. Here, nestled in a historic garden only a stone’s throw away from Oslo Gardermoen airport, Thorbjørnrud Hotel is a hidden gem offering its guests exciting gastronomic experiences based on tradition and a sprinkle of playfulness. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Photos: Thorbjønrud Hotel

At Thorbjønrud Hotel, a good meal, unique local food experiences and pure happiness are at the heart of everything they do. With its own farmhouse, a cheese factory, a hotel brewery and more than three acres of garden outside the hotel, the experience certainly extends further than at many other hotels. 62  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

“Food and the Norwegian culinary culture are important to us, something we try to convey in everything we do. I would say we have an above average interest in food,” says hotel owner Olav Lie-Nilsen. The farmer and food enthusiast took over the hotel in 2009 and decided that Thorbjørnrud would become

the best in Norway for local food, something he managed to achieve by producing said food himself.

Historic charm The conference hotel in Jevnaker has a long history stretching back to the 12th century, which can be seen in its periodic architecture and charm. Thorbjørnrud boasts 82 rooms and a vibrant, colourful and inspiring style, steeped in tradition but with a modern expression. A stunning part of the aesthetic experience is the impressive garden surrounding the hotel, a historic oasis filled with

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Left: Thorbjørnrud Hotel is one of Norway’s best local food producers. Photo: Mari Svenningsen. Middle: Hotel owner, farmer and food enthusiast Olav Lie-Nilsen. Photo: Josefin Linder. Right: Hotel manager Kjetil Myrengen is in charge of the hotel’s own brewery. Photo: Mari Svenningsen

flowers and produce. “It was restored to its former glory in 2010. Today, it serves as a popular space for our guests, who love to walk around and explore – especially the area where we grow our vegetables,” Lie-Nilsen says.

Focus on local produce The food served at Thorbjørnrud is based on locally-sourced, fresh quality ingredients from its own farm and garden. With a menu consisting of food that is rooted in Norwegian tradition, but often with modern and playful twists, the hotel serves everything from a substantial breakfast buffet, a cheesy raclette and homemade pizza from a stone oven for lunch, to a four-course dinner, all produced and made in house. “We have exceptionally good chefs with a lot of knowledge, who are great at experimenting and creating delicious dishes. I see that something happens when we produce so many of the ingredients ourselves – the chefs have a completely different relationship to the ingredients and a greater pride in the finished product,” Lie-Nilsen says. “We have a great working environment, and our staff really enjoy themselves, which I see the guests appreciate.” At the same time, the hotel owner is committed to sustainability and works hard to reduce food waste.

Photo: Josefin Linder

Photo: Josefin Linder

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Social framework of food Lie-Nilsen is certain that Thorbjørnrud today offers a completely unmatched concept when it comes to food. As an avid local-food producer, he is committed to providing the best gastronomic experiences for his guests. “I’m interested in the social framework of food,” he asserts. “A framework in which people meet to share a meal. It’s about food creating a joyful experience that you can share with others.” The farm, Øvre Kjekshus, is open for everyone to experience and a mustvisit for anyone interested in local food and food production. It is home to more than 500 happy animals, such as cows, sheep, pigs, geese, hens, cats and a shepherd dog. The farm supplies Thorbjørnrud with meat, ham and vegetables, as well as both cow’s and sheep’s milk to the hotel.

Cheese factory inside a swimming pool In 2015, the hotel established a cheese factory, located inside a swimming pool. For most people, this might sound

strange – but for Thorbjørnrud, it seems very natural. The main reason for the cheese factory is to make unique cheeses for the hotel restaurant from the milk produced at Øvre Kjekshus. So far, they have developed five different cheeses: Matured Clothbound Cheddar, aged for a minimum of 12 months; a raclette-style cheese, named Rød Ku, which was awarded the supergold medal in World Cheese Awards 2018; Brilliant Brie, which is a triple-cream, white-mould cheese; and Pepperknoll, which is a dried, fresh cheese rolled in pepper for grating on top of food. As well as being available for tasting at the hotel, the cheeses are currently sold in the hotel shop, at the Farmer’s Market, and in some delicatessen shops in the area.

One of Norway’s very few hotel breweries As if this was not enough, Thorbjørnrud also has a new venture – a small brewery producing a varied selection of craft beers, depending on season and mood.

Øvre Kjekshus. Photo: Josefin Linder

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“The brewery is a result of hotel manager Kjetil Myrengen’s beer enthusiasm. He has created a rich and fun environment involving beer culture, which has prompted several exciting collaborations with other small breweries in the district,” says Lie-Nilsen. Besides this, the hotel offers food courses, tastings, lectures and guided tours. For example, you can learn to cook Italian pizza or make your own sausages, taste your way through the history of ‘akevitt’ (a typically Scandinavian distilled spirit), dive into the cheese pool, or decipher the mystery of bread baking. There are experiences for everyone: explorers, gourmets, adventurers and mixed groups. “You don’t have to be interested in food to enjoy it here at Thorbjørnrud, but it will certainly add to your overall experience,” Lie-Nilsen smiles. Instagram: @thorbjornrudhotell

Top: Kitchen manager Richards Hmelmickis. Photo: Josefin Linder. Middle: Cheese factory manager Yngve Tingstad. Photo: Josefin Linder. Bottom: The cheese factory produces unique cheeses for the hotel. Photo: Josefin Linder

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Left: Gardermoen Pils is served both in bottle and on tap at selected eateries in the airport. Bottom middle: Head brewer at Sundbytunet, Frank Werme, in action. Right: From left: Jan Henrichsen, sales manager at Sundbytunet; Frank Werme, head brewer at Sundbytunet; and Rune Aasen-Vaksvang, F&B manager at HMSHost-Umoe F&B Company.

Exclusive craft beer for travellers at Gardermoen The next time you travel through Oslo Gardermoen, take a moment to sit down and taste a unique and exclusive craft beer. Here, at selected eateries inside Norway’s biggest airport, is the only place you’ll find Gardermoen Pils served. It is a locally produced beer, brewed by Sundbytunet brewery and distillery on tradition and love. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Photos: Sundbytunet brewery and distillery

Focusing on quality and local values, Sundbytunet brewery and distillery, located just a few miles from the airport, has since 2011 been producing bespoke Norwegian beers using traditional methods and the finest ingredients. Based on a family farm in Jessheim, which has been in operation through seven generations, the small brewery is proud to provide a new, exclusive craft beer for travellers. Last year, the brewery produced about 35,000 litres of beer, which is served at several restaurants, bars and hotels, as well as being supplied to both shops and Vinmonopolet branches around the country. But its Gardermoen Pils is found exclusively at Humle & Malt, Food Truck Festival and Fiskeriet at Gardermoen airport. “Gardermoen Pils is a flavourful

pale lager with a refreshing, hoppy aroma, which comes from using specialty malts and noble hops. We consider ourselves an artisanal brewery, so this beer is served unfiltered, which we believe makes for a fuller taste,” says Frank Werme, head brewer at Sundbytunet. Gardermoen Pils was created in collaboration between Sundbytunet and HMSHost-Umoe F&B Company, an F&B company in Norway operating several food chain concepts within airports. “We aim to promote and support locally sourced ingredients, local companies and sustainability, so it was a natural choice for us to collaborate with Sundbytunet, which has a long history in the area. Together, we can offer our guests something unique when they

visit our restaurants,” says Rune AasenVaksvang, F&B manager at HMSHostUmoe F&B Company. Served both by bottle and on tap, the latter being a new addition in 2019 in response to popular demand, Gardermoen Pils is a versatile beer that fits all settings, whether accompanied by food or enjoyed on its own – a delicious lager that delights the palates of travellers at the airport while they wait for their next adventure to begin. Gardermoen Pils can be found here at Oslo Airport: – Humle & Malt at gate A4 in the domestic area. – Food Truck Festival in the   non-Schengen area. – Fiskeriet at gate E9 in the international area. Facebook: Sundbytunet Bryggeri

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  65

A Taste of Norway For almost a century, Hennig-Olsen Is has provided premium-quality ice cream from its factory in the south of Norway. The family-owned company has passed down its secret ice cream recipes for three generations, proudly delivering ‘the cream of ice cream’ to ice cream-loving Norwegians and tourists alike. By Maria Vole  |  Photos: Hennig-Olsen

Norwegians love ice cream; there’s no doubt about that. Norway is among the top-three countries in the world when it comes to ice cream consumption, with each Norwegian person eating on average 12 litres of ice cream per year. A huge amount of the ice cream enjoyed by Norwegians and visitors to Norway alike comes from one place: the Hennig-Olsen ice cream factory in Kristiansand, Norway. The oldest ice cream producer in Norway, Hennig-Olsen has a strong his66  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

tory and tradition. The production started in 1924, when Sven Hennig-Olsen, who had learnt the art of ice cream making while living in Chicago, returned to his hometown of Kristiansand. Bringing recipes and equipment with him on his return, he set about to bring great-quality ice cream to Norway. Due to the growing popularity of the ice cream Sven made, the first Hennig-Olsen ice cream factory was opened in 1960. Since then, the company has remained family-owned and is currently in its third generation, with Paal Hennig-Olsen continuing

his grandfather’s work as president of the company.

Passion, pride and fun This begs the question: how has Hennig-Olsen been able to sustain this remarkable success for so many years? “Passion,” Paal says. “The pure passion for ice cream that has been there since the beginning. We have a lot of enthusiasm and curiosity, and we take pride in what we do. This is such a fun industry to be in, and at Hennig-Olsen we have so many talented people working with us.” Dedicated to creating ‘the crème de la crème’, Hennig-Olsen believes that excellent taste and quality start with excellent ingredients. It has a long tradition of combining premium-quality ice cream, made using secret recipes passed down

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for generations within the family, with excellent additions such as its original chocolate, caramel, jam and almond brittle. In addition to these, it also complements its ice cream with natural ingredients like fruit and berries. The most important ingredient is real Norwegian cream, which should be as fresh as possible for the best flavour. The hugely popular ice cream brand is known for its creativity and innovation, releasing exciting new products every year. In fact, it released the world’s first sugarand calorie-free popsicle, Zeroh!, in 2019, to great success. “We’re always working towards developing new products, and to be able to provide healthier products is important to us as we want everyone to be able to enjoy quality ice cream,” Paal says. Though Hennig-Olsen often debuts exciting new ice creams to great acclaim, the old classics remain the most popular. Krone-is and Sandwich have remained on the best-selling list for decades, since they were released over 30 years ago, and are just as popular today as when they were first produced. The new clas-

sics could be just around the corner, with exciting prospects for 2020, as HennigOlsen is teaming up with Norwegian chocolate giant Freia to collaborate on a new range of ice cream products.

Conscious, responsible, sustainable Committed to delivering exquisite taste and top quality, Hennig-Olsen is Norway’s largest ice cream supplier, producing over 30 million litres of ice cream every year. But with great success comes great responsibility. With a dedication to running a socially conscious, responsible business, Hennig-Olsen is focused on sustainability and environmentally friendly business practises. “It’s very important to us to be environmentally conscious in all aspects of our work,” Paal says. “We are continually working on maintaining and developing sustainability within the company.” For decades, the company has taken measures to ensure it disposes of its waste as sustainably as possible, as well as reducing food waste as part of the ice cream production, and discharging waste

Original Ice Cream Shop in Markens, Kristiansand.

A Taste of Scandinavia – Norway

water from the production process safely into a local fjord. With a long-standing commitment to becoming a climateneutral business, Hennig-Olsen has reduced its emissions in the factory by 50 per cent over the past ten years. “Utilising locally sourced ingredients will be a big focus for us for the next few years,” Paal says, “and we want to ensure that we continue to deliver excellent-quality Norwegian products in a sustainable way.” A veritable veteran of the ice cream world, Paal has tasted hundreds, if not thousands of ice creams in his time. But what would this ice cream connoisseur consider his all-time favourite? “Proper-quality, pure ice cream made with Madagascan vanilla,” Paal says. “Sometimes I’ll have it with chocolate sauce or banana on top, but sometimes I’ll enjoy the classic vanilla on its own.” Indeed, you can’t beat a classic. Facebook: Hennig-Olsen Is Instagram: @kremaviskrem

Photo: Oivind Haug

Some of the major product launches for 2020.

Paal Hennig-Olsen.

Sven Hennig-Olsen in the early days.

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  67

Nynke Van Schaik.

Award-winning artisan cheese from the fjords Norway’s profile as a foodie destination has been on the up for the last few years, and the owners of Myrdal Gård may have struck more than gold medals when embarking on a cheese-making odyssey built around nature, sustainability and the magic that occurs around the fjords.

ing would convince them to come back down – until the rain fell, and then they all walked home. That moment, we knew we had created something truly special.”

By Jo Iivonen  |  Photos: Myrdal Gård

Soil to table

A desire to live closer to nature led Jasper and Nynke Van Schaik, a Dutch cheese-making couple, to Norway in 2013. “We had travelled around the area on holidays, and when we discovered that the previous owner was looking to sell the farm, it didn’t take us long to make a decision,” Nynke says. “We moved over within three months.” Since April 2013, the new owners have developed the product range with great 68  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

success, culminating in gold medals from the World Cheese Awards. “We love to experiment, try new methods and ingredients. But the most important thing is the nature, and that our animals are happy,” she says. And a happy herd it is. The some-120 goats roam freely on the 150 hectares of land that comprises forests, pastures and mountains. “Once, they had spent two weeks up on the mountains and noth-

The island of Tysnes sits just a short ferry ride away from Bergen. Yet the overriding ambiance is that of a fairy-tale land: the air is fresh, and nothing but greenery

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A Taste of Scandinavia – Norway

surrounds a scattering of small farms. “We knew instantly that this was the right place,” says Nynke. “Here, we can rear happy animals and create products built around sustainability.” There’s little scope for the likes of Whole Foods here. Thanks to the nature, just about anything you might pick up at the Bergen farmers’ market will be bursting with antioxidants, healthy microbiome and a mineral profile that reflects the purity of the largely virgin soil. The goats, too, get to enjoy a diet that health aficionados who frequent farmers’ markets in more urban locations can but dream of: wild-grown herbs and grass that have soaked up the very best of an unspoiled soil, resulting in milk that’s rich in nutrients – with taste credentials to match. Norwegian nature has also inspired the Dutch couple to experiment. Seaweed and Viking Garlic are two examples of flavours that have helped Myrdal emerge as a favourite among cheese aficionados. “Our seaweed chèvre is unusual, but the flavour combination works really well. We like to think it’s because everything is aligned with the land,” says Nynke.

Award-winning Having kicked off their cheesemaking careers in the Netherlands, the Van Schaiks immediately found their bearings in Norway. “When we landed here in Myrdal, everything just fell into place,” Nynke continues. “Having access to the amazing milk produced on the west coast by our lovely herd is one of the keys to our success.” In 2018, just five years since taking over, the couple reached a special milestone when the Myrdal Goat’s Cheese with Truffle won a gold medal at the World Cheese Awards. Myrdal Fjellost, an aged cow’s cheese produced in-house with milk sourced from a trusted neighbour, also scooped up a gold medal. “It was amazing. Those announcements reaffirmed the feedback from our local customers – but on a global scale.”

Growing distribution Myrdal Gård’s current range of 12 different types of cheese is now available in select supermarkets and deli stores across Norway. Thanks to successful efforts to grow the herd organically, there’s potential to expand production and hence grow the distribution network further. “Looking ahead, we will have the capacity to work with more retailers.” Otherwise, the fortnightly Bergen Farmers Market is a key avenue to reach customers in a setting where they get to taste the products and learn more about the farm. “I love going to the market and meeting people,” Nynke beams. “It’s a very special feeling to be there, sea breeze and all, while getting to connect with the community over a product that we’ve created from scratch.” Facebook’s recently started Reko Ring has also proven popular. This farmerto-customer route also reduces the need for packaging, adding to Myrdal’s environmentally aware ethos. “Cus-

tomers can buy the products wrapped in paper instead of plastic packaging. It’s a small thing, but quite meaningful, and very important to a growing group of customers,” the cheese-maker explains.

True to the roots Despite the gold medals and a growing operation, the Van Schaiks are keen to keep the operation on an intimate, non-industrial scale: “We put a lot of weight on sustainability, out of respect for the nature and the animals.” By keeping the operation small, quality is assured, as each member of the team knows each step to the end product. “That’s our core strength, and what everything is built around,” says Nynke. “We’re focused on making products that reflect the purity and beauty of this land.” Facebook: Myrdal Gård Instagram: @myrdalgard

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Left: Lerum loves fruits and berries and has a great history of producing jams and cordials since 1907. Top right: The Lerum family invites you to the Lerum farm, which is now a museum. Bottom right: An old label from the original ‘saft’, which first-generation fruit drink producer Nils Lerum made himself.

The comforting, homemade taste With a passion for and knowledge of processing fruits and berries, the Lerum family has been producing jams and cordials – or as the Norwegians refer to it, ‘saft’ – the old-fashioned way since 1907. Today, innovation and their commitment to developing healthier products are key to the brand’s continuous success. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Photos: Lerum

It all started a bit randomly at Sørheim farm in Sogn in Norway over 110 years ago. “My great-grandparents had a shop in the basement and would exchange goods from Bergen. One day, two buckets of raspberries were left on the dock by mistake, which they decided to turn into ‘saft’ for exchanging the following week. It was popular and led to them opening their first factory two years later,” says Trine Lerum Hjellhaug, managing director at Lerum. As the fourth generation, Lerum Hjellhaug took over the family business in 2005, alongside her two siblings and two cousins. Now, the farm has been transformed into a museum, which the Lerum family invites you to experience. With products based on tradition, craftsmanship and quality, Lerum has 70  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

since grown to become Norway’s top manufacturer of fruit drinks. “We have brought with us the old traditions and good values that our ancestors had, along with their passion and knowledge. But we must also dare to be innovative in order to develop further,” Lerum Hjellhaug says. And judging by the brand’s most popular range of jams, Heimfrå, meaning ‘from home’, the pride and love that go into the products rub off. “The jam is made the old-fashioned way, with lots of fresh fruits and berries, to give it that delicious and comforting home-made taste,” says Lerum Hjellhaug. Lerum is committed to sustainability. “We want to take responsibility for the society we are all part of and the peo-

ple around us. We work, among other things, to develop healthier products and help reduce food waste,” the managing director says. There is an ongoing process of developing new products without added sugar or with reduced sugar content, while simultaneously working continuously with the reduction of sugar in their existing products. “But we can’t compromise on the flavour; the taste must stay as good as it always has been, even with less sugar!” she adds. Recently, Lerum was awarded the Superior Taste Award for the great taste of the ‘no added sugar’ product, called 80%. Heading into 2020, Lerum Hjellhaug is thrilled to announce a big year in terms of new releases. “We will soon be launching many exciting, new products, but I can’t quite reveal more just yet,” she smiles. Facebook: LerumAS Instagram: @lerum

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |

A Taste of Scandinavia – Norway

A fresh taste of the Arctic Sea Under steep mountains, on the outskirts of Bodø town, lies Saltstraumen, a narrow strait between two fjords. This is where Arctic Salt catches the world’s fastest salt – straight from the sea with a fresh, raw taste. By Åsa Hedvig Aaberge  |  Photos: Sophia Stavnem

In Saltstraumen, one of the world’s strongest maelstroms, there is regularly a flow of 370 million cubic metres of Atlantic water, forming up to two-metre-deep, fastrotating swirls in colours of dramatic black and graceful green. “We catch the fresh salt water straight from the swirls, damp it until the salt flakes

are formed, and then carefully harvest and dry the salt. Slowly, small, unique crystals evolve,” says the owner of Arctic Salt, Tore Hongset. Arctic Salt develops sea salt flakes through a laborious process in a small factory on a dock barely a metre from the Saltstraumen waterfront. From there, the

products are shipped around the country and can be found in shops throughout Norway – from north to south. Arctic Salt aims to provide a taste of northern Norway. “We make sure that the salt keeps a hint of moisture – that is Arctic Salt’s integrity. The salt flakes complement the food you make and enrich the taste experience,” says Hongset. Facebook: Instagram: @arctic_salt


N IO T lT CA cia U e Sp ED IAL H IS PEC N S DA m he

The students work from idea to design to finished product.

An educational journey – for life Entrepreneurship is for everyone. This premise has shaped the framework around New Nordic Youth, a Danish continuation school with focus on design and entrepreneurship. The purpose? To give the students the tools they need to shape their future work life. By Camilla Pedersen  |  Photos: New Nordic Youth

Located in North Zealand, 60 kilometres from Copenhagen and with the refreshing sea and the calming forest nearby, the surroundings of New Nordic Youth are just as inspiring as its curriculum. Traditional subjects such as maths, Danish and English are of course part of the curriculum, but what really characterises the school is what is defined as four areas of competence: media design, business, tech and creative. “Skillsets in these four areas will play a crucial role in the future, which is why we want to offer the students 72  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

a framework to explore, create and collaborate – as an investment not only in their own future, but also in society,” explains Jane Holstein, co-founder and principal.

Creativity, collaboration and community At the start of each school year, the students get a few weeks to explore the four areas of competence before they decide which one they want to specialise in. “They then get to dive deep into the various topics that fall under the respective

areas, and later they collaborate on projects across competency areas, while also learning project management tools that help them structure it all. It’s the start of a beautiful educational journey – a journey that shapes the students in so many ways,” says Holstein, “not just because of the realisation that collaboration and community are key, as we can’t handle the challenges of the world alone, but also because we’re all naturally attracted to people we can identify with, people we have something in common with. Great things happen when we shake things up and get to create and collaborate with people who are seemingly very different to us. This is a valuable life lesson – one of the many lessons that, in just one year here at New Nordic Youth, help form whole human beings.”

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About New Nordic Youth: New Nordic Youth was founded by Jane Holstein and Dennis Perschke in 2017. The school welcomes 110 to 120 tenth-grade secondary-school students each year. There are no admission requirements, but a great deal of will-power goes a long way. Students choose one of the four areas of competence to focus on, each within a framework of project management and case work: – Media design: photo and video   editing, graphic design (Adobe), WordPress, SEO, copywriting, graphics. – Business: concept development,   funding and investors, business   models, marketing. – Tech: programming (various   languages), app development, tech business, innovation, web   development and virtual reality. – Go creative: photography, PhotoShop, drawing and painting   techniques, graphic printing techniques, collage.

Try, fail, try again, fail a bit more New Nordic Youth opened the doors to its first group of students in 2017. And while a school year includes study trips abroad, sports, elective subjects and many other activities that are typically part of life at Danish continuation schools, the students at New Nordic Youth spend a good chunk of their time on topics related to entrepreneurship, a concept that is often misunderstood. “Entrepreneurship is often associated with business start-ups. Social and cultural entrepreneurship tends to be overlooked, but we look at the concept in its entirety. Anyone can work with entrepreneurship. It’s not about how many brilliant ideas you get; it all starts with the mindset, and that’s why an entrepreneurial mindset is ingrained in everything we do and believe in here at New Nordic Youth,” Holstein says. “We want to motivate and encourage our students to explore and create in order to create value to themselves and society,” says Dennis Perschke, co-founder. “This calls for an environment where they can experiment, try, fail, explore, fail a bit more. It’s never a linear process, which is

Students are pitching their ideas.

also why we find it important to collaborate with a wide range of people from various businesses, educational institutions and associations – people who are willing to share their stories about successes, pitfalls, challenges, and most importantly: the importance of entrepreneurship.” Many of these collaborations give the students the opportunity to get their hands dirty. “We have done a yearly case collaboration with IBM since we started out – it is always a big success,” says Holstein. “The students are divided into teams with representatives from each competency area and get to work on a real case presented by IBM, with the opportunity to pitch the result of their work six weeks later. It’s incredible to follow the students on their journeys. And just like them, the school is constantly developing and evolving to stay unique and relevant. As we like to say to the students, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey – and the itinerary is always changing.” Facebook: NNYefterskole Instagram: @newnordicyouth

The school is located in beautiful nature surrounded by water and offers plenty of opportunity for walk-and-talks, outdoor activities and sports in the outdoor areas.

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  73

Healthy students in every way “There is nothing better than to see the looks on the parents’ faces when picking up their teenagers on the last day of school: some kids mature three to four years in the one year they’re with us,” says Andreas Ingerslev Larsen, head of Nordjyllands Idrætsefterskole Stidsholt. “Our students form lifelong friendships, develop skills based on their interests, and get to know themselves in a whole new way.” By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Nordjyllands Idrætsefterskole Stidsholt

Like other Danish ‘efterskoler’ (independent residential schools for people between 14 and 18 years of age), Nordjyllands Idrætsefterskole Stidsholt emphasises the development of a broader range of skills than traditional schools. Students at efterskoler study academic subjects like maths, Danish and English, but other non-traditional ‘lineal’ subjects are weighed equally. The most important skills efterskole students learn are those that will help them throughout their lives, such as personal responsibility, interpersonal relationships and how to pursue one’s passions. “Our students come to see that school can be fun. Learning is much easier when students 74  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

enjoy themselves and are encouraged to pursue their passions.” Nordjyllands Idrætsefterskole Stidsholt is an ‘idrætsefterskole’ (a sports efterskole), which focuses on health. Its six lineal subjects are: football, handball, e-sports, fitness, swimming and badminton. It is possible to combine two to three of these, and everyone takes several additional smaller electives, choosing from, for instance, media, golf and nutrition. “The electives that we offer change a little every year according to what the students’ interests are,” Larsen explains. “Our aim is to allow our students to specialise in their main in-

terest, enabling them to pursue a professional career in, say, football, but to make sure they come out as well-rounded individuals at the same time.”

A home away from home – and not just for Danes While efterskoler are a uniquely Danish concept, dating back to N.F.S. Grundtvig’s 19th-century ideas of self-realisation and enlightenment, Nordjyllands Idrætsefterskole Stidsholt welcomes non-Danish students, too. Students come from Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, but also from Norway, Sweden and Iceland. “It’s a bit of an adventure, and there’s no better and more natural way to make lifelong Danish friends or to gain a network in Denmark for later careers,” Larsen explains. “Norwegians and Swedes have the option to submit written texts in their own language. Overall, however, we’ve found that students pick up Danish and Danish culture very quickly.”

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During term time, students live at Nordjyllands Idrætsefterskole Stidsholt full-time. The school becomes a home, and students get to know each other and their teachers very quickly. Nordjyllands Idrætsefterskole Stidsholt has an exceptional team of teachers who have all either been trained to the highest level within the field that they teach in, or have had professional careers as athletes, such as the badminton and swimming coaches. The e-sports teacher, too, has played professionally for AGF Esport. As at other efterskoler, the students and teachers often form strong bonds. The teachers are in charge, but the students are treated as individuals and with respect. Due to the residential nature of the school, members of staff are able to provide social and academic support and tutoring.

Lifelong learning Many of the labs and classrooms, such as the art studio, are open to students outside of class hours, letting curious students branch out and explore new hobbies and interests. On Saturdays, students arrange game or film nights, sports and creative pursuits like bake-

offs, while on Fridays and Sundays, private buses are provided so that students can take trips into Aalborg, the nearest city. “We’re in quite a remote area of northern Jutland,” Larsen says. “The school is its own lovely little community, and we’re not far from the beach and smack-bang in the middle of lots of lovely fields and countryside, which is great for all our outdoor pursuits and our students’ mental health.”

At Nordjyllands Idrætsefterskole Stidsholt, ‘health’ encompasses much more than just physical health. “Being physically healthy is hugely important, and it’s a big part of the school, but mental health and social health are equally important. It’s absolutely crucial to us that our students learn how to take care of their mental health and to recognise how they’re feeling and why they feel that way. It’s also inevitable that our students’ social wellbeing comes up. For many, it’s their first time away from home and living with strangers, so that often takes some figuring out, but they come out as healthier individuals,” Larsen notes. “Our most important lesson might be how to have a good, healthy and beneficial relationship with yourself and with each other. And though it’s always a sad day when the year is over, the relationships formed at Nordjyllands Idrætsefterskole Stidsholt continue long after their time here. Last year’s students have just been back here for their first reunion, and it’s a profound pleasure to follow them all on their onward journeys,” Larsen concludes. Facebook: stidsholt Instagram: @stidsholtefterskole

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A year to explore your interests Despite celebrating its 125th birthday in May 2020, Sorø Fri Fagskole, a prevocational school in Sorø, is still at the top of its game. The courses in gastronomy, design and game design attract 80 pupils each year to come to live and study in the beautiful old buildings and make the most of the great facilities the school offers. By Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Sorø Fri Fagskole

whether or not they would like to take the other three subjects with or without tests, either to count as an additional year of secondary school or as a separate, vocational year. The pupils are on average between 16 and 18 years old and board at Sorø Fri Fagskole for the whole year, making it their home and allowing them to make friends for life.

The school was initially set up as a college of domestic science by two women inspired and encouraged by the women’s institute, but it has continually been modernised to become the school it is today. In recent years, the school has been particularly focused on vocational courses and gives its pupils the opportunity to understand more about gastronomy, design or game design, while also being taught Danish, English and maths.


The pupils pick either gastronomy, design or game design and then choose

“Gastronomy is a subject that has always been part of the school. Ever since its beginning, people have been learn-

76  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

ing how to cook here,” explains Grethe Hovertoft, headmistress of Sorø Fri Fagskole. The school accepts pupils with all levels of cooking skills; whether they have never been in a kitchen or frequently cook, they are very welcome to join the course. “As long as they are interested, then everything else falls into place,” says Hovertoft. Throughout the year, the students’ cooking skills reach a high gastronomic level, with pupils being allowed to try numerous techniques while working with a variety of ingredients. The school also arranges collaborations with other schools offering similar courses, which the students visit in order to get an insight into what others are doing, also helping them to work together with others.

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Design The design students learn how to work with fabrics, prints and other materials to create their own designs. Some even make their own ball dresses for the endof-year ball. They quickly develop an understanding of different colours, styles, fabrics and prints, giving them some great skills for creating something of their own. Like with the gastronomy course, there is no prerequisite in terms of skills for those who wish to join the course. The school is meant for learning, making mistakes and trying new things. There is a high level of autonomy over projects, and the pupils end up with a portfolio they can take with them to the next stage of their lives.

Game design The game design course teaches students how to build a computer game from scratch. From the initial story through the coding and to the finished product, the pupils get to do everything. They are taught how to use the C# coding language and to problem solve, as well as to work both creatively and logically.

“We think it’s really important to teach the kids how their hobby and passion for computer games can actually also help to give them a career, and how they can make it into something more than sitting in front of their computer. They learn a lot about the mechanics behind the games and get to work with each other to produce something. They really love it,” says Hovertoft.

The day-to-day All 80 pupils live at the school and are expected to cook, clean and take care of their environment. They spend either two or three days on the chosen course and then the rest on Danish, English and maths, the number of days depending on whether or not they have chosen to make it an extension of secondary school or a vocational course. The pupils’ mental and physical health are also in focus, with the school making sure that the pupils are happy and encouraging them to keep fit, especially as the school and the town have great sports facilities. “The pupils are here at a critical point in their lives, when they’re thinking about their future and what they’re going to be doing. That’s

why it’s important that we’re not only teaching them about the vocational side and giving them the academic skills they need to succeed in the future, but also teaching them how to lead a long and happy life, which includes everything from cooking and cleaning to exercising and socialising,” says Hovertoft. The school also hosts camps for kids aged 12 to 16, who want to learn more about the three speciality subjects and experience the atmosphere of the school. At these week-long camps, the children get insight into what the school does and are also introduced to the opportunity of building their own computer game or designing a new piece of clothing. Sorø Fri Fagskole has, for the past 125 years, been teaching its students about life and work. The fun, modern and practical approach makes it an excellent year for the teenagers to get to know themselves better, enjoy being creative, and make friends for life. Facebook: soroefrifagskole Instagram: @soroefrifagskole

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  77

Students in the North Atlantic class come from the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and Denmark.

Turn school into an Arctic adventure Three years in four different nations – Gribskov Gymnasium’s North Atlantic class gives adventurous and independent students the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Launched last year, the course brings together students from Iceland, Greenland, Denmark and the Faroe Islands, in an ambitious programme that sees students living and learning in each other’s home countries. By Signe Hanse  |  Photos: Gribskov Gymnasium

Designed to give students an authentic, challenging and eye-opening experience, the North Atlantic class is structured like no other ‘gymnasium’ (Danish upper secondary school). While the students spend their first year in Denmark, they then travel to the Faroe Islands and Iceland for their third and fourth semesters and finish with a year in Greenland. This structure gives the youngsters a unique chance to use their time in secondary school not just to prepare for their further education, but also to broaden their cultural and so78  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

cial horizon, says one of the founders of the course, Kristoffer Høy Sidenius, the principal of Gribskov Gymnasium. “The students get a completely different experience than on a traditional exchange programme, where they might stay in one place for a few weeks. Here, they will get to experience everything in the North Atlantic, from the vibrant life of Reykjavik to the midnight sun and dark winter in Greenland.” With around 50 applications for last year’s first class, the programme suc-

ceeded in grabbing the interest of many youngsters. Furthermore, the concept also got recognition from the Danish Royal Family, who invited representatives from the schools to attend a special event celebrating the Danish Commonwealth.

Academic and social skills Despite the historic and current connections between the four nations, the North Atlantic class is the first of its kind. This means that students have had to take a bit of a leap of faith, but those who have done so have no regrets. Having previously visited Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland, Danish student Caroline Thermansen Willumsen has been in love with the North Atlantic cultures since she was child. “Before I started, I was really looking forward to going on adventures in the

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish Education Special

three other countries. I sort of thought the first year in Denmark was just something I had to get through first, so I was surprised to realise that the adventure actually already starts here – in Denmark. Life at the school feels wonderful and safe; it’s an amazing class, and the teachers and principal are brilliant,” she says. To apply for the North Atlantic class, students are required to submit a personal statement, and though the course requires no special qualifications, applicants should be both academically and socially strong. “Our students show a great degree of independence; they’re courageous and ready to stand on their own two feet, all the while adapting to new things and places,” says Sidenius. “Now, our students have gotten adjusted to life here in Denmark, but next year it’ll be something completely new; some students will all of a sudden be on their home turf again, while others will have to adapt to an unknown environment, and that’s also one of the points of the programme – that the students work together and support each other knowing that in the next term, they might be the ones who are a little lost and need a helping hand.”

Facts: – Students in the North Atlantic class   will spend their first year in   Denmark, at Gribskov Gymnasium;   the first semester of their second   year in the Faroe Islands, at Miðnám á Kambsdali; the second semester of   the second year in Iceland, at Verzlunarskoli Islands; and the third   year GUX Sisimiut in Greenland. – The North Atlantic class gives students a Danish Upper Secondary   School Leaving Examination (Almen   Studentereksamen – stx) with the   majors biotechnology, Arctic technology, physics and mathematics. – All classes are taught in Danish.

– When possible, students can live at home. – When in Denmark, students live in   newly erected student accommodation   next to Gribskov Gymnasium. In the   Faroe Islands and Iceland, students   stay with local host families. In   Greenland, accommodation is provided in student halls. – Students pay the cost of   accommodation (2,500-5,000DKK per   month) and flights (15,000-20,000DKK   for the whole programme). – The application deadline is 1 March 2020.

No need for a gap year As part of the programme, students will study biotechnology as well as Arctic technology, a subject borrowed from the Greenlandic curriculum. Furthermore, on top of the regular subjects, nonDanish students will have lessons in their native language while Danish students will be able to choose from French, German and Greenlandic as their third language. However, while students will leave with a full Danish Upper Secondary School Leaving Examination, students feel they get much more. “You get an experience that you won’t get anywhere else, an experience that also prepares you for life after school and helps you build bonds for life,” says Icelandic student Anika Ingvadottir.

During their three years in ‘gymnasium’ (equivalent to upper secondary school), students in the North Atlantic class get to live and learn in four different nations and cultures.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish Education Special

Learn by playing By creating an inclusive and imaginary atmosphere with a focus on role-play, Østerskov Efterskole is able to bring back the joy of learning to students who have lost interest. By Nicolai Lisberg  |  Photos: Østerskov Efterskole

It is said that the whole world is your playground, so why should a school be any different? That was the thinking behind Østerskov Efterskole, where the more traditional way of teaching has been dealt with in its own, unique way. “We are creating the world’s best education, where students don’t just sit and listen to a teacher, but actively take part in the teaching themselves. They interact as they dress up and do role-play in all our subjects, so instead of just absorbing knowledge with their brains, they learn with their entire bodies,” says Vibe Esdahl-Schou, vice principal at Østerskov Efterskole. Every week, there is a new course, where all subjects become part of an overall story. One of these courses is called Peace in Our Time. The students are di80  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

vided into nine different ‘nations’, all of them with a president, a minister for finance and a population. They then have to create a society and meet up with the other nations in the UN, where they have to deal with current affairs such as a migrant crisis or climate change. “This is in many ways like the real world, where everything has a purpose. It’s learning by doing, while having fun, because everyone knows that motivation is important for young people to be able to learn,” says Esdahl-Schou.

A school for everyone Østerskov Efterskole can house up to 90 students a year, and it prepares its students for the exact same exams that more traditional schools do, with the

difference being that they make the way leading up to the exams more engaging. “A lot of our students had lost interest in the traditional school system. We aim to stimulate them by making them an active part of the lesson, and we see remarkable progress in their grades,” says Esdahl-Schou. Other than that, the continuation school wishes to strengthen its students’ social skills and prepare them for the future job market, which is why teamwork is also an essential part of the classes, according to Esdahl-Schou. “In order to learn, you have to feel comfortable, so we try to make sure that everyone feels welcome and included. We like to believe that by doing it our way, we are creating the leaders of tomorrow.” Facebook: osterskov Instagram: @osterskovefterskole YouTube: OsterskovEfterskole

Scan Business Business Profiles 82  |  Business Column 84  |  Business Calendar 84



Ask more ‘hyper questions’ I’m not sure whether all the details in my story are fully correct, so I rush to tell it before someone proves me wrong. I heard the story more than a decade ago, at a futurists’ conference, and it was about the importance of asking the right questions when you plan for the future. According to my secret source, in 2007 the Council of Westminster in London were discussing how they could make Oxford Street the main shopping attraction during the coming Olympics in 2012. Experts in city development had all kinds of ideas for improvement of the worndown street, ranging from better pavements and more rubbish bins to a fancy zebra crossing at Oxford Circus. Then someone said, ‘Never mind the Olympics – how can we keep Oxford Street the main attraction in London for the next 30 years?’ Suddenly, the discussion stopped; all the previous ideas about new rubbish bins and better pavements became useless as they would only give the street a temporarily facelift.

The politicians realised that if Oxford Street and Central London were to flourish far into the middle of the 21st century, they needed to be able to bring another half a million people in and out of the city. This resulted in a 20-billion-pound decision to build the Crossrail, a new 117kilometre-long train line that modernises London’s Underground and allows the city to keep growing. If everything goes as planned, the Crossrail will be opened next year – a few years delayed. In this case, real change didn’t start until someone asked a so-called ‘hyper question’, a question that superseded all other questions and put them into a larger perspective. We need these hyper questions more than ever in a world where it seems almost impossible to predict the future. Often, decision makers get absorbed by solving day-to-day problems while neglecting future opportunities. We only reach as far as our questions take us, and many leaders limit their dreaming unnecessarily because they feel they


By Nils Elmark, Incepcion

have to be realistic. But you don’t have to be realistic when you question your future – only when you plan it.

Nils Elmark is a consulting futurist and the founder of Incepcion, a London-based consultancy that helps organisations develop new and braver dreams.

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  81

Hard work made easy “When people arrive to work and live in Denmark, it is in everyone’s best interest that they are welcomed and given the best possible start,” says Lars Tobler, founder and director of Eurojob Denmark, which has connected primarily Romanian, Slovakian and Hungarian people to Danish companies in need of employees since 2005. It provides all necessary assistance in regards to interviews, immigration, transportation, taxes and more, easing the process for both the employer and the employee and making everyone happier all-round. “Our job is to make everyone feel as safe and secure in the process as possible,” Tobler says. By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Flavius Tărniceriu

With 4,000 people successfully employed through the company, Eurojob Denmark has built up expertise in recruitment within the industrial and agricultural sectors as well as warehouse distribution and cleaning services. The company recruits for both long-term and seasonal work. “We often work with seasonal workers over several years, which means that they get to know Denmark and Danish customs rather well, and that we get to know them and their skillset too,” says Tobler. Companies, too, become long-term partners. “We take care of all the practi82  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

cal as well as legal matters concerning immigration and getting the employee set up in Denmark,” Tobler explains. “We’ll ensure that everything is set up, from a house and car to NemID and a start-up course. It is hugely important for job performance and the ease of transition that the employee gets a good start in their private life as well.”

A touch of familiarity When a company requests assistance, Eurojob Denmark’s dedicated Romanian-speaking team conducts interviews at the office in Romania’s

second-largest city, Iași, or flies out to meet potential recruits. Apart from checking for fundamental competencies, such as the ability to understand and speak English and how well a candidate matches the specific job description, the interviewers prepare potential recruits for life and work in Denmark – a process that continues in Denmark via Eurojob Denmark’s office in Skjern. “Two of our members of staff are Romanians who have lived in Denmark and been with us for ages,” Tobler notes. “They speak both Danish and Romanian and know the systems and cultures inside and out, which means that there is always someone to call if a problem arises further down the line.” Eurojob Denmark has had great success in finding the perfect candidate for permanent positions, and even many seasonal employees wind up in permanent positions. “A lot of people will end up staying here, and that is great

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for Denmark both economically and socially. We have a population that’s only growing older and we need young, energetic, hardworking people who’ll pay taxes, pick up Danish and set up families of their own,” says Tobler, adding that a lot of the company’s recruits seek out Denmark specifically due to its reputation as the best country in the world for families.

Learning from each other “Of course, there are some differences in culture, and that occasionally takes some adjustment on both parts,” Tobler continues. “In general, Romanians and Slovakians have an incredible work ethic, and we’ve had people turn up at work with a 40-degree fever because they don’t want to miss it, for example. That comes from a great place, but that’s not quite how we’d do it in Denmark. I love that about my work; it’s all about people and getting to know each other and learning from one-another.”

Lars Tobler.

Lars Tobler has personal experience of being on the other side of the immigration equation. In his younger days, he moved to Canada to work with agricultural investments. “I received such a warm, capable welcome to Canada,” he explains. “We were given a really helpful introduction to the legal and administrative side of things, as well as to the culture, and that was exactly what was needed to get me off on the right foot and make me a productive member of the local society. When I returned to live in Denmark, I’d got to know quite a lot of Romanian people working in Denmark, and it occurred to me that it would really benefit people coming to Denmark, and Denmark itself, to have the same warm support and introduction upon arrival. There are a lot of things we take for granted when we know them – practical as well as more subtle cultural nuances. People need help navigating both types of cultural differences. That’s the service I’m proud to say we’re now providing.” Facebook: EurojobDenmark

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  83

Scan Magazine  |  Business  |  Column/Calendar

Task or relationship?

By Steve Flinders

Are you happy to walk into a meeting full of people you don’t know and get straight down to business, or do you feel the need to find out something about them first? Interculturalists distinguish between more task- and more relationship-orientated business cultures. This is important to bear in mind when dealing with people from an unfamiliar company or country. My urge when I meet you professionally might be to find out something about you and your background; your interest might be simply to get on with the job in hand. Your reflex might derive from where you come from or simply from who you are – an interpersonal rather than an intercultural phenomenon. I was once given an example of relationship orientation by a French hotelier who wanted to develop his Saudi clientele. His first visit to the country was a disaster. Although he had arranged a series of meetings beforehand, his timetable soon fell apart since no one was available when they had said they would be, and he wasted hours waiting for people who

never turned up. So he forgot about planning and simply started calling people once he had arrived: it worked. His contacts would invite him to join them for elaborate meals. During three or four trips, he did a lot of socialising with little mention of work. But once the relationships had been forged, the business started flowing in and the significant investment in time and money that he had made paid off. Whether working internationally or not, task-orientated people must recognise the need others may have to build relationships. Their impatience to get things done may lead them to trample roughshod over others’ feelings. Relationship-orientated people, on the other hand, can be so focused on achieving harmony that they lose focus of the essential objective of getting results. As often, it’s a question of awareness and getting the balance right.

Steve Flinders is a freelance trainer, writer and coach, based in Malta, who helps people develop their communication and leadership skills for working internationally:

Business Calendar

By Jo Iivonen

Scandinavian business events you do not want to miss this month DKUK talking cultural diversity Cultural diversity is a poignant topic in post-Brexit Britain, but the debate will not stop there. What roles do faith, gender and ethnicity play in the modern workplace, and how should employers handle these issues? These questions and more are on the table this month as the UK-Nordic business community embraces change. Date: 25 February Venue: Gowling WLG, 4 More London Riverside, SE1 2AU, London, UK.

SHE Conference Europe’s leading gender diversity conference will gather executives, investors and politicians in Oslo this spring. Norway leads the way on many fronts when it comes to attempts to secure gender equality. But what’s in store for the future, and how can business 84  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

operators benefit from supporting women in the workplace? Date: 5 March Venue: Sonja Henies plass 2, 0185 Oslo, Norway.

Polar Bear Pitching What better way to test the hotness factor of a business than to stick it into ice, founder and all? Tech entrepreneurs get to prove their bearings in icy water – literally – while schmoozing with potential partners during this event that coincides with Virtual Reality Nordic 2020. Non-icy networking opportunities are also on offer at the events, which all take place in the Finnish tech hub of Oulu. Date: 12 March Venue: Erkki Koiso-kanttilan katu 1, 90570 Oulu, Finland.

Nordic Smart Cities Nordic cities have a solid track record when it comes to weaving in the community factor through planning. However, with ever more transient communities come ever more challenges. How to glue it all together to make cities that work better? It’s widely recognised that technology sits at the heart of the transition, but what about the human factor? Date: 19 March Venue: Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, Amager Boulevard 70, Copenhagen 2300, Denmark.

Hotel of the Month, Norway

A unique boutique hotel in Stavanger Situated at Ullandhaug, in close connection to the University of Stavanger, is a new hotel with a unique vision for corporate social responsibility. Ydalir Hotel is a nonprofit boutique hotel that prides itself on giving back – every stay here benefits the university. Whether you are on holidays or on a business trip, if you are looking for a quiet place to unwind, Ydalir Hotel makes an excellent choice. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Photos: Sindre Ellingsen

Ydalir Hotel was a gift from the Smedvig family to the University of Stavanger. In 2015, the company Smedvig celebrated its 100th anniversary by giving the hotel to the region, with the wish to prioritise gifts and sponsorship funds specifically aimed towards children and youth. “All of the hotel’s proceeds are donated to the University of Stavanger every year. The funds then contribute to the furthering of research and education by helping to support future scholarships and other means, which again will benefit the region in a long-term perspective. So, every stay with us will benefit the university, the students and the region,” says Martin Sagen, gener86  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

al manager at Ydalir Hotel. Today, the hotel operates commercially, but with close links to the Norwegian School of Hotel Management, which is located at the university. Based just outside of Stavanger city centre, a thriving and active area close to numerous attractions, beautiful nature and more than 150 different businesses, Ydalir Hotel sets the bar for campus hotels in Scandinavia. After opening its doors in March 2018, the young hotel has quickly gained popularity. “2018 was all about establishing and laying a good foundation; it takes time for a new hotel to get a name in such a chain-dominated

market, like the one we have here in Norway. However, 2019 was a good year with steady growth, and in the last six months we obtained the same level as the industry standard in Stavanger, and we’re now already operating profitably,” says Sagen.

A name from Norse mythology You might be wondering where the name Ydalir comes from. Well, the area which the hotel is situated in, Ullandhaug, got its name from the Norse God, Ull, whose home was called Ydalir. “The name is a direct link between the hotel and Norse mythology, which you can find many traces of in this area,” says Sagen. Nearby the hotel you can, for instance, find the Iron Age Farm visiting centre, with a rebuilt model village to visit, and also Swords in Rock, which is a famous landmark to commemorate the battle of Hafrsfjord, both reflecting Norway’s Viking heritage.

Scan Magazine  |  Hotel of the Month  |  Norway

Modern yet classic Nordic style Designed by Lund+Slaatto Arkitekter, the building itself has a distinctive expression yet has been harmoniously adapted to suit its surroundings. With a classic shape and choice of materials, the architects have formed an interaction between the hotel and the older brick buildings found in the area. “The goal was to create a robust project with high-quality solutions – a building that will age with dignity,” Sagen explains. This unique non-profit boutique hotel consists of 59 rooms, of which 32 are double rooms, 15 superior double rooms, and 12 fully equipped apartments, making your stay as comfortable and convenient as possible. Each room has a contemporary look with exceptional quality, which reflects Scandinavian interior and craftsmanship. “We have put a lot of resources into everything from furniture to decoration. The hotel has a modern feel in many ways, but still with a classic and timeless Nordic style,” says Sagen. Wood and concrete are continuous elements throughout, and the furniture is of Danish design, a combination that creates a luxurious and inviting atmosphere for the guests.

Giving guests that little extra A great hotel experience is about more than an inviting room, a fact that Ydalir Hotel knows well. With numerous services inside and nearby the hotel, Sagen and his staff make sure that every guest’s

needs are met. “Our locally sourced, quality-conscious breakfast is included in your stay, and we also offer dry-cleaning services, a bar and cafe for drinks and snacks, as well as free parking,” he says. Guests can make use of Stavanger’s best fitness centre, SIS Sportssenter, which is located only five minutes away. If you are a frequent guest, you may also qualify to become a so-called ‘chief’ at Ydalir. “To show our appreciation for our regular customers, we provide certain benefits such as room upgrades, late check-out and priority on the waiting list, to give that little something extra,” says Sagen.

A calm, comfortable stay Ydalir Hotel is the perfect meeting location, with accommodation for com-

panies and organisations, and it can also cater to all your needs for events such as conferences, courses, birthday parties, weddings and more. With little to no noise around, the hotel is a quiet place to unwind, whether it is for leisure or for business. “We don’t have much traffic nearby, other than the bus that conveniently takes you directly to the city centre, so it is optimal for anyone who wants a calm, comfortable stay,” says Sagen. “If comfort, relaxation and a distraction-free environment are what you are searching for, whether for business or leisure, Ydalir Hotel is the place for you!” Facebook: YdalirHotel Instagram: @ydalirhotel

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Holiday Profile of the Month, Denmark

Fair holiday home rental Renting out your second home is one of the original elements of the sharing economy, a phenomenon that’s been around for decades. It is something that has always been particularly popular in Denmark, but also something that has largely been taken over by big international companies. FeriehusDirect is trying to change that, providing fair house sharing for both the renter and the owner. By Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: FeriehusDirect

“After many years in the industry, I realised something just wasn’t working and that the big rental companies had all the power, so I set up FeriehusDirect in 2014 as a kind of holiday home rental 2.0,” explains Kim Juhlin, CEO at FeriehusDirect. Since then, it has experienced a huge level of growth and now represents over 400 homeowners across Denmark and Sweden, renting out hundreds of houses every year.

Ease of use What FeriehusDirect has chosen to focus on is making it easy for everyone involved. 88  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

For the homeowner, FeriehusDirect organises everything from cleaning and getting the home ready before and after each visit, also guiding the guests to the key boxes that are fitted on every house. It also helps the guests to read the electricity meters and even helps homeowners get the correct tax deduction, which comes with renting out your home in Denmark through an agency. For renters, the process is made easy through clear instructions as well as the fact that you are not required to turn up to an office at a certain time, but can ar-

rive and leave in your own time. The price also includes a deposit, which means that there is no need to worry in case something happens to the house. The deposit is also used to pay for the electricity, water and gas use, which means the guests only pay for what they use. FeriehusDirect has professional cleaning teams that check all the houses prior to guests arriving, guaranteeing a high level of cleanliness at all times. It uses small, local cleaning companies and promises to pay a fair wage. “It should be easy for people to rent homes. You’re going on holidays, and you want there to be no bumps in the road, and that’s what we try to ensure every time. By optimising the process in the way we have done, we’ve made sure that the process is easy for everyone involved,” says Juhlin.

Scan Magazine  |  Holiday Profile of the Month  |  Denmark

Economical and sustainable Thanks to the fact that FeriehusDirect has very low agency fees and no local offices, and has optimised the process of renting, the houses that it offers are cheaper than the typical market rate. “There are usually two or three weeks during the summer when there is more demand than there is supply, but the rest of the year there are definitely more houses. The houses we’re in charge of tend to be rented out throughout the year, because people don’t just use them for summer.” The houses can be booked far in advance or a day before, and there are usually weekend offers and last-minute offers on the website, as well, for those looking for a spontaneous bargain weekend away. All the houses are quality-checked before being put on the website, ensuring that there is plenty of space, good

beds and facilities, as well as lots of photos so that the renter knows what they are booking. “House sharing like this is one of the most sustainable ways to go on holidays. You’re usually not going far, so there’s little transport impact, and you’re making the most of your local environment while just using something that is already here, more than you otherwise would. When you book, you can also choose to pay 20DKK extra in order to plant a tree with the Danish Society for Nature Conservation, in order to off-set your climate impact on your holiday,” says Juhlin.

Going on an adventure FeriehusDirect makes it easy and simple to book a holiday home or rent out your second home. The fair system has made it popular with all its clients, providing a clear contrast to other house rental

agencies. “Most of the other agencies are foreign-owned and far away from what’s actually going on. We’ve got contacts in all our areas, who can be there in case something happens,” Juhlin explains. Whether it is a family holiday, a romantic weekend away or just a chance to get a breath of fresh air, FeriehusDirect makes it easy to go on an adventure. The houses are of high quality, clean and easy to rent, and they are always fair to all parties involved. It is a great way to explore new areas and regions and to get away without having to dig deep into your pockets. Facebook: Feriehusdirect, Ferienhausdirect and dkcottage

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Spa Experience of the Month, Denmark

Traditional and innovative pampering for body and mind With more than 60 spa and wellness experiences spread over 4,500 square metres and four floors – all rooted in Nordic design and spa traditions, while focusing on doing good for both people and the planet – Alsik Nordic Spa & Wellness in Sønderjylland is far from your average spa experience. By Camilla Pedersen  |  Photos: Steigenberger Alsik Hotel & Spa

When Alsik Nordic Spa & Wellness opened in May 2019, it also took the title of Denmark’s biggest spa. But while it is certainly big, so too are the ambitions to do good – for the planet and the people. The spa shares a roof with luxury hotel Alsik, an impressive 19-floor waterfront building designed by renowned architect Henning Larsen, often described as the new landmark in the Danish-German border region. “The building is currently 76 per cent carbon neutral and has 380 square metres of solar cells on the roof 90  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

that generate 35 per cent of our energy,” explains spa manager Gitte Hvidtfeldt. The floor-to-roof focus on sustainability and social responsibility is also infused in Alsik Nordic Spa & Wellness. The facilities and more than 60 spa and wellness experiences are all designed to do good – for body, mind and environment. “We’re here to take care of our guests and to make a positive difference, so they leave with a feeling that they did something good for themselves – also

long-term,” says Hvidtfeldt. That is why every single corner provokes a sense of calmness that is just as striking as the beautiful waters that surround the building – a view that you can take in from the outdoor infinity saltwater pool or from the inside lounge areas, which have floor-to-ceiling windows that generously let in floods of natural light, while simultaneously offering pictureperfect views over the waterfront.

Innovation rooted in traditions Alsik Nordic Spa & Wellness offers a combination of old, Nordic bathing ritual experiences and pioneering spa and wellness treatments – all born out of tradition and innovation. Access to the Alsik Nordic Spa area includes a mineral serial steam bath, a scrub bar with body wraps

Scan Magazine  |  Spa Experience of the Month  |  Denmark

and facemasks, a panorama fire sauna with views across Alssund, an ice room to cool off after the sauna, and a vitamin bar for guests to refuel during their stay. The 160-square-metre indoor Alsik pool area also has a 100 per cent organic café that offers nutrition for body and soul, offering seasonal and high-quality food and non-alcoholic beverages selected and prepared with care and respect for people and the environment. “Our signature treatment is called the Nordic Danam and takes users on a journey through water, steam, heat and ice in the specially designed Nordic Danam treatment room – just like they did traditionally, but with a Nordic twist,” Hvidtfeldt says. The opportunities to treat your body and mind are many, even if you prefer to do it in the comfort of a private spa suite, each one equipped with a private steam bath and sauna.

It starts from within Nordic traditions inspired not only the treatments and experiences, but also the interior design, which relies on natural elements such as light, water and wood to create a Nordic expression with a sense of harmony and balance – of course with sustainability and social responsibility

in mind. “Our lounges are digital-free zones, and every corner offers a pocket of peace and quiet. A visit here is an invitation to unwind and recharge. We encourage people to pamper their bodies, but also their minds. We therefore also use our unique settings to offer yoga and mindfulness classes – an offering that is also popular among the hotel’s conference guests, no matter if they want us to take them through a few exercises in the events room or integrate a session of High Sky Yoga on our Point of View platform, located on the 16th floor, or outside on the spa terraces facing Alssund when the weather permits.”

The yoga and mindfulness classes are part of the light and airy fitness studio, which not only attracts spa and hotel guests, but also locals with fitness studio memberships. “It’s important for us to embrace the environment we’re part of and be inclusive so that we’re a natural part of the local community, and vice versa. We’re still new and will keep learning from our guests and members. And in return, each visit here will hopefully equip them with some tools and techniques that they can use to lead even more mindful and full lives,” Hvidtfeldt concludes.

Facts: A day of self-care is less than an hour away from Copenhagen airport, with five daily flights between Copenhagen and Sønderborg. The spa offers a Kid’s Club (for oneto six-year-olds) and Teen Club (for seven- to 16-year-olds), but also has adults-only zones. Experiences and treatments include Alsik Wellness Screening, Aqua Balancing, Light & Sound Bath, various massage treatments, Cryoskin 3.0 Cryotherapy, skincare and facials, beauty lounge offerings and much more. Facebook: alsikhotel Instagram: @alsik_hotel

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Restaurant of the Month, Sweden

Enjoy a taste of Stockholm’s history Plenty has changed since the time when Tranan first opened its doors in 1929, but almost a century later, this historic restaurant and bar is as popular with Stockholmers as ever. By Liz Longden  |  Photos: Tobias Regell

Situated in the heart of the city in Vasastan, Tranan must be one of the capital’s few establishments that can claim to have been continuously open for over 90 years. It’s an astonishing record, even if the clientele has changed a little since then. Beginning its life as a ‘beer café’, with exclusively female waitresses, Tranan originally catered to labourers and served beer from six o’clock in the morning through to midnight. ‘Breakfast’ came in the form of hot beer and sandwiches, and lunch began as early as nine o’clock. Fast-forward to 2020, 92  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

and Tranan is a vibrant restaurant and bar, renowned for its classic cuisine and laid-back vibe. Tranan’s rich history was one of the reasons that prompted owner Macdonald Lundgren to purchase the restaurant in 2005, and his mission since then has been to upgrade the establishment’s facilities and offering to contemporary standards, while preserving its essence and unique atmosphere. “Tranan is a part of Stockholm’s history, and if you take over such a place, then you have a responsibility to take care of it,” he says. “We also

have regulars who’ve been coming here for years, and in some sense, you have a responsibility to them, too. So our idea has always been not to change things, but to improve on what’s already here.” This philosophy is evident in Tranan’s interior, which has been sensitively renovated with the help of renowned interior designer Jonas Bohlin, to retain the premises’ original look and feel. Original features that remain include the floor, some chairs, and the tables, originally donated by the local brewery. The large windows, so attractive today, were originally installed to meet the demands of police, who wanted to be able to easily see what was going on inside. “The place has a timeless feel, and how it looks today is a reflection of what it has been in the past,” says Lundgren.

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Sweden

A similar approach has been applied to the food. A chef at heart, Lundgren wanted to continue to serve the traditional Swedish cuisine that had become its hallmark, and today guests can still find classics such as meatballs and fried herring, which have been served ever since the restaurant first opened. In addition to this, a touch of European finesse can be seen in dishes such as Provençal snails, moules frites and gnocchi, as well as international highlights such as premium Wagyu beef. Tranan also prides itself on an extensive and high-quality wine list, which includes a particular focus on organic and biodynamic wines.

Cultural pulse Having earned itself the nickname of ‘the club’ as early as the 1930s, Tranan has over the century continued to be a place

where Stockholmers can meet, relax and take in a little entertainment. The tradition continues today in the cellar bar. Originally a dining room with a musical trio, but closed after the Second World War, the cellar reopened in the 1980s and soon became one of the capital’s hottest night spots – Tom Waits, Lloyd Cole, A Tribe Called Quest and Digital Underground are just some of the acts to have performed in the bar over the years. Today, the bar continues to host regular evenings of live music, as well as DJs, photographic and art exhibitions, and more besides. “People have been coming here in the evenings for music and entertainment for 30 years, and the bar is still very popular today. There aren’t many places you can say that of, so it feels important for us to maintain that,” Lundgren explains.

And, needless to say, a good drink is a given – in addition to beer and wine, the bar prides itself on an international repertoire of cocktails, prepared by a team of skilled and experienced bartenders. Such is the longevity and popularity of Tranan, that it would be tempting to describe it as a part of the Stockholm establishment. However, Lundgren assures that the opposite is true. “Although it is an important place historically, the atmosphere is very relaxed and downto-earth,” he says. “This is a ‘democratic establishment, not an elitist one. It’s a restaurant for everyone.” Sounds like a fitting philosophy for this former workers’ beer café.

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  93

Bar manager Martin Laguna with two natural wines from Louis-Antoine and Sébastien Riffault.

Grilled gambas with arbol and garlic emulsion and fennel crudités.

Restaurant of the Month, Denmark

Simple and seasonal food for all senses – with a touch of Latin America The concept is simple: Donda eatery and bar serves lunch dishes with a Latin American twist in a café-style setting in the daytime, before it transforms into a fish bar serving up fresh fish, seafood and vegetables prepared over charcoal in the evening – all served family-style, for sharing. While Donda is located in Copenhagen’s charming Christianshavn with views over the canal, the eatery is inspired by very different waters. By Camilla Pedersen  |  Photos: Donda

“The idea started to take shape when I travelled around Asia and Latin America a few years back. Along the Latin American coastline, I would see locals return to land in their little boats, starting a fire on the beach to cook their freshly caught fish. And time and time again I saw how modest beach restaurants served up simple, 94  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

but mouth-watering food experiences made of very little,” recalls Qasim Khan, co-owner of and head chef at Donda. The direction of Donda has in many ways been shaped by this simplicity, freshness and back-to-basics approach to cooking. “You can find plenty of Mexican and

Brazilian restaurants in Copenhagen, but ever since I had a taste of the real Latin America, I’ve been wanting to offer people a similar experience.” Exactly that is what the set menu is designed to do. Revolving around fresh fish, seafood and vegetables grilled over charcoal – just like in Latin America – the set evening menu, which consists of eight dishes, takes Donda’s dinner guests on an exotic journey that introduces them to new flavours and fragrances. Gambas grilled over charcoal and served with arbol and garlic emulsion alongside fennel crudités are always a hit. Or how about a grilled redfish tikin-xic – with a delicious

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Denmark

Carne Asada tacos with salsa roja, avocado, onion and coriander served on flour tortilla, from the lunch menu.

smoked taste and slightly burned skin from the charcoal – served with xni-pec, salsa roja, refried beans, rice, coriander, lime and hand-pressed flour tortillas with plenty of butter?

Shaped by the seasons Donda served up its first meals and Latin American vibes in August 2019, and while the eatery and bar initially intended to take evening bookings only, it recently also opened up for lunch, due to popular demand – with a selection of six lunch dishes to choose from. “Having only a few dishes on the menu means that we know exactly how much produce to buy and prepare, so we can avoid food waste entirely,” says Khan – and this is something that is very important to him, having witnessed how huge amounts of food go to waste in the industry. “It also means that we can offer our guests a menu at a lower price.” Donda’s conscious effort to do good also sparks creativity. “Some leftover blue corn can easily turn into a delicious blue corn syrup that can prove to be that magic ingredient in a cocktail – a Latin American-style cocktail, of course,” he smiles. “We are always testing and creating new ideas and recipes. Not only because of the varying supply of fresh and seasonal produce, but also because it’s important that we constantly develop, and push our own boundaries.” And it is exactly this focus on produce that is fresh, seasonal and as local as

Grilled redfish tikin-xic served with xni-pec, salsa roja, refried beans, rice, coriander, lime and hand-pressed flour tortillas.

possible that shapes the dishes on the menu. “We work closely with local suppliers who always offer their expertise and advice so that we can tailor the menu around which fish and vegetables are available and in season,” explains Khan. The drinks menu is put together with equal care, also with a varying offer. “Especially our natural wines, sourced from Latin America, are only available in small batches,” Khan continues. In addition to the wine selection, guests can complement their feast with Latin American cocktails or a speciality beer – and there is a wine menu, of course, to complete the experience of the eight courses, each wine carefully complementing each dish.

Food for all senses Many things are taken into consideration when Khan creates new dishes, also the experience of eating the food. “Our food is for sharing, proper ‘home style’, so our guests get a plate and then they help themselves from the food that

is put in the middle of the table – just like they do in Latin America. Our food is ‘finger food’, in the sense that it’s totally okay to get your hands greasy – in fact, that’s on my mind a lot when I work on new dishes for the menu, creating dishes that encourage our guests to eat with their hands. It’s part of the experience,” he says. So too are the surroundings, and just like the food, every single detail in the modern, sleek and welcoming restaurant is carefully thought-through. “We had our ceramics made in colours that match the palette of the town houses here in Christianshavn: the wooden oak panels are a tribute to the pub that used to be here; the pictures on the wall are taken by a photographer friend – and then of course we added Latin American vibes from palm trees and other exotic touches,” says Khan, describing vibes that make the mind wander to destinations that are more exotic than Copenhagen – at least for the duration of a lovely Latin American meal. Qasim Khan and Kasper Enø Lander opened Donda in August 2019. The eatery seats 28 guest plus six people at the bar. Phone: +45 4074 1401 Facebook: dondacph Instagram: @dondacph

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  95

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Norway

The food is based on the Hawaiian poke bowls.

Customers can choose what they would like to have in their poke bowls.

Restaurant of the Month, Norway

Eat fast food the healthy way Do you have a new year’s resolution about eating more healthily, and therefore not relying as much on fast food? In Oslo, you can become healthier while indulging in delicious fast food, with a touch of Hawaiian cuisine – at the newly crowned ‘Norway’s Healthiest Fast Food’, Zawai. By Marie Mannes  |  Photos: Zawai

Zawai was opened in May 2018, by the two entrepreneurs Henrik Borthen and Eirik Lothe. The restaurant serves poke, which is a traditional Hawaiian dish. The dish is still relatively unknown but has in recent years risen in popularity. “Traditional Hawaiian poke consists of marinated, diced fish on a bed of sushi rice, typically served with condiments such as seaweed, green onions, chilli and other toppings,” explains Borthen. “We wanted to make a super healthy version of the cuisine, by adding various fruits and vegetables to the dish.”

Zawai is the healthiest fast food in Norway.

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Healthy food that uses sustainable, high-quality ingredients usually takes a big hit on the wallet, but this is not the case with food from Zawai. “It shouldn’t have to be a luxury to eat healthily, so we have chosen a reasonable profile, while using high-quality, sustainable raw materials.” According to Lothe, Zawai wants to stop the association between fast food and junk food. “With the large amount of information available on the internet, people are becoming more and more concerned with what they consume. We wanted to be a frontrunner in using fresh and sustainable ingredients in our restaurant.” Borthen explains that there’s a high demand for affordable and healthy fast food in Norway, and the raw materials are therefore in constant circulation and continually replaced, “so the freshness is top-notch at all times,” he says. “It

is important to us that we are able to compete on price against traditionally unhealthy takeaway food.” Borthen says that this leads to a lower profit margin for them, but that they are able to balance that out with the very high demand for the product. In 2019, Zawai entered Opplysningskontoret for Frukt og Grønt’s (‘Information Office for Fruit and Vegetables’) Norwegian Championships in healthy fast food, where they won. “We have put a lot of effort into this project, and it was inspiring to get some recognition for all the hard work. It also put the cuisine on the map as one of the healthiest options on the fast-food market,” says Lothe. Zawai is growing constantly and has plans to expand to open more restaurants. As well as having franchises in other cities in Norway, they are planning on becoming more environmentally friendly. “We are planning on cutting out plastic and choosing options better suited for the environment.” Instagram: @zawaifood

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Finland

Ilmari Saarikoski.

Restaurant of the Month, Finland

Putting a new spin on classic fine dining Hella ja Huone – meaning stove and room – has been a go-to place for fine dining in Tampere, Finland, for over 20 years. When chef Ilmari Saarikoski and sommelier Humberto Pulido Gracés took over the place from the previous owners, they wanted to carry on its long legacy, but bring in fresh, new twists to classic tastes. By Ndéla Faye  |  Photos: Aura Saarikoski

Just glancing at the menu, it becomes immediately apparent that Hella ja Huone is all about classic European and Scandinavian dishes – with exciting, sometimes surprising twists. Lièvre à la Royale – a French classic – has been transformed into an interpretation with rabbit from the nearby farm, served with duck pâté from the local market, alongside truffle-potato purée. Meanwhile, the classic, Spanish nougat confection, turrón, gets a new spin at Hella ja Huone, where it is made using pine nuts and served with chanterelle ice cream. “Our techniques and tastes are inspired by fla-

vours from around Europe. We bring the classic dishes into our kitchen, and then work out how to give them our own, Finnish twist,” Saarikoski explains. The food is innovative and beautifully presented, and the flavours are unique. The restaurant’s tasting menu offers a selection of six or nine dishes, served with a specially designed drinks package. Wines are also an essential part of the Hella ja Huone dining experience. The restaurant’s wine cellar boasts quality wines from around the world to further entice serious wine connoisseurs.

All wines have been carefully chosen to complement each dish. “We constantly change the menu to suit the wine offering, and vice versa. We have been known to even change the ingredients used in a dish if they do not perfectly fit with a particular wine we’ve had our heart set on,” Saarikoski says. On Fridays and Saturdays, alongside the à la carte menu, the restaurant also serves apéro, consisting of canapés and refreshing aperitive drinks. From oysters to meat cuts – cured and freshly prepared in-house – to cheese boards or blinis, this dining experience is bound to tickle the senses. The delicious flavours, made up of high-quality, fresh ingredients, make this dining experience one-of-a-kind.

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Hunsfos Bryggeri treats beer brewing as a craft, with thought gone into every detail. Photo: Ingvald R. Ingebretsen

Brewery of the Month, Norway

Treating beer as a craft Craft beer has become increasingly popular in Norway, and one of the companies behind its success is Hunsfos Bryggeri AS. Established in 2014 by beer enthusiasts, Hunsfos has grown into a brewery selling beer both nationally and internationally, and its products have gone on to win international awards. By Alyssa Nilsen

Since 2016, Hunsfos has been producing beer in the mill house of the historical Hunsfos Fabrikker. With a focus on craft and quality, Hunsfos Bryggeri has found a different path for its production than many other craft beer breweries. The factory in which they’ve set up production used to be a paper factory in the olden days, and the company has integrated elements from its past into the modern brewery. It’s all about keeping Hunsfos’ industrial history, values and culture alive. 98  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

to being available at the brewery shop and online, also for sale in grocery and specialty shops across the country, as well as nationwide at Vinmonopolet (the government-owned retailer, which is the only one in Norway allowed to sell

Even the packaging has a deeper intention and meaning than just containing the products. Wooden crates for storing and carrying beer bottles in are sold in collaboration with Ressurs1, a centre for people who have been unfortunate in life and have fallen through the systems as a result. Its hand-crafted products are both beautiful and made to last, and are perfect for the quality-conscious Hunsfos Bryggeri. So far, it has proven a successful recipe: Hunsfos beer is now, in addition

Trond Moi. Press photo

Scan Magazine  |  Brewery of the Month  |  Norway

beverages with alcohol content higher than 4.7 per cent). The products are also served in pubs and restaurants all over Norway, and recently, the brewery has started exporting beer to Denmark with hopes of expanding even further.

Beer for the people In addition to the brewery shop, Hunsfos Bryggeri also arranges guided tours and beer tastings at the brewery, allowing people to learn a little bit more about the history and production process and, of course, sample the results – to not only get to taste the beer, but also learn to love the art and passion of craft beer. “Our focus is on beer as an actual craft. It’s not just another product – it’s an art,” say CEO Gjøran Thomassen and co-owner Alfred Tambini Berntsen. “We make the products we want to make and which we enjoy the taste of, as well as products we feel are lacking from our assortment. The trend in Norway has been to make the most special or peculiar beers possible; we’re the opposite. You don’t have to taste our beer several times to be able to like it. It’s for everybody. Beer for the people!” There is one product, though, that stands out from the rest. Direktørens Skau, at 7.2 per cent, is a seasonal beer that can only be brewed once per year. Brewed on fresh shoots from juniper, spruce, pine and bog-myrtle, the harvest is limited to springtime, meaning

Photo: Ingvald R. Ingebretsen

Hunsfos Bryggeri has brewed the perfect beer for Liverpool Supporters. Photo: Hunsfos Bryggeri

the brewing can only take place in early summer. The result is a specialty beer produced in very limited quantities, only 800 litres per year.

ed the top score in Norwegian national newspaper VG’s Christmas Beer Test of 2018, and also won the bronze medal at London Beer Competition in 2019.

One of its most notable beers is a fruity IPA, named Moipa, made in collaboration with famous Norwegian chef Trond Moi. Other products include two beers dedicated to Liverpool FC, Liverbirds lager and 6 Times Pale Ale. Initially made for Liverpool supporters to enjoy at a local pub in Kristiansand, the beers are now available across Norway and in Denmark, due to popular demand. Both carry the phrase and lyrics of the Liverpool anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone, on red and white labels. The beers come with a gift box and are popular presents.

On the first Friday of each month, the brewery opens the factory doors for craft beer lovers to come in and have a look and try some of the products. In addition to brewery related events, concerts and dances also take place at Hunsfos Bryggeri. The venue has capacity for 700 people, making it ideal for events.

There’s also Direktørens Jul, a strong, dark Christmas beer, which was award-

Brewery outlet opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm Facebook: hunsfosbryggeri Instagram: @hunsfosbryggeri

Photo: Ingvald R. Ingebretsen

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Scan Magazine  |  Brewery of the Month  |  Finland

Brewery of the Month, Finland

Craft beer that’s rooted in tradition Located in south-eastern Finland, on an estate that’s been in the same family for some 300 years, Takatalo & Tompuri Brewery has carved out a name as a producer of award-winning beer that puts simplicity and purity in the spotlight to let the beauty of the terroir shine through. By Jo Iivonen  |  Photos: Vesa Hovi

Takatalo & Tompuri has been making waves on the beer scene for the last few years, culminating in several medals at the 2019 European Beer Challenge. So, what’s behind the niche operator’s rapid rise to the top? “Authenticity,” says Mikko Suur-Uski, who founded the current operation on a family estate in 2016.

maker, a former chef who took over the family estate to carry on a tradition. “I looked at the farm and realised we could set up a brewery where 100 per cent of everything is produced in-house. From the field to the bottle – that’s the philosophy we follow every step of the way.”

“What’s been happening in the world of fine dining is now being replicated in beer,” Suur-Uski continues. “We’re seeing a kind of return to the roots, products that focus on simplicity, the quality of the ingredients.”

The efforts have proven successful. The first product to be launched in 2016, the KASKI Kylmäsavulager, immediately claimed the top spot as Finland’s best lager in 2017. Two years later, the light-coloured, cold-smoke lager won a gold medal at the European Beer Awards, an event that is recognised as one of the industry’s most important trend barometers.

Field to bottle Setting up the brewery has certainly been a return to the roots for the beer100  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

But it’s not just lager that’s causing a stir. The KASKI Mustakaura, a soft take on black beer, also scooped up a gold, while two other products were awarded silver. The KASKI Neljä Viljaa, a light beer made with a combination of oats, barley, wheat and rye, was recognised in its category, as was the KASKI Heller.

Back to basics After an era dominated by an everexpanding range of IPAs, often characterised by double dry-hopped complexity and heaviness, many beer aficionados are now turning to more clear-cut styles. “That’s what we’re focused on,” Suur-Uski says. “Our products let the character of the terroir shine through. But we do so while also continuously honing our production methods.” Facebook: Takatalo & Tompuri Brewery Instagram: @takatalotompuri

Scan Magazine  |  Café of the Month  |  Finland

Café of the Month, Finland

An eatery out of the ordinary Located just across the bridge from downtown Helsinki, at the heart of the city’s bohemian Hakaniemi district, Café Talo pulls in urbanites of all ages and walks of life, all drawn in by the bar-cum-theatre-restaurant’s laid-back vibe, ever evolving menu and top-notch produce. By Jo Iivonen  |  Photos: Café Talo

Owing to the Soho-esque feel of the neighbourhood, it’s no surprise that Café Talo – named after the Finnish word for house – is a magnet for artists, but that’s not all. “We’re a living room for absolutely everyone,” says Joakim Stenius, who founded the concept with three friends in 2009. “We go out of our way to source the best food and drink, but we’re also really focused on the ambiance.” In addition to the two-storey space that’s emerged as the neighbourhood’s favourite home-away-from-home, Café Talo runs three bars at the Arena Theatre just next door. The upstairs area can also be hired for private events, including pre-theatre parties.

Locally-sourced, globally minded Across the street is Helsinki’s favourite market hall. “We know everyone there and get to sample all ingredients, then

pop back into the kitchen and serve everything afresh. That’s really important to us,” says Stenius. The kitchen takes influences from the Mediterranean in particular. Patatas Bravas is a perennial favourite, as is the antipasti – authenticity guaranteed, thanks to the Naples-born head chef. When it comes to the mains, one dish stands above the rest. “The most popular choice is the burgers, definitely,” says the founder. “There’s always a new take on the good old classic, including vegan and gluten-free versions.” The drinks list continues to evolve, too. “We like to keep things alive, try new stuff and treat clients to the best we’ve sourced from small producers. We’re always bringing in new craft beers, and our wine list never remains the same for long,” Stenius continues.

The bohemian home Just like the menu, the décor is far from conventional. Step in, and you’ll be greeted by an eccentric assemblage of vintage tables, mid-century chairs and plump sofas, walls brimming with art brought in and out, freely, by the local community. A Twin Peaks-themed restroom completes the picture, owls and all. One of the centrepieces is a freestanding clock that doesn’t work – on purpose. “We don’t count the hours here,” the restaurateur laughs. “Whether you’re 19 or 90, this is the spot to grab a bite, a drink and just chill out – for as long as you like.” Facebook: Cafetalo Instagram: @cafetalo

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Scan Magazine  |  Attraction of the Month  |  Finland

Photo: Anna-Katri Hänninen

Photo: Pia Behm

Attraction of the Month, Finland

A breathtakingly impressive castle, steeped in history Olavinlinna Castle, located on a small island in Lake Saimaa in south-east Finland, is one of the top tourist destinations in the country. The 15th-century stone castle has a colourful history and has been attracting visitors since the 1800s. The picturesque lakeside provides a perfect backdrop for the annual Olavinlinna Opera Festival and other cultural events throughout the year.

was right, as the first Opera Festival was held there in 1912. Now, the festival draws in tens of thousands of visitors each summer, and is one of the most famous opera festivals in the world.

By Ndéla Faye  |  Photos: Topi Leikas

Construction of Olavinlinna Castle began in 1475. At that stage, Finland was under the control of the Swedish kingdom, and the castle had the crucial task of warding off attacks from Russia in the east. “The history of the place is tangible: you can almost hear the medieval swords clanging and the cannons booming off the walls. During its long history, Olavinlinna has served as a border fortress for both the Swedes and the Russians – and the numerous changes of power have left their unique mark on the building, still visible in the castle’s architecture. It’s quite rare that the exact year of construction of a castle from this era is known, and it goes to show how important it truly was,” explains Jouni Marjamäki, keeper at The National Museum of Finland. Another thing that makes the castle unique is its longstanding history as a tourist destination. There are records of 102  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

Olavinlinna as a tourist attraction in the 1860s, which is quite unusual – but completely understandable: the surrounding Lake Saimaa provides a stunning backdrop to the castle. The lake is also home to the endangered Saimaa ringed seal, a unique animal not found anywhere else in the world. “Lucky, eagle-eyed visitors can spot the seals swimming just off the castle. The lake’s current is so strong that the water around the castle never freezes,” the museum keeper continues. The castle is open to visitors throughout the year, and artefacts found nearby are on display at the castle museum. Guided tours of the grounds are also organised all year round. These days, Olavinlinna is perhaps best known for hosting the annual Savonlinna Opera Festival. The idea was originally conceived by opera singer Aino Ackté, who thought Olavinlinna would be the perfect venue for an opera – and she

About Olavinlinna: – Founded in 1475 by Swedish   nobleman Erik Axelsson Tott. – Situated on a small island in Lake   Saimaa, in south-east Finland. – The northernmost medieval   stone castle still standing in   the world. – Served as a border fortress   under the Swedes and Russians. – Home to the annual Savonlinna   Opera Festival and many other   cultural events throughout the year.

Scan Magazine  |  Experience of the Month  |  Finland

Photo: Mika Huisman

Photo: Jari Kostet

Photo: Atte Tornikoski

Experience of the Month, Finland

Finnish nature on display Haltia – The Finnish Nature Centre showcases Finnish nature in all its many forms, from the world’s largest archipelago to the snowy fells of Lapland, as well as the beautiful forests and lakeland in between.

modern twist, prepared mainly from local ingredients. There are also conference facilities for meetings and other private events.

By Mari Koskinen  |  Photos: Finnish Nature Centre Haltia

The nature centre is conveniently located by Nuuksio National Park, Espoo, right next to Helsinki. You can reach Haltia easily by public transport, bicycle, car or by hiking. Haltia gives you an interesting and accessible first encounter with Finnish nature. “We have recently updated our permanent exhibition, which presents the annual cycle of six different types of nature on a huge panorama display, including sound and light art,” explains Tom Selänniemi, director of Haltia. “Visitors also get to explore the wonders of surviving in the harsh winter conditions, and how the nature explodes back to life, just weeks after the snow is gone.”

you to follow the footsteps of the famous nature photographer Frédéric Larrey, when he tracked the snow leopard at the rugged Tibetan plateau,” Selänniemi explains. “Our next temporary exhibition will concentrate on the rare flying squirrel. Visitors will learn a lot about its secret life in the Finnish forests.”

There are also temporary exhibitions and an outdoor exhibition area. “Currently, we have a special exhibition called In the Land of the Snow Leopard, which allows

Restaurant Haltia on the top floor of the museum offers a beautiful view over the Nuuksio National Park and serves traditional Finnish dishes with a

The admission fee includes an audio guide, which is available in four languages, and it is possible to book a guided tour on request. “There are also special annual events celebrating the Finnish nature, like the Finnish Nature Day in August and Winter Nature Day in February,” Selänniemi adds.

Haltia also functions as a living laboratory for sustainable and eco-friendly building technology. It boasts many advanced eco features designed to minimise its carbon footprint, like, for example, wood construction, energy-efficient heating, cooling and lighting, and easily convertible spaces that are suitable for multiple purposes, aiming for a high utilisation rate. Both the building and its versatile exhibitions attract many visitors, who leave impressed by the spectacular Finnish nature. “Many visitors start to plan their next trip to get to experience the Finnish wilderness, after seeing it here first,” concludes Selänniemi. Facebook: haltiacom Instagram: @haltiacom

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Scan Magazine  |  Experience of the Month  |  Denmark

Photo: Bertel Bolt

Experience of the Month, Denmark

Experience the largest Second World War fortifications in northern Europe If you are interested in history and World War II, Bunkermuseum Hanstholm is the perfect museum for you. Here, you can experience the 2,500-square-metre bunker, where once one of the 38-centimetre cannons used as part of the German coastal battery stood, and you can also learn what life was like in Hanstholm during the war. By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: Bunkermuseum Hanstholm

Bunkermuseum Hanstholm is the largest Second World War museum in Denmark, and you can also see the largest fortifications from the war in northern Europe in Hanstholm. The museum is nothing short of extraordinary, boasting a bunker where most of the rooms look just like they did during the war. “You can see for yourself how the German soldiers lived when they were staying in the bunkers. The bunker is underground – and then we have the Documentation Centre on top of the bunker, where you can experience the exhibition Enemy and Neighbour – Hanstholm occupied,” says Mia Riemann Thomsen, curator at Bunkermuseum Hanstholm. 104  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

The bunkers in Hanstholm were of extreme importance to the Germans, as they were a part of the Atlantic Wall, which was an extensive system of coastal defence and fortifications built by the Nazis during the war. In total, there are more than 400 bunkers in Hanstholm alone – all of which were guarded around the clock during the war. “Hanstholm was a very important town for the Germans because of its strategic location. The Germans started building here right after the occupation, and they continued to build until the day the war ended. This, of course, also meant that life for the people in Hanstholm changed quite drastically

when the Germans invaded Denmark,” explains Thomsen. Before the war, Hanstholm had about 800 citizens. After the war, there were about 500. Because Hanstholm was at high risk of being attacked during the war, the local citizens of Hanstholm were evacuated and ordered to move. Many people chose not to move back when the war ended, which left Hanstholm looking like a ghost town. “It was not until the ‘60s, when the harbour was built, that the town was brought back to life. The war is only a small part of Denmark’s history, but it changed people. It is something people still talk about today, and it’s not only people with an interest in war who talk about it – it’s everyone,” says Thomsen. Facebook: BunkermuseumHanstholm

Scan Magazine  |  Museum of the Month  |  Norway

Photo: Jerry Andre

Photo: Sunnmøre Museum

Photo: BBC

Museum of the Month, Norway

Sail along Ålesund like a Viking Located in idyllic Borgundgavlen, Sunnmøre Museum provides visitors with fascinating insight into the local coastal culture from the Stone Age through to modern times, with various exhibitions and events throughout the year. This summer, the museum is excited to welcome you on a unique and educational tour of Ålesund, with the Viking ship Borgundknarren. By Ingrid Opstad

“Our guided tours are the perfect way to experience beautiful Ålesund from the seaside in true Viking style,” says Siw Solvang, marketing manager at Sunnmøre Museum. The tour takes an hour and brings you along Ålesund on an educational adventure. “Our guides tell interesting local stories from the Viking Age along the way, and you get to taste typical Viking food, like dried meat and stockfish. We also have a replica of armour, a helmet, shield and sword on board for you to try out – it makes for an excellent selfie with the stunning fjord as a background.” Borgundknarren is a replica of a Viking ship from approximately the year 1000,

built specifically for trade, which was found in Denmark in 1962. The ship is 16 metres long, made of oak and pine, true to tradition, and is certified to have up to 40 people on board. “One question we’re often asked is why the dragon’s head lies inside the boat and is not attached to the stem like many would expect. In fact, the Vikings would only use the dragon head when they wanted to frighten enemies,” Solvang explains, adding: “To learn more, you should come take the tour!” During the summer months, the Viking ship can be rented for daytime or evening events such as company trips, weddings or birthdays, giving you the

opportunity to take your guests on a unique tour they will never forget. Another highlight this summer is the Sunnmøre Medieval Festival hosted by Sunnmøre Museum. Taking place in the beginning of June, the festival offers plenty of educational and exciting activities for both children and adults.

Photo: BBC

To book tickets for a guided tour with the Viking ship, please visit: Facebook: Sunnmøre Museum Instagram: @sunnmoremuseum

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  105

Booth view at Unseen, Amsterdam 2018.

Gallery of the Month, Norway

Vasli Souza – acclaimed photo gallery opens in Oslo The critically acclaimed Fotogalleri Vasli Souza, which opened in Sweden in 2013, debuted a new space in Oslo in December 2019. Vasli Souza, which quickly became known in the Swedish art world as an innovative art space with an international focus, is set to present several exciting, new photography exhibitions in its Oslo location. By Maria Vole  |  Photos: Fotogalleri Vasli Souza

Originally opened in Malmö in the south of Sweden, Gallery Vasli Souza has recently opened a new, contemporary photography gallery in Oslo, Norway. The success of the Malmö gallery, which has been running since 2013, led to the opening of the new art space in the Norwegian capital. With an exclusive focus on photography art, Vasli Souza offers a venue for contemporary photography to thrive within the Norwegian capital. The creators of the original gallery, Rasmus Vasli and Marcio Souza, met 106  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

while studying fine art photography in London. Hailing from Norway and Brazil respectively, the two quickly connected and decided to establish a gallery in Malmö, dedicated to presenting photographic projects from all over the world. For Vasli, who in recent years has been running the gallery on his own, the opening of the new space involved a return to his roots. Originally from Norway, Vasli has lived, studied and worked internationally, before moving back to his hometown of Oslo to open the new art

space. Vasli describes a great start for the new gallery, saying: “A lot of people have visited the gallery since we opened, and I feel like we’re already part of the arts environment in Oslo.”

International, multicultural and diverse Located at Damplassen in Oslo, the exhibition space will display art with an international, multicultural focus. The aim will be to showcase the work of interest-

Rasmus Vasli.

Scan Magazine  |  Gallery of the Month  |  Norway

ing, up-and-coming contemporary artists from a diverse background. “I often exhibit young artists in the starting phase of their careers, and unlike many other galleries, my focus is on international artists rather than local artists,” Vasli says. Gallery Vasli Souza has previously worked with some of the most exciting young names within arts photography, including the provocative Chinese photographer Ren Hang, the artist and visual activist Zanele Muholi from South Africa, the award-winning photographer Jordi Ruiz Cirera from Spain, and the internationally lauded photographer Nelli Palomäki from Finland. Vasli Souza has also collaborated with several talented Norwegian photographers, such as Andrea Gjestvang and Helge Skodvin. Since the gallery is privately owned, Vasli has the freedom to play around with the space. Vasli takes an interest in subverting the traditional expectations of gallery spaces, such as the way the pieces are hung, and the layout and look of the gallery itself, providing a dynamic and innovative space for the art exhibitions. And the new space isn’t just for appreciating the arts projects displayed – the gallery also facilitates the sale of the pieces exhibited. “Arts photography has become very popular outside of Norway,” Vasli says, “and many people buy photos not just because they like them and want to have them up on their walls, but also as an investment piece.” Vasli is excited to share his passion for arts photography, and to introduce both locals and visitors to artists they may otherwise not have encountered.

Innovation and creativity An exciting programme for 2020 has already been established, with exhibitions by artists from a diverse range of backgrounds. Visitors to the gallery can expect art in a similar vein to the exhibitions put on at the Malmö gallery: fresh and innovative pieces, often with an element of playfulness or quirk to them. “I display what I personally find interesting,” Vasli says. “I’m especially interested in projects that have a strange, un-

RED 1, 2016 from exhibition Boys! Boys! Boys! Photo: Lakovos

Ping Pong Balls, 2013. Photo: Pixy Liao

canny or odd quality to them, or with a humorous twist.” The gallery plans on displaying eight month-long exhibitions per year, along with shorter intermittent exhibitions. The critically acclaimed, young Chinese artist Pixy Liao was the first artist to be exhibited in the new gallery at Damplassen. Her project, Carry the Weight of You, opened the new gallery space in December, and the next artist to break in the new space is the Swedish photographer Charlie Fjätström, with the collection No One Left to Blame. Next up is Jocelyn Allen, a young English artist, with the exhibition Always Awkward opening on 8 February and running

Kiss exam, 2015. Photo: Pixy Liao

until 8 March. This is followed by exhibitions from artists Alexey Shlyk, Polina Polikarpova and the travelling group exhibition Boys! Boys! Boys! in collaboration with The Little Black Gallery and Paddle8, set to open on 23 April. With a history of innovation and creativity with regards to artistic practices as well as with regards to the gallery space itself, Vasli Souza promises to be an exciting addition to the Oslo art scene for locals and visitors alike. Facebook: Fotogalleri Vasli Souza Instagram: @vaslisouza

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  107

Fear, 100x120cm, 2020. Courtesy of Gallery Birch, Copenhagen.

Artist of the Month, Norway

A life revolving around art The renowned, contemporary Norwegian artist Kenneth Blom has a lifelong fascination with human beings, which he expresses beautifully through his abstract works. Characterised by a blend of architectural and figurative elements, his paintings convey a moody yet gleeful tone, by an artist who has lived a life revolving around art. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Photos: Tommy Normann/Jens Hamran

Born in the historic city of Roskilde in Denmark, Kenneth Blom spent the first eight years of his life there, before later moving to Norway. Growing up, he was always surrounded by art and design. With his father a designer and jeweller 108  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

at Georg Jensen and a childhood home filled with Scandinavian design furniture by the likes of Hans J. Wegner, Arne Jacobsen and Fritz Hansen, as well as a drawing board at the centre of the living room, Blom discovered an inter-

Kenneth Blom.

Scan Magazine  |  Artist of the Month  |  Norway

est for drawing early on. “Of course, this had a certain impact on me, but I was never particularly gifted at drawing as a child. It was only during high school, due to school fatigue, that I became serious about it and started drawing,” the artist recalls. After high school, Blom began attending the Einar Granum School of Fine Art in Oslo, and after a week there, he was completely engrossed in the world of painting and drawing. “Since that moment, my life has revolved around art,” Blom says. His passion for art followed him as he studied further at the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo, as well as at the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts (19941995), and it was during his time at the academy in Oslo that he met Anine Müller, who later became his wife. “She has the absolute knack for composition and provides me with solutions regarding the image process, and generally professional options that are important in the art scene. She is my muse, whom I depend on daily,” Blom explains.

Artistic breakthrough In 1996, Blom had a big breakthrough in his artistic career, when he received a phone call from the Norwegian art historian, art collector and gallerist Haaken Christensen. “He called me after seeing my art at an exhibition at the Oslo City Hall, to offer me a solo show at his gallery, and I remember shouting of joy. As a youngster, I often walked past Gallery Haaken in Lille Frogner Allé but never dared to enter.” Christensen took Blom under his wing and guided him into the professional art world with passion, formation, and business flair. As an international man, well-known within the art community, his knowledge was very educational for the young artist. “As Christensen always told me, ‘the art you create must always be exemplary, original and personal, and then I will sell it for you’. He never tried to influence my expression and always believed in me. Not only did he provide me with a free studio in a Frogner apartment, but he also helped to arrange solo exhibitions for me at Henie Onstad Art

Center and Sotheby’s in London. I have everything to thank him for, and I miss him deeply,” Blom reflects.

Moody, abstract brush strokes Characterised by a blend of architectural and figurative elements, Blom’s brush strokes often have a moody expression, but at the same time a gleeful brightness to them. His paintings, which are colourful and vibrant, display solitary figures in modern industrial or simplis-

Gallery representation: – Jason McCoy Gallery, New York. – Pekin Fine Arts, Beijing /   Hong Kong. – Luisa Catucci Gallery, Berlin. – Lyon Particule Gallery, Lyon. – Gallery Birch, Copenhagen. – Gallery Haaken, Oslo. – Dropsfabrikken Gallery,   Trondheim.

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  109

Scan Magazine  |  Artist of the Month  |  Norway

tic, empty landscapes. With an abstract style, his art offers a surreal insight, which suggests a hidden melancholy. As an avid reader of art history, Blom is humbled by all the significant art created throughout the past. According to him, the common denominator for many great art pieces is abstraction and figuration. “If you look closely at the gold helmet of Rembrandt, for example, you can notice how abstractly it is painted; or the delicate, light curtains painted by Anna Ancher, which when experienced up close become independent, abstract images – almost like Mark Rotkho. All of this, I try to exaggerate by inserting geometric shapes to tighten up the composition and to give my characters aesthetic resistance in the world I put them into,” Blom says.

A lifelong fascination with human beings When it comes to his inspiration, the artist is transparent. “Scrap inspiration – give me a deadline instead. David Hockney says inspiration comes like a thief at night. I agree with that!” Furthermore, Blom says that he has no specific motives for conveying a mes-

Unbroken, 50x60cm, 1999. Courtesy of Jason McCoy Gallery, New York.

sage through his art. “The world is doing just fine without my paintings,” he jokes. “If there were to be a theme, then it has to be my lifelong fascination with human beings, whether seen alone or

together with two or three others – people experienced at a distance in a frozen situation. That moment right before they start talking, fighting, killing, loving or whatever else they might be doing.”

In Norway and beyond Having already shown his works extensively around the world, the Norwegian artist is humbled by his far-reaching Upcoming exhibitions in 2020: – Art Herning in Denmark,   represented by Gallery Birch in   Copenhagen, 23-26 January. – Art Karlsruhe, represented by Luisa Catucci Gallery in Berlin,   14 February. – Solo exhibition at Gallery Birch in   Copenhagen, 5 March. – Participating in a charity auction in   Vienna, organised by Sotheby’s New York, 8 May. – Opening at Gallery Haaken in Oslo,   end of May. – Art Basel, 18-21 June.

Tiger, 140x160cm, 1999. Courtesy of Jason McCoy Gallery, New York.

110  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

– Solo exhibition in Rosendal at Guddal Gallery, 27 June.

Scan Magazine  |  Artist of the Month  |  Norway

Said about Kenneth Blom:

“In fact, I think Kenneth Blom’s picturesque method, with construction and destruction, is a good image for the basic human. Rather, he engages in reverse archaeology. This means that the essential human being is not something to be revealed, but rather something that has to be developed through repeated machinations. The most important thing is often not to be found by going in-depth, but rather by adding something new.” Professor of health sciences, psychiatrist and author Finn Skårderud “Abstract or figurative painting – not necessarily a lifelong decision for an artist. Kenneth Blom is one of those painters who are perfectly able to combine both. With every other serial, he newly balances the relationship between them. The viewer’s eye changes between figure and room, narration and expression. And suddenly the horizon is open to delicate, subtle painting.” Editor for the arts section of Berlin Tagesspiegel, and art critic, Nicola Kuhn

prominence. “I am so privileged to work internationally alongside so many talented people. This summer, I had my sixth separate exhibition at the Jason McCoy Gallery in New York, followed by Art Basel, represented by my new gallery Luisa Catucci in Berlin, and a solo exhibition later in the year at the same gallery,” Blom says. With his new studio, located in Fornebu, the Oslo-based painter now has even more room to frolic. “The need for more space came because I have several large exhibitions happening both in Norway and abroad. Now I can have a whole exhibition mounted on the wall and have a complete overview all the time,” he says, adding: “Fornebu is also an exciting, vibrant place to be right now, full of international art.” Facebook: KennethBlompainter Instagram: @kennethvonblom

Orange sky, 120x180cm, 2020. Courtesy of galleri Gallery Birch, Copenhagen.

Issue 133  |  February 2020  |  111

Scan Magazine  |  Humour  |  Columns


By Mette Lisby

… who thinks our obsession with ‘the latest thing’ is becoming a bit too much? Phones, laptops, tablets and especially TVs seem to be spewn out in a new model each and every year. The iPhone has made it the new normal – from iPhone I to X and 11 and Pro and Max and so forth. We have gotten used to thinking that once a year, it’s time to upgrade, and most carriers have made systems that make sure we follow this rule like lemmings running for our doom. But have you ever thought about whether it makes sense to upgrade? Your phone? Your MacBook? Your TV? A new TV was just launched, called 8000K. But how much better is it, and can you even tell the difference between that and its predecessor? You might say yes without thinking or even checking – and, of course, logically, 8000K pixels are better than 4000K, but do any broadcasters even film anything in a high enough quality for you to enjoy it on your new 8000K TV? The answer is no! Just like with HD, when they launched the ‘must-have’ high definition buzz words. It took years before

broadcasters even started to give us programming filmed in HD so that we could get bang for the buck we had put down. Netflix, for example, didn’t do HD-recorded shows until very recently. I am not one to point fingers. Almost nine years ago, we bought a 3D-ready TV. Only minor thing: you had to buy the 3D glasses also, and – surprise! – nine years later, we still haven’t gotten around to buying them, because so little TV is available in 3D that it seems silly sitting with your 3D goggles, waiting for James Cameron’s next instalment of Avatar. And while I am at it with killing the joy of ‘must-have’ technology for your family altar on the wall: having an 8000K TV will seriously suck any life out of your internet connection and drain your broadband (God forbid you have a limit on your account). So, hang onto your 1080P TV a little longer, particularly because TV broadcasters and streaming services have long ago figured

Winter sports In Sweden, winter is the perfect season for exercise. Schools put on endless sports days involving skiing and skating, which is great for those who enjoy this – but not so much for those who’ve reached an age when organised fun seems like the epitome of hell. This was how I felt, aged 14, being packed off on one such sports day. The idea of rattling around inside a bus for hours before being strapped inside a pair of poorly fitting ski boots until the sun went down did not appeal. There was, however, an alternative offered to dissidents like myself. Ice-fishing. I’d like to point out that I was not in any way a rebel, merely sullen and full of teenage pessimism. I was also shy, and so – looking around the small gathering of equally grumpy teenagers who’d opted for icefishing – I feared that I’d made a mistake. Picture us like a Scandinavian Breakfast Club in snowsuits. None of us fished. But 112  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

out that we watch so much content on our phones anyhow, so what do you need that pixel perfect HD-LED-ULED-QLED-8000KGazillion-Pixel-Perfect picture for? You only have six inches, or less, in your hand most of the time.

Mette Lisby is Denmark’s leading female comedian. She invites you to laugh along with her monthly humour columns. Since her stand-up debut in 1992, Mette has hosted the Danish version of Have I Got News For You and Room 101.

By Maria Smedstad

temperature dropped further, we remained like this, eventually becoming one giggling pile of bodies. Once back on the rattling bus, we slunk off to separate seats, reverting to our usual selves. But for those few hours on the ice, we’d been a team. It goes to show that you should never underestimate the effect that impending hypothermia can have, especially when making new friends.

out we trundled onto the ice, stopping some distance in, clumsily drilling a hole. Then we sat, in unified silence. Freezing winds blew across the open expanse. No fish came. Eventually we were all so cold that we had to start talking. Not only that, but one of us was going blue, and so, reluctantly, we huddled around him to warm him up. As the

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.

Scan Magazine  |  Culture Profile  |  Frilandsmuseet

The museum where you step back in time to the old Denmark Only 30 minutes from the centre of Copenhagen, it is possible to experience 250 years of Danish history. Old Denmark – Open Air Museum was established in 1897 to showcase the history of the Danish countryside, and today it has over 50 original buildings, which give you an insight into what it was like to live and work in the Danish countryside up to 300 years ago. By Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Frilandsmuseet

“Old Denmark is an interactive museum, and one where history comes to life. All of our buildings are original buildings from the Danish countryside, which have been taken apart brick by brick, moved from near and far, and put together again within the museum. The interiors are collected and curated to fit certain time periods, so every building you step into is a time warp,” explains Brittany Overgaard, press and marketing manager for Old Denmark – Open Air Museum. The open-air museum is brought to life further with lots of volunteers and staff who dress in historic Danish costumes and use the buildings the way they originally would have been used. It is possible to visit a cottage and try freshly

baked bread, try your hand at churning butter, or even have a go at chopping wood. There are always lots of events throughout the season, too, for both kids and adults to enjoy.

Explore and immerse A visit to Frilandsmuseet truly takes you on a tour of the old Danish landscape. There are traditional breeds of horses, goats, pigs, cows and sheep, to mention a few of the animals present throughout the museum. The buildings have also been sourced from all the corners of Denmark, including what is now Germany, Sweden and the Faroe Islands, showcasing the many sides to Denmark. “One of the best ways to experience the museum is to get an overview from our

horse-drawn carriages, which depart from the entrance. It gives a good idea of how big it is and how much there is to explore. After that, it’s all about exploring and joining in on the activities, and maybe being pulled along by a pony when your feet get tired,” suggests Overgaard. There is something rather exciting and magical about fully immersing yourself in history, and in a place where you won’t see anything modern throughout your visit. With Sorgenfri train station a ten-minute walk away and buses that stop right outside the front door, this museum offers a fun and easy way to spend the day. Frilandsmuseet is open from 9 April to 20 December. Closed on Mondays. Free admission for children under 18. Facebook: frilandsmuseet Instagram: @frilandsmuseet

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Photo: David Bloom

Thank you for the music “If someone had told me in 1980, that in 40 years’ time, there would be an ABBA Museum in Stockholm and a huge exhibition in London about this group, you’d have blown my mind, but that’s how it is.” By Paula Hammond

We’re in the O2 – London’s vast domeshaped entertainment venue – for the launch of the ABBA: Super Troupers exhibition. Outside, the Greenwich Peninsula is stony grey, but inside things have a distinctly Swedish colour scheme, right down to the yellow and blue complementary croissants. Ingmarie Halling is the creative director of ABBA The Museum, and her connection to the band goes back to its early days. “In the ‘70s, I worked making wigs and costumes for ballet and theatrical companies in Sweden, and my boyfriend 114  |  Issue 133  |  February 2020

at the time played guitar with ABBA. So, when they were doing a concert in Sweden in 1975, I got to meet them and Frida and I became friends,” Halling explains. “Then, when ABBA were going to Australia in ‘77, she called me and asked if I wanted to come along and help in the dressing room with the costumes, and I said yes. So that was the start of it.” For Halling, the job was a crash course in life on the road. One day, she was washing costumes in the sink in her hotel room, and the other, she was touring London in style. “This was London in

‘77,” she laughs, “and I had my per diem but hadn’t touched it. So I decided to go shopping and asked Benny if I could borrow one of the runners’ cars. Well, there was a party that night, and I was late to bed and had only had about four hours of sleep when the receptionist called to say my car was waiting outside. I jumped into my pants and T-shirt, as you can when you’re 25, and stepped out of this grand hotel, with these long, imposing stairs – my hair a total mess – to find a white Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow with a driver in white outfit waiting outside! When I got back, Benny asked mischievously if everything had been alright, and all I could say was ‘Yes, yes, keep on doing that!’” It’s that sense of fun that, for many, epitomises the ABBA sound. This is music

Scan Magazine  |  Culture Profile  |  Super Troupers

that’s simply impossible not to dance to. However, getting that music heard outside of Sweden was a huge step for the group. Benny stated that, when they entered the Eurovision Song Contest, it didn’t matter if they won; they just wanted to get their songs in front of a larger audience. They did win, and Waterloo became not just that stepping stone towards international success, but one of the bestselling singles in history. “We Swedes tend not to like people getting too big for their boots,” Halling says, “but despite their fame, they were not even remotely divas. On tour, they would always learn the crew’s names, which is unusual, especially in America. They were always fab people – still are.” At the time, she admits, Halling wasn’t an ABBA fan. “I was listening to the Beatles, the Stones, Led Zeppelin, and artists like Frank Zappa, but I do appreciate really good, well-made music. And it is so good. In the museum, we hear the songs every day, and we never get tired of it… I once asked Benny, when I

was working on an exhibit, how he knew when something was ‘right’, and what he said stuck with me. He said that whatever you’re doing, it’s a creative process, and you can never really know. All you can do is exactly as good as you can at that point in time – and have the confidence and belief in the concept.” Proof that ABBA’s songs are more than just ‘as good as you can do’ is that, once you get past the fun, the insanely catchy riffs and, yes, the nostalgia, these songs impact you on a very personal level. “They said at one point that they wished their music could be of comfort to people,” Halling comments. “At first, I couldn’t understand that, because music, for me, is a happy thing. It fills your soul with fluff and good vibes – but it’s true: even in sad times, music brings back memories and makes an emotional connection. And I know that all four of them are very emotional people. I know that when Agnetha first heard Slipping Through My Fingers in the Mamma Mia film, she had a tear in her eye because she remembered what it was like with

Photo: Steve Lillie

little Linda going to school – how separations happen, and there is not one living person that has not been through something similar.” Music has to be good to survive the test of time, but great music doesn’t just survive. It speaks to you. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

ABBA: Super Troupers is the brandnew, 14,000-square-foot immersive experience that invites you inside the personal stories of band members Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid (‘Frida’), and their rise to super stardom. The exhibition runs until 31 August and is open Monday through Saturday. Stockholm’s ABBA The Museum is an interactive museum that offers you the chance to virtually try on ABBA’s costumes, sing, play, mix original music and become the fifth member of ABBA by performing on a large stage together with Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid.

Photo: David Bloom

Photo: Steve Lillie

Photo: Steve Lillie

Photo: David Bloom

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Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Music

Scandinavian music Linnea Bjoern is an emerging singer and songwriter from Sweden, who is currently making quite an impression. Under the artist moniker BJOERN, she has just released the excellent debut single, Why. The song is a well-crafted slice of melancholia that veers from soft, acoustic piano ballad, to raging industrial freakout, and then back again. As a result, it makes for a great listen, and one that deserves repeat plays. One of Finland’s favourite pop stars right now is Benjamin. He’s become more successful than ever since electing to record in his native Finnish, and in a more mature sound and style. His latest must-listen is new single Kaksi Kotia. It’s an urban-electro jam in which poor Benjamin sounds utterly fraught with emotion. It’s so good, however, that it’ll make you want to wallow in whatever woes Benjamin is, alongside him. And that’s regardless of how much or how little of the

Finnish lyrics you can actually grasp. Arguably the first great Nordic album of the year has just arrived from Sweden. It’s the debut LP from Swedish songwriter and producer duo, Vargas & Lagola. The pair have been behind some of the biggest hits for the likes of Avicii and Swedish House Mafia, but The Butterfly Effect is all the work they’ve been keeping for themselves. It showcases their own Scandinavian blend of Americana music, with the big highlight being last year’s huge radio hit in Sweden, Forgot To Be Your Lover. The best of the new tracks, however, is Pick Me Up: a song that is reminiscent of ‘80s-era ABBA. Finally, we go back to Finland for the debut single from Tom Saario. The artist, who is currently based in London, arrives onto the scene with Just A Little. It’s a relentlessly catchy earworm that serves as an impressive introduction to the songwriting talent. Debut EP I Think We Need To Talk is on its way soon.

By Karl Batterbee


From Scratch. Performing at this year’s by:Larm festival. Photo: by:Larm

Scandinavian Culture Calendar – Where to go, what to see? It’s all happening here! My Life Is So Boring (18-22 February) This movement-orientated stage performance by Helsinki-based Leena Harjunpää Co examines the concept of meaningful life through dance and music, as well as musings in Finnish and English. Does finding a deeper meaning in life need be a serious affair? Is humour something to be taken seriously, too? Or, for a happy ending, should we all just take up tennis? Korjaamo, Töölönkatu 51 B, 00250 Helsinki, Finland.

Bolig Mad Design (21-23 February) What do you get when you mix Denmark’s design credentials, innovative cooking

By Jo Iivonen

and a generous pinch of hygge? With some 400 exhibitors under one roof to display the latest in Danish housing, food and design, the Copenhagen edition of Bolig Mad Design is every interior enthusiast’s dream come true. Bella Center Copenhagen, Center Boulevard 5, 2300 Copenhagen, Denmark.

and populism. Expect sadomasochistic battle gear, punk-infused electro tunes and powerful lyrics. After the Neyslutrans album release party in Reykjavik, a European Tour will follow with multiple venues across the continent.

Hatari – Neyslutrans Tour (22 February until June)

With several events scheduled throughout the day, the BBC Symphony Orchestra Total Immersion delves into the praised work of Swedish composer Anders Hillborg. In addition to performances of existing masterpieces such as Peacock Tales and Beast Sampler,

The Icelandic band may have failed to bring home the top prize from last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, but that hasn’t stifled the controversial group, on a mission to expose the failings of capitalism

BBC SO Total Immersion: Anders Hillborg (22 February)

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Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

audiophiles can look forward to the premiere of a brand-new Hillborg piece. Multiple venues in Barbican, London, UK.

Stockholm Feminist Film Festival (26 February–1 March) Sweden is often considered a role model of gender equality, yet nearly seven out of ten films produced in the country are by male directors. Now in its fifth year, the Stockholm Feminist Film Festival features a broad range of films by female directors in an attempt to create a more equal footing, all the while drawing attention to issues faced by women worldwide. The full programme can be found on the website.

by:Larm Festival (27-29 February) Dozens of upcoming bands will take to the stage in Oslo over the last weekend of February, in celebration of young artists who will shape the Nordic music scene in years to come. Now in its third decade, the festival has seen the likes of Highasakite, Turboneger and James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem emerge on stage. In addition to Norwegian acts, the line-up includes

My Life Is So Boring. Photo by Korjaamo

groups from Denmark, Sweden and beyond. Multiple venues across Oslo.

Tom of Finland Centenary Exhibition (6 March–28 June) A wide selection of art will go on display in London to mark the centenary of the birth of Touko Laaksonen, the Finnish artist whose visions came to play an iconic role in the gay and pop culture of the late 20th century. The collection

Hatari. Photo by Hatari

Anders Hillborg. Photo: Mats Lundqvist

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Bolig Mad Design. Photo: Bolig Mad Design

features both well-known pieces and previously unseen drawings. The House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, Kings Cross, London N1C 4BH, UK.

Nordic Comics Today: Feminism (13 March) Due to take place right after International Women’s Day, this event puts the power of comics in the spotlight to explore feminism, women’s rights and politics. British Comics Laureate Hannah Berry is joined by Norwegian artist Marta Breen and Finnish artist Kaisa Leka at the event, which forms a part of the British Library’s first Nordic Cultural Roundtable. The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB London, UK.

Land Beyond the Sea (Until 5 April) A dialogue between art and fantasy lies at the heart of this group exhibition, featuring five Finnish artists who share their ideas, explorations and dreams of a better world through paintings and photography – in a location beyond the sea. The event coincides with the re-opening the Nordic House’s exhibition hall and the launch of a new restaurant, MATR, serving up local food. Nordic House, Sæmundargata 11, 102 Reykjavík, Iceland.