Scan Magazine, Issue 145, August 2022

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ROYAL BALLET SOLOIST GINA STORM-JENSEN ON GOING GLOBAL AW22: SCANDI LOOKS TO WEAR THIS SEASON TOP 10 AUTUMN EXPERIENCES IN SWEDEN SMART INVESTMENTS: NORWEGIAN FINTECH SPECIAL

PROMOTING BRAND SCANDINAVIA ISSUE 145 AUGUST 2022

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Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note In an exclusive interview, this issue, Royal Ballet soloist Gina Storm-Jensen shares her experience of going global in one of the toughest performance disciplines in the world. I found myself thinking, afterwards, of fifteen-year-old Storm-Jensen’s words to her parents when she was headhunted for a London ballet school. “I’m leaving regardless, because this is my dream,” she said. Her show of youthful independence resonated with own my fears of strangled prospect, brought on by the gas crisis, inflation and global warming – all forces that demand a level of personal sacrifice for collective gain. How to reconcile this with romantic, headstrong ambitions like those of Storm-Jensen? The answer is in imaginative problem-solving. There’s satisfaction in creativity, and there’s creativity in a challenge. The world remains as rich in opportunity as ever if we see our challenges as opportunities – pertinent advice in the travel industry.

So, this issue we meet eco-tourism associations, striving to protect northern Scandinavia’s local culture and wildlife. We speak to a sustainable housing collective in the Swedish wilderness and learn how to build our own straw-based, off-grid homes. Our Norwegian Fintech Special gives advice on how to make a passive income while supporting female entrepreneurs, and our sustainability column offers a less wasteful approach to autumn preparation. Plus, we speak to a self-taught abstract painter and musician about overcoming adversity in the arts industry. Meanwhile, we present an itinerary of hotels, restaurants, exhibitions, events and even tattoo studios you’ll want to visit in the Nordics, this month. There are ideas for offbeat retreats, experiences, and sage words from business owners and creatives. With a trying time for travel on the horizon, take inspiration from these pages to make a more creative, open-minded trip to Scandinavia.

Lena Hunter, Editor

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Bryggen, Bergen. Photo: Girish Chouhan - Visit Bergen

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Contents

In this issue COVER FEATURE 22

Going global with Royal Ballet soloist Gina Storm-Jensen Many dream of being a ballerina. The stage, the music, the satin pointe shoes: it all looks so enchanting. In reality, you need the strength of a top athlete, bulletproof determination and dizzying talent to even get into a ballet company, let alone rise through the ranks. But Norwegian dancer Gina Storm-Jensen – a soloist with the Royal Ballet in London – has made it. Here, she shares her experience of going global in one of the toughest performance disciplines in the world.

DESIGN & BUSINESS 6

Must-have AW22 looks and new-gen designer homes Get to know the Scandinavian brands you’ll be wearing next season, from established design houses to emerging labels. We’ve got your autumn wardrobe sewn up in this month’s Fashion Diary, plus conversations with the founder of a cult Swedish women’s watch brand and a knitwear label from the Faroe Islands. Plus, we examine the success behind one of Sweden’s top creative studios, a modern housing collective in the Swedish wilderness, and why you should build your own sustainable straw home.

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On tasting beer like a pro and the Danish ethos of ‘hygge’ Learn the three steps to separating the good from the exceptional in our resident beer expert Malin Norman’s guide to tasting beer like a pro. Meanwhile, wellness columnist Heidi Kokborg discovers the Danish philosophy of ‘hygge’ in Sri Lanka, and Alejandra Cerda Ojensa reflects on autumnal notions of harvest and preparation in her monthly take on sustainable living.

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Top 10 Autumn Experiences in Sweden There’s a rich offering of cultural diversions to explore this season, from the highly anticipated return of Stockholm Design Week to an unmissable exhibition of rare images by the legendary Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm, lobster fishing off the coast of Gothernburg, ‘Scandinavia’s greatest horror experience’ and more. Plus, explore our pick of Sweden’s best hotels for your autumn getaway, from remote forest outposts to luxury city retreats.

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Top Tattoo Studios in Norway Thinking of getting inked? Oslo is home to two of Norway’s foremost tattoo parlours. In our Top Tattoo Studios in Norway theme, we meet the artists and owners who have put them on the map.

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Norwegian Fintech Special In our Norwegian Fintech Special, we present two major platforms, both under five years old, democratising investment opportunities in the Nordics. Learn about the staggering growth of Norway’s largest crowdlending platform in real estate, and meet the matchmaking platform for investors and start-ups championing female entrepreneurs.

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Top Experiences and Culinary Finland Our culinary sojourn will take you deep into the forests around Helsinki, where local biodynamic beekeepers are busy cultivating premium Finnish honey. Elsewhere, we meet the liquorice producer who lays claim to the world record for the largest bag of sweets. Then, join us in the wild northern regions of Levi and Kainuu to meet the eco-tourism associations Visit Levi and Wild Taiga, for expert travel tips on visiting Lapland.

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Danish ceramics, Iron-Age history and a magical heritage garden A ceramicist from the Danish fjord-town of Kerteminde talks us through her stunning porcelain work and its relation to abstract-expressionist art. Over in Vejle, we visit a jaw-dropping cache of IronAge gold at one of Denmark’s leading museums. Then, lose yourself in a magical heritage garden in Hune, selected by Phaidon’s The Gardener’s Garden as one of world’s 250 most beautiful gardens.

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Scene report: New Scandi tunes and unmissable events this August Which new tracks are making waves in the Nordics? What are the hottest events in the cultural calendar? It’s all here in this month’s scene report. Plus, our resident illustrator Gabi Frödén ruminates on the Scandinavian character and why punctuality makes us tick, tick, tick.

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Fashion Diary We Love This Restaurants of the Month Hotels of the Month Resort of the Month Experience of the Month Gallery of the Month Artist of the Month

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Fashion Diary

Fashion Diary… August is the silky-sweet final breath of summer. Embrace the warmth of Indian summer days and dress in hues that echo the sun and sea. Show off your holiday glow and softly blend summer memories with the first tiny hints of autumn fashion. By Åsa H. Aaberge

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Vest and xxxxxx Shirt by Livid Made inxxxxxx, stone-coloured €xx suede leather, this vest from wxxxxx Norwegian Livid is versatile and suitable year-round. Designed in a relaxed fit with a round neck, it is perfect worn solo for hot weather or layered with a shirt underneath. Try the loose Huff Shirt: a light option that offers a sharp aesthetic. Huff Shirt, €215 Keys Stone Suede Vest, €375 www.lividjeans.com

Pendant by Crystal Haze Jewellery Don your favourite chain with an aquamarine stone for the feeling of wearing a piece of the ocean. Each aquamarine connector from Norwegian jewellery brand Crystal Haze is unique – shaped by nature. Aquamarine Connector, €59 www.crystalhazejewelry.com

Hat by Soon Noon Western-inspired hats are having a fashion moment. Top off your outfit with a coral-coloured, handmade in Sweden felt hat from hatmakers Soon Noon – a terrific way to bring the colours of summer sunsets into your wardrobe. Sweet Thang Hat, €290 www.soonnoon.com

Sneakers by New Movements Take an environmentally-conscious walk in the Cruiser Sneakers from Norwegian brand New Movements. The classic high-tops are made of natural and recyclable materials in a versatile design, complemented by a soft and comfortable fit. Cruiser Sneakers,, €185 www.newmovements.com

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Fashion Diary

Shirt and Scarf by Aiayu

Tank Top by H2O Fagerholt

From Danish sustainability-focused brand Aiayu comes this charming, deep-blue checked shirt in cotton voile – light and soft for leisure and daily wear. Combine with loose pants or a flowy skirt. A silk scarf around your neck or tied in your hair will add a delicate, luxurious detail. Plus, the blue hues emphasise glowy summer skin. Light Simone Shirt, €175 Electric Silk Scarf, €130 www.aiayu.com

Tank tops and singlets ruled the runways when notable fashion houses presented their collections for the upcoming autumn. Go classic with a white tank top worn alone or layered under a shirt or cosy jumper. The tank from Danish brand H2O Fagerholt is a prime choice, with its round neck and sporty racerback. Gang Tank Top, €55 www.h2ofagerholt.dk

Skirt by Rabens Saloner Another autumn ‘22 craze is floor-sweeping length. Defined by a dazzling handmade tie-dye pattern, each standout Soleil Skirt from Danish Rabens Saloner is unique. The garment is handcrafted in a light-weight viscose fabric and cut in a flattering flowy silhouette, adding effortless elegance to any outfit. Soleil Skirt, €250 www.rabenssaloner.com

Hoop by Kolours Jewellery Timeless, minimal adornment, these small hoops from Norwegian Kolours Jewellery provide the perfect glimmer to elevate any look. They’re made of durable 14-karat gold and mounted with sparkly diamonds. Extra Small Hoop, €320 www.koloursjewelry.com

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We Love This

We Love This – Pimp My Bike In the first days of July, the usually busy roads of Copenhagen were deserted – carved up with metal barriers and patrolled by high-vis attendants, under billowing canopies of yellow and green flags – ready for the Tour de France Grand Départ. The city held its breath. Crowds amassed on street corners, craning over metal and climbing up lampposts to catch a glimpse of the peloton on its lightning charge. When they came roaring down the tarmac, a ripple like a sonic boom swept through the feverish audience, swelling into ecstatic cheering as a flash of multicoloured deities whipped past. We love bikes in Scandinavia – and we love to accessorise them. Here are our top design picks to help you pimp your ride. By Lena Hunter

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Press photos Hövding 3 Helmet The Swedish ‘airbag for urban cyclists’ is worn like a collar around the neck and registers the cyclist’s movements 200 times per second, inflating around the head on collision. Research published in The Journal of the Biomedical Engineering Society in 2016 concluded that the Hövding 3’s airbag technology protects up to eight times better than traditional bicycle helmets. Tech credentials aside, the neckpiece has rocketed in popularity in Scandinavia as a compact, foldable alternative to hard helmets that doesn’t mess up your hair. www.hovding.com €349

Classic Sögreni Bike Bell Danish label Sögreni was established by Søren Sögreni in 1981 and has evolved to become the Nordic high priest of artful bikes. In the 1990s, Sögreni designed a bicycle for Denmark’s leading museum of modern art Louisiana, which become part of the permanent collection. You can ride around with your own slice of modern art on your handlebars with the classic Sögreni Bell. It’s easily mounted with elegant cast fittings, and even comes in a sleek wooden box with the Sögreni logo – perfect as a gift. www.sogreni.com €45

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Swytch eBike Kit eBike conversion kits turn a regular bike into an electric bike. Crowd-funded in 2017, Swytch’s eBike Kit is uniquely simple, consisting of just four parts that can be fixed to any bike. Swytch’s complete wheel in any size replaces an existing wheel, and contains a compact, high-torque hub motor. The removable power pack fits in your hand and out-performs most eBikes on the market – charging in just three hours and lasting up to 50 kilometres on one charge. Sign up to the waiting list at: www.swytchbike.com


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Pas Normal Studios Musette If you’re a bike freak in the know, you may already have found yourself drooling over Copenhagen-based Pas Normal Studios’ “technically perfect apparel, combined with visionary aesthetics”. This cycling musette – a collaboration with Porter-Yoshida & Co. – is a casual take on the classic messenger bag. Boasting a padded shell, Velcro fastening and a durable nylon exterior, it naturally repels water and dirt – and looks slick in the process. Pair with the Pas Normal Studios escapism bandana for the full outlaw vibe. www.pasnormalstudios.com Musette: €185 Bandana:€25

Nova Bike Light Nova, by Aarhus-based design label Reelight, is a battery-free bike light system. It’s powered by a contactless ‘rim dynamo’, which works by generating a current via a magnetic field in the bike’s aluminium rim. Nova lights deliver up to 60 lumens – the brightest Reelight bike lights to date – and the back-up system makes the lights flash for two minutes at a standstill. www.reelight.com €87

Velosphy x Sandqvist Cycle Bag Swedish label Vélosophy is the only bicycle brand that supports schoolgirls in developing countries with a one-for-one promise to donate as many bikes as they sell. In collaboration with compatriot urban bag label Sandqvist, they have launched a functional, water-resistant cycling bag that can be carried as a backpack, briefcase or shoulder bag. The fully-lined interior features a padded laptop compartment, zipper pocket and two slip pockets, in addition to three quick-access exterior pockets. It’s Scandinavian utility-chic with a conscience. www.velosophy.cc €298

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Mockberg

Elvira Eriksson, founder of Mockberg.

The perfect women’s watch to complete your outfit Mockberg’s beautiful handmade watches for women perfectly suit the female wrist. On her journey from emerging designer to social media hit and international success, award-winning founder Elvira Eriksson has kept the focus on creating watches and jewellery in precisely that perfect fit. By Malin Norman |

Photos: Natacha Uljanic

Swedish brand Mockberg was established in 2014 by Elvira Eriksson. She wanted to expand the Scandinavian fashion aesthetic to classic and timeless watches – in particular watches for women. Since then, Eriksson’s collections have been named in Vogue, Elle and Kinfolk, and the company has grown steadily every year.

the market. She decided to take matters into her own hands and design a watch herself. “At that time, watches were boring and old-fashioned, especially watches for women, which were just a version of a male watch but with a different face. The whole industry felt outdated, actually; nobody had made an effort to design great women’s watches.”

Only 20 years old at the time, Eriksson was looking for a classic, feminine watch for herself – but couldn’t find anything on

With a keen interest in US fashion, Eriksson had an eye for design and the watch that she intended just for herself

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created a bit of a stir. The watch was designed like a bracelet to fit comfortably on the wrist, and ultimately to complete an outfit. “People literally stopped me on the street and asked me where I got the watch from. So, I decided to set up a brand, contacted potential suppliers and started selling my watches to others.” The first watch becomes a viral success Eriksson’s vision was to create the first watch brand for women and to challenge an otherwise traditionally male-dominated industry. The first collection of 100 watches sold out instantly, and people were enthusiastically sharing images on social media. “It’s really fascinating how Mockberg’s first watch became viral on social media, without any PR or marketing from our side,” says Eriks-


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son. In the first year, Mockberg achieved an impressive ten million in sales online – without marketing. It was all down to social media. Together with her brother as co-owner, Eriksson expanded the successful business. A few intense years followed with launches in many markets around the world. Today, Mockberg focuses mainly on Scandinavia, with its range of watches in different designs, and beautiful jewellery. The idea is to offer feminine designs that feel luxurious but at an affordable price. “We want to help women find elegant watches that fit comfortably on the wrist, and that can easily work with different outfits and jewellery.” Awards and collaboration with Lars Wallin Despite its massive growth, the pandemic hit retailers hard and Eriksson had to rethink the strategy for her brand. She also had a serious horse-riding accident and broke her neck in late 2020. “I was incredibly lucky, my doctor was amazed and told me to buy a lottery ticket.” Eriksson has thankfully recovered and so too has her brand; in fact, Mockberg is stronger than ever. Eriksson certainly has an entrepreneurial spirit. In 2020, she was named the winner of Young Founder of the Year by Founders Alliance. The jury’s mo-

Elvira Eriksson and Lars Wallin.

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tivation: “The winner saw a need in a mature market and has built an international brand without external capital. The founder has shown that she is prepared to do what is necessary to take her company forward in times of adversity.” One of Mockberg’s recent collaborations is with internationally renowned fashion designer Lars Wallin. Together, they have designed an exclusive watch for a limited run. “It is an honour to have been able to create a watch together with Lars and follow the whole process from idea to reality,” says Eriksson. “I am sure that together we have created something completely unique, where high couture meets Scandinavian minimalism in a unique and sophisticated way.” Upcoming news from Mockberg includes a collection of waterproof jewellery, that you can wear when swimming, and designs made with recycled silver. www.mockberg.com Facebook: Mockberg Instagram: @mockberg

Mockberg designs, manufactures and sells high-quality watches and jewellery for women through its own e-commerce retailers and shops across Scandinavia.

Collaboration with Lars Wallin.

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Kelp Chair – see the collection at Stockholm Design Week between 5-11 September.

Interesting times for interesting design When does design come full circle? That’s an interesting question, and perhaps one best posed to Swedish design firm, Interesting Times Gang. “The design business is on its way, but it’s still a challenge,” says co-founder Alexander Westerlund. By John Sempill |

Photos: ITG

You might call the core quartet at Interesting Times Gang somewhat of a motley crew; their diverse professional backgrounds are what make them unique. They knew each other prior to the founding of the company, and decided to combine forces. “We felt that we were a good team and that we could accomplish bigger things together,” Westerlund says. “We didn’t want to be restricted by anyone else’s vision or plan.” Design doesn’t have to be safe, solely functional and lacking in personality. The proof is in the pudding. Or in this case, 12 |

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the Michelin-starred meal. When two Michelin-star chefs, Niclas Jönsson and Daniel Höglander, were looking for furniture for their new sushi restaurant, Black Milk Sushi, they had a few specific requirements. Principally, they were looking for something out of the ordinary. This led to interesting times for the gang, who were immediately up to the challenge. Inspiration came from the picturesque archipelago on the west coast of Sweden. The flowing seaweed, or kelp, beneath the surface, ultimately led to the Kelp Collection – chairs made of ma-

terials sourced from maritime gear, such as old ropes and fishing nets. The chair’s design gives an impression of life on the ocean floor. “Thanks to 3D printing techniques we were able to create shapes that would otherwise be difficult to produce,” Westerlund says. Conscious design Kelp Collection isn’t just a striking furniture collection; it also brings attention to the loss of kelp forests due to unsustainable fishing and rising ocean temperatures. In turn, this led to the creation of the computer game No Time To Waste for the non-profit recycling organisation Håll Sverige Rent – a digital escape room designed to raise awareness of the global plastic crisis, which demoed at the United Nations Ocean Conference 2022. “How do we help


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ITG – Interesting Times Gang

countries, politicians and companies make the important decisions to make a difference here?” they ask. “We have a broad reach for a small group, and we always want to deliver.” Apart from making a difference in the world, they are changing the game when it comes to design, as well. How about the idea that artificial intelligence could design your next coffee table, for example? This actually isn’t science fiction. “This was our first furniture project,” Westerlund explains. “We were looking into generative design and AI for furniture development. A coffee table is a good starting point because it is so basic – you need a table top, and underneath that, you are pretty free as a designer.” “More organic than you might imagine” The starting point here was to work with an AI that maximises durability, yet minimises the amount of material necessary. From this, it generates design options; and the fascinating thing is that AI design is a lot more organic and ‘living’ than you might imagine. “Based on how you tweak the parameters, it will generate hundreds of options,” Westerlund reveals. “From those you can pick out the most aesthetically appealing, or those that are most practical for the task.” The resulting furniture was Aibio – ‘a vision of a more renewable future’, according to their website. “You might imagine the results being very science fiction, with hard lines,” they say. “But the shapes the AI creates are surprisingly

Aibio Table – the result of AI design and 3D printing.

A screenshot from the game, No Time To Waste – A Digital Escape Room.

soft, and resemble biological patterns, skeletal patterns. Looking at this table, it almost looks like a bone – a collarbone. Gaudi used similar methods – a primitive version of this.” You might say we’re living in interesting times. And you wouldn’t be wrong. That’s also in part a reason behind the brand name. “It started with a Scottish science fiction author, Iain Banks,” the gang reveal. “He wrote a book called Excession. It’s deep in a lot of ways and travels through time. In the book there is a hive mind, a group of AI brains, which contributes in developing culture and community. The hive mind is called Interesting Times Gang.”

it’s a curse. And that duality is very representative for the time we live in now.” According to the quartet, design is more than creating something beautiful, or practical. It’s as much about creating something that can be disposed of when it comes to the end of its shelf life. “How do you design something that can be disposed of, and create sustainable processes?” says Westerlund. “This is an area that hasn’t really been in focus in the design trade. It’s on its way. And as we like to say: ‘Make things better. Make better things.’” www.itg.studio Twitter: @itg_studio Instagram: @itg.studio

The saying ‘we’re living in interesting times’ has a duality, depending on the language and culture it is used within. “In English, it’s something good,” Westerlund says. “But in Chinese, for example,

Founded in 2020, this is the Interesting Times Gang core team – Alexander Westerlund (Head of Design), Sean Barrett (Head of Innovation), Anna Eliasson (Head of Business Development) and Pinar Metin (Head of customer Experience and Service Design).

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guðrun & guðrun

Guðrun & Guðrun: Modern designs suffused with tradition When ‘that sweater’ which featured in a renowned Danish TV-series reached near cult-status, the Faroese designers behind it suddenly found the attention of the world turned on their products. The sweater became an iconic best-seller for a business that is synonymous with exquisite and conscientious products. By Trine Jensen-Martin

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Photos: Beinta á Torkisheyggi

Founded in 2000 by Guðrun Rógvadóttir and Guðrun Ludvig, Guðrun & Guðrun use old knitting traditions from their native Faroe Islands. The story behind the creation of Sarah Lund’s famous ‘vón’ sweater is close to their core. When Ludvig found one of her father’s old fisherman’s jumpers – knitted in Faroese wool with traditional plural patterns and multiple colours – she imagined designing a modern version that kept the essence of the original. The pattern was stripped down, using only two colours, and the shape was adapted to suit different curves. Thus, a softer and more feminine version of a classic, masculine sweater was created.

an absence of fashion, so our inspiration comes from all around.” As such, you sense the expressions of the landscapes and the culture in each hand-knitted piece. Ludvig once said that “the sky is a new painting each day, so how can you not feel inspired?”

An absence of fashion

“We use waste materials like wool and lambskin,” Rógvadóttir says. They strive to source raw materials locally,

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The latest collection is no exception, and the inspiration taken from the light and colour of the Faroe Islands is evident in each piece. The shades and textures express the changing skies, landscapes and seasons, and whilst the style feels undeniably Scandinavian, it is undoubtedly Faroese.

and always use natural fibres – so the company was born sustainable and all production meets European standards. Another important focus is on supporting women’s empowerment. From the outset, the idea was to employ women to knit the designs, to give them an opportunity to earn an income. There are exciting plans in the pipeline, including creating a resale platform, and eventually to replicate their wonderful Torshavn flagship store elsewhere. And with a striking new AW collection of beautiful handmade pieces, they continue to champion a very old tradition, whilst staying current, relevant and exciting. www.gudrungudrun.com Instagram: gudrungudrun_ Facebook: Guðrun&Guðrun Guðrun & Guðrun flagship store Niels Finsens Gøta 13 100 Tórshavn Faroe Islands


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Gammalstorp

Own your own leisure village in the wilderness Gammalstorp is a new, high-end village in the south of Sweden, offering a more social, sustainable and flexible approach to having a summerhouse. By Nicolai Lisberg

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Photos: Gammalstorp

“I was on the lookout for a summerhouse. Not a traditional one with a fence in a summerhouse area. I wanted something with truly wild nature – preferably large enough to get lost in. After many trips around Denmark, it was obvious that that kind of plot was nearly impossible to find. I started looking towards Sweden and Scania and found this massive forest, with rich nature and a stream – that we will expand to a swimming lake. It was too big for my friends and I, so I came up with the idea to create a whole village with several co-owners, so we could preserve the nature, and have a shared budget to hire our favourite architects for high-quality builds in wood and a lot of glass,” says Jonas Halfter, brand director and partner at Almenr. Since then, more than 70 people have joined the project, becoming part owners of a unique village in the middle of the Scanian nature – like a modern

Astrid Lindgren story. The name of the village is Gammalstorp, and owners will be able to move in by late spring 2023. But why not just buy a regular summerhouse? “A large survey showed that summerhouses a typically empty for around 300 days a year. That’s not sustainable. We aim to work with nature and not against it,” says Halfter. Sharing is caring To avoid empty summerhouses, they considered a timeshare model, but found it inflexible. “Often, you have specific weeks booked during a year, which limits spontaneous trips. In Gammalstorp you’re not just an owner of a summerhouse, but an entire village, so there is always a house ready for you. I have a background in design and innovation, so everything is designed from scratch, even our booking app. You can use the house the same day or book an extra hut, for extra guests,” says Halfter.

Another advantage of sharing the village is that caretakers are employed to ensure the upkeep. There are wilderness baths, a communal house, small huts in the deep forest, a workshop and saunas. “Gammalstorp is a social way of enjoying your free time. The kids run outside and play and there are regular social events. That said, no one is forced to take part in the activities if they don’t want to. All houses are private, so the ones looking for calmness are more than welcome, as well,” says Halfter. Gammalstorp is now open for more people to apply for a co-ownership of the village. www.almenr.dk/gammalstorp Facebook: fritidslandsbyen Instagram: @fritidslandsbyen

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EcoCocon

The timber-straw panels are solid, structural and super-insulating.

EcoCocon: the voice of change in the construction sector EcoCocon is on a mission to change the way we build. Its modular, straw-based construction system offers a healthy, energy-efficient and climate-neutral alternative to conventional building materials. Whether you’re an architect, developer, builder or private homeowner, EcoCocon can make your dream project a reality in as little as a few days. By Lena Hunter

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Photos: EcoCocon

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fast. “Straw-bale buildings are incredibly energy-efficient, comfortable and resilient – but also very time consuming

to erect. They are not an obvious choice for most people,” explains Paul Lynch, director of EcoCocon Nordic. “The CEO Bjørn Kierulf is an architect and Passive House expert with decades of experience. His idea was to make straw go mainstream with a prefab modular system that simplifies the process and meets all the highest quality standards and certifications.” Fast forward to today: Eco-


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EcoCocon

The technical panel project serves as a mounting guide showing the position of each panel.

every year could build 400,000 threebedroom homes,” says Lynch. In fact, even accounting for delivery and logistics, the construction of EcoCocon homes is largely carbon negative thanks to the CO2 absorbed by straw during its growth. To date, more than 38,000 square-metres of EcoCocon walls have sequestered over 3,700 metrics tons of CO2.

Cocon’s unique straw-panel construction system makes creating healthy and sustainable buildings easier than ever before. Designed by nature EcoCocon’s green credentials are impressive: the panels comprise on average 89 per cent straw – a by-product of local wheat production – and just ten per cent FSC-certified wood. In the face of resource scarcity, straw is an ideal construction material. It’s rapidly renewable, largely available, and mostly has no other use. “According to research, the amount of straw that’s produced here in Finland

“Building with EcoCocon impacts not only the health of the building and the environment, but the health of the inhabitants,” continues Lynch. “Indoor air quality is hugely affected by conventional building materials like acrylic paint, plastics and other synthetics that release volatile organic compounds. Using natural materials such as straw and clay is not only healthier, but regulates indoor air-moisture levels, heat and acoustics, for a safer and more comfortable living environment.”

measured in centuries, and requires no special maintenance. “We can build houses very quickly because of the modular system. You simply place the panels according to the panel project and screw them in place. The builders call it big boys’ Lego,” says Paul. But this breed of Lego is remarkably strong, able to build up to six storeys load-bearing. “Now, we have designs for hotels and conference centres. Here in Finland, we’re working on five-storey buildings.” Making Passive Houses easy EcoCocon’s modular construction system makes it easy for architects to design The panels are very easy to install - basic carpentry tools are all that’s required.

Indeed, the panels insulate sound levels of up to 54 decibels – far exceeding the standard requirements. An airtight membrane on the outside of the panels minimises heat loss and draughts. In addition, the system is surprisingly fire-resistant: together with an interior clay plaster, the system is certified to withstand intense fire for 120 minutes. As such, straw buildings are made to last. Though an entire EcoCocon building can be erected, with the roof on, in just two or three days, its life expectancy can be August 2022

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EcoCocon

accelerating projects and saving costs. Panels are colour-coded and numbered, and installation can be done as quickly as 22 minutes per square-metre, per person. Three carpenters with standard tools can build 60 square-metres of wall per day – or double with a crane on-site. “Using these materials is not difficult. Any carpenter can do it. Building companies’ feedback is usually very positive: it’s not only simple, but inspiring to do things differently,” says Lynch. For architects, EcoCocon offers guidance in the form of detailed, technical panel projects by qualified engineers, as well as professional technical advice. 27 countries, three continents and counting

The first Swedish EcoCocon house was built in 2016.

projects that attain Passive House standard – a blessing in today’s fast-evolving energy crisis. The energy-efficiency standard results in ultra-low energy buildings that require next to no energy for heating or cooling. The EcoCocon system has been certified by the Passive House Institute since 2016. “Passive Houses are created via intelligent design: the house is south facing, catches the sun in the winter and has good eaves to block the sun in the summer, has fewer windows at the back of the house, and uses thicker, better insulated walls,” explains Lynch. “The temperature and moisture levels in the house remain constant. It reduces the risk of mould and other health problems in the building, resulting in a comfortable, energy-efficient home, and a beautiful living environment.” “Energy savings aren’t hundreds of Euros a year, but thousands upon thousands a year,” he continues. The first Passive Houses were built in Germany in the 1990s. Other European countries caught on in the 2000s, and the first US Passive House was constructed in 2003. Commercial, industrial and healthcare projects around the world, built to Passive House standard, followed in the 2010s. Passive Houses were initially made from concrete, but EcoCocon is producing the 18 |

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first Passive Houses made from 100 per cent natural materials. Simplified planning process with qualified support So how does it work in practice? For developers at the project-planning stage, EcoCocon can calculate the external wall surface and offer a detailed price estimate, including all materials and accessories. The panels are made to measure allowing for almost any kind of architectural design. Once delivered, the modular system offers unrivalled speed of construction,

To date, EcoCocon buildings can be found in 27 countries on three continents and its portfolio ranges from private homes to sports halls and even entire eco-villages. In 2020, they collaborated with the prestigious Danish architecture firm Henning Larsen on an entirely bio-based school extension: an EcoCocon project outside Aarhus, Denmark. “There are a few big projects evolving in Europe now. Switzerland and the Netherlands have some fabulous projects coming up, and there’s a beautiful hotel planned for Portugal. Here in the Nordics we’re building smart villages. In Finland, we’re building 34 EcoCocon houses next year – all designed to be off-grid Passive Once the foundation is ready, the EcoCocon panels are shipped directly to the building site.


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Houses,” says Lynch. “We’ve built all the way from Kazakhstan to Canada.”

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Once the panels are mounted, the airtight but vapor-permeable membrane is installed. It also serves as temporary weather protection.

EcoCocon’s goal is to gradually set up local production in every market “to be as close to our clients as possible, support the local economy and minimise transport-related emissions,” says Lynch. This will start with the new automated production facility due to open in Slovakia next year, with future production planned for Scandinavia, France, the British Isles, the US and other strategic areas. EcoCocon’s focus is on business-to-business growth, but a key goal is to raise awareness. “We need to familiarise the world with bio-based materials if we want to work collectively to achieve a more sustainable world. People still don’t know about these things – but there are other materials out there, and they work. They’ve always worked,” says Lynch. “We shouldn’t be afraid of them. They’re available, cost-effective, sustainable and incredibly easy to work with.” www.ecococon.eu Instagram: @eco.cocon

Certified Passive House in Little Birch, UK. Photo: Juraj Mikurcik

EcoCocon home with an integrated greenhouse in Uppsala, Sweden. Photo: Daniel Skott

The Feldballe Free School project designed by Henning Larsen architects. Photo: Lindskov Communication

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Scandinavian Lifestyle Tasting beer like a pro, easy as 1-2-3 Beer tasting can look serious with a lot of swirling and sniffing, sipping and swooshing, holding up beer glasses to the light, nodding or shaking heads, and – finally – some clever comment about the type of hops used. No need to feel intimidated though; it’s actually easy peasy. With three simple steps, you too can taste beer like a pro. Step one, look at what’s in your glass. Colour and clarity will give you a hint of what it is. For example, a golden, hazy beer might be a New England IPA (although looks can be deceiving!). By the way, the best glassware for tasting beer is a stemmed glass such as a tulip glass, so you can hold it by the stem and don’t risk warming up the beer. Next, swirl the glass to release aromas and take a sniff. Take care not too overswirl, if you keep on swirling and sniffing

and swirling some more, you’ll swirl all the carbonation away and might think the beer is flat. When smelling the beer, think about what it reminds you of. The easiest is relating the scent to those in cooking or baking. Perhaps it smells of freshly baked baguette. Or does it remind you of coldbrewed coffee with a splash of vanilla? Finally, taste the beer. There are only five basic tastes – sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami – and what comprises ‘beer flavour’ is actually a mix of a wide range aromas and these basic tastes. Consider the level of bitterness, mouthfeel (is it watery or syrupy?), and alcohol warmth when you swallow. That’s how easy it is to taste beer: look, smell, taste. But how do you know if the beer is any good, you might ask? Well, that’s preferential. Would you have another?

By Malin Norman

Malin Norman is a certified beer sommelier, beer judge and member of the British Guild of Beer Writers. She writes about beer for Scan Magazine, beer magazines and beer suppliers.

Times of preparation By Alejandra Cerda Ojensa

August always brings a feeling of starting afresh. It’s a month’s transition from the summer holidays to the new semester, with whatever that might entail. I remember the August feeling very vividly when I was at school as a kid: excitement was in the air. It felt like a new year... only the expectations weren’t nearly as high as on actual New Year’s Eve. I still get that feeling. As a part of our preparations for the new school year, new work year, or maybe even a new job, I’ve noticed we tend to buy things. We have the urge to buy a new backpack, a new notebook, a set of new clothes, a new watch… Things that symbolise the new. It’s as if the purchase is part of the transitional ritual. I find myself looking at knitted sweaters even though the sun is still shining bright, new shoes even though the ones I wore last 20 |

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year definitely will do for another season, and notebooks – ah! It might not be very surprising for a freelance writer, but I love notebooks and bullet journals. It’s as if I believe the book itself will make me a more structured and successful person – a better me. According to the Old Farmers Almanac – a book intended to forecast the weather before today’s technology – August is a month for harvesting. The seeds have transformed into edibe crops, ready to be picked from the soil and fill us with energy before winter comes. If you, like me, live a more urban lifestyle it might be wise to do things differently this year. Resources are not unlimited and inflation is noticeable. Instead of buying new, I will try to harvest whatever is already stored in my house and give it new life. After all, the most important preparation happens in the home, not the store.

Alejandra Cerda Ojensa is a Swedish sustainability blogger based in Copenhagen. She loves sustainable fashion, plant-based food, natural wines and music, and writes a column for Scan Magazine about sustainable lifestyle. Instagram: alejandracerda.co


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The Danish ethos in Sri Lanka From quiet coffee mornings to snuggling up with a book to summer nights spent with friends – how to explain hygge to foreigners. By Heidi Kokborg

I know, I know. You probably don’t want to hear the Danish word ‘hygge’ anymore. But bear with me. I promise I will try to put a new spin on the Danish ethos of cosy living. Being a native Dane I have never given much thought to hygge. It’s a culture, a way of life – and all I have ever known. Recently, I passed a hotel in Sri Lanka with my partner from New Zealand. A sign said ‘come inside for Danish hygge’. I tried – and failed – to explain the concept of hygge to him. But it got me thinking about what hygge truly means, and I realised that it is not just a concept. It is how Danish people live life. No matter where in the world I go, I bring hygge with me. Hygge is much more than hot chocolate, fuzzy blankets, candles and cashmere cardigans. It is a year-round philosophy.

Hygge is about slowing down just enough to live a rich, fulfilled life. It’s my quiet morning cup of coffee that I enjoy overlooking the mesmerising green landscape in Sri Lanka. It’s going to dinner with my friends and leaving my phone at home. It’s going to a jungle BBQ and watching the monkeys play. It’s curling up with a good book with a thunderstorm roaring outside, and drinking wine at a sidewalk café in

Copenhagen with my friends during those long, light Scandinavian summer nights. Heidi Kokborg is a journalist and health coach from Denmark. She runs her own online business and writes a column for Scan Magazine about health and wellness in Scandinavia. www.heidikokborg.com

A dance school worth crossing the border for Surrounded by fields and forests, a short drive from the border between Norway and Sweden, you will find the small town of Mysen. This rural town is home to a dance school with classes that rival those of any bigger city. Everyone is welcome, from fouryear-olds to adults. By Hanna Margrethe Enger |

Photo: Marius Kristoffersen

Norway’s popular dance school Indre Østfold Dans og Ballet draws pupils from all over the local area, as well as from across the Swedish border. A testament to its community impact, when the school nearly closed, one of the ‘dance dads’ Frank Tangen decided to save it. He bought the school, and ran it for the next ten years. In 2015, he got Selma Kristoffersen on board – an experienced dancer with a Bachelors in Jazz Dance with Pedagogy. “We teach ballet, jazz dance, hip-hop and contemporary,” Kristoffersen explains. “We also have classes just for boys, and a class called Girlstyle.”

Kristoffersen was the driving force behind the establishment of the school dance company in 2018, and took over management of the school in 2019. Today, she continues to teach, alongside the school’s great teaching staff, and also serves as the company’s artistic director. A junior company was added in 2022. Many types of dance are competitive, but here, the focus is on performing arts and having fun. The school is inclusive: at the end of each semester, all the dancers take part in a show. “We notice their motivation improves after the shows. They want to dance more and even try another dance

style,” says Kristoffersen. “The show is very important to many of our dancers.” www.dansogballett.no Facebook: Indre-østfold-dans-ogballett-Mysen Instagram: indre_ostfold_dans_og_ballett

Dancers in tutu dresses, including one boy.

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Gina Storm-Jensen, The Royal Ballet. Photo: ROH, by Alice Pennefather

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Going global with Royal Ballet soloist Gina Storm-Jensen Many little girls dream of becoming a ballerina – the pretty tutu, the pink satin ballet shoes, the sparkly headdress – it all looks so enchanting. The reality is, however, that you need the strength of a top athlete, huge determination and talent to even get into a ballet company, let alone rise through the ranks.

has been so supportive the whole way. I could not have done it without him being so patient with me, and obviously my parents’ help and guidance.

By Joy Sable

“We have a cottage up north in Hafjell, Lillehammer, and we would go there to ski and relax. During the summer holidays we would go to Spain and spend time with my grandparents at their house there. But most weekends, I would stay in Oslo

For Gina Storm-Jensen, the dream has come true. A soloist with the Royal Ballet in London, she is the company’s only Norwegian ballerina, trained at the National Ballet School in Oslo. The tri-lingual ballerina was born in London to a German mother and Norwegian father, where she spent the first two years of her life, before the family moved to Oslo. She took her first steps in dance aged four, attending the Jorunn Kirkenær dance school. “I started ballet partly because all my friends were going to ballet school. My mum said I had bad posture and wanted the discipline. I still have bad posture,” she says. This is quite untrue – she has the ease and elegance of someone who has had years of grace drilled into her. “The minute I started, I was hooked. Rewatching ballet videos of myself when I was young, I have to say I’m quite im-

pressed with how disciplined I was at such a young age.” A family of artists Perhaps it’s not surprising that StormJensen chose a career in performing arts. Her father was a trumpet teacher; her grandmother was the acclaimed Norwegian actress Vigdis Roising; and her great-grandparents were opera singers and piano players. “My dad’s side is very artistic, so maybe that’s why I enjoy classical music. I’m guessing my passion came from his side,” she says.

Gina as the Lilac Fairy taking a curtain call at the end of The Sleeping Beauty. Photo: ROH, Andrej Uspenski

She describes her childhood in Norway as ‘amazing’ and credits her family with keeping her grounded during her not-so-ordinary early years. “I’m so blessed to have had a really solid foundation in Norway. I have an amazing family and friends and I’ve always felt supported and loved. My brother August 2022

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to dance. I didn’t have a normal childhood because I was dancing so much.”

Gina as the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty. Photo: ROH, Andrej Uspenski

Gina’s obvious talent led her ballet teacher to recommend she attend the Norwegian National Ballet School for more intensive study. While there, she started entering international dance competitions, winning the Grasse competition in 2009 and reaching the finals of the prestigious Prix de Lausanne aged just 15. You can still see her entry in a few clips on YouTube, in which her star quality is already apparent. “I’m leaving regardless, because this is my dream” Storm-Jensen had already attended summer schools at the Royal Ballet School in Richmond, but realised that, to progress, she had to consider leaving Norway to study abroad. The Prix de Lausanne, which was observed by top names in the ballet world, provided the ideal opportunity. She was picked out and offered sponsorship to attend the Royal Ballet Upper School – which meant moving to London for the three-year course. “I said to my parents, ‘I’m leaving regardless, because this is my dream – and I’d rather be alone because I’m really independent’. Two months later, my dad got a job offer in London! He said, ‘look, we’re all coming over’.”

Photo: Courtesy of ROH

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“I was upset because I thought this was going to be my journey. But three weeks after school started, I was so grateful that I had that support, because the competition totally changed. It was nice to come home to my family at the weekends and feel normal, because you are in this competition bubble. You want to do well and being able to let go and switch off is really important.” “It’s something I want to carry with me and tell younger people that are coming up: to have a normal life. The more life experience and outside perspective you get, the better you can emote on stage. The more adventures you have, the more people you meet, the more you feel you

can relay those emotions and give it back to the audience.” “Because my family came over, and because I so wanted this dream to come true, I wasn’t as homesick, but now when I see my friends back in Norway, I do miss them. When I go back, I usually go to my cottage and not Oslo. A lot of my dancer friends from Oslo are now also dancing abroad, spread around the world. If my parents go back to Norway, I will definitely be homesick!” Dancing for the Royal Ballet In 2013, after just two years on the course, she was offered a contract with the Royal Ballet Company, with a

A young Gina in the Norwegian National Ballet’s Nutcracker.


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Gina Storm-Jensen

promotion to soloist last year. A great challenge during her years in the Corps de Ballet was staying motivated. “I have so much respect for the people in the Corps because it is so demanding; the hours are long and it is very repetitive. If you’re injured or not feeling well, you just have to keep going and show everyone that you’re capable. Now that I am a soloist, there is more pressure but also more time to focus on yourself, your roles and what you want to portray – without this Corps de Ballet life as well, in which you do so much in every show.” Tall, with blonde hair and bright blue eyes, Storm-Jensen stands out easily on the stage. Favourite works so far have included Danse a Grande Vitesse, a neo-classical piece by Christopher Wheeldon in which she danced a pas de deux with Matthew Ball. “It was my first pas de deux experience and he is solid and strong and made me feel as comfortable as possible. I’m usually on my own which is also lovely, but it was nice to share the stage with someone and have this ‘let’s do this together as a team’ mindset, and not ‘oh God, Gina, you’re on your own, here we go!’ Having someone really experienced helped.”

Gina with dancer Lucas Lima (far right) and Thomas Wilhelmsen (centre), the chairman of the board of the Tom Wilhelmsen Foundation, when she was awarded the 2021 Tom Wilhelmsen Opera and Ballet Prize. Gina as Myrtha in Giselle. Photo: Andrej Uspenski

She has also danced the evil Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis in Giselle, and a benevolent Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, in a cinema performance which was relayed around the world. In the coming season at Covent Garden in London, Storm-Jensen will be dancing the role of Empress Elisabeth in Mayerling, a role which will test her dramatic as well as dancing skills. When she eventually hangs up her pointe shoes, Storm-Jensen thinks a career as a coach helping dancers and athletes achieve their maximum potential is a possibility. She is already planning to do an online psychology degree in preparation. In the meantime, she will continue to delight audiences with her beautiful dancing. The little girl from Oslo has come a long way. For details of the Royal Ballet’s performances, visit www.roh.org.uk August 2022

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N M IN U i UT ES ec p A C S 10 IEN EN P TO PER WED EX S m he

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Photo: Henrik Trygg

Take a dream trip to Sweden this autumn This August, we’re looking to the season ahead with our pick of Sweden’s Top 10 autumn experiences.

metre lighting-art trail through the picturesque, river-riddled town.

By Lena Hunter

All throughout the autumn, Stockholm’s immersive Viking Museum will be putting on interactive exhibitions, while Malmö’s wildly-popular Sherlock Holmes-inspired escape room and its upcoming expansion – a new adventure into the underworld pegged as ‘Scandinavia’s greatest horror experience’ – are must-visits for thrill-seekers.

There’s a rich offering of cultural diversions to explore this season, starting with the much-anticipated Stockholm Design Week. Back from its hiatus, the event will showcase the brightest innovations in industrial, home and product design from 5 to 11 September. It’ll be closely followed by an unmissable exhibition of rare images by the legendary Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm – on 26 |

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display from 10 September at Wanås Konst gallery in southern Sweden. 26 September marks the beginning of lobster season, and the chance to set sail with Fiskahummer off the coast of Gothenburg, on a fishing tour to catch your own dinner. A few days later, we’ll be off to Alingsås for the celebrated annual festival Lights in Alingsås – a three-kilo-

For tips on where to stay, look no further. Our hotels range from a remote outpost in


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Photo: Grythyttan

Lapland with guided hikes in the Taiga Forest, to a 300-year-old luxury lakeside spa hotel, and a five-star waterfront retreat in the heart of the capital. Finally, in ‘Sweden’s Lake District’, we’ve picked out a private fishing, hunting and conference venue that combines an off-grid experience with contemporary professional resources for an adventurous company getaway. Dive in and experience the best of Sweden, this season. For information about travel, accommodation, attractions and more, visit: www.visitsweden.com www.sweden.se

Photo: Hôtel Reisen

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INTERACTIVE EXHIBITION GUIDED TOURS & ACTIVITIES ADVENTURE RIDE


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LAYERED Showroom.

The power of design returns to Stockholm Stockholm Design Week is back. A week bursting with inspiration returns from 5 to 11 September, gathering the Scandinavian design industry in Stockholm once again. Professionals, as well as design enthusiasts, are invited for a week of talks, exhibitions and inspiring events, that demonstrate that the Nordic design hub has returned in full force. By Nina Bressler

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Photos: Stockholm Design Week

Stockholm Design Week is ready to open its doors, after two years of uncertainty, to showcase the best of Scandinavian design. Due to the extraordinary pandemic circumstances in recent years, the upcoming edition – which would normally coincide with Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair in February – is a special event for 2022. Designers, brands and industry-insiders are gearing up to present exciting exhibitions, talks, open studios and events around the Swedish capital, mapped out on their free app, due to launch in August. “We’ve been waiting for this week for such a long time now and we, along with our exhibitors, are beyond thrilled to be back in a physical space and to meet design enthusiasts from around the world again. The city of Stockholm will

be vibrating with energy from creators who are longing to show their craft to the world and to showcase why Scandinavian design continuously maintains its worldclass ranking,” says Hanna Nova Beatrice, area project manager. A long list of events are on the agenda in which studios, institutions and shops will invite visitors into their marvellous worlds of ingenious design, promoting sustainability and creativity in new forms. Stockholm Design Week at NK, the famous department store in central Stockholm, will host a number of activities including the exhibition Moving Forward. The prestigious auction house Bukowskis will present the exhibition Made in Sweden, of objects symbolising Swedish tradition in design, art, sports, fashion and music. The Open Space

programme will offer a rare glimpse inside designer studios by inviting curious guests to talks and tours. Designer Fredrik Paulsen is one of the participants who will be opening up his colourful studio full of objects, treasures and immersive stories. The week is the perfect warm-up to the return of Stockholm Light & Furniture Fair in 2023 – during which the design fair at Stockholmsmässan, plus another design week, will flood Stockholm with enlightening creativity. It’s a return to normal: Scandinavian design as a force to be reckoned with. www.stockholmdesignweek.com Instagram: @stockholmdesignweek Facebook: Stockholm Design Week

Open Studio with Fredrik Paulsen.

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A newly renovated historical gem in Stockholm’s Old Town Hôtel Reisen is Stockholm’s only five-star hotel in the Old Town. For more than 200 years, this fabulous hotel has welcomed guests from near and far. Recently, it has undergone a careful renovation, modernising rooms and facilities whilst keeping the historic charm. By Malin Norman |

Photos: Hôtel Reisen

Located on the scenic waterfront in the heart of the Old Town, Hôtel Reisen is one of Stockholm’s great landmarks, just around the corner from the Royal Palace and a short walk from the ferry to Djurgården. “The location is unbeatable, bang in the middle of Sweden’s most visited area, the Old Town,” says Tomas Tegfors, general manager of Hôtel Reisen. “In the mornings, you can have a coffee on our terrace, watch the sun rise and see the city come to life, with lots of locals passing by on their way to work.” Since October 2021, five-star Hôtel Reisen has been part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, joining a collection of 30 |

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other unforgettable independent hotels with a unique story to tell, such as Hôtel du Louvre in Paris and Great Scotland Yard Hotel in London. As one of Stockholm’s oldest hotels, Hôtel Reisen certainly has an intriguing history. Coffee house, guest house and drinking den The foundation of the hotel dates back to 1617, when Gustavus Adolphus was King of Sweden. But the building has served many functions since then, including being a coffee house run by Dutchman Fredrik Reiss (from whom the hotel’s name originates), and a guest house for more than 200 years. It has also been a

popular drinking den and hangout for some of the most prominent poets and writers in European history, including Carl Michael Bellman and Fritiof Nilsson Piraten. Since 1819, it has been known as Hôtel Reisen. The famous landmark is larger than the front façade suggests; it stretches further into the Old Town and includes no less than seven floors. In the basement, which houses a spa, you can see handmade bricks and cross vaults, part of the old city walls of Stockholm from the


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Top 10 Autumn Experiences in Sweden

Swedish experience with a cold bath and warm up again afterwards in the sauna. There is also a gym open 24/7 and a room for massage treatments, perfect after a day spent discovering Stockholm.

1690s. Women used to work on the construction site, carrying the bricks, and one of the workers even left her footprint (size 37) in one of the stones.

character in the children’s books Karlsson-on-the-Roof (Karlsson På Taket) by Astrid Lindgren. And some rooms even have their own bathtub and sauna.

There is more fascinating history on display. The meeting room Chambré Brahe features the original saloon interior from steamship S/S Per Brahe built in 1908, which was in service Stockholm-Åbo during the 1940s and 1950s. The hotel’s oldstyle cocktail bar, Bar Brahe, is named after this same steamship and pays tribute to its eclectic roots in its interior design, including sloping floorboards.

The spa in the basement has also had a facelift, now with a relaxing lounge area, a large sauna and a cold-water pool under the cross vaults, like a mysterious forest pond. Here you can have a real

Restaurant Reiss serves classic Swedish dishes with seasonal flavours and a modern twist. And Bar Reiss, with a view over Skeppsholmen, is a popular hangout amongst locals for a drink after work. Bar Brahe is also a must-visit, with craft cocktails, nibbles and elements of live music – slated to reopen in September with a fresh, new concept. “We’re always trying to offer something new and special to our guests, whether it’s in the form of nice details in the rooms or revamped cocktail menus in the bars,” concludes Tegfors. “Our motto is to enrich our guests’ experience with collectable memories, every day, every stay, always. Ultimately, we’re just an instrument in their discovery of the beautiful city of Stockholm.” www.hotelreisenstockholm.com Facebook: hotelreisenstockholm Instagram: @hotelreisen

Careful renovation maintains historic charm You will certainly sense the past, but Hôtel Reisen is not just about history. The hotel has undergone a careful renovation – completed last year – of all guest rooms and public facilities. It offers a modern, comfortable setting for its guests, whilst maintaining some of the historic charm. The interior is welcoming and classic, not too extravagant, and brings in some of the colours of the picturesque Old Town. In the rooms with a view over the inlet to Stockholm you will find binoculars and a map with illustrations of what you can see from the window – the National Museum or the cliffs of Södermalm, for instance. Other rooms overlook the charming narrow alleys in Old Town. Six of the rooms have a balcony with a view of the rooftops, giving a sense of being a August 2022

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The ultimate escape game Unlike traditional escape rooms, Sherlocked Escape Games and Adventures in Malmö invites you to fully commit to a story and participate in a mystery like no other. With live actors and a detailed concept, Sherlocked is the ultimate escape game and will keep surprising you – no matter how many times you visit their venue. By Hanna Andersson

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Photos: Sherlocked

“We are unique in our concept. Our experience is more than solving a puzzle and getting out of a room. It is an interactive experience where our guests move through flats or rooms to solve a mystery, whilst also enjoying a theatre performance by our dedicated actors,” explains Niklas Åkermyr, owner and founder of Sherlocked. He continues: “The excitement will stay with you through the whole 32 |

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event, and it will most definitely surprise you. We take you to a whole new world.”

“We want you to enjoy this experience with all your senses. The rooms are designed to look like they did in the Sherlock Holmes stories back in the 1800s. The lighting reflects the mood, and the food and drink available at our sites are inspired by flavours from this time,” says Åkermyr.

Experience this escape game with all your senses

The experience is interactive, fun and thrilling, and will involve every single participant – no one will end up standing passively in a corner.

Sherlocked’s events are, as the name suggests, inspired by the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. The theme runs through each and every escape game, as well as the décor and the ambience.

“This is one of the reasons it works so well for team-building purposes. It forces everyone to participate and work together to solve the mystery or go through


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to the next stage. Above all, you will feel everything together. The excitement, the stress, the thrill of it all. It brings people together in a very effective way. However, it works just as well for friend groups or families,” explains Åkermyr. Baker Street and the Sherlocked restaurant The Sherlocked concept has evolved since its opening in 2014, and today consists of two venues: Baker Street and the Sherlocked Restaurant. The venues feature a variety of different escape games, two bars, and an exciting food menu – all of which are in line with the Sherlock Holmes theme. In their bars you can try a variety of absinths, enjoy the sweet cocktail A Study in Scarlet, or the unusual Léstrade Nightcap, which is served in a bong. Åkermyr explains: “We realised that our guests never wanted to leave. They wanted to make the experience last longer. We therefore expanded our business and opened a restaurant as well as two bars where everyone can stay and talk about their experience. People want to discuss the games and the adventure they have just been on. And it’s perfect to do this whilst also enjoying one of our signature cocktails or some food.” Up next – Scandinavia’s greatest horror experience Sherlocked is included in Visit Sweden’s ‘Top 10 Things to do in Sweden’ and won the HSMAI Guest Experience Award in

2018. Now, Åkermyr wants to take the experience to another level. In 2022 he will open Scandinavia’s greatest horror experience. “We are so excited to introduce our next site. We have acquired an old cellar located under the oldest area in Malmö where we will invite our guests to take a trip down to the underworld. Down there, they will experience the ultimate horror experience. In teams of three to five, the participants will take a lift down to the underground where your challenge is to move from one place to another. This will also include actors that you interact with throughout the event,” Åkermyr says excitedly.

The new experience will open up between November and December this year, and Åkermyr explains that while Sherlocked’s games are for ages 12 and above, this new and thrilling challenge is for over 18s only. “It is not for the faint-hearted. I won’t say too much, but it won’t be like any old, haunted house. This will definitely be an experience you won’t forget. And if you do, you can just come back again, because we will keep serving you the unexpected,” he says. www.sherlocked.se Instagram: sherlockedmalmo Facebook: Sherlocked

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Top 10 Autumn Experiences in Sweden

A gem of relaxation, nestled in serene nature For centuries, guests have retreated to Loka Brunn – now one of Sweden’s foremost contemporary spas – a place for leisure, adventure and recreation. By Åsa H. Aaberge

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Photos: Loka Brunn

“People come to Loka to savour the spa, hold conferences, experience the fantastic surrounding nature and enjoy wonderful food,” says Mia Spendrup, the manager of Loka Brunn Hotel and Spa. Venture into Sweden’s fairytale-like surroundings in the Bergslagen area, where Loka Brunn is located, with its serene nature, mighty lakes and magic forests. Go on excursions and hikes, before unwinding at the spa. Then, indulge in a gourmet meal and stay the night in Loka Brunn’s sister hideaway, Grythyttans Gästgivaregård, just over a kilometre away. “At Gästgivaregården, we entice guests with one of the most exciting wine cellars in the Nordics, as well as some outstanding gourmet cuisine. Our food is made primarily from Swedish produce, much of it from the local area. We make all bread, cakes and cookies in our in-house bakery,” says Spendrup. The peaceful spirit of the premises and surroundings create its relaxing atmos34 |

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phere. Guests can sleep like royalty in the high-quality beds, in thoughtfully designed hotel rooms with uniquely decorated interiors. That’s why, during summer, Loka Brunn and Gästivaregården are firm favourites for the hosting of weddings. “Our welcoming environment, our church at Loka and the opportunity for guests to enjoy great food and stay over make us a popular choice for the big day,” says Spendrup. Strong historic ties “The Loka community was built in the 18th century and is today a unique site with all 54 buildings on the Lokarna lake. Loka is also home to Sweden’s only spa museum, illustrating both the Swedish and the broader global history of spas,” says Spendrup. “Gästgivargården itself dates from the 17th century and consists of 21 houses. All houses have had careful renovations, and now make up the village of Grythyttan, with cobblestone streets, narrow alleys and charming wooden houses.”

Spendrup and her team take great pride in preserving the centuries-old traditions of relaxation and calm, and emphasise that the nature itself makes for a memorable, soothing stay. “There are ponds and waterfalls to swim in. In winter, if you are lucky, you can see wolf packs running past on the ice while you take a bath in our warm outdoor pools,” says Spendrup. It sounds like a Swedish fairytale, and it certainly feels like one, too. www.lokabrunn.se www.grythyttansgastgivaregard.se Instagram: @LokaBrunn.se Dinner prepatations at Grythyttan. Photo: Grythyttan


Made in Sweden was founded in 1920 and today we are the leading manufacturer of wheelbarrows in Sweden. We are also a leading producer of playground equipment for private use in the Nordic region and our presence in other European markets is growing. Many of our products have become well known classics. This is because of the unique combination of long lasting flair for craftsmanship and modern production techniques.

HÖRBY BRUK

www.horbybruk.se


Culture Theme | Wanås Scan Magazine | Special | Konst Top 10 Autumn Experiences in Sweden

Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, If the people have no bread – let them eat cake, 2017. Photo: Mattias Givell

Contemporary art, nature and history meet in Wanås On the beautiful Wanås estate, site-specific contemporary sculptures and installations are displayed among old beech and oak trees. The leading international sculpture park is a centre for art and knowledge, aiming to be accessible to everyone.

also offers accompanying programmes including tours, workshops and artist talks for a broad audience.

By Malin Norman

“The first time I came to Wanås in 2000, I had a bit of a ‘wow’ moment,” admits Mattias Givell, co-director of Wanås Konst. “Instead of a standard gallery with all-white rooms, art is displayed in relation to the surrounding greenery, in an open-air environment with sun, rain and wind, and in a historical context. It’s a completely different setting, which opens up for a lot of opportunities and interpretations.”

Wanås Konst is one of the foremost destinations in the region of Skåne. The international sculpture park is a centre for art and knowledge, where the medieval castle, surrounding park, and forest of old beech and oak trees provide a stunning backdrop. In this magical setting, visitors can experience around 75 site-specific artworks by artists such as Yoko Ono, Rana Begum and Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg. In addition to the permanent collection, comprehensive temporary exhibitions 36 |

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and site-specific projects are displayed both outdoors and indoors in farm buildings from the 18th century. Wanås Konst

Wanås Konst’s visions for the future

Gosette Lubondo, Imaginary Trip 1.

The art activities at Wanås were initiated in 1987 by founder Marika Wachtmeister. Since 1995, Wanås Konst has been run


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by the non-profit Wanås Art Foundation, and Mattias Givell became director in 2011, together with Elisabeth Millqvist. Over 300 artists have participated in exhibitions and projects over the years. The sculpture park is open all year round, and around 80,000 visitors come to experience the sculptures and installations, annually. “Our goal is contemporary art and culture for all. Everyone, regardless of background and age, should be able to access and experience art,” says Givell. Every year, up to 10,000 children take part in educational activities such as tours and workshops at Wanås. “It’s important to connect art to what is happening in the world. Our aim is to be a hub for artists and progressive learning, and to connect the two. Here, you’ll encounter different art expressions, and we embrace artists that invite participation and co-creation.” Peter Linde Busk and Numen/For Use From May to November, Wanås Konst presents two exciting new projects with artists who are driving change and pushing material development from a sustainability perspective. Contemporary Danish artist Peter Linde Busk is best known for his paintings, but also works with other techniques and ma-

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terials, such as ceramics. Recycling is part of his approach, and at Wanås Konst, his first outdoor artwork is on display: a sculpture made with a method he developed himself – a giant pumpkin that visitors can walk inside. Industrial design collective Numen/ For Use also explores sustainable alternatives in their works. The group created an intricate construction and cocoon-like shapes made out of biodegradable tape that fills up and spreads out from the 50-metre-long and 14-metre-tall building. Visitors are invited to view or physically explore the installation, take a closer look and discover cavities in the structure. In September, Wanås Konst will premiere Where does anything actually begin?, a collection of lesser-known images by Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm (1918-2002), displayed in the park together with works by international artists Annika von Hausswolff, Aziz Hazara, Gosette Lubondo, Eric Magassa, and Eiko Otake with William Johnston. “This exhibition tells the story of Strömholm’s fascinating work but in a very different setting,” explains Givell. “By pairing his images with contemporary artists, we show the link between the past and the present, and how modern his approach really was.”

Top 10 Autumn Experiences in Sweden

Wanås is located in north-eastern Skåne, approximately 1.5 hours from Malmö and two hours from Kastrup. On site, visitors will find Wanås Konst with a design shop, a local food deli and a lunch café. If you want to stay longer, you can book dinner and stay overnight at Wanås Restaurant Hotel.

www.wanaskonst.se Facebook: Wanås-Konst Instagram: @wanaskonst

Peter Linde Busk, The Generous Gambler.

Christer Strömholm.

Christer Strömholm.

Eric Magassa.

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TIME FOR OCEANS

WATCHES MADE FROM RECYCLED OCEAN PLASTIC www.triwa.com


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Lobster o’clock

By Nina Bressler

What does 26 September mean to you? Maybe it’s the first day back at work, beginning of a school year or just nother ordinary day. For Fiskahummer.nu, it’s a special date: the beginning of the year’s busy lobster season, when visitors will be invited to join the adventure on the salty seas of Kattegat, to catch the treasured crustacean. Lobster season starts on the first Monday after 20 September every year, but there are plenty of fishing tours and packages available all year round: mackerel, cod, crab and crayfish are popular drafts during the other seasons. Fiskahummer.nu is a family business located in Marstrand, an idyllic town on the west coast of Sweden. “Entrepreneur-

Top 10 Autumn Experiences in Sweden

ship runs through our veins and we set up this business because we love the sea, fishing and people. We own two boats and can easily expand our fleet if we have a larger booking. We welcome group sizes from one to 60 plus,” says co-founder Jan Kollberg. Fiskahummer.nu arranges anything from fishing tours to sumptuous dinners

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afterwards, with a personal chef who prepares the day’s catch in a private sea cabin with a majestic view over the soothing waters. Thanks to close connections with hotels and businesses in the area, they put together uniquely tailored packages to suit each individual party perfectly. So, head over to the Swedish west coast to enjoy autumn as you should – indulging in the fresh coastal breeze and the treasures of the sea. www.fiskahummer.nu Instagram: @fiskahummer.nu

An exclusive escape to the woods Lars Sallström, one of the owners of Brokamåla Estate, is passionate about meeting new people and creating experiences – but it was a coincidence that he and his wife Maria Sallström ended up owning the old farmyard. Today, the pair have been running it for 30 years. Now, they want to share their pride and joy with an even wider audience. By Alejandra Cerda Ojensa |

icacies, paired with exclusive wines, and hosted in a thoughtfully modernised space surrounded by magical nature. Brokamåla is for anyone seeking a luxurious yet relaxing secret escape to the woods.

Photos: Brokamåla

Brokamåla is located outside the small city of Olofström in Blekinge in southern Sweden. It was built traditionally, as it would have been 200 years ago. Today, the estate is a place where people come to enjoy hunt-

ing, fishing, hiking and exclusive dining. Surrounded by over 200 lakes, 40 of them within 15 kilometres, Brokamåla could arguably be described as the Swedish Lake District. Part of Brokamåla’s unique appeal is the friendships the owners have acquired over the years. “We got to know a man who lived in Paris, specialising in fine wines, Champagnes and cheeses. He’s now hosting tastings at Brokamåla. We love to create connections like that,” says Lars. The entire estate can be privately booked for conferences, during which the couple focuses on their guests 110 per cent, serving memorable dinners of local wild duck, fallow deer and other del-

www.brokamala.se Instagram: @brokamala Facebook: Brokamåla Gård

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Top 10 Autumn Experiences in Sweden

Lapland in winter – the true story Head some 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle and you’ll find Rajamaa. Nestled in the deep Taiga Forest, on the border between Sweden and Finland, the team at this small, family-run hospitality hub will give you a taste of what life in Lapland is all about. By Emma Rodin |

Photos: Rajamaa

For over 40 years, Rajamaa has welcomed guests from all over the world to enjoy adventure and nature combined. Situated on the island of Pitkäsaari (meaning ‘long island’), Rajamaa is part of the Muonionalusta village which has seven inhabitants – of which Rajamaa owners Kaisu and Lars Malmström are two. Indeed, it is unlikely that you will stumble upon crowds while at Rajamaa. It is just 40 |

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you, the guide, your fellow guests and the seemingly never-ending wilderness. “We only ever host a maximum of 30 people at once. That way we can make sure that each guest gets the best possible experience,” says Lars. Rajamaa’s main building includes a reception, dining room and sauna. On the grounds, there are ten newly-renovated chalets for guests – five smaller, and five larger ones suited to families. All chalets are fully equipped with amenities. Experience Lapland, for real Rajamaa’s winter adventures are all about enjoying Lapland’s nature with its endless forests, white snow and frozen


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waters. Whenever you choose to visit and whatever you wish to do, nature is at the core of every experience at Rajamaa. “We want to give our guests a genuine experience of Lapland and we do it by spending time outside. Up here, we are all part of nature and we want to share that special connection with visitors,” explains Lars. A week-long stay at Rajamaa is filled to the brim with memorable adventures, but it’s also a rich learning experience. Rajamaa’s experienced guides are not only experts in their fields, but are often local residents, able to share with guests an in-depth understanding of the surrounding areas – be it tracking animals via paw prints in the snow, explaining the region’s rich plant life or sharing historical facts about the indigenous Saami people.

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fantastic opportunity to learn more about the indigenous way of life, including their role in the reindeer husbandry, and the challenges they face today. An eco-labelled business Rajamaa is also part of the Swedish Ecotourism Society. This means that they follow several guidelines to achieve certain eco credentials. For one, they avoid transportation by motor. Likewise, they minimise plastic usage and sort waste at the source – something each visitor is also asked to take part in. “We use as much local and regional produce as possible,” says Lars. That includes reindeer meat from local Saami

herders, moose from local hunters and fish from local fishermen, as well as berries and mushrooms from the Taiga Forest. Rajamaa supports its community by hiring people from within it and supporting its economy. “It has become a cornerstone for us to work with likeminded people who have the same respect for nature and Lapland life as us,” concludes Lars. Cold and dark yet warm and bright, there is something about Lapland that is hard to describe. Odds are you will travel here for the memories, but come back with much more. www.rajamaa.com Instagram: @rajamaainlapland

Adventure awaits There are plenty of adventures to explore at Rajamaa. For one, there is husky sledding – where guests will man the sleds themselves (after some instructions and meeting the dogs, of course). There is also a two-day forest ski tour, using traditional, wooden skis, to a wilderness lodge in the middle of nowhere. “The lodge has no running water or electricity. We collect water from the frozen river and use the fireplace to keep warm. It is very much back to basics,” says Lars. Being so far out in the wild and without any light pollution, this is also a great place to spot the Northern Lights. Included in the standard winter package is also a visit to a local Saami family. Although they have adopted more modern practices, the Saami people still live the same way they have for centuries. It’s a

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Christinae Kyrka, design by Luciana Alanis.

Lilla Torget Bron, design by Craig Spring.

The Grove, design by Jackson Stigwood.

Only One Earth. 7.9 Billion Reflections Lights in Alingsås is an international meeting place as well as an exciting opportunity for people to check out unexpected lighting designs along a trail in Alingsås. The theme for this year’s edition of the lighting festival is: Only One Earth. 7.9 Billion Reflections. By Malin Norman |

Photos: Patrik Gunnar Helin

The lighting festival Lights in Alingsås attracts around 70,000 visitors every year. Established in 1998 and now run by Alingsås Energi, the much-loved event is an important meeting place for professional lighting designers, aspiring students in lighting design and architecture, and businesses. The world-class event has been internationally recognised with a number of awards, such as the prestigious lighting design competition [d]arc awards. During a one-week workshop, lighting installations are built by designers together with students, and the finished works are displayed around Alingsås for five weeks. Every year sees a new theme, and 2022’s will be Only One Earth. 7.9 Billion Reflections. “Reflections symbolise the origin of change. When light is reflected, it spreads and changes course,” explains Camilla Boström, event manag42 |

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along the trail – it’s particularly beautiful by the waterways. It’s a great experience, combined with some shopping in the city centre or a visit to one of Alingsås’ fabulous cafés or restaurants.”

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er for Lights in Alingsås. “With this year’s theme, we want to illuminate the endless possibilities encapsulated in the reflections of 7.9 billion people.” Each year, the theme changes and so too does the three-kilometre exhibition trail around Alingsås. The rout starts in the city centre and, on the way, people can see unexpected illuminations in old neighbourhoods and residential areas, in trees and parks, and along waterways. There are also guided tours to elevate the experience further, featuring a history of the city sights and reflections on the designs, plus lots of other activities around the city. “Autumn is a great time of the year for lighting design,” smiles Boström. “As it gets dark and gloomy outside, the event really lights up the city and visitors can discover fascinating lighting designs

www.lightsinalingsas.se Facebook: lightsinalingsas Instagram: @lightsinalingsas

Brunnsparken, design by Jessica Krometis.

Lights in Alingsås, presented by Alingsås Energi, takes place from 30 September to 6 November 2022. This year’s theme for the design workshop and trail around the city is Only One Earth. 7.9 Billion Reflections.


SWEDISH BLACK CAVIAR THE ULTIMATE IN SUSTAINABLE LUXURY Arctic Roe of Scandinavia is the pioneering producer of the world’s most unique delicacy, Black Caviar, produced without a single fish having to die. Sturgeons have become extinct and making Black Caviar without killing the fish aids in the recovery and survival of the world’s sturgeon population. A microchip is affixed to each sturgeon so its growth curve and harvests can be monitored over a decade or longer. Every second year, the females are milked for caviar, and on each caviar tin or jar sold, the name of the individual female sturgeon and the date of production are printed on a label.

The female sturgeons occupy an abandoned paper mill in southern Sweden on the banks of the massive river Lagan that empties into the North Sea. The aqua system at Arctic Roe recycles more than 99% of the daily water consumption, and on-site wells provide water for the property. Swedish Black Caviar can be found in several Guide Michelin restaurants, fish delicacies and retail stores. It can also be ordered directly from the company. www.arcticroe.com | info@arcticroe.com


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“We give a piece of our soul to every one of our clients” It’s a new work day and Christina Colour opens the doors to Carbon INK Tattoo. Colours, drawings and ideas are flying around the room as well as in her head. This is the place where art comes to life, and being a tattoo artist is not just a job, it’s a way of life. By Andri Papanicolas

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Photos: Katrix Media/ Katrine Ørbek Lund

Carbon INK Tattoo Studio is a unique tattoo shop, first opened ten years ago, which has continuously grown to become one of the best studios in Norway today. Christina prepares for a new day. She gets up early, clears her station and meets the clients. The studio is modern and soulful with hints of humour. “The atmosphere in our shop is laid-back, professional and fun. We even have names for our plants,” Christina says. At Carbon INK Tattoo you will meet eight tattoo artists with a variety of skills, who specialise in both black and grey, and colour tattoos. They draw custom designs according to any inspiration and desire. In addition, they offer expertise in cover-up and scar-covering. “We have many guest artists throughout the year. They all have different styles, 44 |

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which means that we can offer even more diversity for our customers,” she says. The reason why this studio is so popular is that it was founded by diehard artists and has stayed true to the profession. Christina Colour is the leader of the pack and her story started 11 years ago. “I went to the tattoo studio with a friend of mine and the artist got the crazy idea that I should try to tattoo him, right there on the spot.” she says. That day, she found her calling and the journey to becoming Christina Colour began. “It was a very spontaneous experience for him as well, but he definitely changed my life forever,” Christina says. Carbon INK Tattoo is located in Brumumddal, Norway, around an hour and a half from Oslo. Christina recommends people keep updated on upcoming guest artists and book an appointment early.

“A tattoo is something that will stay a lifetime. It’s humbling to be chosen by someone to do that. I don’t think most people realise that we give a small piece of our soul to each and every one of our clients,” she says. www.carbonink.no Facebook: Carbon INK Tattoo Instagram: @carboninktattoo


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Top Tattoo Studios in Norway

Oslo Tattoo Ink offers designs in many different styles – from realistic works to traditional and Japanese tattoos.

A different kind of tattoo studio Oslo Tattoo Ink is a female-run tattoo studio in the heart of Norway’s capital, where customers and their safety always take centre stage.

ideas and we create unique, special designs for them,” Castro explains.

By Linda A. Thompson

www.oslotattoo.ink Facebook: mrscastrotattoo Instagram: @oslotattoo.ink

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Photos: Oslo Tattoo Ink

When Catherina Castro decided to create her own tattoo studio in the Norwegian capital of Oslo, she was determined to break with what many still see as the archetypal features of a tattoo shop – a dark room with heavy metal music playing in the background.

any plan. But it’s a lovely coincidence that makes the name of the shop even more special,” Castro explains. She adds that she chose ‘Oslo Tattoo Ink’ because it’s simple, representative of the city, easy to remember and because it fits with different kinds of tattoo styles and personalities.

Having been in the tattoo business for over a decade and having worked in several countries, Castro – who goes by the artist’s name Mrs. Castro – envisioned a studio where artists and customers would feel safe and comfortable.

“We offer unique designs in many different styles. Even though we are known for realistic works, we also offer traditional, neo-traditional, Japanese, simple line works, black and grey, as well as colour tattoos,” she says.

Oslo Tattoo Ink opened its doors in January of 2022 and has quickly built a name for itself. The tattoo studio currently hosts five artists – Mrs. Castro, Mor Eliezri, Therese Telle, Olga Kozlowska and Lise Gran Olsen. “The fact that all the artists are females and the fact that they are all from different countries was never part of

Safety is a key concern at this leading Oslo tattoo studio and the team of tattoo artists keep themselves updated with new regulations so that a safe environment for customers is always guaranteed. Listening to customers is a key ethos at Oslo Tattoo Ink. “We listen to our clients’ August 2022

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Left to right: Malin Christine Mjøs Lassen (CFO & Chief Compliance Officer), Stine Sofie Grindheim (CEO), Stephen Øyhovden (Head of Strategy & Business Development), Tine Harrison (Head of Marketing) and Jens-Petter Tonning (Head of Corporate Finance).

A matchmaking platform for investors and start-ups Starting a new business can be hard: it’s often expensive and finding investors can be a challenge. But it does not have to be. More and more people are now interested in investing their money in shares and stocks instead of putting it into a savings account. Dealflow is here to make that process easier. By Hanna Margrethe Enger |

Photos: Opplett, by Siv-Elin Skoglund

The Dealflow platform was established in 2017 by Rune Brunborg and Petter Skulstad. They had noticed that there were very few opportunities for companies who wanted to raise less than 100 million Norwegian kroner in share issues, and they wanted to do something about it. They 46 |

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also wanted to democratise investing in early-stage companies and allow everyday Norwegians to be a part of the journey. “A lot of the value creation and share-value increase takes place before the company is even listed on the stock ex-

change,” Stine Sofie Grindheim, CEO, explains. “But it’s not easy to come in as an investor before the company is listed, as that’s when the public gets access to buy shares.” Making early-stage investments easier Typically, you had to know someone in the company or have the funds to invest a large amount of money if you wanted to invest before a company got listed on the stock exchange. Being able to take part in a share issue was therefore not available to most people. A share issue


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is an increase in the company’s equity which, in turn, leads to an increase in the company’s share capital. For many businesses, this is vital to getting them off the ground. “With new technology it is easier to make it accessible, and that is what Dealflow does,” Grindheim continues. “It’s a source of capital for businesses and an investment opportunity for bigger and smaller investors alike.” On the regular stock exchange you can buy shares during trading hours, every day. On the Dealflow platform it is a little different. The companies are unlisted and there is a limited window for buying shares, often two weeks. Dealflow’s newsletter keeps potential investors updated on investment opportunities and when the companies open. Therefore, for those interested in investing at an early stage, it’s important to be proactive.

Dealflow has gone to female entrepreneurs or co-founders. “Digital channels such as Dealflow simplify, open up and provide better opportunities for everyone, both companies and investors,” says Grindheim. “It democratises things.” Norwegians have become better and better at investing in funds and stocks. Dealflow believe that the next step is investing in an asset class with high risk, at an early stage, and that asset class being a part of an investor’s portfolio. It is important to mention that while highrisk shares can provide a high return, they should only be a small part of the portfolio to reduce the overall risk. “In-

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Norwegian Fintech Special

vestors create the winners of the future and decide which companies will be given the right to life. There is a lot of power in investing at such an early stage.” The last five years have been great for Dealflow. “Our ambition is further growth within Norway, where we see a lot of potential,” says Grindheim. “In the next few years, we want to expand across borders and we see Scandinavia as a relevant market.” www.dealflow.no LinkedIn: dealflow-no Facebook: dealflow.no Instagram: @dealflow.no Stine Sofie Grindheim (CEO).

Thoroughly-vetted companies All companies listed on Dealflow have been thoroughly vetted, to ensure they have good investment potential. They do this by checking that the company can validate that they are the right team to make it happen. Validation can be in the form of good, solid investors, evidence of having landed some contracts with customers or partners, or of traction for their product. “What we see is that it is not the industry, or the product, that necessarily matters – it’s whether the company is run by talented people,” says Grindheim. The platform has had a diverse range of companies, from fintech to baby cradles, software and physical products, consumer products, and business-to-business products. A common thread between all is that they have managed to create excitement around their products, and built the trust to make investors believe in them. Promoting female entrepreneurs It is also important for Dealflow to promote female entrepreneurs. While it has been said that only two per cent of venture capital in Norway has gone to women, 22 per cent of the capital raised through August 2022

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Norwegian Fintech Special


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Norwegian Fintech Special

Democratising real estate investment opportunities In a time when the property market is getting increasingly difficult to get into, crowdlending platform Monio wants to democratise real estate investing. Since launching in 2018 it has already become Norway’s largest crowdlending platform in real estate investment opportunities and has no plans of slowing down. By Synne Johnsson

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Photos: Monio

Monio, previously called Monner, is a digital platform that puts businesses in touch with independent investors to finance their development projects. So far, more than 800 million Norwegian kroner has been invested on the platform across 400 loans. Crowdlending, the most common type of crowdfunding, provides financing to various projects through a pool of investments from private individuals. Monio focuses on financing for small to medium-sized real estate projects that might struggle to secure traditional bank financing. The three other types of crowdfunding are equity-based crowdfunding, donation-based crowdfunding and rewards-based crowdfunding. Marius Dybdahl, CEO at Monio, says: “Often, if you want to invest in property, you either buy a home for yourself or you buy a property to rent. With the deposit requirements from the banks, this is getting more and more difficult.”

CEO Marius Dybdahl and marketing manager Nora Staff.

ings account as well as the opportunity to invest in real estate projects across Norway. However, it is not only Monio’s investors that are benefiting from the service: newer and smaller businesses who face difficulty in getting financing from banks due to lack of finance history, also stand to gain. Dybdahl says: “It’s difficult if you never get financing to develop a property before you have experience in doing so. It’s kind of like saying all leader positions require leader experience – it’s the best way to ensure that there will be no future leaders.” That does not mean that they let anyone borrow through the platform though. Monio’s highly qualified professionals evaluate every company and project before it is released on the platform. They finance a range of developments across residential and commercial. However, today’s regu-

Monio’s top tips when investing in real estate loans

“Investing in commercial property and projects with high returns is usually reserved for the more privileged people that already have a lot of capital. What we want to do is to democratise the opportunity to invest in loans to these types of real estate projects.”

You should never invest more than you can afford to lose, but even if you, in principle, can afford to, no one wants to lose money. Therefore, you should consider how to minimise the risk of loss.

Benefitting both investors and developers

3. Interest on interest: reinvest the returns regularly to increase the returns with interest on interest.

Investors on the platform benefit from a higher interest than the traditional sav-

1. Read up on the projects and evaluate the risk and security in each project 2. Spread the risk across several projects

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Since launching in 2018 Monio, has become Norway’s largest crowdlending platform in real estate investment opportunities.

lations make it difficult to finance the largest projects in Norway, as they cap crowdfunded investments at one million kroner per year. This is about to change. The EU has introduced common rules for crowdfunding to be rolled out in the Nordics in the next year. The rules open up for companies to finance projects for up to five million euros annually. With the new rules, Monio will also be able to offer both loan-based crowdfunding and equity-based crowdfunding; allowing its investors to invest in loans for various real estate projects, or in direct ownership. Putting your money to work Investing through Monio allows you to put your money to work with higher average returns than a standard savings account: Monio has had a historical return, after losses, of seven per cent. The investments have a one-year maturity, with interest paid monthly. When investing, investors are informed of both returns and maturity beforehand, what interest they will get and when the money will hit their account. 50 |

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“The reason we have specialised in property investments is that we think it offers the best balance between risk and returns. Your money is secured by a physical property, meaning that if the borrowers suddenly have difficulty repaying, investors can get back part of, or the full, investment by selling the project to someone else,” Dybdahl says.

an investment school to teach inexperienced investors about the market.

Registering as an investor is free and only takes a couple of minutes. You can open a savings account with a competitive interest rate and invest that money when you find a suitable project. Monio only takes a small administration fee of the interest on the different projects.

www.monio.no

“So far, 80,000 investments have been made by thousands of investors. We believe that the market for this type of project will grow by four to five times in the next few years,” Dybdahl says. So, do you have to know anything about real estate or finance? Not really, according to Dybdahl. Anyone can start investing with Monio and the platform provides a range of different articles as well as

Dybdahl concludes: “You don’t have to know anything before starting, but if you read our articles and the information we publish on each project, there’s a greater chance of maximising the returns of your investments.”

Five reasons to invest through Monio Monio’s philosophy is that even semi-professional investors can earn money by investing in real estate and by investing through crowdfunding. So why should you choose Monio? 1. High average interest 2. Low expected loss due to the security of the physical property 3. Monthly repayment of interest 4. Opportunity to spread the risk across several different projects 5. Low minimum limit for investments of only 1,000 Norwegian kroner


TO P Mini E T IN XP hem E FI R e: NL IE AN NC D ES Reindeer roaming free.

Autumn gives the best chance to see a double aurora.

Autumn colours transform the landscape.

In the Finnish moutains, a whirlwind of colours and activities awaits The magic season is returning to the Finnish mountains in Levi. In autumn, the colours turn, the air becomes crisp and the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, reemerges on the evening sky. The area offers a unique combination of activities, accommodation and dining – perfect for nature lovers and adrenaline-junkies looking for unforgettable fun and relaxation. By Nina Bressler

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Levi is unique in many ways. Despite its remote location, 170 kilometres above the Finland’s Arctic Circle, it’s easy to reach by daily flights to Kittilä Airport – just 15 minutes from the resort. This area – the home of the FIS World Cup (the women’s slalom cup), due to take place 19 and 20 November 2022 – is one that boasts a world-class range of restaurants and places to stay. From exclusive design hotels, to cabins and intimate glass igloos, it’s brimming with ideal spots to catch an unobstructed view of the Northern Lights from your bed. Berry picking.

Autumn is when the majestic light shows its best side, and double auroras can be seen with remarkable clarity. “Many people come here to experience the world-famous phenomena and the chance of seeing the lights is always high. Autumn is a truly remarkable time when ‘ruska’ – when the colour of the trees and the ground changes to a bed of red, yellow and brown – is in full swing. This is the perfect time for a hike in our mountains or to enjoy our exciting range of activities in amazing surroundings – rafting, fishing, SUP, downhill There’s a great range of cycling paths to choose from.

biking, adventure parks, berry picking, golf and much more is readily available,” says Maija Palosaari, head of marketing at Visit Levi. The newest addition to the vast hotel selection on offer to visitors is Design Hotel Levi, incorporating immaculate style and comfort. Meanwhile, there’s no shortage of places to eat: after-ski pubs and clubs, ski cafés, Lappish restaurants and fine-dining spots mean that there’s something for everyone. As Levi gears up for the busy winter season, when skiers gather to enjoy the slopes, autumn is the perfect time to enjoy a peaceful vacation away and watch the seasons turn. In Levi, stunning nature, world-class adventures and delicious food awaits. www.levi.fi Instagram: @levilapland Coffee and relaxation in the wild.

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The area on Finland’s eastern border around Kainuu, Kuhmo and Suomussalmi is called Wild Taiga. Photo: Lassi Rautiainen

Where untouched wilderness and authentic culture meet Wild Taiga is an association of around 60 businesses located on Finland’s eastern border, in the Kainuu region. The Wild Taiga region is ideal for holiday-makers looking to embark on an adventure, and explore what the real Finnish wilderness has to offer. By Ndéla Faye

In the heart of eastern Kainuu’s untouched forests, visitors get to experience Finland’s nature at its most authentic. “The area hasn’t been touched by mass-tourism, and our unspoiled nature is a breathtaking sight to see. We offer a range of activities; from some of the best hiking trails in the country, to various cultural events and seeing animals – bears, wolves, birds of prey and 52 |

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moose – in their natural habitat,” says Wild Taiga marketing representative, Kerttu Komulainen. Wild Taiga operates in eastern Kainuu, in the areas of Suomussalmi and Kuhmo. The businesses operating under the Wild Taiga banner are mainly family-run, and showcase the local traditions, culture, knowledge and products.

The main attraction in the eastern Kainuu area is the unspoiled nature and the richness of the fauna. In addition, the region is steeped in history; from the Winter War to the spirit of the Kalevala, which is still tangible in the local celebrations and culture. Photo: Kerttu Komulainen


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When it comes to the selection of accommodation in the region, visitors are spoilt for choice: there are luxurious spa hotels, cosy family-run B&Bs and hotels in the middle of the wilderness. Activities range from cross-country skiing hikes in the winter, to fishing, bear-spotting and rafting in the summer. “Wild Taiga collates all the information about the region; its sights, products and services. The younger generations are taught to carry on the traditions and vibrant culture of the region. We are proud of the fact that there are no big-chain hotels to be found here. Our businesses want to offer visitors an authentic experience,” Komulainen says. “Sustainable tourism is a matter of the heart for us” In the heart of eastern Kainuu’s untouched forests, visitors can experience Finland’s nature at its most authentic. The region is well-known among wildlife photographers, and there are plenty of opportunities to catch a glimpse of Finland’s best-known big predators, such as wolves, wolverines, lynx and bears.

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Top Experiences in Finland

The fresh air and clear lakes can be admired in all their glory at the Hossa National Park, which is popular among campers and hikers. The National Park has 100 kilometres of marked trails, as well as 60 kilometres of canoeing trails. The park’s main attractions are Julma-Ölkky – Finland’s largest canyon lake – and the unique Hossa Värikallio rock paintings which are amongst the largest prehistoric rock paintings in Finland. For the Wild Taiga region, sustainability and responsibility are paramount when it comes to tourism. From husky safaris to horse-riding tours, reindeer rides and camping, there are plenty of ecological travel experiences to choose from in the region. “In the Wild Taiga region, most of the tourism experiences are based on a combination of nature and culture. We feel it’s our duty to protect our rich fauna, and ensuring we provide tourism services in a responsible and sustainable way is a matter of the heart for us,” says Komulainen. Being sustainable also means supporting local businesses and sourcing

Photo: Travel Dudes

produce and products locally whenever possible. “Wild Taiga companies work in close cooperation with local and nearby operators. The restaurants and cafés in

Photo: Lassi Rautiainen

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the area offer plenty of locally-produced cuisine, made from fresh, clean ingredients,” Komulainen says. There are a number of unique restaurants and cafés; from lunch at a reindeer farm to dinner in a historic log cabin. “The restaurants serve fantastic food, sourced from the nearby forests and lakes. Berries, mushrooms, game and fish feature often on the menus,” she adds. Dive into the region’s rich culture For an experience that combines both music and culture, the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival is a must-see in the summer. The festival has been organised annually in Kainuu since 1970, and it includes performances from professional musicians, as well as from promising young talent. The internationally-known festival draws in crowds from across the globe, and it has grown into one of the largest music festivals in Finland. In addition, the region is culturally significant, home to the Songlands of the Kalevala – the Finnish national epic. Compiled of folk songs and stories from 54 |

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the Karelia region, visitors to the region can witness first-hand the places where the Karelian artists of the Kalevala found their inspiration. “Kuhmo brings the Kalevala to life, with history and modernity living side by side. Kuhmo is a UNESCO City of Literature because of the Kalevala,” Komulainen explains. “Wild Taiga is for people who want to have an adventure, and enjoy an authentic experience of some of the best things Finland has to offer. We are very proud of the fact that the region is largely untouched by mass-tourism, and visitors get to enjoy the real history and stunning wilderness,” Komulainen concludes. www.wildtaiga.fi Facebook: wildtaiga Instagram: @visitwildtaiga

Photo: Wild Taiga

Wild Taiga offers some of the best settings in Europe for bear-watching and wildlife photography. Photo: George Turner

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ND A NL Th I i F in M RY A N LI U C e:

em

Premium biodynamic honey from the woods of Finland Located in the Finnish countryside, in a forest an hour north of Helsinki, you’ll find the family business Hikiän Biodynamic Honey, producing premium products for the health-conscious consumer who wants to do good for the environment. The name, Hikiän, is borrowed from the village Hikiä, where Reko Nieminen now runs the small business devoted to creating the cleanest raw honey, just as when it all started over 70 years ago. By Hikiän Raw Honey

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founder Martti Nuotio, Reko Nieminen’s grandfather, not only supplied his own family with sweet honey, but also used it to trade with neighbours. In those hum-

ble times, honey was seen as a luxury. Surrounded by forest, far from cars and big roads that could contaminate the product, the bees could fly freely without much impact from the human world. “The best honey is produced with as little interference as possible from us,” says Reko Nieminen. Today, they continue to live up to their word. To earn the right to put the Demeter logo on their products, an international third-party certificate for biodynamic


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Culinary Finland

products, they must comply with a range of criteria. These include using only natural materials and honeycombs in the hives, and no use of pesticides. By frequently testing the honey for over 600 different substances, including pesticides that have previously been found to cause the deaths of many bees, the purity of the honey can be ensured. Honey loses a lot of its health benefits when it’s heated over 40 degrees. To keep the nutrients and healing properties intact, Hikiän Biodynamic honey is never heated. To protect the honey on its way from the beehive to your home, Hikiän honey is packed in deep-purple glass jars that block UV light. The result is a sleek and elegant-looking premium product that does good for the environment. Bees are one of the most important pollinators we have on the planet. As they pollinate flowers and crops, they are crucial for our food supply, and the survival of the planet as we know it. Supporting your local beekeeper is an effective way to support the ecosystem and encourage bee populations, which have dwindled due to the overuse of pesticides.

propolis, the bees protect themselves from bacteria inside the hive, keeping it safe and clean. Hikiän produces the propolis tincture by extracting it with alcohol, and the result can be used both internally and externally, to heal everything from stomach issues to skin rashes.

Hikiän don’t only sell honey, they also produce propolis tincture. Propolis is a waxlike product that the Hikiän bees produce by collecting tree sap, mainly from pine and spruce trees in their surroundings, and mixing it with their enzymes. Humans have used propolis for thousands of years for its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties – the same reasons why bees produce it. By producing

Ever since Reko Nieminen’s grandfather founded the business, Hikiän has honoured Finnish nature. Combining sustainable beekeeping with quality is one of the founding pillars. By carefully using the forest to create the optimal environment for the bees to live and work their magic, they ensure their products are of the highest standard. By living up to the criteria of biodynamic farming, Hikiän Biodynamic

Honey does good from the inside and out – for us, the bees and the planet. As a part of their work on saving the bees, Hikiän also offers companies and private consumers the opportunity to adopt a hive. Depending on how much you invest, you can own a hive with your logo on it, and receive jars of honey from your adopted hive. Those curious about adopting a beehive or purchasing Hikiän Biodynamic Honey and Hikiän Propolis can learn more on the Hikiän website. www.hikian.com Instagram: @hikianofficial

Reko Nieminen. Photo: Hikian Pixoi

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Kouvola liquorice offsets their carbon emissions by fertilising forests in Finland.

Creating a meaningful impact… with liquorice Helping people in need, sending liquorice into space and creating the world’s largest bag of sweets… these are just some of the ambitious ideas Timo Nisula has come up with for his liquorice factory. One thing is clear: everything at Kouvola Liquorice is rooted in meaning and pure love. By Ndéla Faye

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There are no long production lines or heavy machinery at the Kouvola liquorice factory. The liquorice is prepared by hand, using traditional methods. Kouvola Liquorice has been a first-mover many times: they were the first to produce liquorice beer, and were the first to send liquorice into the stratosphere. In 2016, Kouvola Liquorice teamed up with renowned Finnish designer Eero Aarnio – best known for the iconic Ball Chair he designed in the 1960s. As a result of the collaboration, the world’s first design 58 |

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sweet, christened Ghost due to its shape, was born. When the war in Ukraine started in February 2022, Nisula decided to donate the proceeds from his online liquorice sales over five days to the relief efforts. “All the campaigns we run have a deep meaning and genuine care behind them,” the liquorice factory owner says.

In the midst of the pandemic, Nisula felt he wanted to counterbalance the doom and gloom of the world. “I realised no one had ever made the world’s largest bag of sweets, so I decided we would make one,” he says. Kouvola Liquorice now holds a


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Guinness World Record for the largest bag of sweets, filled with salty liquorice, weighing in at 829.1 kilogrammes. So what happened to all the liquorice after the world record was achieved? A local sports team helped divide the liquorice into small bags, which were sold at a local supermarket. Kouvola Liquorice then used the profits to buy a one-bedroom apartment in Kouvola. “We bought the apartment and renovated it, and put out a call-out in a newspaper, looking for a person in need of ‘A New Start’, as we called the campaign. From over 300 applications, we picked one person who had fallen on hard times. They live in the apartment and work with us,” Nisula says. “I have an active imagination, which is probably the result of reading too many comics as a child,” Nisula laughs. Carbon-neutral liquorice The Kouvola liquorice factory’s story began in Vyborg in 1906, but after two world wars, the company was set up in Kouvola, where the factory has been producing sweets since 1945. Today, the factory employs 25 people and everything from beginning to end is done by hand. “Our liquorice is cooked on a stove, by real people,” Nisula says. In addition to having a deep respect and commitment for the traditional way of making liquorice, Kouvola Liquorice also takes pride in being as environmentally sustainable as possible. In order to do their bit for the environment, the factory is offsetting their carbon footprint by fertilising forests in Finland. “Instead of offsetting our carbon emissions by plant-

Owner Timo Nisula.

ing trees somewhere halfway across the world, I wanted to do something that would have an impact right now and that can be certifiably tracked. So, we decided to focus on forests in Finland, and came up with something tangible that would have an immediate effect. We do things that really matter, and sustainability is very important to us,” Nisula explains. “We are a small fish in a big pond, and we’re not even trying to compete with the big sweet manufacturers. However, the fact that we are a smaller company also means we can do a lot of things that bigger companies can’t. Having fun is important to me – and so is making a meaningful impact,” says Nisula.

Kouvola Liquorice might be a small company, but they have big plans. The company is seeking to expand their sales across Europe, Asia and Australia, and they are opening a second factory in an old school building. “It’ll be a place where visitors can come and see what we do and buy our products,” Nisula explains. “Making the best tasting liquorice possible is a matter of heart for us – and if we manage to make the world a better place while we’re at it, then that’s fantastic,” he concludes. www.kouvolanlakritsi.fi Instagram: @kouvolanlakritsi Facebook: kouvolanlakritsi

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Your friend in the kitchen ankarsrum.com


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Nana Omakase’s chef and owner, Jonas Bokedal.

Blowtorching Japanese A5 Wagyu Beef on a Mango tree chopping board.

Variation of blue lobster with black winter truffle, freeze-dried onion pearls, Yuzu foam and ren onion pie.

Restaurant of the Month, Sweden

Modern Nordic meets Japanese-French cuisine Nana Omakase is a fine-dining restaurant in the neighbourhood of Vasastan. Jonas and Karin Bokedal, partners in business and life, launched the venue in April 2019 – transforming an old sweet shop into a must-visit foodie spot in the heart of Stockholm. By Silvia Colombo

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You can taste the flavour of restaurant Nana Omakase in its name. The Japanese word ‘nana’ means ‘seven’, while ‘omakase’ means ‘trusting the chef’. Nana Omakase’s fine-dining experince entails a seven-course menu entirely conceived and prepared by the chef and owner Jonas Bokedal.

simplicity, the aesthetic and the idea that every ingredient must be high-quality and taste as it should naturally, not processed or treated too much.”

“The restaurant is both mine and my wife Karin’s. Together, we bought a former candy shop and renovated it. It’s our dream come true. I’ve cooked ever since I can remember,” says Jonas. At first, he worked at the restaurant by himself, conducting a ‘one-man show’ from start to finish – an unusual undertaking in the restaurant world, especially in Sweden. But today he has teamed up with souschef Edvin Dahne.

A dinner at Nana Omakase is slowpaced, lasting about three hours. It’s a dining experience you’ll never forget: the whole menu is based on high-quality, raw products – “the best you can find both in Sweden and Japan, according to the seasons” – combined into simple, tasteful dishes and paired with high-end French wines. Don’t be surprised if, at the end, you’re asked about your experience; Jonas loves to cook dishes that makes guests feel good, and the ‘gastronomic treat’ served at Nana combines the chef’s choices with suggestions and feedback from the guests.

The food concept behind Nana Omakase “revolves around three main principles:

Though the exquisite menu incorporates elements of improvisation, those eager

to enjoy the Swedish-meets-Japanesemeets-French cuisine would be wise to plan in advance due to high demand. Tables can be booked on the restaurant’s website. Nana Omakase is a social space, where you’re free to chat with your friends and neighbours, or to enjoy the stunning menu in peace. One thing’s for sure: high-level cuisine and a beautiful environment are the cornerstones of the experience. www.nanaomakase.com Facebook: nanaomakase Instagram: @nanaomakase

Blowtorched Japanese A5 Wagyu Beef with beetroot in three ways, celeriac puree and fermented garlic and porcini mushroom oil (red and green shiso cress)

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Restaurant of the Month, Denmark

The modern Pakistani spot shaking up Copenhagen’s food scene “The modern Pakistani food at Zahida is our take on the food we grew up eating,” says Shane Affridi. Two of five kids to south-Asian parents, he and his brother Bobby grew up in Manchester – on a mixture of classic British fare like pies, pasties and fish and chips, and their mother’s Pakistani home cooking. “She would combine these kitchens – keeping the original flavour profile of our favorite Pakistani dishes, but with a western twist.” At Zahida, the pair vividly recall the flavours of their childhood – and are reshaping Copenhagen’s food landscape in the process.

tional flavours, to evolve the cuisine for a new generation. We cook our food the way we want to eat it, the way our mother served it to us.” A journey through modern Pakistan

“Like most south-Asian mums, ours uses a cooking method called ‘andanza’. It means ‘rough estimate’. She measures spices by eye, adding ingredients with a flick of the wrist or sleight of hand. Yet every dish tastes just as amazing as last time,” says Shane.

with garlic, chili, dried coriander, cumin, “and a whole host of things we couldn’t pronounce!” says Shane. “Her Sunday roast had all the traditional trimmings – but with a whole tandoori chicken, so deep in colour that your fingers would turn red just by looking at it!”

Shane and Bobby started Zahida in a small, now defunct street-food market in 2017. “We had eight seats, five dishes on the menu and zero experience working in a kitchen,” he recalls. But the exhilarating flavours spoke for themselves. The pair quickly built up a name and moved into the bustling city centre – a stone’s throw from the Botanic Gardens and celebrated dining and produce market Torvehallerne – in 2019.

Back then, if the kids wanted KFC, she’d pull the karahi out from under the stove, fill it with oil and within minutes freestyle her own deep-fried chicken, marinated

“This is the approach we take at Zahida. We mix a little East with a little West,” says Bobby. “We wanted to open a place that does something different with tradi-

Many of Zahida’s signature dishes, like the Gunpowder Bites and Shrimp Ceviche, were conceived during the last two lockdowns. “We had the time and boundless

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enthusiasm to push the boundaries of south-Asian food,” explains Shane. Meanwhile, their frequent trips to Karachi help the brothers to keep abreast of food trends in Pakistan’s most populous city. “These trips inspired our cocktail menu. We serve a Sharabi Lassi with pink candy floss – an alcoholic twist on the everyday mango lassi, with coconut rum and cream liqueur. The Red Fort, named after the iconic 17th-century Mughal palace in India, is served short, with hibiscus-infused vodka, cardamom, cranberry syrup and topped with cava.” The à la carte menu is comparatively lean, comprising around 20 unique dishes. But the main focus is the six-course tasting menu with matched wine, beer or non-alcoholic drinks. “Our tasting menu takes you on a journey thorough modern

Pakistan, with a range of flavours and textures in each course. Every element, from the mustard-seed infused pickled chili in the Aloo Gobi, to the tamarind sauce in the Gunpowder Bites, adds something to the overall dining experience,” says Shane. He credits Zahida’s current success to its highly decorated head chefs, Sherwin Mariano and Anthony Delos Reyes, who have over 30 years combined experience across Asia and the Middle East, as well as at Copenhagen’s one Michelin-star Asian restaurant. “They’re an absolute pleasure to work with and it’s a real honour to have them on our team,” says Bobby. “They’re responsible for some our most iconic signature dishes such as the Masala Ribeye, Gunpowder Bites, Tempura Soft Shell Crab and our most popular dish, Zahida’s Butter Chicken.”

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“We always wanted to design a beautiful restaurant” Zahida’s modern-industrial-meets-romantic interior is as vibrant as its cuisine. Pendulous copper lamps in deep turquoise hang from the high ceiling, reflected in a huge New Yorker mirror beneath an arching bough of pink cherry-blossom. Meanwhile, sleek, dark furnishings, cast-iron bars and wood paneling maintain an air of refined elegance. “We always wanted to design a beautiful restaurant – something different to Scandinavian minimalism. Something extra!” says Shane. The effect is thoughtful, bold and playful – “and all sewn together with Pakistani-themed modern art and a homely atmosphere.” Though Zahida is a relative newcomer, its already moved the goalposts for Pakistani and Indian restaurants in the Nordic’s foodie capital – and has its sights set on the Michelin Guide. “We would love to be featured within two years, and to open a Zahida in Oslo, Stockholm and Aarhus. We’ve had amazing feedback from our northern-Scandinavian guests so far,” says Shane. His energy is palpable – it’s impossible not to be swept along. Shane and Bobby have created a venue that has that curious, electrifying quality of a place that refuses to conform. What’s the winning formula? Shane says: “Our food philosophy is this… Keep the menu small, keep it original and make sure every dish is an absolute banger!” www.zahida.dk Instagram: @zahidacph August 2022

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Skirri is located at Tromsø harbour and has outdoor seating in the summer.

Restaurant of the Month, Norway

Eating out in Tromsø tonight? Kystens Mathus in Tromsø is capitalising on its immediate access to some of the world’s best fish – and changing dining culture in Norway’s northernmost city. By Eva-Kristin U. Pedersen

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In Norway, the further north you go, the more intriguing the surroundings become. The soft, idyllic scenery of the southern coastline seem to grow bolder and more rugged as you move upwards and, as you reach for the Arctic, that same scenery becomes unruly, wild and dramatic – as if people aren’t supposed to live that far north. Yet, they do. Small communities of mostly wooden houses are scattered along the coast, with the Arctic Sea and the steep mountains as their closest neighbours, stubbornly resisting in every bay and valley that permits it. 64 |

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The nucleus of this fascinating area is undoubtedly Tromsø, an important port, home to Norway’s northernmost university and an urban break from the wilderness that surrounds it. For many visitors, The bar at Skirri restaurant with local beer on tap and excellent wine.

Tromsø is where the Arctic adventure really begins, but at the same time, it’s also the epicentre of the best that northern Norway can offer. A cultural challenge One of the things you will want to take advantage of while in Tromsø is the food. In particular, seafood – given the immediate access to some of the world’s best fish from one of its purest oceans. While fish has always been prepared at home, even northerners are now increasingly appreciating how professional cooks prepare local delicacies for them. “Northerners just didn’t like to pay for somebody else to prepare the fish for them. It’s something that literally swims in their backyard and is there for them to catch,” explains Lasse Wangberg, the ad-


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ministrative director of Kystens Mathus in Tromsø. However, that perception is changing rapidly. A new wave of restaurants is changing cultural perceptions of how fish can be prepared and enjoyed – to the delight of locals and visitors alike. Seasonal specialties and signature dishes The restaurant Skirri at Kystens Mathus, which also includes a fishmonger and aquarium, offers a combination of seasonal specialties and year-round signature dishes. Their menu includes the staple fish soup and a local codfish known as boknafish, but you can also ask the waiter for the catch of the day – and, at times, rare delicacies such as king crab is available. Fish aside, you can opt for a burger. Reindeer patties are offered in the autumn and winter, but replaced by whale in the summer. At lunchtime, a selection of lighter dishes are available. The selection has become popular among visitors, for whom a meal at Skirri has become a must. Eventually it drew the locals, and today they keep coming back for more. “We want our clients to be able to find certain dishes every time they come to encourage them to return,” says Wangberg. Tromsø’s best view? Having a meal at Skirri means not only enjoying excellent food but also appreciating the astonishing surroundings this part of Norway can offer.

Enjoy the food and the view at Skirri restaurant in Tromsø.

“I think we have Tromsø’s best view,” Wangberg says with a smile. From Skirri, guests enjoy a view of both the harbour and Tromsø’s main square. It’s beautiful in both the light of the midnight sun and during the dark winter, when the city itself lights up the sky – unless, of course, you’re lucky enough to catch the Aurora Borealis.

traditional Norwegian Christmas fare, such as the much-loved jelly-like lutefisk, traditional Christmas sausages and other seasonal foods. As well as enjoying the 160-seat main restaurant, parties of 50-plus can rent a spacious private room upstairs.

Christmas traditions

Eating out was never an inherent part of local culture in the northernmost parts of Norway, but considering the immediate access to fish and meat of superb quality from uncontaminated nature, along with the growing popularity of this fascinating Scandinavian outpost, the time seems ripe for change. At Skirri, staff are determined to capitalise on that opportunity – with style, knowhow and a solid dose of northern charm.

As Christmas celebrations start, Skirri changes their regular menu to one of

www.kystensmathus.no

To accompany the food, Wangberg and colleagues enlist a wine importer that visits the restaurant regularly to match the wine selection to the seasonal menu. On tap, they offer local beer Mack, and are the only restaurant in Tromsø to serve Erdinger.

Serving fish in the summer sun at Skirri.

Mussels are popular at restaurant Skirri.

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Chef and owner, William Hellgren.

Restaurant of the Month, Finland

Farm to table: an exquisite stay on a Baltic Sea island Food is art at Restaurant Back Pocket, thanks to daily inspiration from the Finnish island landscape and a profound love for Nordic produce. By Lotta Lassesson

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Any Scandinavian will tell you that nothing compares to the Nordic archipelago. The proximity to the sea, its nature and wildlife, combined with unpredictable changes in weather, is both a charm and a challenge.

tives – his father is an industrial designer and his mother, an artist – and decided to combine their skills and passions to transform an old farmhouse into the boutique Nestor Hotel in 2009. In 2016, aged 23, Hellgren took charge of the operation.

Restaurant Back Pocket is part of Nestor hotel, situated on Korpo Island in Finland’s Åboland archipelago. Its six rooms are built on top of an old barn and pay tribute to the people who once lived and worked here. They are carefully designed in different in character and size, and each is named after the cattle that once roamed the farm. Hotel owner and head chef William Hellgren has grown up here, with close ties to both the archipelago and the hospitality industry.

After training as a chef at Helsingfors, Finland, Hellgren worked at Björn Franzen’s Michelin-star restaurant in Stockholm. From then on, he knew the kind of dining experience he wanted to create. Hellgren’s cuisine is playful, sourced from the highest-quality local ingredients, and presented artfully on the plate. “I always strive to use innovative and unexpected methods in my cuisine. A key element is to keep the menu alive,” he explains. He treats every day like a blank canvas when it comes to the menu, taking inspiration from the raw ingredients, just as the sourdough for the dinner service is prepared every morning.

Though born in Sweden, Hellgren moved back to Korpo Island when he still was a child. His Finnish parents are both crea-

Back Pocket is a blend of old and new, combining rustic charm with a modern feel. On the six-course tasting menu, the dishes change with the seasons. The 80-seat restaurant is the heart of the hotel, and is a popular choice for private functions, weddings and corporate event bookings. Here is a piece of Nordic paradise, where design and a love of great cuisine make for a picture-perfect visit. www.hotelnestor.fi

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Hotel of the Month, Sweden

A glamorous, centuries-old establishment Hotel Hasselbacken, located on Djurgården in central Stockholm, is an establishment born from notions of glamour, quality and being the centre of the party. It was founded in the 1700s and quickly grew into a popular watering hole for people with an eye for the extravagant and exciting. Nowadays, it is known for its great location, luxurious hotel rooms, its collaboration with and proximity to ABBA The Museum and Stockholm Cirkus, as well as exquisite food for every occasion. Today, it is taking steps to return to its former flair and entertainment. By Hanna Andersson

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Photos: Hotell Hasselbacken

“Hasselbacken has a bit of a cheeky history. It was established in the 1700s and was originally called ‘Dunderhyttan’ – the Thunder Hut! Which I think is simply wonderful,” laughs Ingmari Pagenkemper, CEO of Cirkus Venues, the group which Hotel Hasselbacken is a part of. 68 |

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“It truly was Stockholm’s centrepiece when it came to parties. In pictures from the 1800s, you will see masses of people, great orchestras, dancing, and loads of food and drinks. In the 1980s, we saw Hasselbacken hosting Stockholm’s first gay club, where the drag

show groups After Dark and Surprise Sisters had some of their most successful years. It was fun, entertaining, exciting and ground-breaking.”


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Evolving classic recipes A restaurant academy was run at Hasselbacken from 1947 to 1969, and its influence has persevered to the modern day. In 1953, the famous Hasselback potato was created. “We focus on Swedish and French cuisine, with a mission to evolve and elaborate on classic recipes. We are definitely influenced by the restaurant academy, and we are always looking for ways to improve our menus and dishes. Professionalism, quality and years of experience give us the tools to provide a setting where guests can come and just enjoy,” says Pagenkemper. In the 1990s, the hotel was renovated, and the newer hotel wing was built with a calmer, more sophisticated and elegant approach. Crystal chandeliers and burlesque lunches The establishment has several grand and extravagant venues, including the Hazelius Hall, which feels like a trip back in time, the Crown Hall filled with crystal chandeliers and luxurious details, and smaller premises such as the Marie Antionette Room. Furthermore, there are 113 hotel rooms of various sizes, the newly renovated restaurant, a wonderful, leafy garden, and a grand terrace – perfect for big gatherings. “We want glamour to be in focus. Our renovation of the restaurant and other

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venues has brought it back to the excitement Hasselbacken was famous for. We are arranging Champagne brunches and burlesque lunches. We have live music and DJs performing during our dinner services. We really want it to be the bustling hub that it’s made to be. You walk in and you’re immediately surrounded with generations of parties and elegance,” explains Pagenkemper. “It’s close to central Stockholm, but far enough away so as not to disturb anyone.” Hasselbacken’s experience and knowledge also make it the perfect venue for a dream wedding. You might want a disco wedding or a tango band – Hasselbacken can provide it all. Pagenkemper explains: “Not only do we have gorgeous venues, where you can have welcome drinks in the garden, a barbecue on the terrace, and party in the Hazelius Hall, but we can also provide you with personal requests regarding food, music, flower arrangements and photography. We also have all the necessary technology for you and your guests to pump up the volume and continue partying through the night. We have all the contacts you might need after over 100 years of entertaining.” A one-stop shop at Djurgården Hotel Hasselbacken is part of Cirkus Venues, which consists of Hotel Hasselbacken, Cirkus Arena & Restaurant, Pop Story, Backstage Hotel and Konsthallen Restaurant & Bakery. ABBA The Museum

is located just across the street from the hotel, and Cirkus Arena is just a two-minute walk down the road. “Djurgården might seem far away, but if you look at a satellite map over Stockholm, it is actually located right in the middle! We want to make Pophouse Entertainment Group into a one-stop shop, full of excitement and quality with a focus on glamour. We want people to come and just have fun with us,” Pagenkemper says with a smile. www.hasselbacken.com/en Instagram: @hotellhasselbacken Facebook: hotellhasselbacken

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Hotel of the Month, Finland

Parisian flair in the south of Finland Tucked away in the idyllic town of Porvoo on the Finnish south coast, Hotel Pariisin Ville is as romantic as it is curious. Here, classic style meets modern features in clever displays, all brought together with a level of food and service that keeps guests coming back. By Emma Rodin |

Photos: Hotel Pariisin Ville

Less than 40 minutes’ drive from Helsinki Airport, Pariisin Ville is the ideal weekend stay for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A fantastic travel and food destination alike, it is a small, boutique hotel which was named after sculptor Ville Vallgren, who spent time in Porvoo at the end of the 19th century. “Ville was a true connoisseur of the finest food and wine of his day,” says hotel manager Minja Sjöström. Known as a 70 |

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spontaneous, loud, impulsive and eccentric artist, Vallgren ultimately described himself as a ‘proud hedonist’, who loved everything life had to offer. “We simply share his view on life, with Pariisin Ville being a tribute to this,” she adds. Inspiration station Indeed, the essence of Vallgren can be felt throughout the hotel itself. Not only in the art dotted around, but also in the hotel’s style and atmosphere. Speaking of style, Pariisin Ville has plenty. The lob-

by is pure Hollywood glamour, while the hotel’s dining room has a romantic feel of rural France. Additionally, each hotel room (of which there are only ten) is finished individually with a Parisian touch: its own separate lounge space and bathroom, while some even have their own saunas. Guests will also find plenty of antique furniture throughout the hotel, alluding to the classic sense of Porvoo’s Old Town district. Small and intimate, Pariisin Ville is ideal for guests who value good service above all. “We put great emphasis on individuality here, making sure each guest leaves with their own personal experience in hand,” explains Sjöström. Though, it is not only about personal interaction, but also about detail. “We have lots of little ways


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of adding that extra bit of magic, such as offering exquisite toiletries, serving food on beautiful porcelain and, of course, decorating with real flowers,” she adds. Food (and wine) for thought However, there is more to this home away from home than just bed and breakfast. Locals and tourists alike come to enjoy a drink or two in the popular wine bar situated in the hotel’s lobby. And just like the hotel itself, the wine bar is small and intimate – though opens up onto a terrace in the summer months. A calm green oasis, the bar serves carefully selected natural wines. After enjoying some wine, there is the opportunity to move on to The Meat District – Pariisin Ville’s own restaurant. This high-end bistro has a heavy focus on organic produce, including meat, fish and vegetables, and serves food with strong

yet simple flavours. “We respect the local aspect of our operation and firmly believe that co-operation with small entrepreneurs in the surrounding area will provide an outstanding and memorable hotel experience for our guests,” says Sjöström. Furthermore, the menu is designed to be shared with friends and follows the overall concept of ‘dining with a big heart’. Food aside, the restaurant’s atmosphere is relaxed and grounded, encouraging conversation and pure enjoyment. And conveniently, those who fancy a taste of The Meat District can also get it in the Finnish capital. Indeed, Helsinki is the home of restaurants Mat Distrikt and Albina, both of which follow the same theme as their Porvoo counterpart. Visiting Porvoo “Porvoo is a very peaceful place with many describing their visits here as

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evoking a feeling of being abroad. Particularly in summer, people flock here to enjoy the great restaurants and bars,” says Sjöström. Other than eating and drinking, there are plenty of other activities to dive into, such as a river cruise to Helsinki and back. There is also an array of small shops to explore, as well as historical buildings and museums. Nature is also close by – why not rent a bicycle and go for a ride, for example? Whatever pastimes guests choose in Porvoo, they can rest assured that their hotel experience will deliver. “We want every single guest to feel welcome, cared for and to enjoy an intimate experience,” explains Sjöström. “Our definitive goal is for them to feel like guests in a home rather than guests at a hotel,” she concludes. www.pariisinville.fi Instagram: @pariisinville

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Hotel of the Month, Norway

A serene hilltop escape with views of forest and fjord High above the Norwegian capital of Oslo, in the hills of Holmenkollen, lies an idyllic hotel with a fascinating history. From its perch on forested slopes, Voksenåsen Hotell enjoys mesmerising views of the capital and fjord below – but a sojourn here offers just as much culture as nature. By Alyssa Nilsen

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Photos: Voksenåsen Hotell

Designed in the 1950s by acclaimed architects Hans-Kjell Larsen and Terje Thorstensen, Voksenåsen Hotell offers a combination of stunning natural scenery and elegant mid-century Nordic architecture. Throughout the hotel, panoramic windows erase the boundaries between the interior and the sloping pine forests that surround – giving an effect of bringing the outside 72 |

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in. At 501 metres above sea level, the hotel terrace enjoys spectacular views of the Oslo Fjord beyond the woodland canopy, and the spacious hotel grounds feature an outdoor swimming pool, a walking trail and a Korean bell tower. Inside, the hotel offers serene lodgings. The rooms evoke a signature Scandinavi-

an simplicity, furnished with warm, neutral tones and sleek wooden flooring, and beam with light from huge windows overlooking forest and sky. “Our guests say they feel like they’ve come home,” says CEO of Voksenåsen, Maria af Klinteberg Herresthal. “It’s a place where you can re-


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lax and find a sense of peace. It is a small hotel, intended for calm, focus and rest.” Rich in history There’s a reason for Voksenåsen’s architectural majesty. At the end of the Second World War, Norway gifted the hotel to Sweden as a token of gratitude for their humanitarian aid. Today, it is wholly owned by Sweden and acts as a centre for cooperation between the two countries, hosting conferences, private events, meetings and parties. In that vein, guests at Voksenåsen can take advantage of its unique cultural programme. “It’s a two-part initiative,” says Klinteberg Herresthal. “We have an ideological, cultural institute which arranges courses and classes for youth, intending to let them meet across borders. They do courses in skills development, music, masterclasses, history, neighbouring languages and more. And then the actual hotel is a separate entity.”

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three-course dinner menu offers playful and inventive flavours, based on locally sourced produce and the traditions of Nordic cooking – with stunning fjord views from the table.

Oslo. Over the years it has accumulated a quiet prestige that seems to both emanate from within and seep in from the tranquil pine forest. Few such accessible venues can promise the same.

Though the mountains are ever-present at Voksenåsen, there are a wealth of nature experiences on the doorstep, for those who want to explore more of the surroundings. Nearby is the Tryvann Alpin centre, Holmenkollen Ski Arena and the vast forests of Nordmarka. In the winter, the area offers hundreds of kilometres of ski trails – some of which are illuminated at night, while hiking and biking trails, as well as idyllic high-altitude swimming lakes, are accessible in the summer.

www.voksenaasen.no Facebook: voksenaasen Instagram: @voksenasenhotell

Art, history and more

“The hotel’s original name was Svenskehjemmet (The Swedish Home),” Klinteberg Herresthal continues. “It’s a place to return the favour of welcoming people into your country and your home. Here, Norwegians can show the Swedes our nature, culture and hospitality.”

With the hotel, Norway also gifted Sweden the Voksenåsen Collection, a collection of Swedish and Norwegian art dating from 1960s to modern. In 2019, new art by contemporary female artists was added by The Public Art Agency of Sweden, and today the collection consists of several hundred paintings, prints, textiles and sculptures. Voksenåsen works closely with the nearby Roseslottet – an outdoor sensory art park. Collaborative festivals, projects and guided tours are among the offers at the park, telling the story of the occupation of Norway through visual art.

At Voksenåsen’s stunning, woodbeamed restaurant, the philosophy of sharing national fare is extended. The

All said, Voksenåsen offers a special kind of escape, in which you’re both close to, and protected from, the lively buzz of

A home away from home.

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THE HISTORY OF VOKSENÅSEN Voksenåsen is Norway’s national endowment to Sweden in gratitude for the humanitarian aid received during the Second World War. From 1939-1945, this comprised material goods and food aid, including as many as 100,000 servings a day of the beloved ‘Swedish soup’. In addition, Sweden took some 70,000 Norwegian refugees, around 15,000 of whom were trained for the liberation of Norway in 1945. Both Sweden and Norway’s kings and prime ministers attended Voksenåsen’s opening in 1960.

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Hotel of the Month, Denmark

Unwind at Kerteminde’s historical seaside retreat With its 150-year history, Tornøes Hotel in the quaint harbour town of Kerteminde offers a blend of tradition and modernity in a beautiful setting.

the dinner menu is focused on modernclassic dishes such as fish and steak.

By Tina Nielsen

The experienced staff of the hotel are experts in the area and are happy to guide guests in the many local activities. “There are so many things to do,” says Frandsen. “This really is a cosy and welcoming town.”

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Photos: Tornøes Hotel

Tornøes Hotel, on the edge of the beautiful Kerteminde harbour, has plenty of stories to tell. Historically, the building was home to a brewery and a pub, but when a new wave of tourism saw the wealthier classes of Denmark go on beach holidays in the small coastal towns of Denmark, the demand for hotels increased. Tornøes Hotel was established in 1865 and has operated continuously as a hotel since. Located on the island of Funen in the centre of Denmark, Kerteminde is an idyllic coastal town popular with tourists from Denmark and beyond. “Unlike many other popular coastal towns along the Danish coasts, Kerteminde feels very alive all year round,” says owner and director Ulrich Frandsen. “It is not just a summer town; there are many activities and events taking places outside the high season.” The town, home to Skænkestuen – the oldest pub in the country, has a lively 74 |

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gastronomic life with many good restaurants. After the addition of a new building five years ago, Tornøes Hotel today has 59 rooms – from classic to superior with and without sea views, and including suites as well as facilities for conferences and functions. During the summer months, the guests span everyone from families to couples and business travellers. The new building was constructed to match the historic visual appeal of the original building in such a style that nobody realises it’s actually a new build, according to Frandsen. “We take a lot of pride in maintaining the history around Tornøes. Respecting the original classic look of the buildings – inside and out – is important,” he explains. The restaurant in Tornøes Hotel is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering a modern Nordic menu of classic Danish food, including herring, for lunch, while

www.tornoeshotel.dk Instagram: @tornoeshotel


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Resort of the Month |

Finland

Resort of the Month, Finland

Escape into the Finnish wilderness Just 45 minutes from Helsinki, the family-run Hawkhill lodgings provide visitors with the ultimate luxury getaway in the beautiful setting of the Nuuksio National Park, by an iconic Finnish lakeside. By Ndéla Faye

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Photos: Hawkhill

Hawkhill is a third-generation family business. The luxury accommodation providers have eight lakeside cottages – each one named after a family member – which are kitted out with all amenities, as well as a sauna, of course. In addition, each villa has direct access to the beach and lake. The cottages are self-catered – but a personal chef can be hired to cook at the villa or by a campfire. There is direct access to the Nuuksio National Park from the villas – although none of the park’s marked trails run through the Hawkhill property, so guests can enjoy the peace and quiet. A rowing boat and a campfire site are also available for guests to use freely. “Although the villas are located relatively close to each other, they are separated

by the forest, offering guests privacy,” says Hawkhill’s CEO, Annu Huotari. When it comes to activities, there is plenty of choice at Hawkhill. Visitors can choose from hiking, canoeing, fishing, paddleboarding, biking, snowshoeing and guided tours around the National Park. There are also guided foraging trips, organised by Hawkhill. “All activities can be tailored according to our guests’ needs and wishes, and they are available right from the cottage’s doorstep, so there’s no need to travel far to enjoy the best things Finland’s nature has to offer,” Huotari says. Environmentally-conscious Hawkhill combines traditional Finnish log-builds with modern interior design,

while being mindful of the environmental impact. “Sustainability is very important to us, and we want to lead by example. Environmentally-conscious decisions are part of everything we do: we are CO2-neutral, we recycle all our waste, minimise our water consumption, drive electric cars and use CO2free heating and electricity solutions,” the CEO says. “Each season has its own beauty: in the autumn, the ‘ruska’ (when trees’ foliage turns into magnificent shades of red and yellow) is a breathtaking sight. In the winter, there are plenty of activities – and during Finland’s summer months, it’s all about enjoying the long days and the lakeside. We want to offer our guests the best place to experience everything that Finnish cottage life has to offer – and more!” Huotari concludes. www.hawkhill.fi/en Facebook: hawkhillnature.fi Instagram: @hawkhillnature August 2022

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Experience of the Month, Denmark

Feel the heat of the furnace in this living tribute to Denmark’s glass-art scene Tucked into the serene landscape of South Zealand, the newly opened Holmegaard Værk has quickly established itself as a hotspot for designer ceramics and glass in northern Europe. The museum pays a lively homage to Holmegaard – Denmark’s biggest name in glass and a formative player in the country’s industrial design history. Here, visitors will find a staggering collection of Holmegaard pieces, modern glassblowing demonstrations, as well as a surprise Picasso exhibition – as you’ve never seen before. By Lena Hunter

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Photos: Holmgaard Værk

“At Holmegaard Værk, we have everything from resident glass artists to glassblowing demonstrations and special exhibitions. It’s an homage to the history of the old factory, and to the living culture of glassblowing in Europe today,” says marketing manager Kristoffer Rosner Rydahl. Holmegaard was established in 1825 in Fensmark, a city about an hour from Co76 |

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penhagen. “Today, it’s known as the City of Glass because it evolved around the glass industry. There was no city here before the glassblower workforce moved in,” explains Rydahl. In the 1950s and ‘60s, Holmegaard expanded production beyond basic packaging like milk bottles and marmalade jars to include more artistic interpretations of

glass. “They reinvented themselves. They enlisted great artists like Jacob E. Bang – considered to be Denmark’s first industrial designer – to elevate their glasswork beyond pure utility.” The change ushered in a new era for Holmegaard, in which they collaborated with numerous renowned designers on iconic glass items that have become relics of


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Danish cultural history, like the Provence bowl, the Ship’s Glass range, the Lotus candle holder and the Blixen vase. Feel the heat of the furnace At Holmegaard Vaerk, Holmegaard’s rich history is brought back to life. “On one wall at the museum, we present 42,000 pieces of Holmegaard glass – one of each piece that’s ever been produced by Holmegaard,” says Rydahl. Meanwhile, in the museum’s new podcast series, visitors can listen to the stories of local glassworkers who were part of the factory’s renaissance sixty years ago. “All the glass we have tells a story of Danish history,” says Rydahl. But Holmegaard Værk presents more than just a retrospective. Despite the closure of the original factory, Holmegaard’s hallowed designs live on, owned and reproduced by Danish ceramic giant Rosendahl.

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The exhibition – of 42 of Picasso’s ceramic dishes, figurines, jars and jugs from 1947-1964 – is the first to spotlight the world-renowned artist’s work as a ceramicist. “The works are from an American collection that has never been to Europe before. Our glass artists have blown the display cases – they’re like glass bubbles around Picasso’s works. So you look at Picasso’s ceramic works through the eyes of Holmegaard,” explains Rydahl.

This year, Holmegaard Værk was awarded the European Museum Award – pegged as the equivalent to an Oscar in cultural-institution circles – for the category ‘Environmental Sustainability’. The award recognises the museum’s success in “preserving the heritage and tradition of glass production, while creating a focal point for creativity and art, in close cooperation with the surrounding community”.

In addition, the museum houses a permanent exhibition of 6,000 pieces of Kähler ceramics, telling the story of the cult label Kähler’s pottery workshop, and offering a window into everyday Danish life from 1839 to today. In the 960-square-metre Hebsgaard Hall, visitors will find a seminal installation of works by famed glazier Per Steen Hebsgaard, including his impressive collaborations with major Danish artists the likes of Bjørn Nørgaard, Per Kirkeby and Erik A. Frandsen.

Holmegaard Værk is a museum – but every exhibit and experience is imbued with the energy of a living craft. Rather than a trip back in time, a visit to the City of Glass is a trip into a modern creative universe in a state of constant evolution. www.museerne.dk/en/holmegaard-vaerk Instagram: @holmegaardvaerk Facebook: holmegaardvaerk Address: Glasværksvej 55, Fensmark, 4684 Holmegaard

“Additionally, we have six resident glass artists working at Holmegaard Værk, with different designers and companies.” The artists have moved into the City of Glass, in a case of history repeating itself, and work at the museum’s 400-square-metre modern glassblowing studio every day – occasionally blowing limited edition designs for Rosendahl. “Visitors can get up close to a furnace – they can feel the heat and watch someone working with glass right in front of them,” says Rydahl. “It’s a magical experience.” Picasso – but not as you know it This summer, Holmegaard Værk is presenting its first international special exhibition Picasso - A Tribute to Ceramics. August 2022

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Without the Darkness You can’t see the Light.

Gallery of the Month, Denmark

Poetic abstraction: expressionist art from a small Danish island “I’m the red lady,” says Tine Mynster, and flashes a charming, red-lipsticked smile. On the wall behind, in her eponymous studio and art gallery on the small Danish island of Alrø, is a giant crimson painting. “I have a special connection to it. Many people are afraid of red because it’s blood and aggression. But for me, it’s the fire you have inside yourself. Otherwise, you will be grey.” Now, the self-taught painter is inviting visitors to Galleri Mynster, where her entire arresting oeuvre of abstract expressionism is on display and for sale. By Lena Hunter

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Photos: Lars Aarø

“When I was a child, I dreamt in vivid colours and had colourful nightmares. Colours have always been a part of me,” recounts Mynster. “It came very naturally. I didn’t realise until later in life that I saw the world differently to others. For example, if I lost a button, I would go and buy a new one without having the shirt 78 |

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been Mynster’s primary creative discipline. She’s a singer-songwriter, trained at the Royal Academy of Music in Denmark, and has released an astonishing

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with me,” she says, illustrating an almost synaesthetic perception of colour and emotion. Whether it’s a cause or effect of her work, Mynster deftly uses synaesthesia as an artistic device. Despite her hypersensitive perception of colour and emotion, visual art has never

Tine Mynster, the red lady. Photo: Christina Ann Sydow


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12 albums. “I’ve worked with music all my life. I can’t live without it,” she says. “Music led me to painting, in a way. My husband and I live in an old schoolhouse – a huge building. When we were raising our kids, we spent all our money on instruments and music school, and had nothing left to spend on art. I thought: ‘I can do it myself!’, and I started creating these huge abstract paintings for our home.”

her. “I made it in December 2020 when COVID had shut everything down. 50 of my concerts were cancelled in half an hour. I struggled to pay my bills and people working in arts had limited support. I was so angry, confused and sad. My husband said: ‘don’t say anything – go and paint’. And I painted Open Your Heart to say ‘look around you, stay positive’.”

An explosion of colour

Many people assume Mynster is inspired by nature, living, as she does, on a picturesque island. “Though I have the sea, sky and nature all around me, conversation is my inspiration. My paintings are stories that connect to emotions,” she says. “I don’t paint figures. I won’t serve anything overt for you. When you look at my paintings, you use your own imagination to see what you see.”

That was ten years ago. Today, Mynster runs her own gallery and studio of the same large-scale works of joyous expressionism that she filled her own house with, and she has exhibited in New York, as well as all over Denmark. She creates both indoor and outdoor works – acrylic on canvas and metal respectively. “My work has always been about telling stories. Over the years, it has evolved more depth and structure,” she explains. Her compositions are built with up to 20 layers of high-pigment paint, which gives them their extreme vibrance and bold contrast. But that’s not to say they’re simplistic; what makes Mynster’s work fascinating is the complexity of tone and form in each coloured region. Here, eggshell white is bruised with apricot and dusty blue. Elsewhere, fierce crimson probes the feathered boundaries of a textured black vortex. Nothing bleeds. Every colour holds its own in conversation with its neighbours. “I’m very proud of this one, Open Your Heart,” says Mynster, gesturing to the large, riotously bright red canvas behind

Current collection of works.

Inspired by conversation

In that sense, each painting is itself a conversation with the viewer, and the notion of connection and personal understanding through art is at the core of all the works at Galleri Mynster. “I went through breast cancer in 2017. If I hadn’t been through that – with the fear and everything else – I wouldn’t be painting as I do today,” says Mynster.

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their home with warmth, fire and energy. I’m thankful for that.” www.galleri-mynster.dk Instagram: @tine.mynster.officiel Facebook: tine.mynster Address: Alrøvej 359, 8300 Odder, Denmark Phone: +4525336069 Opening hours Sat, Sun: 13-17 (call to arrange visits outside of opening hours)

Skyggen og Lyset er Godt Fordelt.

“I was really grey when I was ill. I was the grey lady. I want to share my experience that colour can make a difference. I’m not painting for museums or galleries. I’m painting for normal people like you and me. It fills me up with joy and satisfaction when people come to my gallery and buy an artwork because they see what my colour work can do, and they want to fill

Den Brogede Verden.

At a Distance, but Close By.

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Hämeentie 13 B, Helsinki, Finland | Tel.: +358 44 0660 530 Facebook: ravintolaonda | Instagram: @ravintolaonda www.ravintolaonda.fi


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Artist of the Month |

Denmark

The artist, Sebastian Nielsen surrounded by his paintings. Photo: Yurii Bulanov

Storm Trooper hit by Corona. Art print. Seb Ified Art

Artist of the Month, Denmark

Giving old paintings a new life When admiring an old painting, the last thing you’d expect is a McDonald’s logo. But that’s exactly what you get when browsing through the artwork of Sebastian Nielsen, founder of Danish website, Seb Ified Art. Playing around with graffiti techniques and contrasts between old and new, Nielsen challenges our expectations of art. By Karen Gilmour Kristensen

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Photos: Seb Ified Art

Purchasing old paintings from various second-hand shops and flea markets, Nielsen adds his own touch to the original artwork. Having made a lot of graffiti in his youth, he is heavily inspired by street art. “I try to include an element that takes the viewer by surprise,” Nielsen explains. “I have always been drawn to graffiti, which is an artform that shows up in places you wouldn’t expect it. In the same way, my art consists of elements from popular culture that show up in the least expected place: old-fashioned paintings.” In Denmark, Nielsen isn’t the only artist who paints on old paintings. But something that sets him apart from the others is the way he adds his own touch. When working

on a painting, he keeps the main motifs and blends new elements with them. “These old paintings aren’t bad at all,” Nielsen says. “A lot of the artists are very skilled and have a strong technique. And the motifs are good. I incorporate the original painting into my art to pay my respect to the artist.” Nielsen describes the feedback from potential customers so far as ‘overwhelming’. “People often fall for the humour in my artwork. They think it’s fun to see modern elements such as a Pokémon on an otherwise traditional painting. And I think they like to see recognisable logos and figures which is why I try to incorporate those.”

While most of the feedback has been positive, Nielsen has received negative comments as well. “Some people tell me that they see my art as vandalism and an act of disrespect,” Nielsen explains. “But most of these old paintings have been for sale in second-hand shops for a very long time. Sometimes they’re just about to be thrown out. Instead, I give them a new chance to hang on walls in living rooms and receive the attention they deserve.” www.sebified.dk Instagram: @seb.ified.art

Unzip it?! Art print. Seb Ified Art

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Culture

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Vejlemuseerne

Vejlemuseerne’s jaw-dropping cache of Iron Age gold, tales of trade and Viking Age alliances Giant sculptures, weaving workshops, an interactive digital museum and an entire Iron Age village: Vejlemuseerne (The Vejle Museums) may be full of historical relics, but a visit is every bit the modern experience. Now, the hybrid museum organisation is lifting the curtain on its latest offering: a major exhibition of Viking artefacts, dubbed Power and Gold. By Lena Hunter

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Photos: Vejle Museums

Power and Gold presents the never-before-told story of Viking-Slavic ties forged via travel and trade between Denmark and Poland. The narrative traces the rule of Harald Bluetooth, the King of the Jelling dynasty, his cultural encounters and political alliances. A staggering one-kilogramme cache of Iron Age gold dating back to the 500s, named ‘The Vindelev Hoard’, will also make its museum debut, after being dis82 |

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covered – incredibly – by amateur metal-detectorists. It’s one of the largest ancient gold-hoards ever found in Denmark and grabbed headlines across the world when it was announced last summer. A fresh perspective “I’ve worked on the Viking exhibition for almost ten years. What’s exciting is that we’ve made Power and Gold in collaboration with Moesgaard Museum in Aarhus,” explains museum inspector

Charlotta Lindblom. “Usually, Viking exhibitions are about razing and pillaging and the spoils of war. This one isn’t about that. It’s about how Vikings traded and built alliances, and this exhibition in Vejle focuses particularly on Bluetooth’s alliances in Poland. There has never been an exhibition about that before. It’s a new side of the Vikings – the political side.”


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Alongside the unique perspective on Bluetooth, Power and Gold exhibits the latest archaeological knowledge of the fabled Jomsborg – a place described in Icelandic sagas, but whose true location has, until now, eluded historians. “We think we’ve found the place now,” says Lindblom. “The Wolin trading post, close to the current border between Germany and Poland, is a good bet. Exploring these regions has unearthed a trove of clues about the cultural exchange between the Vikings and their Slavic neighbours.” “Power and Gold is about reaching a shared understanding of how the Vikings left footprints in Poland, and how the Slavic folk left footprints in Denmark – the connections between ordinary people, but also between kings and rulers,” Lindblom explains. Whalebone tools and bone-splintering weapons Central to the many encounters and exchanges of the Vikings was sailing. While longships were crucial, early navigation tools were the real scientific breakthrough. “We’re exhibiting a very rare solar compass made of whalebone, found at the Truso trading post in Poland. It’s enormously exciting. It’s the oldest compass we’ve found. Another was discovered in Greenland from the 1200s or 1300s – but this is from the 800s,” enthuses Lindblom.

But the compass won’t be the only whalebone artefact on display. Carved whalebone pieces from the Viking version of chess, called ‘hnefatafl’, discovered at a Polish harbour, will also be included. “It indicates that perhaps when merchants met and waited for their ships to be repaired, they stood and chatted down by the harbour and played a few games of hnefatafl,” says Lindblom. “I’m also incredibly excited to present our collection of ancient Scandinavian weapons – swords, spears, axes – and jewellery, on loan from Ostrow Lednicki Museum in Poland. They are unbelievably well-preserved.” A day-trip to the Viking era The little town of Vejle is nestled in the Danish countryside, a drive or train-ride from Aarhus and Copenhagen, and Vejlemuseerne is one of the richest off-piste day trips that those who seek a taste of authentic Nordic history can make. “The area around Vejle is incredibly picturesque. Nearby are the remnants of ‘The Ravning Bridge’ – a bridge that Bluetooth had built. Jelling – where Bluetooth’s fort and legendary ancient seat of power lay – is only ten kilometres from the museum,” says Lindblom. “To reach the bridge, you drive through a forest, where you can have a picnic. It’s beautiful. You can see the exhibition, hear the story and then drive out to these authentic Viking locations and experience it for yourself.”

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Vejlemuseerne

Takeaway treasures You’d be forgiven for wanting to take a little piece of Vejle and its mythic history with you. The Vindelev Hoard alone is jaw-dropping, while the rare amber, whalebone and iron artefacts are visibly steeped in Norse legend. Accompanying Power and Gold is an eponymous coffee-table book, available at the museum and online in both Danish and English. So, while you’ll have to leave the gold behind, you can bring the stories home. www.vejlemuseerne.dk Facebook: vejlemuseerne Opening times: Tue to Sun, 11am to 5pm, free admission Address: Utzon hall, Vejle Kunstmuseum, Flegborg 16-18, Vejle Guided tours: €7, various dates, available on website Buy the Power and Gold book: www.turbine.dk Scandinavian weapons found in Poland. The exhibition features many finds from Ostrow Lednicki and Truso in Poland. Photo: Museum of the first Piast, Ostrow Lednicki.tif

Power and gold - Vikings in the east is exhibited in the Utzon Hall at Vejle Art Museum.

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A selection of Moon Jars in different glazes.

Handmade ceramics and expressionist art on the banks of a Danish fjord The Cosy Times Ceramics shop and gallery, in the Danish town of Kerteminde, is a stone’s throw from the fjord. Here, the flat, sweeping banks are clustered with redbrick homes, wooden fishing houses and small boats bobbing on the swell. To the east, the waters open into the Kattegat Strait and the Baltic Sea. This is where ceramic artist Svetlana Slizova, owner of Cosy Times Ceramics, comes to get her hands dirty. By Lena Hunter

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Photos: Cosy Times Ceramics

Cosy Times Ceramics’ sunny front overlooks a busy, cobbled street corner. But inside, the shop is serene – adorned with expressionist art and low, white shelves bearing her gem-like collection of handmade bowls, vases, jars and coffee sets.

and pepper bowls, where the size needs to be consistent – I weigh the porcelain clay bowls before throwing on the wheel. I like to create different shapes and then decide which glazes and finishing touches fit the best,” explains Svetlana.

“I don’t like mass-produced repetition. I work in small batches of simple shapes, and my work contains many one-offs. When making sets – coffee sets or salt

The lines of Svetlana’s ceramic works recall both those of Greco-Roman art, as with her elegant poppy-seed shaped jars, and the Japanese ceramic tradition, in her

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range of petite, flared bowls and narrow vases. Likewise, the finish: “My glazing is inspired by the changes of the sea, sky and nature around the sea in different seasons. I constantly explore and am inspired by these elements,” says Svetlana.

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“I glaze by pouring or dipping,” she continues. Often, the glaze will melt and run during the firing process, when the porcelain is heated up to 1,250 degrees centigrade. “It can run too low and stick to the kiln shelves. It’s about finding a balance between the thickness of the glaze and the shape you’re glazing. I like to experiment. Sometimes I find surprising results that I can explore further… and sometimes it can be a complete disaster,” she says with a grin.


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The magic of porcelain Svetlana trained in ceramics with Michel Francois, a former artist-in-residence at Leach Pottery in Cornwall. “It all started as a hobby which inspired me to create my home studio in England. Michel introduced me to grogged porcelain, which contains particles of sand. I loved its plasticity and whiteness,” she recalls. “I moved to Audrey Blackman porcelain – a very smooth clay, perfect for both modelling and throwing. It becomes white after firing and, if made thin, it fires translucent.” In 2020, she moved to Denmark, where her journey in ceramics took shape. Svetlana seems to light up as she describes the ethereal qualities of porcelain: “working with porcelain is sensual. It puts you into a kind of flow-state. There are a couple of quotes I read that capture the feeling: ‘clay work is a way to get out of your head and into your body, much like meditation’ and ‘seeing your own finger marks means that a part of you is forever connected with every piece.’” Perhaps that’s why Svetlana’s ceramic discipline lends itself so easily to organic forms. Indeed, her body of work, seen in its entirety on the white shelves of the Cosy Times Ceramics gallery, evokes the

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Cosy Times Ceramics

repeating, subtly irregular geometry of the natural world. But she is equally inspired by the art itself: “it’s interesting to see how other artists approach their ideas and how their ideas take form,” she says.

fee cups, bowls and vases combines a satisfyingly weighty form with willowy, stem-like lines – hand-painted by Ulrik in splashes of joyful crimson, steel blue and moody green.

“For example, for the art fair in Kerteminde, I decided to create a collection of moon jars. These are curvaceous, plain white porcelain jars resembling the full moon, originally made in Korea during the Joseon Dynasty. I made three different sizes – mini, medium and large – in different glazes.”

An open studio

Expressionist painting meets ceramics In July, Svetlana opened Contemporary Art Kerteminde – part of Cosy Times Ceramics – an art shop in which she hosts ongoing exhibitions. The summer’s first show features colourful abstract-expressionist paintings by the Danish painters Preben Beck and Ulrik Dal. “I wanted to surround my ceramics with the works of amazing painters to create harmony between different artistic mediums,” she explains. But the cross-pollination of ideas at the new gallery goes beyond juxtaposition: “Ulrik and I have collaborated on a set of porcelain vessels,” she explains. The range of cof-

In fact, all the porcelain pieces at Cosy Times Ceramics and Contemporary Art Kerteminde beg to be handled; many are palm-sized, textured or seductively curvy. So, visitors will be pleased to hear that as well as being able to buy the ceramic collections on display and visiting the open studio, they will soon be able to work directly with Svetlana on their own clay projects. “I’m developing the idea of sharing the knowledge of making ceramics by giving lessons in hand-building techniques, as well as experience on the wheel,” she says. To visit Svetlana’s atelier is to experience an ancient, largely unchanged process, steeped in modern influences, and inspired by the stunning Nordic surrounds. Plus, you might find some cute new coffee cups. www.cosytimesceramics.dk Instagram: @cosytimesceramics.kerteminde Tall Vase in Mosagat Green.

Svetlana and Ulrik’s collaborative series.

Svetlana in the studio.

Cosy Times Ceramic gallery and shop.

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| Anne Justs Have Foundation director Erik Kolind Nilsen welcoming visitors to the gardens.

The garden’s atelier with a glimpse of Claus Bonderup’s iconic lamps.

Anne Just’s Have – a garden of tranquillity Nestled within the dramatic landscape of north-western Jutland near the wild western sea, there is a garden like no other. It’s a peaceful place to restore the soul and reset the mind, to soak up the calm and quiet away from the tourist trail, and a beautiful art and nature experience rolled into one. By Lena Hunter

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Photos: Bodil Færk

Danish painter Anne Just and her husband, renowned architect Claus Bonderup laid the foundations of the garden in 1991. Today, it has grown into a truly unique amalgamation of nature, art and architecture. Their vision was to create a living and continuously changing place, with garden ‘rooms’ offering different experiences of nature and art. “The garden is a wonderful cultural experience,” explains Erik Kolind Nielsen, director of The Foundation for the Conservation of Anne Just’s Garden. “It is in complete contrast with its surroundings.” This part of Jutland is very busy during the high season, and whilst 86 |

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the garden and its boutique hotel is well-visited, the nature of the place provides a welcome antidote to the hustle and bustle of nearby Blokhus. A tonic for the soul The foundation, devoted to the upkeep of the 7,500 square-metre sustainable garden, was set up in 2008 and a dedicated team of employees oversee the day to day running of the place. “We have very high standards for all that we do here and want to ensure a perfect and unique experience for our guests every time,” Erik says. You can visit for a couple of hours, have a coffee and homemade kringle (a tradi-

tional Danish pastry pretzel) in the café and a walk around the garden, or you can stay a night or two in Have Hotellet, the Garden Hotel, where you have the gardens to yourself before and after the public visiting hours of 1-4pm. The pace is unrushed, allowing time for reflection and to enjoy the peace and calm of the place. It’s little wonder that visitors agree it’s like a tonic for the soul. A stroll through the garden is akin to walking through twisty, cobbled streets. You cannot see what lies around the corner and, at each bend, an abundance of flowers and plants unfold. This creative and inspiring collaboration between nature and architecture will continue to grow as a living, breathing place of peace and tranquillity. www.annejust.dk Facebook: Anne Justs Have – haven i Hune Instagram: @havenihune


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Scandinavian music: new releases By Karl Batterbee

Brand-new music is here from the Icelandic band Vök – they’re out with their aptly titled latest single Illuminating. A beautifully dreamy tune with a chorus that turns the whole production into something of a torch song, it’s one of the most instantly striking – and to these ears, best – tracks they’ve released to date. Norwegian superstar Anna Of The North is back with some new music for us to enjoy – her current single Dandelion. It’s freshfaced summer pop with wistful lyrics and an upbeat production that blossoms into something special, as it unfolds before your ears, bearing repeat listens. Finnish artist Alma has returned to the airwaves with her first release since 2020’s Have You Seen Her album: new single

Everything Beautiful. This is a perfectlycrafted radio staple in the making, on which the artist serves up perhaps her most universally-palatable release so far. It has a soundscape that borders on, but intentionally never crosses over to, sonic euphoria. A newcomer on Finland’s music scene, ILON, continues a flawless run of recent singles, with her very latest Skater Girls. She’s released a nostalgic summer bop that stirs up a cocktail of aspiration, self-reflection and discontent in its lyrics. All dressed in an endearingly hummable pop melody, of course. Danish singer-songwriter Laura Druzy has just put her second single out into the world. Catching listeners’ attention with a killer pop hook, it’s Toy Boy. It ends up being

a hell of a lot of fun, effortlessly charming and one you’ll want to keep coming back to for a repeat performance – not unlike the very notion of a Toy Boy itself! www.scandipop.co.uk

Monthly Illustration

Hello, we are the Scandinavians Hello. We are the Scandinavians. We are recognised by our black, white and grey wardrobe, healthy lifestyle and lack of hospitality. We do not share food and we do not pop round unannounced for a beverage and a blether. I recently had a meeting with a woman based in Dublin. I entered the zoom waiting room at 09.58 for our 10am meeting. She let me in and asked me how I was. I triumphantly held up my cup of tea and said: “I had time to make myself a cup of tea, so I am fine. How about you? Did you manage to get a drink?” She laughed and shook her head. Then she told me that her friend used to live in Sweden and had warned her that Swedes are very punctual. So she worried that making herself a cuppa before our meeting would make her late, and somehow insult the Swede.

By Gabi Frödén

do anything at all? How does the world go round if we are not on time? And to be honest, I tend to be on time. If I’m not, I feel very anxious and must apologise until somebody gives me a hug. So… to summarise the Scandis: boring wardrobe choices, no sharing of food, no spontaneous chat... and punctuality. We sound like great fun, don’t we?

I felt a mixture of pride and deep shame. She denied herself a cup of tea on the basis of a rumour about my countryfolk. But it is true, isnt it? We are punctual people. We take pride in being on time and when people aren’t, we consider them rude and incapable. If you can’t come to a meeting on time, how in the world are you able to

Gabi Froden is a Swedish illustrator and writer, living in Glasgow with her husband and two children. Her children’s and YA books are published in Sweden by Bonnier Carlsen and Natur&Kultur. www.gabifroden.com

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| Calendar

Oulu August Festival is worth a trip to northern Finland. Photo: Jaani Föhr / Oulun juhlaviikot

Scandinavian Culture Calendar – Where to go, what to see? It’s all happening here!

By Hanna Heiskanen

Confidencen (until 20 August) Confidencen is a music and opera festival taking place in Ulriksdal Palace, just outside Stockholm, which dates from the 17th century. Named after the Rococo building on the grounds that hosts Sweden’s oldest theatre, the festival showcases performing arts old and new, from Baroque to musical theatre. This year’s major production is Proserpin, an opera that premiered on these premises in 1781 in front of King Gustav III. Slottsallén 3, Stockholm www.confidencen.se 88 |

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Copenhagen is a haven for foodies. Photo: Rasmus Flindt Pedersen


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Oulu August Festival (1 to 31 August) This cultural extravaganza is taking over the northern Finnish city of Oulu for the entire month of August. Highlights include the Air Guitar World Championships (yes, really), Oulu Arts Night on 18 August, and a series of macro concerts for small audiences of up to ten people, where participation is by lot. Venues around Oslo www.oulunjuhlaviikot.fi

Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy (15 to 25 September)

See 17th century opera at Confidencen. Photo: Martin Hellström

Arts & Crafts market at Kirkeristen (8 to 20 August) If you are looking for the perfect gift (it’s never too early to start shopping for Christmas) or just want to eye some beautiful objects, check out the Arts & Crafts market behind the Oslo Cathedral this August. Both newly graduated practitioners and established artisans working with glass, ceramics, textiles and metal take part in the market, which will be celebrating its 52nd year. Kirkeristen behind Oslo Cathedral www.kunsthandverksmarkedet.no

current offer. Is street food right up your alley, or would you prefer to learn to make tea cocktails? The little ones are also welcome – why not book a kids’ sushi or marmalade workshop? Venues around Copenhagen copenhagencooking.dk

Dare we already think about the cold nights drawing in, and the comforts of red-velvet loungers? While the festival programme is yet to be released, pencil the dates into your calendar as Love & Anarchy, organised since 1988, is guaranteed to deliver for fans of the silver screen. Venues around Helsinki www.hiff.fi

Enjoy the culinary and auditory arts at Art goes Kapakka. Photo: Antti Rintala

Art goes Kapakka (18 to 27 August) Art goes Kapakka is a late-autumn Helsinki classic. After all, can you name a more satisfying combination than great food, drink and arts? The festival consists of multiple events and concerts in restaurants and bars in the region, and is traditionally kicked off by a choral concert on Senaatintori in which, in 2017, more than 2,000 choristers took part. Venues around Helsinki www.artgoeskapakka.fi

Copenhagen Cooking and Food Festival (19 to 28 August) Copenhagen remains one of the world’s most exciting destinations for foodies, and the Cooking and Food Festival is a great opportunity to sample the city’s August 2022

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Headbanging at the Air Guitar World Championships. Photo: Iina Tauriainen

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