After Anya and I covered every inch of Gothenburg, we packed up the Volvo and headed West. West Sweden is loaded with sights and bites and cool pit stops – making it the perfect place for a road trip.
When you buy a Volvo with the overseas delivery program, you get 2 free airfare tickets to Gothenburg so you can pick up your new ride, and then you can take an epic road trip around Sweden before dropping the car back off in Gothenburg and flying home. Then a few weeks later, your car will be in your garage and ready for you to enjoy full time!
So if you’re taking advantage of the overseas delivery program with Volvo, or you just want to take a delicious road trip and taste some of the best Nordic cuisine – here are my top 5 favorite moments from West Sweden!!
1 – Bjertorp Castle / perhaps the most gorgeous setting for a restaurant ever. Bjertorp Castle is nestled amongst the fields in West Sweden and you can tell immediately from the drive up the tree lined road that it’s going to be amazing. It’s half hotel, half culinary mecca and 100% obsession worthy. The kitchen team is pumping out incredible Nordic dishes with a bit of French flair that take advantage of all the incredible produce and artisan food makers around the neighborhood. One of my favorite bites while we were there highlight the Sivans Cheese which is absolutely worth a visit if you’re in the area. The cutest cafe in the middle of nowhere (literally we got so lost trying to find it) that is serving up the best cheese tasting anywhere in West Sweden. And while their cheeses are top notch, the crackers and breads coming out of the kitchen are heavenly. Between Bjertorp Castle and Sivans, I can promise you, you’ll not go hungry! Both cannot be missed while in the area.
2 – Victoriahuset / Läckö Castle – after checking out one castle, we hopped back in the car and zoomed off to another! Läckö Castle is home to some of the most spectacular gardens I’ve ever come across. We were there about 2 weeks before everything went into bloom, but it was gorgeous nonetheless. All the food raised at the castle is used at the restaurant inside our super fab hotel Victoriahuset. Hvita Hjorten Restaurant is located on the bottom level of the hotel and is a big open space with large tables and beautiful views of the Läckö Castle and Lake Vänern. You couldn’t ask for a more peaceful setting to enjoy a tasting menu fit for a king!! All the produce grown from a few yards away at the castle is showcased in their ever changing menu that would leave any foodie incredibly happy.
3 – Biking along the Göta Canal – you guys are well aware of the fact that I ride my bike around LA on a daily basis – so when I found out we’d be cruising up and down the Göta Canal on bike, I was pumped. It was perhaps the most magical day while we were in Sweden – perfectly blue skies, 75 degrees and gorgeous. Our hotel Norrqvarn had bike rentals right in the lobby so we booked 2 and went off on an adventure. It was one of the most picturesque afternoons and while we didn’t have as much power or speed as we did in the Volvo, it was certainly an afternoon that we won’t soon forget. And not to fear, if you’re hungry the Norrqvarn is home to the best veggie burger I’ve EVER consumed and there’s an ice cream stand that will fill you up with scoop after scoop should you need it!
4 – Seafood Safari at Everts Sjöbod / On the West Coast of Sweden in Grebbestad, you’ll find the home of the best oysters in Sweden (some say the world) and after going on a seafood safari with the 2 brothers running Everts Sjöbod, I can tell you that I totally agree. If you’re in the area, book a seafood safari which basically is a cruise around the bay while you drink beer, shuck and eat oysters and learn a little bit about their business. Shucking oysters wasn’t my strong suit, by my sister (who doesn’t even like oysters) proved to be a total pro!! She shucked them for the entire boat, and we were all grateful as those things are HARD!! Bonus, they run an incredible cute Bed and Breakfast at the dock – only a few rooms for very special guests and they’ll prepare you the most delicious seafood dinner you can imagine. Think raw + cold bar but with some major flair. It’s easily in my top 10 of my favorite meals while traveling.
5- Weather Islands / our last stop on West Sweden took us about an hour off the coast to the Weather Islands. This cluster of several hundred rocky, mostly deserted islands are a part of the Fjällbacka archipelago. They are usually referred to as the sunniest and windiest parts of Sweden and the weather can change in an second. We pulled up in a misty grey cloud and the next morning woke up to blue skies and sunshine. While we were a few weeks early for the real seafood celebrations, our hotel Vaderoarna cooked us up an extra special dinner with langoustines and prawns that we caught earlier in the day. There was traditional Swedish singing, vodka shots and langoustine and prawns galore. I could have easily stayed a few days just to eat my body weight in shellfish and hang out with the lovely staff.
There you have it!! All my highlights from West Sweden so you can do your trip in style!! Next up – tips and tricks for making the perfect road trip!!! A big giant thank you to Volvo, the West Sweden and Koalition for such an incredible trip
I am so excited you are making one of my recipes and I would love to see how it turns out. Make sure to share it on instagram and tag me @whatsgabycookin so I can see your masterpiece!