A LATE-SUMMER WALK IN THE SHOES OF A LOCAL GROWER
As late summer begins to turn to autumn, the atmosphere changes on the island of Tjörn. Hordes of summer guests leave the island and are replaced by a calm stillness. But it is also a time for harvest festivals. So, welcome to Tjörn in September to enjoy the tranquility and seasonal produce!
The island of Tjörn in southern Bohuslän is home to local producers who grow, bake and make everything from bread to vegetables. September is the perfect time to come here and sample all the goodies. It’s possible to travel around the island to visit the main producers in one day, or spend a little longer to enjoy the peace and quiet while staying overnight.
Start the day with a visit to Mölnebo odlingar (Mölnebo farms) on Tjörn's southern tip, where you’ll find herbs, root vegetables, flowers and vegetables. Pick your own tomatoes in the ‘tomato house’ – anyone who has ever picked tomatoes directly from the plant knows how much sweeter they taste than shop-bought varieties! There’s no doubt that Lars-Erik and Camilla run their organic farming with a great deal of care. If you are curious about what will be ready for harvest during your visit, why not give them a call ahead of time?
World-class herring and shellfish
After working up an appetite at Mölnebo, it’s time to enjoy a locally produced lunch; what would be more suitable than the pride of Klädesholmen, Salt & Sill. The so-called ‘boat-el’ is Sweden's first floating hotel and its restaurant has been a contributing force in raising the profile of the herring as a dining experience. Try their specialty ‘sillplanka’ (herring platter) or taste what may be the world’s best seafood – caught in the cold, fresh waters of the North Sea. After your meal, stretch your legs with a walk around the island's narrow streets, often named after those who once lived there: Skomakaregatan (Shoemaker Street), Kustroddarvägen (Coastal Rower’s Road) and Guldsmedsviken (Goldsmith’s Bay). The densely populated island is largely lined with white wooden houses, typical of the Bohuslän coast, built on and around the barren cliff landscape.
Lotta knows her sourdough
Back across the bridge, in Bleket, you will find the sourdough bakery Lottas Bak & Form. Here, the focus is on the craftsmanship of Lotta Kristensson, who consistently uses organic, cultural cereals and sourdough. The whole grain flour is scalded, the eggs are collected directly from local ecological producers and in the bakery, the stone oven is as warm as the sea view is inviting. It is no wonder that the homely bakery and café attracts both local and faraway guests. Make sure you buy a dried sourdough to take home!
If the day’s activities are starting to take their toll, and you want to spend the night on Tjörn, there are several lovely options such as Salt & Sill's floating hotel, Hav & Logi (Sea & Stay) and Lekanders Bär & Boende (Lekander’s Bed & Berries). The latter offers accommodation in a rural environment on a working farm where its berry fields can be seen from the windows.
Photographer: Amplifyphoto/ Markus Holm
Celebrate this year's harvest with us
A September trip to Tjörn must of course be crowned with a suitable finale. It’s therefore time to head north, more specifically to area between the islands of Tjörn and Orust, where you’ll find Sundsby Manor and its farm café, restaurant and shop. Many would agree that its red wooden houses, large trees and open grass areas give it a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. The site is of significant cultural and historical value, having been heritage listed in 1981. Sense the history, explore the area's hiking trails, and enjoy a well-composed dinner as well as a cup of coffee with home-made snacks in the typically decorated dining room or on the outdoor terrace. Remember to check the date of the big harvest market before planning your visit. You won’t want to miss local growers and craftsmen filling the entire courtyard with everything from root vegetables and vegetables to honey, juice and lambskin. The harvest festival is a rich tradition that, besides all good food, usually offers lots of fun and games.