Vara – visitor destination with added flavour
In the heart of the fertile Västgötaslätten plains lies Vara – a mecca for artisan food production and gastronomic experiences. It is also home to a renowned concert hall, a fantastic golf course and Sweden’s most flamboyant station building.
Locally produced artisan food
At Sivan on the Varaslätten plain you can sample and purchase matured Swedish cheeses and pleasing accompaniments. It also houses a cosy café and bakery, offering carefully crafted cheese boards, hand-rolled crispbread and exceptional chocolates.
Adelsåsens Gårdsbutik in Stora Levene is also worth a visit. Here they raise top-quality turkeys, and the farm shop stocks various cuts of meat, in-house charcuterie products and ready meals.
Ulfstorps säteri sells high-quality fresh eggs in various sizes. You can also book to do an intensive hunting course, stay in the manor house and gain your hunting licence in one week.
Another delightful place to visit is Olivia, a family business in Vedum that produces organic and cold-pressed rapeseed oil from their own crops. Their farm shop sells rapeseed oil, lamb, eggs, honey, sea buckthorn products, rhubarb juice and more, produced on the farm.
Interested in pairings of food and drink? Qvänum Mat & Malt has a passion for creating artisan drinks for pairing with meals using local ingredients at its own brewery and distillery.
Vara is the larder of West Sweden, with many proud food producers and farm shops. On the first weekends in May and September you can take a Mathantverkssafari (Artisan food safari) – a popular event where you tour around in your own vehicle visiting all the local artisan food producers marked on a map. But, of course, you are welcome at any time of year.
Fika with a special touch
Nowhere can you enjoy the Swedish tradition of fika in quite such delicious and decadent style as in Vara. As, of course, here is home to the classic Conditori Nordpolen, known for its fantastic baked goods and tasty sandwiches and named Sweden’s best patisserie by the White Guide Café. They mix classics such as Budapest roll and Napoleon slices with modern flavours and trends in the form of mousse cakes and smoothies.
Don’t forget to visit Bjertorp Slott – Sweden’s youngest castle in Art Nouveau style. It features individually designed rooms with historic connections and the restaurant serves both meals and light refreshments from the castle kitchen.
Concerts and cultural life
In the heart of Vara stands one of Sweden’s biggest concert halls, perhaps not in terms of appearance, but certainly in terms of ambition and repertoire. Every spring and autumn Vara Konserthus presents a new programme featuring everything from classical music and jazz to theatre, stand-up and musicals. The aim is to reflect global culture every season and to offer both a broad repertoire and cutting-edge works.
Cultural life here also includes the Blue Orange – one of Sweden’s biggest works of art, created by German artist Katharina Grosse, whose particular interest is colours and their interaction with one another and the observer. She has painted the old station building here vivid blue – from roof ridge right down to the ground – and positioned five space boulders in all colours of the rainbow on the roof.
Golf and a luxury castle setting
Anyone who enjoys golf should be sure to play a round at Vara-Bjertorp GK. It’s a picturesque and well-tended 18-hole course with several ponds. Whatever their handicap, it presents a challenge for all types of players – there is also a short-hole course and a driving range.
Fancy a golf package with food and overnight accommodation? Both Bjertorp Slott and Lumber & Karle are within convenient walking distance of the golf course and offer luxurious relaxation in an attractive setting with fantastic food, prepared using locally sourced ingredients.