Soon time for the Shellfish Journey 2012

A group of foodie bloggers visited West Sweden last year to embark on the renowned Shellfish Journeya quest to indulge in the region’s sublime seafood. The trip included a mussel safari in Lysekil, a seafood buffet at Café Ferdinand, the South Koster island, a five-course lobster feast at Hotel Ekenäs Sydkoster and oyster tastings and a lobster safari in Grebbestad fishing village.

Here’s the experience in the bloggers’ own worlds and photos:
“Is it possible to feel homesick for a place where you have never lived? If you had asked me a week ago, the answer would have been an emphatic no. But that was then, before I had visited West Sweden.” Jeanne Horak-Druiff, Cooksister.

Photo Jeanne Horak-Druiff

Photo Jeanne Horak-Druiff

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Come Along at Capital Cooking’s Food Adventure in West Sweden

Swedish oysters are like the U.S. women’s gymnastic team – a rare mix of power and elegance that combine to make them the world’s best.”

West Sweden Food /

Lauren DeSantis from Capital Cooking, a food and travel TV show and blog, has had the pleasure of exploring the West Swedish food scene recently. She’s been out in Bohuslän’s stunning archipelago on crayfish- and oyster safaris, stayed at Villa Sjötorp Hotel, probably Sweden’s most charming fin-de-siecle villa and indulged in West Sweden’s culinary delights. Read about her adventures in the quaint seaside resorts Ljungskile, Grebbestad and Fjällbacka:

Crayfish safari in Fjällbacka.

Oyster safari in Grebbestad.

Villa Sjötorp Hotel and Restaurant. 

Catch langoustines and enjoy a Crayfish Party in the Fjällbacka Archipelago

It all started in 1878, in the lake Hjälmaren, where over-fishing of crayfish threatened the survival of the species. A ban was imposed, which later spread to other parts of Sweden. It was not permitted to catch crayfish from the 1 November until the 7 August, which meant that the 8 August became the first day of the crayfish season. Even though the ban has long since been removed, Swedish people continue to start catching crayfish – and hold crayfish parties! – on 8 August every year. The date was probably chosen because crayfish shed their shells two to three times during the summer as they grow in size, during which they hide under stones and are extremely difficult to catch.

Crayfish party

Crayfish party

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The flavors of West Sweden


A passion for food and for fresh, local ingredients. That is what the Taste of West Sweden scheme (‘Västsvensk Mersmak’ in Swedish) is all about. This quality program includes an array of certified restaurants in West Sweden, which are all in a loving culinary relationship with local producers. Continue reading…

24 Sept – 4 Nov: The Shellfish Journey

Ferry in Bohuslan - Photo Jonas Ingman

In addition to shellfish menus and reasonably priced accommodation, hotels and restaurants along the Bohuslän coast offer shellfish safaris with focus on mussels, lobsters, or oysters. The Shellfish Journey begins on the first day of the lobster season. Many of the hotels have spas offering traditional Bohuslän treatments.

More information.

24 September: Start of the Lobster Season

Lobster cage, Bohuslan - Photo Jonas Ingman

The lobster season begins on the first Monday after the 20th September, this year it’s the 24th September. Lobster safaris, followed by lobster suppers, are arranged at a number of locations along the coast.

More information:

Archipelago Experiences Everts Sjöbod

Smögen’s Fishing Trips

Lobster Safari on M/S Sara

Lobster Safari, Everts Sjöbod, Grebbestad

Lobster Safari in Kosterhavet

Lobster Safari in Hunnebostrand

A blind date with a top foodie blogger – famous Swedish chef visits Ms Marmitelover in her London home!

Oyser safari in Grebbestad

Oyser safari in Grebbestad

A taste of the ocean with oysters, herring and cod. The west coast of Sweden has rich flavours to offer. I was invited to spend a day in London at the home of the famous food blogger Ms Marmitelover (Kerstin Rodgers) – to be the storyteller alongside Swedish Chef of the Year Gustav Trädgårdh. My suitcase was packed with goodies such as Lunator beer, a rich in flavour beverage from Grebbestad’s very own brewery – made once a year on full moon. – as well as Knäckebröd, a crisp ryebread, cheeses from Dalsspira, Sivans and chokeberry jam from Torgunnehagen.

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Lysekil – a Picturesque 19th Century Seaside Resort in the Heart of the Archipelago

Emilia Björk from VisitSweden in New York is sharing her favorite spots around Lysekil – a place where she used to spend her childhood summers and still returns to every year.

Photo: Jonas Ingman

Lysekil, the quaint little seaside resort is a gem in the west coast archipelago, for foodies and nature lovers alike. During the 16th century, Lysekil was a fishing community, flourishing because of the Swedish herring boom. During the 17th and 18th century it prospered and became one of Sweden’s five major fishing ports. In the end of the 19th century, the little town got an upswing when Swedish king Oscar II decided to use it as a seaside resort and let the cream of society build their summer houses in the area. Yet, the signs of Lysekil as a fishing community are still very much present; the town is placed between stone slabs and islets, with the deep Skagerrak ocean just alongside. Its white, red and yellow painted fishing cottages are competing for space between the rocks, making a beautiful setting against the light blue sky and the sparse green vegetation. For a first time visitor in Lysekil, it will probably be satisfying enough to stroll along the wooden piers between the ocean and the fishing cottages, to breath in the fresh ocean air and to sit down at one of the many fish eateries. Choose between a simple but genuine seafood kiosk at the pier or, for instance, the cozy Old House Inn Restaurant, located in one of Sweden’s most ancient and historical hotels; Grand Hotel Lysekil. 

Photo: Lisa Nestorson

Considering that Lysekil is located at the outfall of Sweden’s only real fjord, Gullmarsfjorden, with Sweden’s cleanest water and most varied marine life, a visit to Havets Hus is a must. Here, you can see and touch around 100 species, many of them unique for the fjord area, possessing species that you otherwise only can find in the deepest areas of the Atlantic Ocean. During the 19th century, the fjord reached world fame as a marine biological goldmine, and still, many marine biological research centers are located here. Another way to experience the treasures of the ocean is to join a fishing boat and catch your own mussels and oysters, or why not join a seal safari  – and if you wouldn’t spot the seals in the ocean, you are almost guaranteed to see them leaping sun on one of the small skerries.

If you don’t feel like catching your own dinner, you can always savor it on a classic archipelago boat, while spotting seals and zigzagging between the islets. If you’re exceptionally lucky, you might even spot a whale due to the plentiful marine food supply. While you’re out at the water, you should definitely make a stop at Fiskebäckskil, located just across the inlet from Lysekil, which, if possible is an even more picturesque fishing society.

As a sailing enthusiast, I love watching Lysekil’s women’s sailing match race  every summer. It is a great sailing event easy to watch from one of the many islets or skerries, just a stone’s throw from the center of the town, and entirely free. The north-south water-way is running just outside Lysekil, so even when the event is not running, sitting at one of the small islands with fresh-off-the-boatshrimps or a picnic basket in the sunset is an unbeatable way to finish off your day.

Even after spending weeks around Lysekil and Gullmarsfjorden, I am craving for more archipelago, seafood and fishing towns. So if you’d be lucky enough to visit the area, Lysekil is located perfectly in the middle of Bohuslän, with 50 miles fantastic archipelago in both directions along the coast – waiting to be explored.

Photo: Jonas Ingman

For more information about Lysekil, visit


Say hello to Gothenburg’s newest hotel – Clarion Hotel Post

A slick new hotel in set to open in Gothenburg at the end of January 2012 – the new Clarion Hotel Post is a listed former Post Office from the 1920s which has been restored and extended into a sleek 500 bedroom hotel. Designed by the international architects Magnus Månsson of Semrén and Månsson and Erik Nissen Johansen of Stylt Trampoli, the central-based hotel retains its original awe-inspiring grand hall and high ceilings.

It also boasts a trendy rooftop pool and bar, indoor spa and the top-class ‘Norda Grill & Bar’ restaurant, managed by the famous New York based chef Marcus Samuelsson. Continue reading…

Gothenburg crowned the Culinary Capital of Sweden

Reinforcing its status as the culinary hotbed of Northern Europe, Gothenburg has been named the Culinary Capital of Sweden 2012.

At a recent ceremony led by Sweden’s Minister for Agriculture, Eskil Erlandsson, the city was awarded the prestigious title in recognition of its wealth and quality of natural produce, often incorporating fresh ingredients from the west coast.

Judges were impressed by Gothenburg’s fantastic partnerships within West Sweden – connecting town and countryside, small-scale and industrial food production – explaining that this helps to make the city very attractive to national and international visitors.

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