I have spent what seems like almost half my life down south in Sweden, on an island just off its coast, connected by one long bridge; namely, Öland. We own, or did own, a summer house there, from before my own birth (in fact, when my mother was about my age now, I believe). We have just sold it, moving on to other adventures, and it feels a little like the end of an era. It’s somewhat bitter-sweet, but I think I have been weaned off the place gradually, which makes it easier; once, we would spend endless weeks there–at least five or six, and that was making it a minimum–whilst with the years coming on, we spent perhaps maximum two weeks at a time, making the place more of a problem, then a delightful retreat that it once was.
In all that time, I had never been to Skansen; a hotel, restaurant and spa. It’s probably the fanciest place (that I know of) on the island, and I had never even set foot into the place. Even my parents agreed this was somewhat tragic, so, on the last night with the 3 of us together on the island, we had dinner. Oh man, what a dinner. It was pricey (as most things are in Sweden!), but the return was so worth it.
Above pictured is mum’s starter; a beautiful carpaccio of tuna with aioli and pickled ginger. I adore those colours, and felt a little jealous! The pieces of fish were amazing, and rather generous too, though the sauce could have packed more of a punch, even with those large chunks of pickled ginger, we all thought.
This was my chosen starter; duck breast with apple, pea shoots, blue cheese, currents and spring onion. It was lovely, but you had to make sure to get a little piece of everything together to make the flavours work at their best, which, given the variety, was a bit of a struggle. Nonetheless, I think I managed okay 😉
And dad chose the pata negra, a Spanish cured ham, with mozzarella and tomatoes. This was very good, I don’t even have anything else to say!
For main, I surprised everyone, including myself, and chose the lamb back, with risotto, pesto, and wine-marinated pears. SO GOOD. Ignore my feelings on lamb for a second, this was amazing. I asked for rare, to raw side, because I am such a carnivore at heart, and I had to restrain myself from shredding it between my teeth within seconds. Every single element together was amazing, and that risotto (not even a fan of risotto at times! I wonder almost why I chose it from the menu…but I’m glad I did) was so intensely creamy, I wonder what on earth they did with it…cheese? I’ve done that before, can’t say it turned out like this!
Mum went for the venison back cut, with mojo-rojo potatoes and saffron butter, and grilled vegetables. I remember mum loving this, but they were a bit generous with the butter considering its intensity in taste! But better, I suppose, for the guest that there’s too much rather than too little…
And father surprised absolutely no one by choosing the risotto on its own. I can’t say I understand why he didn’t choose the same as me since the risotto was the same, but he would have gotten the meat too — but oh well, no regrets. He was in his own little heaven.
Finally, I was stuffed, as were my parents. However, the dessert menu had a licorice and chocolate cake, served with raspberry mousse and salted caramel sauce. The combination in the cake intrigued me; I’m a true Sweden, I quite like licorice 😉 And boy was this good; the aniseed flavour was subtle, present in the background, and was heavenly with the caramel. The mousse was so creamy it was like a sinful dessert good enough on its own. So, no regrets for me either!
All in all, a delightful last evening on an island of my childhood.