Treehotel – The cabin – Luleá / Sweden
Text: Jens Hoffmann
Summer is the ideal time for relaxing an d getting away from it all.
I love ecoluxury locations and the treehotel in Luleå is an extraordinary place.
First we went to the Bocuse D’or event 2014 in Stockholm, after this straight to Luleá, to find our treehotel.
It was really an unusual experience, a treehotel is something you must been seen and felt to be understood.
Britta’s Pensionat is the gateway to the wonders of the Treehotel.
The owners are born hosts, the tone is nostalgic, they bought the fantastic location long time ago and designed it to reflect the aesthetics of a Swedish guesthouse, a bit of vintage clothing, furniture and art fill the rooms.
All is warm and different.
There is a yellow light in the distance, a lamppost of sorts, just great. The Treehotel could not be more spiritual and modern in design and the idea was to build individually designed rooms in the forests.
They promoted treehouses before it was fashionable. Different taste, we enjoyed it so much.
So far, five different architects have designed the hotel lodgings – the results of their vision and work are nothing short of spectacular. Suspended amongst the trees, they make for arresting viewing.
Our lodging – lets call it the cabin is the most romantic of the five. Others include: The Blue Cone, The Mirror Cube, The Bird’s Nest and The UFO. Our cabin is a large black structure, high up in the canopy of the trees, covered in snow and looking majestic. Inside, all is calm and crisp; the room is utilitarian and elegant. The Treehotel doesn’t trade in overbearing luxury, the rooms have no hot water supply; they have been carefully designed to be part of the forest, part of the landscape. What’s truly sublime is the view, from our bed we have a vista that stretches through the forest and out over the Lule River.
Resto tip: #1 Sörbyn
It is a place of rare simplicity and calm. Karlsson’s restaurant, a place where guests can enjoy some of the finest food in Swedish Lapland, served it in NOMA style as a five course menu.
Our meal begins with a tartare of scallops and oysters served in a Martini-style glass and garnished with an intense saffron-scented sorbet. Fresh and mineral with a marked suggestion of the sea, it’s a confident and precisely seasoned dish which opens our eager palates. Karlsson, rather charmingly, comes out between courses to pour specially selected wines and discuss the dishes we’ve just eaten. All members of staff are calm yet engaging; it seems like an extremely democratic set up. This sense is confirmed later when I discover that the lady who served our dishes is actually one of the owners of the hotel and restaurant – the set up seems to speak clearly of Sweden’s egalitarian attitudes.
Flamed arctic char is a local delicacy. Here it comes garnished with another: the aforementioned Bleak roe – a little joyful mound of orange. The natural oils in the fish and roe give the dish a quality of texture which lingers. Nice.
#2 if you travel via Stockholm my personal resto tip: F12
The F12 – in walking distance from the central train station combines modern design, nouvelle cuisine, located in the Royal Academy of Arts building, and the room is a light and airy one with a very high ceiling. They serve top ingredients, great wines, two menu selections (5 or 9 course) for choice.
You want an eating experience in Stockholm go for it.
F12 is run by Danyel Couet, and has a Michelin star, tables are generously spaced and laid with white linen, and the room can accommodate 65 covers at any one sitting.
We ate from the set lunch menu, scallops was flavoured with wood sorrel, apple juice and garnished with blackened onion.
This was a quite pretty and refreshing dish, the scallops of good quality and the apple providing a little acidity to balance the scallop.
The wine list had global scope.
The main course was sirloin of Swedish beef, in this case supplied from a cooperative of eleven farms near Stockholm. This was served with celeriac puree, oxtail and garnished with truffle from Gotland. The beef had good flavour,
Finally a vanilla brioche base with cream cheese sorbet, apple and bramble sorbet with vanilla skin a foam of arctic bramble and strawberry, with a little mountain salt added. This was an enjoyable end to the meal. Yummy.
Its worth it, we will come back.