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Snapshots from Sweden: Sourdough Bread and Forested Trails at Sundsby Säteri

From June 5 to June 11, I visited Western and Southern Sweden on a trip sponsored by Visit Sweden, West Sweden Tourist Board, Skåne Tourist Board, and Volvo as part of their CAR + VACATION contest. Here's a look at something I ate during my trip.

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[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

Sundsby säteri (Sundsby manor) is an estate with over 600 years of history, nestled in the forests of eastern Mjörn, an island in southwest Sweden. But it's only been a public park with trails, shops, and a café since 2006 after being bought by Tjörn municipality in 2003. Before then it had been in private hands for 320 years, since the death of its most famous owner, Swedish-Norwegian noble Margareta Huitfeldt. Not that I would blame anyone for wanting to keep such a beautiful, calm, lush (in June, at least) estate for themselves. Even the quarter-mile path from the parking lot to the main buildings is a charming chlorophyll-heavy jaunt, with a carp pond running along one side of the path and a forested cliff on the other.

But I'm not here to talk about vegetation (unless it's edible). At the edge of the pond you'll come upon Kaffehuset i Sundsby, a café that serves soups, salads, entrées, desserts and bread baked in-house, and Fair Trade organic coffee.

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A bowl of creamy seafood, fennel, and saffron soup with shrimp salad made for a filling lunch, but what I liked even better was the chewy, crisp crusted, stone-baked sourdough bread (and very smushable butter) that came with the meal.

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You can buy fresh loaves of bread (and those wooden butter knives, among other wooden utensils) in a shop near the café. I didn't buy a loaf since I knew there was more food ahead (the downside of a packed itinerary), but I regret it now. I probably could've eaten the whole thing over the course of the day. While walking to the car. While in the car. During my sleep. What a missed opportunity.

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In another shop you can buy more foodstuffs for the road (or gifts for friends back home), like locally grown vegetables and locally made honey, jam, cookies, and drinks. I ended up with blackberry jam from Töllås Fårgård and a few drinks by Ren.

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Caves over yonder!

I didn't spend nearly as much time as Sundsby säteri as I would've liked, considering all these trails laid behind the manor, and there was also a museum about the estate that I completely overlooked. If you're in Gothenburg, it's only about an hour's drive north; you could make a nice afternoon trip out of it. For more information about events at Sundsby Säteri, check out sundsbyvanforening.se (all in Swedish; Google Translate works pretty well).

Kaffehuset i Sundsby

Sundsby Säteri
Sundsbyvägen 381, 471 72 Hjälteby, Sweden (map)
0304-66 60 32; kaffehuset-sundsby.se‎
Opening hours vary with season; check website for latest info

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