Lake Vänern is the largest lake in Sweden (and apparently in the European Union) with and area of 5,655 square km, thus more than twice the size of the whole country of Luxembourg!
After visiting the West Coast, we travelled from Fjällbacka to Lidköping where we stayed at Naturum Vänerskärgården – Victoriahuset. Make sure you get off the highway after Tröllhatan, and take the route close to the coast. It will barely take you any longer but your will drive through a gorgeous and deserted countryside with some farms and churches from time to time, but otherwise ‘Ain’t nobody here but us chickens’. Again if you are fearful like me, make sure you have some cheerful music blasting, for example Abba!
Naturum Vänerskärgården – Victoriahuset is located on the island Kållandsö, right next to Läcko Slott, a 15th century castle. The hotel is actually embedded into the building of the visitor center of the nature reserve of lake Vänern and has a total of 15 rooms. The naturum is a beautiful construction from 2013 with lots of wood and a lovely, calm yet stylish atmosphere. The rooms at the naturum are minimalist and cosy with a nice large bathroom. But the main attraction is certainly the view you get over the lake. Our aim for the two nights we spent at the naturum was to do nothing! This is not difficult at all, not the least because there is actually nothing to do in the area around except for reading, taking long walks, dipping into the ice-cold lake, taking naps and eating.
And what kind of eating! The restaurant at the naturum was hands down the best restaurant we ate at during this trip. For both lunch and dinner, the restaurant serves a menu with a starter, three mains to choose from (fish, meat, vegetarian) and a desert. There is also a kids menu available. All produce are as local and organic as possible and often come from the restaurant garden just outside. The quality of the ingredients are just top-notch!
During our two nights at the naturum, we tasted both the meat and fish dish. The very tender lamb was served with seasonal vegetables (beetroots, carrots, tomatoes), roasted potatoes, a delicious mayonnaise and a lovely jus. The zander was served in a subtle butter sauce with roasted carrots, snap peas and potatoes. Both dishes were very, very good! So was the starter (beef tartare with blue cheese and carrots, a very unusual but delicious tartare) and the dessert (blueberry pie, with fresh blueberries, blueberry sorbet and blueberry soup, well 4 times blueberry). It has been two weeks now, and I still very much remember the taste of the food! Both nights we asked the waiter for some nice wine suggestion and both times we got presented a spectacular wine.
For lunch we had some pastries at the cafe with a cup of coffee. Super delicious! And yes also the breakfast was the best one we had during our whole trip. I’ll probably return to Sweden only to have breakfast, lunch and dinner at the naturum.
A special mention goes to the lovely staff at the restaurant who were not only stylish but also super nice and very knowledgeable about what they serve.
I shall be back!