Marion Hume | September 20th, 2011
If you are a fan of those dark Skandi thrillers, the idea of a lonesome wooden farmhouse in its own meadow on an island in Sweden may, or indeed may not attract you, given you could be holed up on the island of Orust and no one would miss you for weeks.
The Swedes are not a chatty bunch, they barely say “Hej” when they pass you walking on a forest road. The one crime you won’t get away with in these parts is sneaking your plastic recycling into the glass recycling bin. And nowhere on earth are so many garbage bins marked “private!” What lies within?
If, however you want somewhere for high summer that isn’t Tuscany, (which is to say, packed, sweaty and rattling with pontificating politicos on holiday), then Sweden is the absolute opposite (which is to say empty, with a slight Arctic frost in the air even when it’s hot and any politicos are speaking Swedish so how would you know?) Apparently, Orust is “full” in summer, which evidently isn’t August.
The delights of this little house are that it is pretty outside and in. There’s an airy kitchen with an old fashioned range (as well as modern appliances), a dining room with wooden floor boards painted blue and wooden ceiling painted white, a reading room complete with Swedish love seat and a working organ (it’s true), old fashioned wallpaper throughout and typically Swedish windows which concertina out of their frames. There are pictures of the farming and fishing family who owned this place for generations (but no longer do: the current owners found a stash of old snaps in the attic when they bought the property three years ago) and the china is mismatched and
pretty. Yes, there are bits and bobs from IKEA, but nothing like as much as you’d find in a British rental cottage.
There’s a double bedroom downstairs with a pretty view over lawns of such a vivid green, they dazzle. Upstairs, there’s a snug and two little rooms for two (two single beds in each), then the master bedroom with a view to the sea. There’s only one bathroom, downstairs and with brown bore water that tastes odd when you brush your teeth.
The grounds are gorgeous when it’s sunny, with wildflowers and a traditional red barn and outhouses. You jump over a stream, then cross the road to a field track which leads down to the sea and a cluster of picturesque fishermen’s huts and a jetty, from which no one seems to mind if you jump in to swim.
The upside; there’s no internet so it is delightfully tranquil; it’s outside town so it’s peaceful; you are deep in nature.
The downside; there’s no internet….
Overall verdict; a place of calm. And neatness. And we all need that occasionally.
Consider paying extra for sheets and towels; these do not come as standard in Swedish rentals. Neither, apparently does a washing machine. However, there’s a pin-neat launderette in the nearest fishing village.
Book direct via Maidi@telia.com.