GUIDE / ÖRESUND

”Öresund is a flourishing and accessible region, everything is connected by train”

MATTIAS BALKEFORS
On spring spirits at the Danish/Swedish border
February 11, 2022

Lund based Mattias Balkefors moved to the South of Sweden around two decades ago, and is now the head of Snälleröds Craft Distellery in Snälleröd, Skåne. The distillery is over 121 years old and has made a name for itself for its regional snaps, which are must-haves for the often locally proud southern Swedes.

— I jokingly say that my role involves me being everything from a distiller to a cleaner and everything in between. But basically, I am responsible for the spirits that leave through our door, from making the taste profile to distilling the actual product, Mattias says.

For someone who hasn’t been to Lund and the Öresund region, how’d you describe it?

— Flourishing and close-by! It’s a region and town accessible in many ways. But by far the easiest way to get around is by train. All the cities in the region basically connect by train. In one hour you can have a beer in both Lund and Copenhagen. And we get spring weather basically one month before the rest of Sweden!

My favourite thing that makes me proud of Lund and the surrounding area: 

— I would say the openness and multicultural feeling. There is a vast amount of nationalities studying and working in Lund and its surrounding area, and this brings a very open and international feeling about the region. People are genuinely interested in one another and are genuinely friendly.

My favourite weekend routine: 

— In a perfect world: sleep in! Sleeping in is the best thing ever. After that I would love to have brunch with my family, there are plenty of places in Lund that have great brunch and breakfasts. Then, catch the train to Malmö and go to Ribersborg open-air bathhouse, a fantastic place. While in town, go to Lilla Torg for some while people-watching and afternoon drinks, before going home and watching some movies with the family.

My favourite cultural spot:

— There is no denying that the cathedral in Lund is mighty. It´s a really cool testament to Lund’s origins.

My favourite place for dining out:

Mat & Destillat or M.E.A.T. The first is more fine dining and the second more relaxed, both with great food and staff nonetheless.

My favourite place for a creative or business meeting:

— The café Hos Talevski i Stadsparken is a great place with a view of the park.

My favourite breakfast place:

— I would have to say Grand Hotel in Lund. Very nice venue and service are built into the walls. Fantastic place.

My favourite local entrepreneur or creative I want to promote:

— Fredrik Lundegård, with restaurants like På Skissernas, Mat & Destillat, and Färgstarkt, and Calle Henrickson, who runs M.E.A.T., Klostergatans Vin & Delikatess, Patisseriet, Kyrkogatan 5. Both have helped the restaurant scene in Lund transform to the better in the last 10 years. Cudos!

My favourite route for a run or walk: 

— There is a fantastic place called Skrylle just outside Lund. It’s a big nature reserve with mapped trails for running and mountain biking. There are also spots for barbequing or just hanging out.

My favourite hotel for a staycation:

— A weekend in Copenhagen is always right. If you have kids, the Tivoli hotel is great. Without kids, I would stay at the newly opened NH Collection Hotel and have smørrebrød at some traditional Danish restaurants. 

NH Collection.

My favourite space for great design: 

— I love Danish design, and there are so many stores with furniture and such in Copenhagen! Also a lot of nice clothing stores. The simplicity in both furniture and clothing design can be found all over the city.

My favourite excursion:

— A trip to Stadsparken in Lund cover most needs. I hang out there with my kids a lot. There are playgrounds as well as animals and ice cream. And the previously mentioned café is too good to miss.

Hos Talevski i Stadsparken, the café overlooking the Lund central park.

My favourite example of tech innovation in Lund and the Öresund region: 

— The ESS facility outside Lund is going to be the worlds most advanced research facility when done later this year. It’s a collaboration between 13 countries conducting research on neutron sources. It’s maybe not a tech innovation but still impressive! This facility also helps shape the multicultural scene in Lund as ESS employs 50 different nationalities.

My favourite local media:

— There is a great Instagram account called lund.city, they give tips about local things happening in Lund. Also, copenhagenfoodguide is a very good account with lots of tips about where to enjoy your favourite cuisine.

My favourite thing at home: 

— The people! I’m not native to the south of Sweden but moved here some 20 years ago. I felt welcomed straight away and have gained so many new friendships in past years. Outside that, I love the fact that spring comes early. It’s so nice to have a drink outside in March and just engulf the sun.