Guide / GÄvle & GÄstrikland
”The slower pace in our small town makes life easier than we imagine is possible in capital cities”
On rural whiskey distilleries and coastal gems
23 Apr 2021

Jari and Anna Visuri founded Skargaarden in 2007 and have since then developed the brand from Gävle, Sweden.The beautiful outdoor pieces, all built to withstand Scandinavia’s tough coastal climate, are still elegant enough to fit in in the average living room. 

Jari has a background as a cabinet maker and fine carpentry, and Anna has a big interest in acrylic painting and art makes their partnership exciting, and above all — fun. 

Our favourite thing that makes us proud of Gävle/Gästrikland: 

The slower pace in our small town makes life easier than we imagine is possible in capital cities. It doesn’t necessarily make us proud, but pleased to have a comfortable life.

Our favourite weekend routine: 

We live close to the Bothnian Sea with a coastal hiking trail (Norrlandets kustled) along the coast from our home into the city. The perfect summer weekend starts with a long walk along the coastal trail to get a coffee at the local Café Böna in our small fishing village, and it ends Sunday evening at the local fish restaurant Skärgårdskrogen.

Our favourite cultural spot: 

The concert hall (Konserthuset) in Gävle with an architecture that has been discussed a lot by the locals. Either you love the architecture or you hate it, but is one of the few cultural spots in Gävle with great concerts and performances. It is definitely worth a visit when your favourite artist is in town.

The Concert Hall. Photography: Albin Bogren / Gävle Konserthus

Our favourite place for dining out: 

Matildas is definitely the best restaurant in Gävle. Not only for the food but also for the atmosphere and the calm and light Scandinavian interior design by Thomas Sandell Architects.

Our favourite place for a creative or business meeting: 

If it is a small meeting with less than 8 colleagues, we prefer to have the meeting at our local Elite Grand Hotel. You can book their beautiful wine cellar for a small group. It’s a perfect place to sum up a long day of meetings with a wine tasting.

Our favourite breakfast place: 

Same here, the breakfast at the Elite Grand Hotel. The hotel building is originally from 1901 with spectacular architecture from the early 1900s.

Dining out? Matlidas is the go-to Gävle spot.

Our favourite city escape: 

The Old Town in Gävle is the only part of the town that didn’t burn down during the city fire 1869. It is one of the nicest parts of the city to have a quiet and nice city walk.

Our favourite local entrepreneur or creative I want to promote: 

Magnus Dandanell, the co-founder and CEO of Mackmyra Whiskey is definitely a favourite worth mentioning. To build a Whisky Destillery so far from the original Whiskey districts in Scotland and Ireland is out of the ordinary.  

Our favourite hotel for a staycation: 

The small and cosy Högbo Hotel, 40 minutes from our home has a spa and beautiful nature is a perfect staycation.

Mackmyra destillery tower

Our favourite route for a run or walk: 

Norrlandets Kustled is a favourite for this as well.

Our favourite place for fashion: 

The two local small entrepreneur owned fashion stores Fico and Ascot. Great service and brands that you don’t find elsewhere around here.

Our favourite space for great design: 

Perhaps not the most exciting place to visit, but the only known place for great design that comes to mind is the crematorium at Skogskyrkogården. The crematorium was designed in 1954 by Alf Engström, Gunnar Landberg, Bengt Larsson and Alvar Törneman, better known as the architectural firm ELLT. Beautifully located in the middle of the pine forest just next to the Forest Cemetery.

The iconic Skogskyrkogården Crematorium. Photo: Tony Nordin

Our favourite local media: 

We don’t follow or read any local media, it doesn’t happen that much in small towns like ours. That is partly good and bad at the same time.

Our favourite thing at home: 

We would like to say the sea view from our house and garden, and the pergola we built last summer.