36 hours in Ystad

36 hours in where? Exactly. The entire trip began when my friends and I saw this year’s Outstanding in the Field lineup. Last year, we had traveled to Burgundy, France, for an OITF dinner there, and we had so much fun, we decided to do it again this year. Except we picked the dinner at Kaseholm Castle in Tomelilla, Sweden, outside of Malmo (where IKEA is headquartered). That’s how Sean and I ended up building our trip to Stockholm and Copenhagen—our final destination was Ystad, Sweden, where we met up with six friends (!) for a two-night stay, including the dinner. It was filled with friends, food, and most importantly, fun. Here’s what we did in our 36 hours in Ystad.

Where we stayed
After eight days of running around Stockholm and Copenhagen, Sean and I were ready to chill out. Thankfully, we chose to stay at Ystad Saltsjobad, a spa hotel, so there was plenty of opportunity to do so. (Shout out to my friend B for finding the place.) The hotel has a glamorous outdoor pool with bed-type lounge chairs, a (really, really good) DJ, and a pool bar that makes delicious Aperol spritzes. If you’re more of a beach person, it’s right on the Baltic Sea too—we had a view of the water from our room.

But this is Sweden and the weather is not exactly warm for most of the year, so let’s talk about the spa. It. Was. Amazing. Sean & I both had massages—he of the regular variety and I of the scrub/facial/massage combo—and not only were they incredible, they were affordable. Like, less than half the price of what these treatments would be in the US. (Please note, this was the only thing on this trip that was actually reasonable.) Once you’re done with your treatments—or even if you aren’t having any at all and are just staying at the hotel (!!!)—you can hang out in the multiple indoor and outdoor hot tubs and pools. We alternated between hot and cold and basically felt like wet noodles when we were done. Thankfully, there’s an entire top floor with relaxation beds and views of the sea (plus fireplaces to keep it cozy in the winter). We spent most of the day here and it didn’t feel long enough.

One of my favorite parts about this hotel, other than the spa, was all of the places you could hang out. There was the aforementioned top level of the spa, plus two huge restaurants, a cozy library bar, and a kind of multi-purpose room with a ton of tables—we were the only ones in there one night. All of these were incredibly well designed and cozy—again, because you probably have to spend a lot of time indoors, but I was totally happy to do so. The entire time I was there, I kind of felt like I was in Dirty Dancing, minus all the activities.

Two things to note: the guest rooms are rather small, but I didn’t mind because we spent so little time in our actual room. The other is that the room-numbering system makes no sense at all, and I got lost at least four times—one night after dinner, we ran into two of our friends, separately, trying to find their respective rooms. I should also note that we were on the wrong floor at the time. ;)

What we did, other than go to the spa
As I mentioned earlier, the purpose of the entire trip was to attend an Outstanding in the Field dinner in Tomelilla; turns out the hosts were former San Franciscans who, you know, bought a 17th-century castle in Sweden and turned it into an event space. I’ve been to a bunch of OITF dinners, and this was one of my favorite settings so far—plus we took a tour of the farm and I got to feed the goats. (And yes, I may have glossed over the question on my immigration form about having been in proximity of livestock.) I loved the tepee in the barn too!

We ate in the courtyard, which was actually a bit cozier than the usual out-in-the-field setting of these dinners, and this was my first OITF dinner featuring the cuisine of a two-Michelin-starred chef, in this case Daniel Berlin. The food was fresh and local—very new Nordic cuisine—and the company was even more fantastic.

P.S. You don’t have to fly halfway around the world to attend an Outstanding in the Field dinner—they travel all over the U.S. from spring to fall. Most of this year’s dinners are sold out, but I highly recommend getting on the mailing list for next year. It’s always a magical experience!


Laura B said...

The hotel looks so beautiful! And I think I need one of those lounge chairs! What a fun time!

Nancy 's Fashion Style said...

Never heard of that! But how amazing! It sounds like something we would love to do with friends!

Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom said...

I haven't heard of a Outstanding in the Field dinner, but wow... it looks so fun!