Röda Stugan, a true home away from home
Let’s be honest, when we book self catering accommodation, most of us are dreaming of a home away from home. We want to ditch the pressures associated with actually being at home – intruding work emails, DIY that won’t do itself, lawns that need mowing, carpets to vacuum, washing that seems to breed in the laundry bin. But when we go away, many of us still want our home comforts and more space to breathe than can be afforded by a hotel.
I’ve been up in Sweden’s High Coast region for a few days and my base has been a traditional claret red cottage just off the E4 motorway. It didn’t take any insider knowledge to find – I just used booking.com as is my habit. On paper, it was eminently suitable: Scandi style decor, off road parking for the hire car, WiFi and a bit of space to chill out and put my feet up after a day’s exploration.
In reality, it’s been way more than that. Owners Karin and Hans, who reside in the farmhouse next door, have been the perfect hosts. And then some. A friendly chat on the sun trap of a verandah with a local map and Hans had pretty much planned my itinerary which, I have to admit, was pitifully vague to begin with. His suggestions have been superb. In particular, I’d have never taken the boat to Ulvohamn without his recommendation and of course, there’s just something so much more tempting about a tip straight from the horse’s mouth than from a tourist board leaflet.
Despite this officially being self-catering, the warm welcome extended to a dinner invite. Over a bottle of wine and delicious homemade quiche, I learnt more about the Swedish psyche and way of life than I could have if I’d had a hotel room for a month. Karin really knows how to cook! I’ve since met the family, checked out the ride-on mower, drank more wine and shared half my family secrets.
It’s true what they say – a place is only really special if the people make it so. And this cottage has felt like home because I’ve had the best neighbours I could have wished for. Thank you – and I promise that’s not just the wine talking.
If you’re tempted to visit the High Coast, you should check out the cottage too.
Röda Stugan, Berg 131, 870 33 Docksta
Take the first exit off the E4 north of Docksta. Ignore the sign straight ahead saying Berg and instead make an immediate right turn up a gravel track where you see the cut out of a country yokel. Go up the hill and past a couple of yellow houses. Look for the house numbers or the little red cottage which you should easily spot to your left.