OWNER, VIRISEN. With a university degree in tourism, gastronomy and hospitality management, Gunilla Olofsson has created Virisen as it stands today together with her husband Tomas. It is now a modern facility, which for many represents heaven on earth. A large, timbered building with a restaurant, a conference room and a spa stands on top of a hill with a view of the mountain landscape.
Gunilla came here for the first time in 1987. The Olofssons decided to take on Tomas’ parents’ house, which lay overgrown in the middle of the wilderness on the shore of lake Virisen, with no road access. This mountain homestead has been here for generations. Today, there is a road running all the way to the house, and in winter, many find their way here on marked snowmobile trails.
Gunilla is also a trained agriculturist and worked as a replacement in the farm industry for thirteen years.
“For me, it was important for us to have our own animals and live off the land if we were to stay in Virisen. We built a few cabins to rent and opened a farm shop. Fishers, hunters and nature lovers all found their way here. But many of our visitors kept asking if we were going to expand,” says Gunilla. “Now we have, and things are really picking up. I even had to hire staff to keep up.”
In Virisen, they breed lambs. You can fish for char and trout in the lake. Hunt for moose in the birch forest and grouse on the mountain. When the berry-picking season comes, you can find cloudberries, lingonberries and blueberries. Not to mention chanterelles! Gunilla tells us that it is important for them to offer their guests local produce.
“I work with flavours,” she says. “The flavours on the plate are the most important thing. And I can tell you about all the ingredients, about the lambs that were raised here on the farm. We are upholding a culture. We do as people always have done, but it is unique to today’s society. We deal with the entire production chain of our food, and we do everything ourselves.”
To try the delicacies and enjoy a dinner at Virisen, you have to make a reservation.
“We host weddings and parties attracting a lot of people,” says Gunilla. “Summer is a wonderful time. This is the barbecue season and you can have your meal out on our large veranda. Sometimes we have classes too. This autumn, in the beginning of September, we will hold a forging class that you can sign up for. We are doing really well,” she says.Read more about sights at hemavantarnaby.se