The Loaded Trunk was founded by Jonna Robison, an interior designer with a deep curiosity and passion for traveling the world, connecting with artisans in different cultures and sourcing unique and beautiful objets d’art. Published seasonally, the magazine features a curated collection of travel, lifestyle, nature, art and design inspiration for a life well lived.
inspired by nature
bring it home
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A Luxurious Escape to the Sahara Desert
Swedish Strawberry Cake
An affair of white dresses, flowers, dancing and endless tables overflowing with flavorful expressions of summertime. Midsummer (Midsommar) is arguably one of the most celebratory days of the year for Swedes, and is not taken lightly. A beautiful and magical festivity, Midsummer marks the beginning of summer and is celebrated by wrapping leaves and flowers around maypole, and letting traditional folk songs play as Swedes delightfully dance around the maypole. It is time to celebrate the sunshine and the exquisite nature that a Swedish summer brings.
The largest and most dramatic of celebrations can be found in the Dalarna region, the cultural heart of Sweden.
And I simply could not resist the visit.
We made plans to spend the evening celebrations in Leksand, along Lake Siljan, one of the largest Midsummer festivals to be found in Sweden. We spend the day in the charming village of Sundborn to visit the lovely, art-filled home of the iconic Swedish painter Karl Larsson. We toured the lovely home and gardens and enjoyed a traditional Midsummer lunch at the adjacent cafe, Restaurant Hyttstugan, where food is prepared from scratch with ingredients provided by local farmers. As we were leaving the house-turned-museum we began to see locals walking along the streets and lanes filled with flowers and ferns, donning their traditional dresses and flower crowns.
Curiosity got the best of me, as it typically does, and we found ourselves following the locals to their own celebration of Midsummer. The music had already begun, filling the breezy summer warmth with joy and excitement as floral wreaths were being hung and a maypole was being raised. It felt as though we had wandered into a storybook, an experience that I could never recreate myself and can not seem to retell through words. Something told me to skip the larger celebration we had planned for later, and stay at this smaller, local one. But the plans had been made and we found ourselves once again in the car headed for the large and well-attended Midsummer event in Leksand.
It was vastly different. A large crowd, already seated with blankets and personal picnics, sat on the large swaths of lawn surrounding a constructed stage. Vendors selling candy and treats provided the air with a sugary stickiness that only added to the celebratory experience. Once the music started, it was no secret why this was considered to be the largest Midsummer festival in the country. A parade of locals dressed in their beautiful traditional clothes carried the maypole to the center of the park and it was raised at the pinnacle of the festival. Circles and circles of dancers held hands and joyously skipped around the pole as the day delicately turned into dusk.
We spent the night in a stuga (charming small cottage), feeling like we were in Snow White’s cottage as we tucked ourselves into the cozy bunk beds! It was quintessentially Swedish, with Dala horses, potted geraniums in the windows, a traditional old stove and even hand-carved butter knives for guests to take, carved by elderly father who was born in the house many years ago!
Purchase tickets for a guided tour of the Carl Larsson house online here.
June 30, 2021
The Loaded Trunk is a travel and lifestyle magazine founded by Jonna Robison, an interior designer with a deep curiosity and passion for traveling the world, connecting with artisans in different cultures and sourcing unique and beautiful objets d’art. Published seasonally, the magazine features a curated collection of travel, lifestyle, nature, art and design inspiration for a life well lived.