A trip to Höganäs and Magasin 36

A few weekends ago my husband and I were invited to celebrate our friend’s 35th birthday in the quaint coastal town of Molle, in Sweden.  Molle is just across the Straight and accessible by ferry from Helsingor (just north of Copenhage- and also where Shakespeare’s play Hamlet takes place in Kronborg Castle), so we decided to rent a car and make it into an exploration weekend.

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The ferry transports cars, people and bikes and takes about 20 minutes to cross from one side to the other. I can’t remember the last time I drove a car onto a boat to cross a body of water, but it’s a blast.  On land, you wait in line until the ferry docks and then you are signaled to drive onto the boat.  Once on the boat, you park your car in a line behind all the other cars on deck and get to exit the car to go upstairs on deck.  This particular ferry was more like a mini cruise ship.  It had multiple cafes and restaurants, beautiful lounge seating and duty free shopping.  I’ve never seen a longer line to buy liquor and candy in my life.  My favourite was sitting outside on the deck.

Once across, you are motioned to return to your car and continue your journey to your next destination.  Simple as that.

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Our first stop was to check into our beach hotel, the Kliterrhus, in a town called Ängelholm.  Driving up to the main building reminded me of a beach hotel in New England (in the US).  The hotel was very pretty  with it’s light wood furniture, white and blue beach decor, and accents of seashells, old photographs and wainscoting.  Our room looked right out onto the beach.

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Unfortunately the weather was not conducive to a day on the sand.  Scandinavian summers are known to be changeable.  We saw, sun, we saw dark clouds and we saw rain in 48 hours. The temperature also went from hot to cold.  Being outside and enjoying the view was good enough for me.

On the day of the birthday celebration we decided to spend the day exploring the city of Höganäs as we weren’t expected until late afternoon. Höganäs is a town in Sweden that developed a reputation for its ceramic production.  Perhaps you are  familiar with the ceramic brand that bares the same name, Höganäs Keramic?  In Höganäs, we had two spots on our agenda for the morning: Magasin 36 and the Iittala Outlet.

Magasin 36 is a smart and exciting re-purposed piece of industrial real estate  in town that has become quite popular with the locals.  The building dates back to 1835 where it was used as a factory for salt-glazed utensils and also housed a few large kilns.

Today, the property has been converted into a fabulous mixed use retail, restaurant, cafe, grocery store, museum, office and artist studio space with a focus on vintage and gastronomy.

It’s a breathtaking space and a lot of fun to visit.  Magasin 36 is split over two levels and what looks like two buildings.  There is a cafe on the ground floor when you enter the space  and you can order lovely baked goods (cinnamon and cardamom buns – I went back both mornings for a cinnamon bun and a tea).  Behind the cafe you find the stunning local-focused grocery store called Hoganas Saluhall with tons of organic produce, freshly baked artisan breads, local farm products from around Skåne (the south western region of Sweden), meats and other specialty food delicacies.  We picked up a lemon sourdough bread and a few interesting flat breads to bring to the birthday party later that afternoon.

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Magasin 36 also houses a number of furniture, antique, clothing, art gallery and home accessory stores.  On of my favourites was a shop/gallery called Hoganasgrouppen that made neat ceramic “puck-looking” coasters to protect surfaces from heat. Butiken Hoganas also had several cute items. I could have purchased one of everything!!

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Another interesting part of the building is the re-purposing of the old kilns into a museum to show what the area became known for. In this section of the building, you can walk right into the kilns to see what they look like as well as visit the adjacent ceramic studio/store where tableware pieces and flower pots are still being produced and sold today.

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Walk up a large set of stairs to the second floor and you find a large restaurant build around the tops of the ceramic kilns that looks down onto a portion of the grocery store.

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Lamb411 Hoganas Magasin 36

And if that is not enough food and excitement in one building, on the same property, around the corner from Magasin 36, you’ll find a car garage that was converted into a 1960s American (Swedish) gourmet burger joint/bar.  We stopped in for lunch and had one of the tastiest burgers in a long time.  The meat is local, the buns are handmade on premise, the beer is also locally brewed.  A lot of thought, care and consideration was put into the menu and ingredients used at this burger garage.  It was also very busy on a Saturday afternoon with locals lining up for pints of beer and burgers.

If you happen to be passing through Skåne, Sweden’s equivalent of the Hamptons, the town of Hoganas and Magasin 36 is not to be missed.

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