WELCOME TO US
We who live and run the company Virisen Lappland are Tomas and Gunilla with their sons Tom and Ulf. We usually manage one of the few remaining active mountain apartments in Västerbotten County according to old traditions with hunting, fishing, agriculture and tourism. The farm has high nature and cultural values. The ingredients are processed in the restaurant where you can enjoy an exclusive dinner with ingredients in its right environment. We have about 20 ewes of the breed Gotland sheep which are known for their beautiful skins and tasty meat, the sheep are good grazing animals and the taste comes from what they graze on our herb-rich alps 605 m above sea level.
1987 Black cabin built
1991 Red and blue cottage built
1992 We became permanent residents in Virisen
1993 Barn built
1996 Machinery shed / dog house is built
1997 Sauna built by the lake
1998 Renovation of residential buildings (1998 Tom born) (2000 Ulf born)
2000 Farm shop and storage area built
2004 Loftstugan built
2004 Diploma for junior enterprise from Storumans Development
2005 Boathouse / service building built at the lake
2005 Rural scholarship LRF Västerbotten, LRF consultant and Swedbank
2010 Conference facility built
2012 Recognised in the White Guide "Sweden's best restaurants"
2012 Scholarship for impressive pioneer deed in memory of Arne Eklund,
founder of Laisalidens Mountain Hotel
2014 Black cottage renovated and renamed the Black Johanna
2020 Betty Blå 4 b renovated
Tomas - I am a trained carpenter and have worked for NCC in Vindeln where I was involved in the construction of the new sports hall and apartment buildings. Other nice jobs include renovation of both Hällnäs and Granö primary schools. When I moved to Virisen in 1992, I started a construction company that is now dormant. Here at Virisen I
run the guided hunting trips, take care of fishing tourists and am responsible for boats, snowmobiles and transports.
Gunilla - I was educated at Nordvik's agricultural school and later in Umeå at Forslunda. I worked then within agriculture for 12 years in Ångermanland, Västernorrland and Västerbotten. After moving to Virisen, I worked as a breakfast hostess and cleaner at Hemavans Wärdshus before my own tourism business grew and gained momentum.
During the construction of the conference facility, I studied tourism, gastronomy and hospitality management with a focus on cooking at Umeå University. I graduated in 2009, and went from farm to fork!
BEYOND ROADS AND THE ARRIVAL OF ELECTRICITY
Virisen is located about 50 km southeast of Tärnaby. The lake is 20 km long and has also given the homestead its name. In 1985, electricity was hooked up and between 1990-91 a new mountain road was built from Rönnbäck.
Virisen is a community of tenancy farming. We own the buildings but lease the land from the state. If you want to live here you have to rely on hunting, fishing, tourism and agriculture. Today, we have highly refined all the components of a modern business with great consideration for nature, culture and the environment. If we are to be able to
maintain the unique and beautiful environment of Virisen, the prerequisite is that we can live and support ourselves here on site.
Today we are three families who live and work around the lake, we are all tenants of mountain farm leases.
Our ancestor Noak Abrahamsson 1832-1927, was a settler and mountain
medicine man. Among other things, Noak was recognized for being able to cure ”English disease”. He came to Virisen in the middle of the 19th
century from Simaskalet and became fascinated by the great richness of
the mountain landscape. Wild bogs with cloudberries, the lake stocked
with fish and a rich wildlife in the surrounding forests and hills. All this made it possible for people to live here. Our sons are now the 6th generation living here. In Karl Andersson's book about remote observers
and mountain people from 1957, you can read about Noah's life and work.
FOOD PHILOSOPHY & SUSTAINABILITY
At Virisen, we have lived for generations on what the farm, the lake and
the Lapland mountains can provide.Gunilla and Tomas run the Virisen
restaurant together. Here we refine our ingredients into a gastronomic
experience that is both genuine and in many ways unique in its kind. Our
food philosophy is based on two important aspects: deep knowledge of
local ingredients, and a desire to produce honest food without
unnecessary antics or additives. Our starting point are the ingredients
that have long been the basis for local food traditions.
We have sourced most of the raw ingredients ourselves. We have hunted,
fished, raised animals on the farm, gone picking in the woods or digging
on the land. Ingredients we cannot produce such as cabbage, potatoes and dairy products are purchased from Swedish producers that support good animal husbandry and jobs. This is made possible using a menu that is based on what Sweden and not least Lapland has to offer. A large part of the the food is processed, such as digging, salting, drying, pickling and baking bread in our kitchen. The slaughter of animals and
charcuterie production is carried out by knowledgeable local suppliers.
Gotland sheep provide meat and skins and chickens provide eggs in pastel colours. During the summer, the hens move freely on the farm and the sheep graze happily over a 20-hectare area. During some years a cow
grazes there as well. The forest produces chanterelle mushrooms,
medicinal plants with gastronomic uses and berries that produces high
flavors and nutritional values thanks to the midnight sun. In the
mountains, we snare grouse, and even the buds and berries they collect
in their throat, is taken care of. It flavours Virisen's own signature
beer "Ripa". In Lake Virisen we fish high quality charr and trout so we
don’t have to transport the fish far before it is served on the plate.
During the autumn, moose is hunted using the so-called stealth method
ensuring an unstressed end for the moose. This results in tastier meat.
The conditions for running a restaurant in the mountains are obvious.
You have to ”dig where you stand” and nothing is wasted. The
restaurant and the farm are run as a cycle and the small-scale suppliers
who work with us are just as good at recycling. We recycle everything -
from food that risks becoming container food, to plastic bags with the
wrong pressure that can be used to freeze berries. Hull and bones from
slaughter and filleting of fish are boiled for lamb stock, moose stock
and fish stock. What is left is shared with forest animals. The fox
enjoys a leg to gnaw on. Shells and leftovers from cooking become feed
for the animals on the farm. The lambs graze plants and sly and
maintaining an open and powerful view of Virisen, and the meat takes on
a character that is not only exquisite, it is also unique. It is our
”terroir”, if you will. When common sense prevails, it becomes