The founders of Slussens Pensionat are us, Vibs and Robert Sohlberg. When we first arrived, almost 30 years ago now, we intended to stay for a summer but never left. When you come you’ll understand why!
Now we’re moving on a generation, and our “children” Julian and Isabella are taking over the running of the hotel, with their friends head chef David Lundqvist and hotel manager Jesper Säll.
Alfrida turned a herring factory into a seaside hotel
Slussens Pensionat was originally a cannery that was built in 1926.
The herrings were landed directly from the sea and pickled directly. They were cut into slices on a long table that has been in the building ever since. It’s now the buffet table on the veranda and the top table when we have weddings. The factory went bankrupt in the thirties and was bought by an enterprising woman from Anfasteröd on the other side of the fjord. Alfrida Andersson had worked on the steam ferries crossing the fjord to Slussen for a long time and had undoubtedly spotted the factory’s beautiful position in the bay. She built a veranda, added an annex on the slope, decorated the rooms and painted the whole shebang white. A seaside hotel had arrived in Slussen. Well off Gothenburgers came to stay full or half board, took invigorating saltwater swims and enjoyed Alfrida’s famous cooking.
With a frying pan and bit of sheer bloody mindedness
When we arrived our start-up capital was the five thousand crowns we had borrowed, which we used to buy a frying pan, a couple of good knives and some basic ingredients for the pantry and then we were ready to open. We didn’t have to work too hard that first summer, there was time to peel potatoes and do the washing up, pick flowers and sew aprons, have children and nurse them, play and sing as well as make and serve food. The hotel was run then by a little non-profit cultural association which organized art exhibitions and put on music evenings during the summer. When we eventually bought the hotel after a couple of years we carried that tradition on.
Our musical friends from Gothenburg came out to help us get the place going: Björn Afzelius, Totta Näslund, Ulf Dageby, Bengan Blomgren, Sonya Hedenbratt, Gunnar Danielson, Evabritt Strandberg and many others.
The chef who stood on stage with Sweden’s musicians
During the first years the music was provided by Robert himself! After a tough shift in the kitchen he’d throw his apron off and leap onto the stage. His house band has changed shape and name over the years, from High Noon, Biggles Bubbles and Le Big to today’s Big is Less. The house band nights are always the ones that fill the dance floor!
The hotel was run as a summer venture for the first ten years but since 1997 the hotel and restaurant have been open almost all year round for conference and weekend guests.
The list of artists has grown over the years, like our contact network, and we would venture to suggest that we now have one of Sweden’s most interesting music scenes. Not least because we present music in an intimate space but because we also serve great food to go with it.
“The music story that continues to be heard”
Slussens Pensionat is now managed by the next generation of Sohlbergs, Julian and Isabella. It’s run in the same spirit with many new ideas, alongside a true master of professional cookery, top chef David Lundqvist, and our customer service maestro with a smiling face, hotel manager Jesper Säll.
It’s important to preserve Slussen Pensionat’s heart and soul whilst moving things on. And you can rest assured, the youngsters have all the expertise that’s needed:
Isabella Sohlberg is herself a musician and has worked in the music industry for many years. Julian Sohlberg is a sommelier, a bit of a natural phenomenon when it comes to service and most of all a nerd when it comes to natural wine and flavour combinations. David Lundqvist won Chef of the Year in 2018 and Jesper Säll has worked at top restaurants like Bhoga in Gothenburg and Noma in Copenhagen.
Who knows what this bunch will get up to next with this place….