Believe it or not this beach is in Österlen in Skåne, southern Sweden. Photo: Conny Fridh/Image Bank Sweden
Skåne's been all over global media since the start of the New Year, after border ID checks
ordered by the Swedish government began on the region's famous Öresund bridge, causing delays for commuters and tourists alike travelling between Malmö in southern Sweden to the Danish capital.
But there was good news for the southern tip of Sweden later in the week when it emerged that The New York Times had included Skåne in its list of the 52 coolest places to visit
this year, scoring ninth place overall.
The newspaper's ranking, which went viral on Friday, praised the area for being home to "some of the Nordic region's most interesting food". It singled out the tiny 25-seat restaurant Daniel Berlin Krog, run by a chef of the same name, who grows his own vegetables, as a "world-class" venue.
Skåne was also praised for its "almost mythologically Swedish" nature, including its "unadulterated coastline" and "mushroom-filled forests". However, despite being the mildest part of Sweden, visitors were warned to prepare for "rough" weather conditions including flooding and ice.
"I didn't know that was going to happen (...) I just saw it on Twitter and just thought 'oh great!' and I was very happy," said Visit Skåne's press spokesperson Sara Brynskog when contacted by The Local.
"They said it was the culinary experience and the nature that has given Skåne this position and I can only agree."
Malmö's western harbour. Photo: Justin Brown/Image Bank Sweden
As The Local has previously reported, Skåne is quickly catching up with neighbouring Copenhagen's famously delicious eateries. In February 2015, three restaurants in Malmö were awarded a Michelin star
, with one head chef becoming the first woman in the country to score the top culinary honour.
Brynskog was tight-lipped when asked if she feared the ongoing Öresund Bridge checks - which are causing delays of at least 30 minutes each way for travellers - could have a negative impact on rising food tourism to the region.
"That is a political issue I think. We can't really act on this, we just follow the progress and hope there will be a better solution soon. I don't know what else I can say about that," she said.
The famous Öresund Bridge. Janus Langhorn/Image Bank Sweden
Skåne is home to more than a million people. As well as becoming increasingly well known for its culinary scene, it is also the birth place of Sweden's biggest football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Eurovision winner Måns Zelmerlöw, while Hollywood actor Hugh Grant recently bought a home
there. The hit Nordic Noir television shows The Bridge and Wallander were both shot in the region.
The New York Times 2016 travel list was headed up by Mexico City, with other European destinations including Bordeaux in France and Malta also making the top ten.
The only other Nordic spot included in the table was the Danish city of Aarhus, ranked 13th.