Bergsmansgård

We are a Dutch couple (59 and 63 years old) and living in Sweden for more than 12 years running our little restaurant and guesthouse. Although the place with houses and garden is very big, the business is very little. Our place is a bit of a paradise (especially for workaholics :-) ) But of course it’s not only wonderful here, it can be cold, there is maybe to much rain, but often we have a wonderful sunny summer, a beautiful colored autumn or a winter with snow and ice. Because of that our place is almost in the middle of nowhere you cannot compare our guesthouse with a normal hotel in a village or in a town. We do not have guests all the time. Depending on that we have different things to do here. When we have guests we need to take care of them of course by cleaning rooms, making breakfast and dinner. When we don’t have guests there are also many things to do in the garden and with maintaining of the houses, restoring furniture, decorating, baking and making homemade jams and so on! Some periods we have lots of guests from the neighborhood in the restaurant. This gives us plenty of work and long working days! Every season has its own charm and its own things which have to be done. We love our place with its peace, quietness, space and nature and we are excited to share all of this with you!

We have been inviting volunteers to stay for three years now and we are very enthusiast about the concept. We have had very often volunteers here, mostly 2 to 4 at a time. In june/august and november/december we have hosted more then 10 helpers at a time! Almost everyone had a wonderful time here, with new experiences. Many friendships were born. Some of them had tears in their eyes when leaving. Some are even returning several times. All of you helped us to become more what we deeply want to be: a place where people can meet other people and where everyone can feel like home. Thank you dear volunteers!! We think it’s important that everybody knows about the following: It sounds not right to have volunteers in a business. Of course a hotel-restaurant is an economic business, even when ours is a very small one. We have struggled in 10 years to survive in the normal way with help of payed staff. A few times we almost got under and we ourselves earn almost nothing. We learned at last that it is impossible to make an economic healthy business with a nice and warm human atmosphere as added value when it is situated out in the country like ours. It is exactly the same as an organic farm is not able to give the added value without helping hands in their economic process. And: it's not all about economics: 8 old and traditional buildings and a lot of terrain to take care of. Help in the restaurant means that Fridus (together with those who like that kind of work) is able take care of that! We also have noticed that absolutely the most of our volunteers like to work in the kitchen and restaurant. We are very happy with this help. We take care of that the working conditions are fitting to a volunteer. We will never ask you to make more hours than you like, we will not give you too much responsibility or stress. We try to give you as much learning experiences as possible, a lot of fun and we want to show you how to work with love for the food and how to work with a heart for the guests, the buildings and with responsibility for environment and durability. Be welcome at our place! Roswitha and Fridus More and detailed info for those who are interested: Our place is a small hotel with max 40 beds in the countryside of Sweden, near the village of Söderbärke. A lovely place, every season. The buildings are between 100 and 200 years old and traditional. We try to make this place a good place to be for everyone, a place with a heart. We want to give it a future in a world where everything is about money, power and not quality! We live in the countryside, not in a touristic area. Therefore we do not have many tourists or passersby who visit our business. The people who come here are people from the neighborhood and it can be family parties, weddings, conferences and so on. (however: also guests in the restaurant from far away....just because of the high quality!) Every weekend our restaurant is open for lunch, and mostly even Saturday evenings. In summer (end of June until half of August) and in December we are open much more. Thereby do we have things we offer our guests, such as kayaks, boats, bicycles. We always have new ideas to develop. So is there much to do to renovate and make it a bit "future-proof". We love it....but it takes time to do it ourselves. Too much for only the two of us. Roswitha works mainly in the kitchen and restaurant and takes care of all designing and advertising. Fridus is the handyman; he is responsible for all the houses and the facilities. You can help in the garden or helping Fridus with the houses and building- renovating-projects we have to do. Everyone has skills and experiences and we want everyone to do what he/she likes most. We can learn of each other and make use of each other’s experience. For the rest of the time we hope you will enjoy the nature around us, taking a bicycle, going for a walk, swimming in the lake or paddling in a canoe. Notice that citylife is far away! You will have a room on your own and you share the bathroom with other helpers. We have our evening dinner together (during "open-days" also lunch), the other meals you can take when it fits you best. Our working day rhythm starts mostly late because we often have work to do in the evening also. The main projects (besides the help in the guesthouse, restaurant and kitchen) this year: -Painting of window-frames (real white paint) and many walls (Swedish-red). -Re roofing the next 10 meters of the restaurant NOTE: It's absolutely not dangerous there and there is taken care of safety, but a lack of fear of heights is helpfull; -Ongoing projects like mowing and maintaining of the garden, including fruit, vegetables and chickens; -Cutting trees and making firewood; -Building of a new chicken house; -Technical help with computer system and network, electrical issues, car issues; -and much, much more..... All the tools to do this work are available: Tractor, sky lift, roof lift, saw machines and a cleaving machine, all the small tools you can think of and, maybe most important, good workspaces such as a heated workshop wintertime.

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