Vestfold - Norway

Engø Farm

Where everything slows down a little bit, and time expands.
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Discerning travellers have come to this small, lush part of the world for calm and peace of mind for near on a century.

Born into a family of industrialists and railway pioneers, the romantic Frithjof Pihl sought a simpler life close to nature at Engø. His longing for a more imaginative and serene existence – away from the noise, dust and pressures of the city – resonates loud and clear to this day. When everything we want is within reach, what we crave is simplicity.

Together with his English wife Dorothy, Frithjof welcomed the first summer guests to enjoy the tranquillity and hospitality of Engø. A century later, you will find subtle signs of the English lady’s influence – in the garden, the conservatory style bath house and the interiors. It is, however, in the kitchen and Engø’s exquisite afternoon tea her legacy finds it’s strongest and most delicious expression.

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Engø has welcomed international guests from its earliest beginnings. Today, as always, guests are greeted with friendliness and the kind of discrete charm characteristic of hosts who are mindful of their guests’ privacy. The people of Engø are happy to share local lore, history and treasures of the surrounding woods and shoreline, but equally happy to leave guests who prefer to explore on their own to do just that. The Engø grounds are spacious. You may be as active as you like – run, swim, play tennis, hike the smooth coastal rocks for miles – or choose a more contemplative mode.

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At first glance it may appear that nothing happens at Engø. When you take the time to look, however, you will discover that the place is never quite still. There are birds and honeybees, wildlife as well as domestic animals going about their business, industrious people always attentive to the needs and wishes of guests. But it is never crowded, never rushed. Seasons change, animals are herded from one pasture to another, a fox or a roe deer may wander by, and all kinds of weather comes in over the horizon. Every occurrence is both one-of-a-kind and timeless. It can’t be bought or booked. You have to be there to savour the experience.

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Ancient oaks and beech trees shelter Engø farm. Its buildings and the old barn are hugged by leafy vegetation in the summer and an intricate latticework of branches in the winter. A short stroll through the woods takes you to a small harbour and the sea. The openness here – the exposure to wind and weather – is in stark contrast to the protected, nurturing atmosphere of the farm.

At Engø people have time for each other, for connecting with friends and family, for meandering conversations and for following a train of thought all the way through to its conclusion uninterrupted.

The atmosphere of calm is contagious. Even a short stay at Engø tends to leave its mark and guests find themselves relaxed as if after a long holiday.

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