Category: Stockholm

Lisa Elmqvist – the legacy of the fisherman’s daughter

Östermalms Saluhall for lunch and dinner   The renovation of the market building, Östermalms Saluhall, started 3 years ago. Work is running late, and it’s now expected to re-open in 2020. In the meantime the market is located in a temporary structure across the street.       We’d booked for dinner at Lisa Elmqvist […]

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“Vegetarians, look away now”

Our taxi driver was puzzled.   A neon light outside gave the only clue to finding the restaurant. You go down spiral concrete stairs with tiled walls, then two or three flights up. It felt like going into a 1970s multistorey car park, or the entrance to a speakeasy.       At the top […]

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The Army Museum, in a nation famed for its Neutrality

The Army Museum, Stockholm   The Army Museum is well worth a visit for the insights it offers into Swedish history. It’s one of over a dozen museums in Stockholm that offer free admission.     Walking towards the museum, there’s a separate entrance at the side, with a sign to ‘Artilleriet’ and a menu. […]

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‘What have the Swedes ever done for us?’ – an update

A postcard from Stockholm       In January this year, I noticed that ‘the Swedes wear a lot of black. Quilted coats, black suits, leggings, stout boots, that sort of thing’.   After a return visit in August, I can now report that this summer’s colour is…. black (but with rather more leg exposed). […]

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Up close and personal with the 17th century

The sinking of the Vasa   On 10th August 1628, the royal flagship Vasa set sail in Stockholm harbour on her maiden voyage. Her Dutch designers were nervous of her seaworthiness, but the Swedish court was equally nervous of communicating this to the king. Within minutes, a gust of wind caught her sails, and the ship […]

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A “Totally Swedish” moment

Putting together a simple Smörgåsbord   I’ve been writing about the Nordic food adventures I had in January while on a brief weekend in Stockholm, and since then I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen. Quantities and measurements needn’t be too precise, these are as much processes as recipes; proportions are important but not inflexible. If […]

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Sargent in Stockholm

I’ve always enjoyed grand portraits by the great artists: Van Dyck, Velazquez, Gainsborough, you know the list. I came late to John Singer Sargent. I first encountered his work at an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in 2015. Two years later I was enchanted by the intimacy of his watercolours at the Dulwich Picture […]

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Swedish Food, Part Two: my quest for a meatball

First, a waterborne Smörgåsbord on the Steamship Stockholm. Invited to the city of Stockholm for a birthday celebration, we were instructed by our generous hosts to be ready to board ship at 11.30 on Sunday for a prompt departure at midday. The captain, they told us, would not wait for latecomers.       The […]

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Swedish food, Part One: “what have the Swedes ever done for us?”

In her Reith Lecture in 2018, Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan said this about the Swedish people:   “Think of the Swedes” “I mean we think of the Swedes now today as making expeditions to Ikea, assembling furniture quietly, not getting cross at it. We think of them going to the woods and picking berries. I mean […]

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A taste for Nordic Noir in Stockholm

I’ve read the novels of Henning Mankell; on TV I’ve seen both the Swedish version, and Kenneth Branagh’s interpretation of the world-weary detective Kurt Wallander. (Perhaps he was just weary of the insistent ringtone on his mobile that goes off at the most inopportune moments).       I was an avid follower of ‘Arne […]

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