Category: Travel & Arts

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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Dinners in Paris, and a long day for the fishmongers

First night nerves We like to mark our evening of arrival in Paris with dinner at La Fontaine de Mars. You know you’re in Paris from the moment you step through the door. This time I’d left it too late to make a reservation, so we gave Le Bistrot d’Eléonore et Maxence a call.   […]

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Night at the Museum

After an interesting encounter last year with Napoleon the Strategist at the Musée de l’Armée in Paris, it seemed rude to miss an opportunity of making closer acquaintance. Talent or ambition – which is more important in the making of a genius? I wrote about it here: https://wp.me/p7AW4i-kE The museum was open free of charge […]

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Hockney & Van Gogh, or ‘The Vince and Dave Show’, plus All the Rembrandts

To give the exhibition its official title: “Hockney – Van Gogh, The Joy of Nature”.   It opens with David Hockney on film, talking to camera about his own work, Van Gogh, and the exhibition. “It’s a good title – better than ‘The Vince & Dave Show’,” he says with a mischievous twinkle. Wearing a […]

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Best gig of the year, and it was only February!

I’m often asked when to open a bottle of wine that’s been gathering dust in somebody’s rack – “will it still be any good?” My advice?   “Open it without expectations, and hope to be pleasantly surprised”. Sometimes I take a similar approach when the programme from Ronnie Scott’s appears in my inbox. Pick a […]

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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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