While we were in Stockholm, Marta and I stayed at what could best be described as a modern antique hotel in the residential neighbourhood of Vasastan.
It was a chic little place, housed in a building from the 1800s and came with complimentary breakfast each of the five mornings we had in Stockholm:
Besides the creaky doors, the only other complaint I had was the lack of coffeemaker in the bedroom; as a result I had to change my morning routine quite a bit which meant arriving to breakfast NOT looking my chicest and alone while Marta was still asleep in order to fetch my absolutely mandatory java jolt…then sneaking another couple of mugs upstairs to the room
It was a rather nice suite, and even had a separate room with a desk where I was able to get some creative juices flowing in the mornings as Marta was still asleep and I was brainstorming for Emaho where we spend the day in pursuit of some fodder for my next food article.
And the result of those “juices” ended up being some unintentional vegetarian fare…that is for five meals in a row (and yes, that is counting breakfast from both Thursday and Friday). I am not against eating vegetarian in the slightest, but to those who know me I am quite the carnivore and it’s usually quite difficult for me to go for more than a few meals without my beloved filets, lobsters, or free-range chickens.
Our first stop for the day was to Rosendals Trädgård (Rosendal’s Garden) in the gorgeous Djurgården- which is practically a massive royal park in Central Stockholm. Rosendal’s Garden is an organic space in consisting of two shops, a cafe, and acres of orchards, plots, vineyards, and greenhouses growing everything from fat and fabulous carrots to haricots verts and an abundance of other marvelous produce.
Each day, the bounty is harvested and either sold at one of the shops or presented at the Cafe in some sort of innovative and fresh manner
Thanks to Amalia’s advising, Marta and I decided that the Rosendals Cafe would be a perfect place to start the day:
This vegetarian lunch was absolutely glorious and quite filling thanks to the generous serving of farro (and exquisite bread…Scandinavian butter is absolutely the best in the world!) And the marigold pesto was so unique and vibrant and a welcome addition to the recently harvested veggies.
Quite satisfied, we set out on our next trek of the day, several hours which would eventually lead us to Stockholm’s hipster district, Södermalm where we had a 6pm dinner date at the home of one of Marta’s hilarious and hospitable Swedish relatives
With several hours to go we took our time, stopped in Gamla Stan, and picked up a very essential re-energiser:
I have no photos from the fantastic time we spent at Git (Marta’s mum’s cousin)’s home, but she cooked us and her daughters up quite an exquisite vegetarian feast consisting of:
Appetiser: Baked yellow capsicum filled with Västerbotten cheese
Entree: Lemon-marinated maize-steaks (it’s basically a filet made out of corn…popular amongst vegetarians in Sweden, anyone know what this is?) with roasted chanterelle mushrooms/carrots, side salad, and a yoghurt herb sauce for the maize-steaks
Dessert #1: A homemade wild berry pannacotta topped with brown sugar
Dessert #2: HEAVENLY dark chocolate cake with fresh cream.
Le happiness. The meat was not missed. And the company was hilarious; I love hanging out with my fellow Scandinavians, especially with some bubbly in hand
On that note, I feel a need in the near future to do a post regarding Scandinavian mannerisms and stereotypes
So, what are we at now? Three veg meals in a row? Alright, just one more before the epic conclusion to this post (I’m skipping re-capping breakfast since it was the same just about ‘erry day)
Alors, on Friday afternoon, Marta and I headed back to Söder to meet up with my fellow Finn, Veera for lunch.
Of course I was so happy to see her that we ended up walking and talking around the entirety of Södermalm and Slussen before settling on a lunch spot, which…you guessed it…was a vegetarian restaurant named Chutney:
Veera: “Bond Gryta”- in other words some sort of a kidney bean stew…and that’s bread on the side. The best thing about Sweden and Finland is that most lunch places have unlimited bread and butter with the forks and knives
Alright, so here it is…five vegetarian meals down and what was for dinner on Friday?
My dear “Auntie” Jiyeon called to tell me she had made reservations for all of us (her, my uncle, my cousin, and Jiyeon’s brother and his friend visiting from Korea) at Vassa Eggen, a famous steakhouse here in Stockholm
Alors, since Marta and I were heading out after dinner to meet up with my childhood friend, Sara and her friends at the chic Hotel Nobis– we got a little dressed up. You know, nothing fancy- pencil skirt, heels, Louis V, and some Coco Mademoiselle
But first. Dinner.
ME: There you go, something like a kilo of Flank steak with roasted garlic and onions- absolutely beyond the valley of carnivorous glory. My muscles were singing an a capella tribute to this impeccable cut of Swedish steak
And somehow we all had room for dessert (as always):
Me: Apple crumble with hazelnuts and thyme ice cream. So so so so scrumptious, and who would have thought thyme ice cream would be such a tasty flavour, and accompaniment to the warm cinnamony stewed apple crumble
Apres le diner, Marta and I headed over to meet my friend, Sara and more Swedish peeps over at Hotel Nobis, Stockholm’s trendy new five-star hotel around the corner
We arrived a good forty minutes early, and thus chicly chillaxed in the outdoor lounge as a mellow continuation of our Friday night festivities; whilst lounging several taxis pulled up carrying a tour group of fifteen or so Chinese men (and about two women). One of the women approached us and asked if the other seats were taken to which we replied we were waiting for a couple of others. She then enthusiastically suggested we have a drink together and we thought, why the hell not…or at least they could have a drink and we can chat or be social or something of the like.
Anyways, the lady disappeared, left a few of the guys sitting there (who LUCKILY did not speak any English). This is where things got hilariously awkward, all the guys ordered India Pale Ales tried to communicate through overexcited hand gestures that we should order some as well
Me: No, no, no thanks. No drinks. No. We have friends coming. (lots of hand gestures indicating that we did NOT want any drinks)
Within the next few minutes more of the men from the tour group started arriving filling up the seats and it became a struggle to maintain our jurisdiction of saved seats while they stared at us whispered at each other and proceeded to order India Pale Ales and become intoxicated…rather fast (we’re talking less than two beers per dude). Once Marta and I realised that that woman wasn’t coming back and that this was some rather lame set-up attempt, we jumped to the next sofa as the men laughed and proceeded to fill up our now vacant spots and load up the table with bottles of Ale.
One of the more vulgar (and intoxicated) of the men then actually had the nerve to MOVE to our table with his bag of measly pine nuts and remaining sips of beer to just STARE at us. Je suis desolee, but who the hell do you think you are?
And that’s when my biyatchhhh face came on
I ignored him, put on both my blazer and nonchalant genetically Finnish facial expression and thank the lords of Aquavit, Sara and the homies arrived and re-invaded the lounge space kicking out Mr. Vulgar-drunk-off of one India Pale Ale back to his taxi…or wherever he went after that. Who cares, we were having too much fun being all Swedish and stuff. Oh and celebrating Christian (one of Sara’s friends)’ 24th birthday:
Have you ever been creeped on with a language barrier at a lounge/bar/place?
Ever been to Stockholm or Sweden?
BUTTER: Love it or hate it?
Meat-eaters: Do you ever feel an intense craving after a few meals sans the meat?
Non-meat eaters: Ever crave it?