Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Postcard from Göteborg

Göteborg Järntorget cherry blossoms körsbärs  |  Postcard from Göteborg Gothenburg  |  http://afeatherynest.com
A few weeks ago I took the 9:22AM train from Stockholm's Central Station on a southwesterly train headed for Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden's second most largest city. We pulled out of the station with the most gorgeous view of Stadshuset retreating behind us, and then it was just us and bucolic views rolling by until we arrived on the west coast of Sweden.

The first thing I thought after stepping out of Göteborg's Central Station was, am I back in Uppsala? It had the same charming, small-town yet bustle-y feel, but better. I was immediately smitten. And over the weekend I realized there were also flashes of San Francisco in its building facades and of Sevilla in its gathering areas and courtyards, the combination of which probably makes no sense at all, but it did to me.

I started off my visit with lunch at Da Matteo near a display of olive trees with the friend I was visiting—she was just transferred from NYC to Göteborg for work. We took a walk from her office to a cobblestoned neighborhood called Magasinsgatan, a warm, industrial area filled with coffee bean roasters, flower shops, home decor boutiques, food trucks and hot pink bistro tables set out in the sun. After a leisurely lunch we couldn't face an afternoon of work sans coffee, so we picked up cups to go a la the Americans that we are, and I had the honor and pleasure of introducing her to Sweden's gift to chocolate lovers everywhere: the chokladboll. By now I've become an expert on them and I can say that Da Matteo's were incredible—not too sweet and exactly the right level of fudgy-ness.

Before we headed back to our laptops we did a little browsing at an adorable shop called Floramor & Krukatös one of those mixed-retail types of places that's sort of like an Anthropologie, but Swedish. And, more affordable. With more unique goodies.

That night we stayed in and caught up over Sex and the City DVD's (naturally). The next day I worked from her apartment and then we met up at the famous Fiskkyrkan, a fish market that happens to be housed in a building that resembles a Gothic church (it was never a church though), alongside one of the city's canals for lunch. The interior reminded me of a much smaller Östermalm Saluhall, with individual fish stalls lining both sides and in the eaves of one side of the building, Restaurant Gabriel, where we sat at the bar to enjoy a tasty meal. Being a Friday afternoon and with the chef/owner weaving his way among tables to welcome people in whatever language they happened to be speaking, there was such a festive, jovial feel.

I had the fried herring with mashed potatoes and lingonberry while my friend had the massive and tasty shrimp sandwich with mashed potatoes and mushrooms. We both toddled our way down the stairs and out into the crisp afternoon full and happy.

Lunch at Restaurant Gabriel Fiskkyrka  |  Postcard from Göteborg Gothenburg  |  http://afeatherynest.com
Then we walked around exploring more neighborhoods before a little more work and then for dinner, the most amazing pizzas I've had since moving to Sweden at La Gondola.

On Saturday we slept in, lazed about and then took a walk to the center of town for brunch at Hotel Pigalle, whose top-floor restaurant, Atelier, is essentially made just for women. With its gilded touches, floral brocade, and dainty menu, it's not surprising that we were surrounded on all sides by lady friends lunching and bachelorette, bridesmaid and baby shower brunches.

Brunch at Hotel Pigalle  |  Postcard from Göteborg Gothenburg  |  http://afeatherynest.com

Brunch at Hotel Pigalle  |  Postcard from Göteborg Gothenburg  |  http://afeatherynest.com
There's only one set menu on the weekend (with substitutions welcome) and it was creative and very, very good.

Before heading home on the last train on Sunday we took a walk to Haga, the old town of Göteborg for brunch. Although we didn't do much except for walk and eat, that's really my favorite way of seeing a place. But next time I'll have to return with R and I hope we can do a little sailing around the west coast's archipelago because it looks beautiful—and there were also be a return visit to La Gondola for that pizza!

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One year ago: Easter 2014 in Sicily & Postcard from Milano + Parma
Two years ago: Smited by the Gods & Fleeing the foolishness & Postcard from Mexico

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XOXO,
J.