Monday, July 20, 2015

Showing off Stockholm

Stromma M/S Gustavsberg cruise to Artipelag  |  Showing off Stockholm on afeathery*nest  |

A few days after I returned from Skåne, my mom arrived in Stockholm for her first visit to Scandinavia. Her trip coincided with a brief (read: two day) heat wave, so for her first weekend in town she really got to see the city at dressed in its summery finest.

My in-laws picked me up and we headed to Arlanda to meet my mom's flight and since she bounced out of customs full of energy, despite her overnight flight after a full day of work, we took her on a car tour of the main parts of the city so she could see it in all its late afternoon, waterfront beauty.

Once we were home, and after a little cocktail hour on the balcony, we settled ourselves around the table when R arrived home from work bearing the quintessential Swedish summer meal: a smörgåstårta (a sandwich cake).

It sounds a little weird in English, but just ignore the oddly-phrased translation and you can enjoy this fresh, light, savory, herbaceous and lemony treat, which is essentially a huge sandwich with lots of fillings that resemble frosting.

It's concocted with several layers of white or light rye bread interspersed with layers of egg, mayonnaise, and (in my favorite rendition) shrimp, cucumber, caviar and smoked salmon, topped off with lemon and dill. I hadn't had it in so long, so I happily dug in as soon as we were seated and for her first tango with Swedish food, my mom did, too.

We didn't stay up too late that first night since the next morning we had a date with our favorite Stromma boat line for a cruise out to Artipelag, a museum built in a forest out in the archipelago. My mom and I hopped on the subway and headed into the city to Nybrokajen where the boat was docked (while R hopped on his motorcycle and left much after us, naturally).

Stromma M/S Gustavsberg cruise to Artipelag  |  Showing off Stockholm on afeathery*nest  |
Stromma M/S Gustavsberg cruise to Artipelag  |  Showing off Stockholm on afeathery*nest  |
Stromma M/S Gustavsberg cruise to Artipelag  |  Showing off Stockholm on afeathery*nest  |
Once we docked we realized there was no way we could spend our two hours on land in a museum when it was such a gorgeous day outside, so we followed the charming wooden path through the licorice-scented woods up to the museum perched on a little hill, where it enjoys a pretty view over the water.

Rather than go inside (apart from marveling at the seriously amazing granite and bamboo wood (I'm assuming) bathrooms) and a loop through the gift shop, we stayed in the typically Nordic-style building (white walls, lots of natural materials and soft lights) just long enough to order lunch before carrying it outside and seating ourselves in the outdoor dining area for a long leisurely lunch.

Stromma M/S Gustavsberg cruise to Artipelag  |  Showing off Stockholm on afeathery*nest  |
Stromma M/S Gustavsberg cruise to Artipelag  |  Showing off Stockholm on afeathery*nest  |

After more Swedish deliciousness we waddled back down to the pier, taking a little stroll through the woods along the way, and then sailed back to Stockholm.

My in-laws met us at the port and we scooted over to Drottningholm for an afternoon fika in the late afternoon sunlight. Once our yawns got the best of us (sea air will do that to you) we headed home, having had a lovely second Fourth of July in Stockholm.

The next day we took the tvärbana (light rail) to Hammarby Sjöstad where we introduced mom to the deliciousness of Bröd och Salt (Bread and Salt), which is in our opinion, the city's best bakery.

Their mandelbullar (almond buns), kardemummalängd (cardamom pastries in long form), and traditional kanelbullar (cinnamon buns) are seriously, unbelievably good. Their secret is a layer of almond paste in EVERYTHING, which makes their baked goods more delectable than anyone else's in the city.

So, we hopped off the train, stocked up at Bröd och Salt, and then took mom for a walk around our first stomping grounds in Stockholm, showing her our apartment, grocery store, the paths we cycled and walked on, the nature reserve, and then down to the water to bask in the gorgeous summer day and indulge in our spiced pastries.

Like Swedish food, she immediately fell in love with Hammarby Sjöstad and encouraged us to move back there. If only we could—the real estate is super pricey given the newness, eco-ness, and general amazingness of the neighborhood, but we'd love it if we could live there again.


Hammarby Sjöstad  |  Showing off Stockholm on afeathery*nest  |
Hammarby Sjöstad  |  Showing off Stockholm on afeathery*nest  |

After our walk and fika we headed to my in-laws' for a proper Swedish Midsummer feast that they had kindly prepared to introduce my mom to the abundance and deliciousness of Swedish holiday food. She especially enjoyed the sill, the västerbottenpaj (a quiche made with Västerbotten cheese, which comes from the same-named region) and the tradition of snaps, singing, and toasting throughout the meal.

For the rest of the week we showed her around the city itself: NK, Östermalms Saluhall, Rosendals Trädgård on Djurgården, Svenskt Tenn, walks along Strandvägen, Gamla Stan, dinner with a view at Gondolen, and dinner at Orangeriet.

Then for her last night, we had my in-laws over for a Goan feast prepared by my mom, who had done a bit of cooking before boarding her flight from NYC to Stockholm, and had arrived with frozen gallon-size bags of some of our favorite dishes—the rest were made in our kitchen.

We started off with a homemade medley of her samosas with mint chutney, crisped pita-style bread, basmati rice, a vinegary mango-chili-red onion salad, sorpatel and feijoada. And while Goan cuisine has some delectable desserts, the only proper way to end that meal was with mango sorbet.

A Goan meal  |  Showing off Stockholm on afeathery*nest  |

The dinner was the perfect way to end her trip, where we introduced her to the wonder of Sweden and she reminded us of one of the things we miss most about having left New York (and I don't just mean her cooking).

Leave a note (comments)
Subscribe via e-mail
Follow along on Instagram and via Bloglovin', RSS or Feedly

One year ago: Our 1st July 4th in Stockholm & Canalsidelife in Hammarby Sjöstad: sushi
Two years ago: A Dixie 4th & Popping by the Swedish Consulate


  1. Nice, all I can think of are the licorice woods.

  2. Stockholm you showed me your true beauty, even if it was just for the two heat wave days. The rest was beautiful as well. Left a little bit of my heart there. JM


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a note!