Thursday, November 12, 2015

My kind of morning

With a whole morning free a few weeks ago, we spent a few hours doing a condensed version of one of my all-time favorite pastimes: a stroll through town, a flânerie, if you will. An aimless wander to soak up the sounds, rhythms, flavors, and sights of the city.

We started at Kaffeverket, a cafè in Vasastan I came across just before we moved from there to Minneberg, although that hasn't stopped me from still going every chance I can. Not only is it a perfectly cozy place for a fika, given their great pastries and coffee, but as they also have matcha tea, juices, raw milks, coconut water, and full-on breakfasts and lunches, it's a great place to work (if working at a laptop in solitude is your thing), since they have free wi-fi and enough outlets.

Also? Their carrot cake is the absolute best I've found so far here...or anywhere, really. They load in the spices, lace their frosting with tart lemon juice, and sprinkle chopped pistachio and slivers of fig on top. Just look at this tasty little wonder*. I have an obsession with it, so much so that one day recently when I went a bit overboard with cleaning and then had to lay flat on the couch for a few hours to recover, R snuck out and came back with a slice for me (which naturally made me tear up before I devoured it).

After we'd had our morning fika, we walked from Sankt Eriksplan to Odenplan and along the way we stopped in at our bank and then at a baby store to ogle the stroller we'd picked out. Then I remembered hearing about Wincent, a yarn shop on Nortullsgatan just north of Odenplan, so we headed there next.

The boutique is small and quaint—when you enter you see one wall lined with pretty bolts of fabric, while the rest of the shop is lined with wood shelves heaped with yarn. The friendly owner (seems to be a theme here in Stockholm) chatted with us while we looked at all the lush colors and soft skeins of beautiful yarn. I didn't technically need anything, but when R handed me 4 balls of beautiful wool (2 in indigo blue and 2 in charcoal gray) saying, "can you use these?", I took them to the counter immediately.

Turns out he'd picked, purely by how they felt in his hands, 100% organic wool from Lane Mondial, an Italian brand that's been around since the 1940s with a family-run sheep farm just outside of Brescia, which the boutique owner had just visited.

After leaving with my bag of goodies we swung by Akadamiebokhandeln, a book store on the south side of Odenplan (a block away from Café Pascal). We didn't need anything in particular there either, but I can never resist the chance to meander around bookshelves, especially lately when I've been drawn to beautiful (and hilarious) Swedish children's books. While last time I found a wonderfully absurd title, this time I found an equally hilarious illustrated book cover. I laughed, but R was not quite so amused—in fact his Sicilian sensibilities were a tad bit offended.

Luckily he was soon engrossed in a book about whisky so I was free to have myself a proper, un-hurried wander around, which led me to the hobby section and the most ingenious book: Sagornas Stickbok.

It's book of fairytales interspersed with knitting patterns for the clothes the children in the stories are described as wearing. For example: "Pappan, katten och flickan i den röda klänningen" (The father, the cat and the girl in the red dress), which is then followed by a pattern to make the little girl's dress, collar and bib.

How amazing is that? If only I could read fairytales in Swedish with as much enjoyment as I read them in English I would have snatched it up. The problem for me is that fairytales use so many fanciful terms and there are always numerous woodland creatures, which are completely necessary for a children's story, but, my language repository doesn't include many of those words just yet, meaning I can't quite comprehend, much less pronounce them, although I am practicing with my wee friend.

Maybe someday, though.

(*image from Nancy Elmira)

One year ago: Postcard from Andalucía: Sevilla
Two years ago: A Derby Bourbon
Three years ago: Winter oil concoction & Trekking in tights & Farewell fall

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