We have a plan to make only short trips to close by areas this year and the first trip has just finished. We headed to Stockholm, the ever so beautiful capital of Sweden, like so many others during the winter holiday week. We quite enjoy visiting the city we know so well and like to stay in different parts of the town. This time we stayed in Östermalm, the West-End of Stockholm, one of the posh parts of the town. This was mostly due to an excellent hotel discount offer. We also loved the idea of us travel from Östermalm, Borgå to Östermalm, Stockholm.
Eating is and has always been the main attractions on our travels along with museum visits. Eataly, the Italian gourmet shop and restaurant, had just been opened and was thus a main attraction. Yes, I know, why eat Italian in Sweden? We did not actually have a meal at Eataly but wanted to see how the concept was modified for the Scandinavian market. The location and premises are great, impressive – see their website for all the services and activities offered. Much to taste and see, much to enjoy in this luxurious former theatre. We were certainly not the only tourists and foodies there inspecting the store. The experience was not quite the same as upon visiting Eataly in Italy but it is naturally because were not in Italy, it was not summer and there were no departments with wine shelves and tastings (as we were in Sweden with state monopoly over retail in alcoholic beverages just like in Finland). Maybe we go and have a meal next time around when it is less crowded.
Östermalms saluhall, the food halls of Östermalm, was another attraction and this for lunch. The old food halls are being renovated and there was temporary set up for the stalls. Lisa Elmqvist Fish, Seafood, Delicatessen & Restaurant was the place for lunch – this restaurant dates back to a 1926 when Lisa bought a stand in the food halls. It is the fourth generation running the company today the food stalls, catering and restaurant. I enjoyed fried lemon sole with beet root and capers and by husband halibut with truffle-lobster sauce.
Some other places were stopped by were Wiener Caféet (Bibilioteksgatan), Fabrique (Humlegårdgatan) , Sally Voltaire & Systerar (Åhlens) with healthy meals and raw food. We also shared a delicious pizza at Jamie’s Italian (Scandic hotel Anglais). Quite a lot of fika, Swedish coffee with sweet treats all day long, and other goodies. Have a look at the pictures. We stayed only for a day and half yet experienced a lot. It was a trip with some 30,000 steps out and about the town plus a couple of metro (tunnebana) journeys. Apart of the food we enjoyed sunny crisp winter, window shopping, people watching and a couple of museums. Interior decoration, cookery shops and book stores are always on our list on mini- and longer breaks.
The Stockholm Museum of Photography (Fotografiska) never lets me down. The exhibitions are ever so intriguing and statement taking like the ones on right now. What more is that the museum opening times are excellent as it stays open practically all night. I’ve once also participated an evening guided tour that started at 9 pm. The museum shop is excellent and the restaurant experience so fabulous. Their concept is of conscious food philosophy is based on organic and plant-based kitchen. The man behind the restaurant is Paul Svensson, a famous, chef of the year, TV and cookbook author to name just some of his merits. Once again, I had not book a table in advance and thus we could only enjoy the café-bar with the great view over to Skeppsholmen och Djurgården (islands of Stockholm).
The exhibitions on are Fearless & Fabulous by Chen Man, a talented young Chinese photographer and designer. She is a pioneer in Chinese fashion photography, very successful and known also in the western world. She mixes eastern and western traditions, techniques as per the museum introductions. I particularly liked the fashion portraits taken in Tibet.
Somnyama Ngonyama/Hail, the Dark Lioness is a collection of portraits by Zanele Muholi a South-African photographer. The photos pose questions on social justice, human rights and contested representations of the black body, as stated in the museum home page introduction. The all black-and-white portraits were powerful. I felt they first opened on the surface – the image you saw – and then as you looked on in depth.