Friday, 23 March 2012

Stockholm Syndrome...

I've been dreading it since I turned 21. This weekend... I turn 30. This means I tick a different box on forms and am reminded by 'helpful' friends that my biological clock is ticking (no that's the bomb I just planted under your desk dear...)

To soften the blow, my wonderful husband booked a surprise trip to Stockholm in Sweden to visit a restaurant called Frantzen/Lindeberg (I will go into much more detail about the restaurant in a future post...)

Stockholm is utterly captivating. It is split into different areas which all have a totally unique vibe. We spent most of our time in Gamla Stan (the Old Town) which is a maze of cobbled streets, steps taking you to courtyards, gothic churches and award winning bakeries and Konditoris (tea rooms). I think it helped that we had amazing weather, so we were able to walk everywhere. 

There are several themes in Stockholm which you can't help but notice. 
Here are my top ten:

  1. Shops have beautiful window boxes filled with every kind of bulb imaginable.
  2. There is an amazing array of small pedigree dogs. Some even wore jumpers. Knitted ones...
  3. There are lots of bridges (and water).
  4. They bloody love trolls. The streets are riddled with them (n.b. not real ones...)
  5. All the markets sell an abundance of twigs with feathers on them.
  6. Sandwiches are a work of art. No floppy bread here.
  7. You never see a boring mass produced cake. They have some of the most talented pastry chefs working in small cafes tucked away in back streets.
  8. There are no coffee chains. I'm pretty sure Starbucks would be chased into the river if they dared stray into the city (and there were really angry looking swans on that river... and it had fish in it... with teeth...) The Konditori massive would 'ave them.
  9. There are very few boring buildings. Most have a fancy roof, are painted in bright colours or have intricate designs carved into the stone they are made from.
  10. If it looks like a footpath...BEWARE! It's actually a cycle path. And yes, they will mow you down.
The Old Town - Street View
Old Town - Florist
Ostermalm - Feather-o-rama

Ostermalm is the eastern part of the city, and is home to most of the upmarket shops. We found a market called Saluhall which was a cross between Harvey Nics food hall and Bolton market. The fresh produce on display was jaw-dropping. Seeing is believing...

If you ever get the opportunity to go to this beautiful city, you really must. We must have walked about ten miles in an afternoon then the following morning. It's worth every step to cram in as much as you can whilst you are there. 

More posts to follow soon on the fantastic food... 

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