Maybe it was just the pristine blue skies, but the people of Stockholm seemed happy, with the positive vibe contagious from one street to the next. Encouraged by the conditions, and with Stockholm City passes to hand, we headed water bound, taking maximum advantage of 48 hours unlimited use of the city boat system which, given Stockholm’s construct across 14 islands, is the perfect way to get around while soaking up the city’s picture perfect charm.
What to do:
Well worth the £75 per person (48 hour pass), Stockholm City passes grant access to a wealth of tourist and alternative attractions including the awe-inspiring Vasa Museum – home to the worlds only salvaged 17th Century, 64 gun war-ship; an amazing encounter with the rich maritime history of the city. Other attractions include the Nobel museum, Nordic museum, Sky View, Royal Palace, Viking museum and much, much more. ABBA fans beware, the museum is not included in the pass!
Where to eat:
As competition judge on Sveriges Mästerkock (the Swedish take on Master Chef) Head Chef Markus Aujalay’s profile is high and strongly regarded amongst the Nordic and wider gastronomic community.
Dressed to impress, Tegelbacken’s interiors immediately engage the senses, awash with bold colours and comfortable velvets while paying homage to elegant Scandinavian furnishings. A pre-dinner visit from Markus provided an opportunity to touch on UK foodie affairs, the embarrassment that is Brexit and of course the menu concept at Tegelbacken.
The menu construct affords diners the option to hand plate selections into Markus’ hands for either four, or five courses. There are quite a few standout dishes so bear with us:
Tortellini with Parmiggiano Reggiano, mushroom broth and truffle – a favourite plate from travels in Bologna taken to new heights with an enveloping mushroom sauce, truffle shavings and a fine wine pairing – easily the dish of the trip.
Artichoke provençial with tomato confit, black rice and pistou – who knew vegetables could taste this good? Super elegant, this dish took us by surprise with its smooth, balanced profile centred around earthy artichoke tones.
Pike perch with Swiss chard chantarelles and grilled butter sauce – the Swedish lake dwelling Zander fish (or pikeperch) is showcased in this dish. Smokey in flavour, the blowtorched fillet competes for your fork with the crisp and salty chard leaf – a real match made in Tegelbacken.
Grilled deer with lardo salsify sep muhrooms and black current – a taste of Sweden’s wild north – this plate combines forager delights with a blushing deer fillet, obscured under a lardo veil. A beautiful plate.
With each wine pairing accentuating the romance of Tegelbacken’s panoramic city views, the combination of unique factors that define this restaurants excellence shone clear.
Reminiscent of London’s Sushi Samba, Tak serves up city views alongside an extensive drinks list and good vibes. With golden interiors, Tak is bright and airy across its varying spaces including dining area, chilled sofa space and private dining room.
With the only Sake sommeliers in the city, Tak’s strong Japanese influence translates through its drinks and dining menus. A selection of sake infused cocktails and Japanese beers are available to accompany favourites of Donburi, Udon and Ramen mains.
Well worth the boat trip south to the central borough of Katarina-Sofia, Meatballs for the people serve up Swedish delights, attracting diners from around the city through the week. Living up to its name, this neighbourhood spot offers traditional meatball and mash combos with variations across beef, deer, moose and wild boar. Traditionally served with lingonberries, pickles and smooth, buttery mash, grab a Bulldog IPA and enjoy the cosy interior.
If you are looking for a quick bite and cheap eat, head to Pizza Fast Fine 1889 for their black truffle and mushroom white pizza or, if you are feeling fancy, try one of their signature pizzas which includes ‘Swedish Forest’ – vasterbotten cheese, smoked deer, oven roasted portobello mushrooms, fresh parsley and crispy beetroot lingonberries. Dinner for two and drinks comes in at around £35.
In a city full of vibrant ingredients and a blend of cultures, food halls are a great way to discover both Swedish specialities and also the worldly influences of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Spain. Lined with butchers, green grocers, bakers, kebab shops, fish mongers, artisan cheese makers and plenty of ‘Fika’ stops, the food stalls dotted around the city will keep you fuelled up during a busy day of sight seeing.
Fika is a ritual in Sweden. A moment to pause, take a break and bond with colleagues, friends and family over a hot drink accompanied by something sweet. Making the stop at Chokladkoppen, a cafe in Stockholm’s oldest square, is a fantastic idea, providing an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the most photographed buildings in the city. Add to this the mammoth slices of princess cake on offer here and bottomless coffee and you’re sure to get your caffeine fix while enjoying a people watching spot that is second to none.
Where to stay:
Offering a central location, unpretentious luxury and possibly the best breakfast buffet on the planet, At Six is the perfect Stockholm stay. Interiors here are an experience in themselves with strong craft and detail combining to form a unique contemporary elegance. Dominant in stature, At Six’s entrance centres around a 2.5 meter head, sculpted from solid marble by world renowned Jaume Plensa – with eyes closed this piece is the calm amongst the buzz of At Six’s front of house where fizz is served to arriving guests.
Taking the leather wound banisters past the sleeping giant to the dining and bar area, At Six’s command of light becomes apparent with the dim atmosphere accentuating the blackened steel and polished granite textures. This atmosphere continues through to the rooms where elegant marble surfaces accompany plush leathers and everything needed for a comfortable stay.
A favourite area of the hotel is the Hosoi, a music/ social living room tucked within the inner workings of the building, and where the bar is always and never open. Home to a custom KRS speaker from Tokyo’s McIntosh electronics, this space is immersive in atmosphere and sound, and plays host to a wide range of exclusive events.
The At Six experience offers a touch of class with all the home comforts required for a unique and memorable stay. For more information on booking – https://hotelatsix.com
Yes Stockholm has a reputation for being pricey, but the experiences on offer in this picture perfect city make it a trip worth planning for 2019.
Many thanks to our trip partners Hotel At Six , Tegelbacken, Tak and VisitStockholm. As always, all opinions are our own.