A weekend in Lidingö

Its mid-February, but it feels like end of March. This is every Finns dream, that spring would start a few months earlier. Where it not for climate change, I would probably be extatic. I spent this weekend in Lidingö, which is one of the islands in the Stockholm county. Its generally known for its large villas and beautiful views to the Stockholm archipelago – a dream to live in provided you have a car and don’t mind spending a few hours a day in traffic. I spent the weekend on the island visiting a friend, enjoying culture and food. Here are the best parts.

Millesgården is the old family home and resting place of Swedish sculptor Carl Milles, the man behind the Poseidon statue in Gothenburg and the statue of Gustaf Vasa in the Nordic Museum in Stockholm. Millesgården was built on the top of a hill in Lidingö between 1906 and 1908 as the sculptor’s private residence and workspace. It was turned into a foundation and donated to the Swedish people in 1936.

The museum home is frankly quite amazing. The artist and his wife drew inspiration from their trips around the world, and some of the rooms resemble ancient greek-style design. The artists studio is a massive white room bathing in light, and the yard is a park full of statues and sculptures overlooking the sea. The place is magical.

There is also a cafe in connection to the museum with a large outdoor terrace. Which was amazingly open. In February. So we sat there for lunch to enjoy what feels like the first rays of sun of the year. The menu has some good stuff such as hearty vegetarian options. I had a carrot soup with ginger and coconut. Worked really well with a glass of white from Alsace.

Another highlight for the weekend was morning spa and brunch at Högberga Gård. Its an old mansion turned hotel, spa and restaurant; and last but not least, Swedens first urban winery. The grapes are brought from Tuscany and made into wine at Högberga Gård. The mansion was also known as Sweden’s most beautiful home in the beginning of the 20th century.

We visited Högberga Gård on Sunday morning. So obviously we were not there for the wine. The hotel is also known for it’s excellent brunch and a little spa overlooking the sea. The spa is quite tiny, but they have a heated outdoor pool with a view over the archipelago.

The brunch is a buffet with a generous number of cold and warm dishes: traditional foods like eggs and bacon, boiled potatoes, rimmed salmon and panncakes. As well as some more modern alternatives, kale salad, beets with goat cheese and oven roasted cauliflower (damn that was good). There is a whole table full of delicious looking cakes and pastries. A combination of morning spa and brunch costs 650 sek, which is not cheap, but I felt I got a good return for my money. Another good option is to go to Högberga Gård for their afternoon tea.

In addition to Millegården and Högberga Gård, I would recommend visiting Gåshaga marina. Its on the very end of Lidingö island. You can take a ferry there from Nybrokajen in the center, or even the tram (Lidingöbanan). Gåshaga is nothing special on its own, but on a nice sunny day, it is the perfect place to have a drink and enjoy the Stockholm archipelago. Its also just nice to walk around in Lidingö and have a look around. Some of the homes are absolutely stunning.

So visit Lidingö! Some great places are closer than you think.

xx Soile

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Millesgården is the old artist home of Carl Milles. Photo: Soile Vauhkonen
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The yeard is filled with his artwork. Photo: Soile Vauhkonen
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The artist couple were inspired by a visit to Italy and Pompei. Photo: Soile Vauhkonen
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Photo: Soile Vauhkonen
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Te ice princess by Carl Milles. Photo: Soile Vauhkonen
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Lunch at Lanthandel restaurant at Millesgprden. Photo: Soile Vauhkonen
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Nothing better than some wine for lunch. Photo: Soile Vauhkonen
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Hörberga Gård is an old mansion, now hotel and spa. Photo: Soile Vauhkonen
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Photo: Soile Vauhkonen
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Photo: Soile Vauhkonen
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The interior is colorful despite the traditional look. Photo: Soile Vauhkonen
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Afternoon tea is served at the China room. Photo: Soile Vauhkonen
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The sea was calm on Sunday. Photo: Soile Vauhkonen
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View from Högberga Gård. Photo: Soile Vauhkonen

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