Gamla Stan is the old town of Stockholm. In the past it was called the city in between bridges, as it is located on an island (Stockholm is built on 14 islands) stretching literally from the bridge of the royal castle to the hectic junction of Slussen. This part of town dates back to the 13th century, and consists of alleyways, cobblestone streets, and medieval architecture. There is also a healthy mix of street art reminding you in which century you live. And yes, it is touristic during the day, but after dark it is the playground of the locals, and one of my favorite parts of the city. Continue reading “Wineweek 159: Gamla Stan at Night”
I often get questions from friends visiting Stockholm: where would I recommend to eat. You would think this is a question I love answering, however, I actually find it a bit hard. I could recommend tons of places, but I run into hesitation. Why? Three things. Firstly popular restaurants in Stockholm require advance booking. A lot of advance booking. So all of those who are not extremely well planned (90%), will just hit a wall when trying to score a table. Which is a bit discouraging. Second, many visitors will find the Stockholm price level for food high. I find it inconsiderate to suggest something that will cost an arm and a leg, so I need to really think of those price worthy places that are easy on the wallet . Third, people like eating different things, and I am generally suspicious of restaurants that think they can master several cuisines (if you advertise that you master everything – I suspect you master nothing). And as you know, I never, ever, recommend something that I don’t think is good. Continue reading “My Best Tourist Tip in Town – The Flying Elk”
As per tradition, I will start with the weather report. It might seem like an irrelevant part of my weekly posts. But on the contrary, I think it is an important note for setting the right mood. The kind of wine I drink is heavily influenced by the weather. So it is no coincidence I have been drinking a lot of light reds, white and rose this week as it has been HOT. Sweden has been showing it’s best with 25-30 C and sun, and I have been doing my best to enjoy the hot weather with some cooling drinks.
Wednesday we went to check out the second location of our favorite wine bar in town, Gaston at Nordiska Kompaniet. NK is one of the finest department stores in town and the top floor has recently been taken over by the king of Swedish fine dining, Björn Franzen. Gaston wine-bar is also a part of Frantzen’s culinary empire and one of the most notable wine-hangouts in town. While the location in the old town of Stockholm remains my favorite (it also has a more extensive list of wine), the NK location is also a place worth to visit. The style of displaying the wines in fridges along the wall with pricing written with a white marker reminds me of Paris and it’s many wonderful wine bars. So on a rainy day, head up to this comfortable oasis for wine in between shopping. The two go well together (I have experience)!
On Friday we went out for some drinks and Asian food at a new restaurant in town, Lokal Izakaya. The Japanese inspired Izakayas are the new food trend in town. Sushi and Asian inspired dishes combined with some yummy cocktails and a list of Sake makes up for a concept I very much enjoy. Sadly every single Izakaya in Stockholm has the same problem, they are not Izakayas. Don’t get me wrong, I like the restaurants as such. I just don’t like that the concept has been so grossly miss-interpreted. An Izakaya is a simple Japanese eatery, like a tavern or pub, a kind of after work place that serves some food to accompany the drinks. The so called Izakayas in Stockholm remind me more of Asian fine dining than a local. Lokal Izakaya, like the first on the izakaya scene in Stockholm, Shibumi, is a fun restaurant. The cocktails, sashimi, and hot dishes all very satisfying. I was just expecting something more simple.
As many cities in Europe, Stockholm will partly close for summer vacations. July is prime time for Swedes to head to their cottages and travel around in Europe, so many small restaurants and bars close their doors. We went to enjoy the last opening day of Hornstulls Bodega, a wine bar and restaurant close by to where we live. After Gaston, I would say this is THE place to come for wine. We enjoyed some Spätburgunder rose, reds from Loire and an amazing peppery Rioja.
I will miss the Bodega, but the summer will go by fast. Next week we are heading for Helsinki, my home city; to rest, meet friends and relatives, and to drink some more wine of course. The blog will not be taking a holiday, but summer vacation will mean that there will be a slightly slower pace (maybe). And perhaps I have the chance to finally really consider what to do with the look and layout. All ideas and inspiration are more than welcome! Hope a warm and sunny week to you all!