Toward to the royal capital

I hadn’t expected that a burger would be the highlight of the Italian’s visit to Stockholm. He arrived really late to our hotel after his flight was delayed 1h ½ (so Swedish, he complained), so I didn’t think that the very first thing he had done after stepping off the plane was to head to Sweden’s answer to McDonalds, Max.

Apparently it was on par with In ‘n’ Out burgers and you know how high those patties are valued. All in all, we were off to a good start.

I can’t say I know Stockholm very well, but I do know the major attractions, although a salvaged 17th century war ship didn’t appeal to the Italian. We walked passed the Royal Palace, the Old Town, Södermalm and then back to the hotel, which was smack bang in the centre of Norrmalm.

I’ve never really explored Söder before, but this time I had done my research and knew that I wanted to go Nytorget and the restaurant Urban Deli (which has achieved international fame by starting a sourdough hotel). Although we had to wait for 20 minutes to get a table, the steak tartare was worth it. Thanks to outdoor heating (in June!), we could sit outside and look out over the pretty square. Söder is supposed to be the edgy, bohemian part of Stockholm, but it just feels too proper if you compare it with London’s grubby Shoreditch. The kids do look cool though.

At night we stayed closer to our hotel and, after a friend’s recommendation, we were told to go to Vassa Eggen. The steakhouse has a really nice menu with Swedish, American, Japanese and Latin influences. I wanted to eat all.

Fortunately, as the prices are so high in Stockholm you can’t eat it all. Maybe that’s why you rarely see any obese people around! We ordered chargrilled giant prawns and an interesting and elaborate ‘lamb sandwich’ for starters and then we went all in for steak. The fillet was enormous and butter soft, but must’ve had a ton of sea salt sprinkled over it as I was parched until the next day.

During our last day we went to a café-cum-art space-cum-shop and the Italian finally got some proper coffee. The day before he had been served coffee in a glass (because it’s oh-so trendy) and he looked at it with disgust. There are few ways you can insult Italians more than through food. And also, I just found out, by chequered shirts.

Snickarbacken 7 serves delicious sandwiches (if they only could make such fresh sandwiches in England) and is a nice little pitstop as you walk around the tempting shops in the area. I wanted to take the Italian to my favourite outdoor café Rosendals Trädgård, but unfortuately we didn’t have time. This is a place, a green house actually, where I always go with my mum and its location is gorgeous. It’s also a nursery, so you’re surrounded by plants and flowers.

Something I’ve also always wanted to do is to go on a cruise in the archipelago. With Stockholm, I still have so much more to explore and that won’t be covered in 2 days. But it seems that the Italian wouldn’t mind going back, although as we took off and sat on the plane he threw out a sentence I never thought I would hear from him: “Next time I want to see the forest and wilderness”. Moose safari it is then.

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