I recently returned from a work trip to Stockholm and although the schedule was quite packed, I managed to do a little bit of exploring and felt like I’d at least soaked up a bit of the atmosphere of this wonderful city. We were there attending a new event ‘Way up North’, with 500 photographers all gathered from around the world to listen to some of the world’s most inspiring photographers. It was pure escapism, and as much as I learnt lots from the work event, I equally loved having some time for myself exploring a new city. I prefer heading out on foot in a new city to get a feel for how the different neighbourhoods link and spill from one to the other. We stayed in an uber-stylish and very Swedish Airbnb apartment in the heart of the SoFo district of Södermalm – 6 of us photographers all together under one roof.
On our first night my friend Helen and I couldn’t resist exploring to find a restaurant and bar and wandered for ages taking it all in. A friend of a friend had recommended a few places and usually local knowledge is great when heading out to eat in a new city. Urban Deli is located on the square Nytorget in SoFo and it provides everything you would need under one roof: it’s a restaurant, bar, bakery, grocery store and deli so ticks all the boxes. The bakery is well known for its freshly baked sourdough bread and typically Swedish pastries. The restaurant and deli stock delicious and great quality shellfish, meats, cheeses and is a food lover’s paradise. On the first night I chose a fish stew but on our last day we nipped back for a cinnamon bun and quick coffee before our flight back. Cinnamon buns are probably one of the most famous Swedish baked goods. The dough is infused with ground cardamom and cinnamon – the perfect combination.
I wondered whether cinnamon buns were only really associated with Sweden on a tourist level and that perhaps the Swedes never really ate them? Whilst in the city was lucky to be able to have a quick catch up with my friend Mimmi from our Paris days and it turns out it was the very first thing she offered me when I arrived at her place (naturally with a glass of red, rather than coffee as we hadn’t seen each other for years.) We had some serious catching up to do. Her beautiful twins clearly loved the cinnamon buns too and it was the perfect bribery whilst trying to grab a quick photo of them together. So I guess that answers that then.. Swedish people really do eat cinnamon buns. I’ve decided to make some this coming week for the blog so I’ll let you know how I get on.
Next time I head to Sweden I’m going to make sure that I take a lot more time to explore this beautiful place and I’d like to head out to the countryside too and experience the natural side of rural Sweden. I have a feeling I’ll be back pretty soon and it will most likely be next Autumn. You can’t beat the colours of a city when the leaves are changing and the light was perfect. I’m going to make it my mission to sample as many Swedish delicacies as possible on my next trip and track down the best coffee houses and cinnamon buns.