Sweden, Travel
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Stockholm and Åre

I arrived home from a wonderful holiday in Sweden at the weekend. We flew to Stockholm, had a whole day of shopping and then got the sleeper train up to the skiing resort Åre where we skied for 5 days before taking the sleeper train back to Stockholm for another day in the city.

Having only come back from Australia 6 weeks ago, it was a shock to the system to suddenly be in a city that is -14 degrees. We trudged around stopping occasionally in little shops just to warm ourselves. It was absolutely freezing. Then we were in for even more of a shock – when we arrived in Åre it was -25degrees but it was such a beautiful place that I could forgive it!

This holiday was certainly not a foodie holiday. When I say this, I mean that I wasn’t able to snoot out the best foodie destinations and this was because there aren’t many in Åre and I wasn’t in Stockholm for long enough! We did however eat a LOT in the form of home cooked meals in the apartment that we stayed in.

The foodie hi-light of Åre was the bakery selling amazing breads and pastries (it was a bit expensive though) and the delicious hot chocolates with whipped cream that were available in every mountain restaurant and cafe and because of this I looked forward to my daily 11.30(ish)am stop. We ate lunch in one of the restaurants on the first day and it was really really bad. We ordered what was supposed to be a goulash soup but what came looked to me like the remnants of a cup-a-soup with left over boiled potatoes and a bit of caraway seed added in for good measure. Not a good start.

We stopped for lunch a couple more days and thankfully the food was much better. I had a burger in one delightful mountain restaurant with a view to die for. Sorry that I didn’t get a picture of the food here! The next time we stopped, we ordered the traditional Swedish dish of ‘meat and potatoes’, which was slightly cold when it arrived at our table and to be honest was relatively bland but just what we needed to warm us up for the duration of the day. We also ordered a fantastic cheese and ham toastie.

One evening we attempted to eat out at a local restaurant called Madonna’s but upon arrival were told that there was no table (even though there were a couple free and a group of people that arrived after us were seated straight away, not having booked either) and it took them about 15 minutes to take our order for take away and a further 15 minutes to deliver it. Then when we got back to the apartment, they had got two of the pizzas wrong! Still, they were delicious and they offered two free pizzas the next day, which we ate on the sleeper train back to Stockholm.

We arrived back in Stockholm at 7am and we desperately needed somewhere to go for breakfast as none of the shops open until 11am. We found a great little place called Louie Louie in the trendy Sodermalm district and ordered some fantastic hot chocolates and toasties. The breakfast options seem a little limited in Sweden. You can get great pastries and I was happy to stick to a cinnamon one but the others in my group were after some hot options.

My foodie hi-light of the whole holiday was a little bakery called Fabrique on a nearby Sodermalm street, which sold fresh breads, cakes and pastries. I deliberately shared my toastie so that I could go past the bakery and get a cinnamon and cardamom bun. It was fantastic. It took me right back to when I visited Peter’s Yard in Edinburgh and was wowed by the Cardamom bun that I had there. I have the recipe so I’m going to have a go at making it myself at home soon.

One of the most amazing things that we did in Åre was go carting…….. on ice! The river freezes over completely in the winter and they create a go carting track that you race around on, trying your hardest not to slide all over the place. Completely surreal – I wish I could do it again!

I’d love to go back and visit both Stockholm and Åre in the summer time – I bet it’s absolutely beautiful.

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