For our 11th wedding anniversary, John and I went to Stockholm! Sans kids!! We love this city so so much. The people, the proximity to nature, the culture -- we're drawn to it. I first visited a few years ago when we took the kids to visit John's family outside of Gothenburg. I was immediately struck by the attention to detail everywhere - street signs, 7-Eleven cups and napkins (their branding is so much better there), toilet paper packaging. I'd never experienced anything like it. Good design was everywhere. I knew I'd be back for a solo / creative trip. We used our anniversary as an excuse to make it happen. And it was incredible. Here, a few highlights* from our trip.
*Not a highlight, but worth noting: we'd never flown without the three kids and certainly never traveled anywhere with a massive ocean separating us. And I'm a terrible flyer. This all seemed to come flooding to the forefront of my brain at the very moment the airplane door closed and locked. I had a full-on meltdown and cried into my airplane pillow until we took off, all the while texting my sister to take care of the kids if anything happened. (She kindly texted me back and forth one hundred times.) Meltdown City. But after that, I was fine. :)
Back to the highlights!
Artipelag. A stunning mix of art, activities and archipelago. This walkway leads you along the rocky coast to the main entrance. They have a gallery, a beautiful cafe and nature trails to the water's edge. It's paradise for the whole family, and it's at the top of our list of all-time favorite places.
We didn't get to Moderna Museet this time, but I do love it there.
We went to Fotografiska - the photography museum - for the first time. Beautiful building, work, and of course, cafe (above) with an incredible view of the water.
This really should be under Places to Visit because it's such thrill to just experience this legendary interior design shop in person. Svenskt Tenn was founded in 1924 by Estrid Ericson, who recruited Josef Frank to the company ten years later. Together they created an elegant and boldly pattern interior lifestyle that you feel in your bones as soon as you walk in the door.
Fabric by the yard. We bought a yard of two designs. It took us over an hour to decide.
Birch trays - very popular in Sweden. Many are made with the actual fabric. Newer versions are made with digital prints, but I much prefer the fabric ones because they're all a little different, depending on how the material gets cut.
The tablescapes + room displays at Svenskt Tenn, as you can imagine, are works of art. So many beautiful combinations of pattern, color + texture. Each space in the shop incorporated a natural element - some were composed bouquets, others were dried branches - all equally fitting for the setting and gorgeous.
They have a Tea Room upstairs, so I made a reservation ahead of time. What a treat to sit down in this beautiful space, next to the once-office of Estrid Ericson. I was pinching myself the entire time.
There was so much to take in here.
How great is this bathroom?
I thought this was such a beautiful radiator cover / window sill detail (below). We have no need for them, but if you do, take notes here. So pretty!
I could share 100 more photos from Svenskt Tenn, but pretty sure "radiator cover" is a good time to stop. :)
Other places in Stockholm that are fun to shop / experience: Filippa K, Hope, Manos, Grandpa, Granit, Designtorget, and the regular ol grocery store with pretty packaged beauty products and self-serve candy.
It's a Saturday tradition for little kids in Sweden to get sweets. Every grocery store (even many gas stations) has self-serve candy. Our kids (obviously) love this. We brought back a bag for each of them. They were over the moon.
Speaking of food. We had some really delicious Food + Drinks while in Stockholm:
If you got our last newsletter, you may have noticed I included Ett Hem interior designer Else Crawford in my link picks. I adore her work, so I knew we had to check out the beautiful boutique hotel for a meal since we weren't staying there. I could have moved right in. The perfect mix of comfort and beauty. It really felt like "ett hem" - a home.
We sat at the communal table in the hotel kitchen, which felt like a kitchen in someone's house. They cooked behind our seats. A few guests came in to help themselves to cake from the sideboard table. A Swedish American family sat next to us. We told them our food preferences and ate what they served us. It was perfect.
One night, we ate at Stockholm's first vegetarian fine dining restaurant, Rutabaga, and we looooved it. Many of the tables for two are designed for guests to sit on the same side of the table, which I found very romantic!
We had a margarita-esque cocktail that included olive oil as an ingredient, and we've been trying to make it ever since we got back. Still not quite there, but so close! I'll be sure to share our recipe when we get it right!
We also had great cocktails at Pharmarium in Gamla Stan - the old town.
We went to Omnipollo's Hatt one afternoon for lunch. It has such a great vibe - yummy pizza and beer (from their brewery Omnipollo) and super cool interior design. Almost everything in the restaurant has a marbled, handmade effect - the plates, the wall tiles, the glass globe lighting, even the floor - and was custom made for the space by local artists. It all feels very groovy and very cool, and I'm super into it. See a slideshow of interior images here. Inspiring!
Since we were there in the fall, it was a little too chilly to really take advantage of the archipelago, but that's a no-brainer for summer trips here. We have taken the ferry out with the kids and spent all day at the beach, trying to catch crabs on the rocks. It's not to be missed!
I'd love to know other Stockholm recommendations if you have them! OR other cities you love for inspiration. Leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thanks for reading!