EMMAS DESIGNBLOGG

Design and style from a Scandinavian perspective

My Södermalm - Brandstationen and Delikatessen

 
 
Time for the next two stops on mine and photographer Charlotte Schmidt Olsen's walk around Södermalm! Today we visit vintage shop Brandstationen and restaurant Delikatessen, enjoy!
 
 
 
 
 
Delikatessen is a small French bistro style restaurant with beautiful and extremely romantic interiors. I love to stop by there on warm summer evenings when the big doors are open to the street, usually just for a glass of apple cider and a chat with the friendly staff.
 
Just next doors you will find a vintage shop called Brandstationen, located in an old fire station, full of carefully selected furniture and accessories from different eras.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

My Södermalm - Artek and Fabrique

 
 
Since I love my neighbourhood so much and think that it's the best, coolest and coziest area in Stockholm, I want to share it with you! So I invited Danish photographer Charlotte Schmidt Olsen to join me for a couple of days, just walking around the streets and visiting some of my favourite shops, restaurants and cafés. She took hundreds of pictures so I will divide them into several posts, starting today with our visits to Artek and Fabrique.
 
Welcome to my Södermalm!
 
 
 
The Artek showroom is located on Repslagargatan 11, and it carries much more than their own collection. You will find Japanese paper products, perfumes from Commes des Garcons, handmade brushes from Iris Hantverk and many other nice things here.
 
 
 
 
Fabrique is a chain of bakeries, and they make the most delicious sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls. Right now they are selling a rhubarb crumble roll that is amazing, actually I think I have to run over there immediately to get one!
 
 
 
 
 

Miss Clara - a new design hotel in Stockholm

 
 
The Nobis group, standing behind stylish hotels like Skeppsholmen, Nobis and Furillen, just opened a new hotel here in Stockholm called Miss Clara, and although I haven't been there yet (spent the last week in Iceland, but more about that later) I must say it looks extremely promising from the press photos!
 
The 92-room hotel is housed in the former Ateneum girls’ school building, erected in 1910. The building was designed by architects Hagström & Ekman and is considered one of Stockholm’s most exquisite Art Nouveau edifices. The old girls’ school has been transformed into an elegant and comfortable international business hotel by Wingårdhs, one of Sweden’s leading and most internationally renowned architecture firm, under the leadership of architect Gert Wingårdh.
 
 
 
 
When designing Miss Clara, Wingårdh’s architects drew inspiration from the building’s original Art Nouveau architecture, distinguished by its soft and graceful organic lines and use of solid natural materials. Characteristic traits in the original architecture have been interpreted into new contemporary expressions. The interiors feature many specially designed and crafted furniture pieces and installations in solid, superior quality natural materials of predominantly Swedish origin, such as limestone, oak, bentwood, and natural leather. The color scheme is orchestrated in sophisticated darker notes on the floor level, with white walls and ceilings that emphasize the openness of the rooms.
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

The Asplund Stockholm Store

 
 
Speaking about Asplund (in my previous post), our last stop on the Design Bloggers United Stockholm Tour was at their store. Asplund had invited us for dinner together with three of their talented designers, so we got to spend our Friday night in beautiful surroundings, indulging in a delicious Turkish buffet, listening to interesting stories from Anya Sebton, Eva Lilja Löwenhielm and Johan Ridderstråle about their design process and inspirations. A wonderful end to our tour!
 
 
 
 
These pictures were taken by Riikka Kantinkoski//Weekdaycarnival during our evening there. As you can see, the whole store is full of inspiring still lifes, built from the best of Scandinavian and international contemporary design objects and furniture.
I just read a very interesting article in the latest issue of Residence about the story behind Asplund, how it all started as a gallery for art and design, and how it developed along the way into becoming something of an institution in the Swedish design scene and a must-see on top of the list of every design oriented Stockholm tourist. I was also very happy to learn that the entire Asplund Collection is produced in Sweden, something that is very rare these days when factories and workers in other parts of the world are so much cheaper to use. You can enjoy the full article here (in Swedish).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Visiting DRY Things showroom/office

 
 
About a week ago I met up with photographer Mikael Axelsson again, to visit the combined showroom of DRY Things and office for Dry Creative Projects. They happen to be located in the house where I grew up, so it was a fun experience to see the place again, and step inside what once used to be a small upholstering workshop, and later on an umbrella repair shop, now turned into a beautiful workspace for this creative design team.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dry Creative Projects is a creative studio with focus on creative direction, art direction and design, and they launched their own brand and webshop DRY Things out of a great passion for graphic design, product design and packaging. The quality is high, the design is simple and classic, the materials are all natural and age with grace. These factors make their objects likely to become go-to favourites which will be used every day, possibly making some of those everyday moments a little more beautiful...
 
 
 
 
 
"We like things that makes a difference, that someone has put their heart into. We create things from our own way of living, from a genuine interest in beautiful sustainable objects. Things that we like to have around us. Things that can be inspired by the past but created for the future. We will constantly present new things in our web store. Many things. But we let them take their time. Slow things.

We are a creative design team that work by ourselves or together with our friends that share our philosophy. Our ambition is to produce locally and use only ecological processes and sustainable materials."


 
 

Ps. If you are interested in getting this feature for your magazine, we have many more great images, just contact Mikael to see the contact sheets.

 

 


Landet Järna - A city shop for wild flowers

 
 
As soon as I saw this little shop in a picture on instagram, I knew I had to make a visit, and during a lunch next doors with photographer Mikael Axelsson, he spotted it too so we agreed to meet there asap for a photo session.
 
Landet Järna is a small shop for wild flowers and plants from the forests outside of Stockholm, and if you like, you can get the vintage lab bottles they are displayed in as well. Since they are following the seasons of the Swedish nature, the range of what you will find on their shelves varies greatly throughout the year. When I was there it was all about branches, tiny oak trees, lingonberry bushes, ferns, and dried flowers hanging from the ceiling or pressed and arranged into framed artworks. I heard they will also be offering bulbs of different kinds and organic Lily of the valley closer to the holidays.
 
 
 
 
Landet Järna opened just a month ago by the new mall in Hornstull, and are closely connected to restaurant Linje Tio (great restaurant by the way, do try it out if you are there) not only through the open space that they share but also by displaying their flowers on the restaurant's tables, and on weekends you can sit by the marble bar in the flower shop sipping exclusive cocktails from the mixologists at Linje Tio.
 
 
 
 
Photographer: Mikael Axelsson
 
 
 
 

Stockholms Fotoantikvariat, a shop for rare and used photography books

 
 
I don't know if you remember this picture from my Instagram that I posted here a couple of weeks ago? I promised that I would go back there with a proper photographer so that I could share this very special place with you. I kept my promise!
 
Last Friday I met up with Mikael Axelsson (the photographer behind these lovely pictures from the home of the man behind Artilleriet) at Stockholms Fotoantikvariat and got to work. Well, mostly Mikael. I was rather just pointing at things I wanted him to shoot, and chatting with Karl-Erik Jagare, the owner of this inspiring place.
 
The shop is full of interesting little details, and I love the raw concrete floor that together with the aged, but very pretty, glass ceiling and the seemingly unorganized piles of books everywhere, creates a wonderful and relaxed atmosphere. The huge bookshelf is filled with hundreds of amazing photo books, and I could stand there for hours just flipping through book after book. I can really recommend this shop if you are in Stockholm, for inspiration, gift shopping (for yourself or a loved one) or just to chat with Karl-Erik and hear one of his many stories about the photographers whose work he is selling. There are also ever changing exhibitions here, showing both big names and promising up-and-coming talents. If you are not in town, you are in luck anyway, because there is a webshop!
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 

Stockholm Guide 2012

Finally! I've been meaning to update my Stockholm Guide for a while now, but never really found the time. So I figured, instead of reworking my old guide, I'll just make a new short guide with some of my newest favorites, as an addition to the bigger guide I wrote last year. So for the full tour, please check out the Stockholm Guide 2011 where you can read more about where to stay, which museums to visit and what to see.

I'm making this little Stockholm Guide update in the form of a list, in no particular order. Enjoy!


1. Ett Hem, a small luxury design hotel in a quiet, uptown part of town, designed by Ilse Crawford to make it feel like a private home. As usual, Ilse creates perfection. It's a lovely place, with all the right details to make it feel like a wonderful home away from home, where you would like to invite your friends over for dinner, or stay in for the night, curled up in an armchair in the library.

Ett Hem


2. Restaurant AG, for all the meat lovers out there. Hidden away in a scruffy street in Kungsholmen, this is a gem for those of you, who like me, love to get a great quality steak now and again. They were awarded with the prize "Best Meat Restaurant 2012" and also won an award for their great bar. AG is run by the same owners as Rolfs Kök, one of my oldest favorites, and the service levels are just as excellent, and so is the relaxed atmosphere.

Restaurant AG (picture via Condé Nast Traveller)


3. Fabrique, for the nice interiors and the great sourdough bread and pastries. This is a chain of bread shops spread all over town, with an annex on the beautiful island of Gotland.
Fabrique


4. Flux Shop, a really cool shop selling art in all shapes and forms, and also hosting some nice events like talks and dinners (Once a month 12 people are invited. Every participant signs up with an ingredient and a subject they’d like to discuss during the dinner. Traditional subjects as family, work and home are banned for this evening.) A lot going on at their website as well.

Flux


5. Gastrologik, exclusive new nordic cuisine, with global inspirations, made with very carefully chosen ingredients, also available to buy in their deli next doors. Ps. Don't miss the bathroom.

Gastrologik (Photo: Architect Jonas Lindvall)


6. Talent Gallery, artistic and commercial space in central Stockholm that provides exhibition and retail opportunities for emerging graphic designers and illustrators from all over the world. Also a printshop.

Talent Gallery


7. Restaurant Volt, describing themselves as "Stockholm's first gastro bistro", which basically means they are a luxury restaurant with a relaxed mind set. I would say that they are very inspired by Danish Noma (crowned as the world's best restaurant three years in a row now), and the food is quite experimental. Nice and homely interiors, mostly in black.

Volt


8. Sthlm Design District is an area on the west side of Södermalm with 33 well established brands in the design, textile and furniture industry. If you are a hardcore Scandi design lover, take a walk around the showrooms and shops.

Montana, Sthlm Design District


9. Restaurant Mistral, organic, locally produced ingredients carefully turned into set menus of nordic style dishes, determined by what is available that day. Located a little bit outside of the city center, but worth the trip.

Mistral


10. Centralbadet, if the weather is bad but you still want to take a swim, you should try a bath and perhaps a spa treatment in this beautiful Jugend style building from 1904. There is also a roof terrace with an outdoor gym, a healthy restaurant and a small but very pretty park outside.

Centralbadet


11. Scandic Grand Central, not just a wonderfully designed hotel with excellent service (and a free room for bloggers!), but also a very happening place at night with lots of great concerts, dj's and clubs. The lobby and café are great for daytime meetings, and in the evening I enjoy the stylish restaurant or the lively bar.

Scandic Grand Central


12. My latest crush, Vigårda, is a fastfood barbeque restaurant run by one of Sweden's top chefs, Melker Andersson. It's stylish, tasty, cheap and mostly organic and locally produced. Located in the newly opened MOOD mall in the city centre.

Vigårda


That's it for now! Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!

Scandi Bohemian apt for rent

If you are visiting Stockholm and like the idea of renting a vacation apartment instead of staying in a hotel, I think you should check out City Living Apt. It's a site full of Stockholm apartments for short term rent. The Scandinavian Boho styled home below, located in the SoFo area, is only one of many stylish apartments I found while browsing their site.




Stockholm Guide 2011

I'd like to present my updated Guide to Stockholm, with lots of new places to experience! I know many of you have been waiting for this, so here you go!

These are my personal favorites, and I'm skipping the more traditional guide book spots as I figure you can just get a book for that. I have moved to the countryside outside of Stockholm since I wrote my last guide, so in some ways I feel like I'm a tourist in my own hometown now… Every time I go into town I find something new that wasn't there the last time, and I don't know if that's a sign that I'm losing touch with the city, or just that Stockholm is a vibrant and ever-changing city. I hope for the latter. Enough babbling now, on to the guide!

Södermalm is my favorite area in Stockholm. This part of town used to be for the working class, not-so-hip people. That has all changed in the last decades, and Söder is now Stockholm's trendiest area, very bohemian chic and full of cute little hipster kids. It's a great place to go barhopping or shopping, or just do some people watching in one of the many parks. The two most happening areas are the SoFo area around Nytorget and the blocks around Mariatorget, you will find that most of my tips are located around these spots. There is also a nice area called Hornstull in the western parts of Södermalm.


Eat and drink

Morfar Ginko and Pappa Ray Ray, a very nice restaurant and cava bar with lots of cool dj's and clubs, and a ping pong table. Swedenborgsgatan 13.


Debaser Slussen, a restaurant/bar with clubs, concerts with popular artists and a big outdoor area in the sun. There's another Debaser at Medborgarplatsen, also on Södermalm.




Södra Teatern, beautiful old house with a great big terrace with Stockholm's best view and some great clubs and concerts. Mosebacke Torg 1-3.

Snotty, small and crowded indie rock/pop bar. Hip but relaxed. Skånegatan 90.

Trädgården, café and clubs under the Skanstull bridge, Hammarby Slussväg 2


Samba Sushi, the best sushi in town. Götgatan 28.

Hermans, for the spectacular view of Stockholm and for their delicious vegetarian lunch buffet. Fjällgatan 23b.

Urban Deli, probably the only combined grocery shop, seafood bar and restaurant in Stockholm. And a very nice one at that! Nytorget 4.


Nyfiken Gul, a charming place by the water where you can barbeque your own choice of meat for dinner, and order some nice side dishes to go with it. Hammarby Slussväg 15.



Fika


Coffice, a mix between a café and an office for freelance workers needing a space to use their laptop and have meetings, or for anyone craving some nice coffee. Tjärhovsgatan 5.


Copacabana, a nice and queer-friendly café by the water in Hornstull, serving great smoothies, pastries and sandwiches. Hornstulls Strand 3. Next door is Bio Rio, a little movie theatre in a beautiful 1940's building with all the nice details preserved.



Vurma started out as a café and bakery and is now a whole chain of nice cafés all over town and even a restaurant with a bar hosting dj's and live bands. Friendly staff and excellent sandwiches! Check their site for addresses.

Chokladfabriken makes incredibly tasty choolate. Renstiernas gata 12.

Rival is a café, hotel, bakery, bistro, bar, conference centre and theatre located on Mariatorget. The outdoor tables are an excellent place for people watching in the afternoons.


Shop

If you would like to buy your own groceries and cook them yourself, Cajsa Warg is a good choice for organic groceries. They also sell readymade picnicbags that you can take with you to the park Vitabergsparken next to the store. Renstiernas gata 20.




Across the street on Renstiernas gata 27 is organic food manufacturer Saltå Kvarn's shop. They have the best packaging, so the shop is very nice, and the food is excellent.

When it comes to fashion, I like the Swedish brands Filippa K, Monki, Weekday, Nudie Jeans, Acne and Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair. All these brands are available in the SoFo area or on Götgatsbacken, a part of Götgatan full of great shops!

Brandstationen, vintage furniture and accessories in an old fire station. Krukmakargatan 22.



Papercut, a great shop for magazines, dvd's and books. If you are lusting after Nesting by Cilla Ramnek and Pia Ulin, also called "The Swedish version of The Selby", this is the place to get it. Don't miss the neighbouring stores Nitty Gritty and Our Legacy. Krukmakargatan 24-26


Granit, for all sorts of storage, from glass jars to clothes racks. They also sell basic houseware products like drinking glasses, candles, towels etc. Everything is kept in a simple style within a natural color range.


KIKI, selling design products made by skilled Japanese craftsmen and ecological green tea. Renstiernas gata 41


Konst-ig, the largest independent art bookseller in Scandinavia. Åsögatan 124. There is also a great online shop here.

Grandpa, a mix of fashion and interiors. Last year they added a basement full of carefully selected vintage items like old lab bottles, school chairs and biology posters, a real treasure trove! Södermannagatan 21.

Manos is ceramicist Karin Eriksson's shop where she sells, besides her own goods, a nice mix of design and crafts. Renstiernas gata 22.

Fotografiska, Stockholm's photography museum that opened last year always has great exhibitions, and a nice little museum shop as well where you can buy posters and postcards. Stadsgårdshamnen 22.




Norrmalm and Östermalm are two more uptown areas (but with busy commercial areas too) usually divided into several smaller districts, but I don't hang out there too much, meaning I don't have so many places to write about from those areas, so I just combined them into one category here.


Eat and drink

Restaurang B.A.R. run by the same prized cooks and gastronomic visionaries who started Lux, one of Stockholm's very best restaurants. Restaurang Bar's fish and seafood focused menu is in a much lower pricerange though, and the interiors are minimalist industrial chic with a touch of Parisian bistro. Blasieholmsgatan 4A.


Ramen Ki-Mama, for the best ramen dishes in town. The interiors don't look like much, except for the funny huge whale on the wall, but you can concentrate on the food instead, or go for take away. Budget friendly! Birger Jarlsgatan 93

Rolfs Kök, a Stockholm classic where the food, cocktails and service are always excellent. Small place with a relaxed atmosphere and an open kitchen where you see the chefs cooking your meals. Designed by Jonas Bohlin och Thomas Sandell in the 1990's, but the interiors are still holding up quite well in my opinion. Tegnérgatan 41.



Hjerta, rustic Swedish country food with French influences served in a former shipyard on the small island of Skeppsholmen. Slupskjulsvägen 28 B.

Svartengrens, a brand new restaurant opening in May 2011, with a focus on good quality, locally produced meat. I haven't been there myself yet, but from what I've heard, both the food and the interiors are great. Tulegatan 24.



Shop

Asplund, for the best of modern Scandinavian style. Sibyllegatan 31.


Design House Stockholm is full of products in the essentially Scandinavian style with clean lines and pale colours, focused on function and sustainability. Smålandsgatan 11.

Pärlans konfektyr makes and sells delicious handmade oldfashioned toffee with flavours like seasalt or candied ginger. The shop/workshop is decorated completely in 1930's style, and the cute shop assistants/toffee makers are all kitted out in matching 30's outfits. Artillerigatan 56.



Nunc is a tiny store/showroom on Vikingagatan 15, only open on Fridays and Saturdays, with a great mix of industrial, vintage and modern pieces, and also a great webshop.


Mor Karin is a children's shop with stylish clothes and interior products. Tegnérgatan 6.



Snickarbacken 7, interiors, art, clothes and coffee in an old stable.


Cow parfymeri is THE place to go for excellent skin care and make up products that you won't find anywhere else in Stockholm. They also sell some of my favourite perfumes. Mäster Samuelsgatan 9.

Byredo, super hyped Swedish scented candles and perfumes. I love them! Mäster Samuelsgatan 6.



Dusty Deco has Stockholm's best selection of vintage furniture. Östhammarsgatan 69.



And lastly my favourite museums, Moderna museet (modern art museum) and Arkitekturmuseet. They are both in the same building on Skeppsholmen. The exhibitions are always well curated and are usually quite interesting, but what I like the most is the shop and the café and restaurant with a view. They serve brunch here on weekends. Don't miss it.



Hotels:

Nobis Hotel, designed by CKR, one of the most well known Swedish architect and design firms. This hotel oozes understated luxury and is located in a beautiful old bank building from the late 1800's in the most central parts of town. Read more in my post about Nobis here.



Berns Hotel, I wrote a whole post on this hotel last year, and to this date, it's the best hotel I've stayed in. It's stylish, has a great location and very serviceminded staff. And the breakfast is to die for! You can read the post I did on Berns Hotel here.


Story Hotel, with interiors inspired by worn down New York restaurants and chic bohemian hotels in Paris, mixed with the spirit of the progressive musicians and artists that used to live in the building. Add a wonderful restaurant to that, and you have greatness. To see more pics and read more about Story, visit my old post here.


Hotell Skeppsholmen is another one of CKR's projects. This hotel is environmentally friendly, the staff's clothes are designed by the Swedish brand Acne, the bathroom products are from Byredo who also designed a special signature scent for the hotel and it's located in a historical building from 1699 right by the water. I haven't tried it myself, but it sure sounds nice, doesn't it?


As of October 2011, Stockholm will get a new design hotel called Scandic Grand Central, located right next to the central station. I can't tell you much about it yet, but I'll update this post when I know more.



There are more locations mentioned in my previous guide from 2009, so take a look here for other nice places! Just be aware that I haven't updated it, so the places I mention there may have moved or closed, so please check that up before you decide to visit them.

I hope you enjoyed this guide and that it will be useful for those of you visiting Stockholm in the nearest future!

Nobis Hotel

Yesterday I was at a press show for Stockholm's newest design hotel called Nobis Hotel, opening on December 1. Located in the city center with just a few minutes walk to the central station, and everything you need just around the corner (including Riche, one of my favorite restaurants in that area), and with a great view of the busy square in front of the hotel.

I had expected this luxury hotel designed by prominent design trio Claesson Koivisto Rune to be very sophisticated but also a bit boring and cold. It was sophisticated for sure, but also very warm and welcoming! The house is an old bank building from the late 1800's (actually this is the bank where the famous "Norrmalmstorgs robbery" was held in 1973 and so the birth place of the Stockholm Syndrome!) with loads of wonderful details like intricate stucco, wood panels and patterned ceilings, and the architects have managed to balance that with more modern and cleanlined furnishing, without making it clash. The rooms and corridors are all painted in matte warm grey hues, including the ceilings and trims, and curtains in the same hue, which produces a feeling of calmness and understated luxury.

I could write a whole lot more, going on and on about the restaurants with Stockholm's top chefs, the hi-tech solutions that are hidden everywhere in the hotel, the amazing service levels that will be offered to guests, and so on and so on. But I won't. This blog is more about pictures and feelings, so if you want more hard facts, just click over to the Nobis Hotel site.

Stockholm's smallest museum, the clock room, with an old mechanical clock from the 1800's. An amazing room, I loved seeing all the little brass wheels, pistons and other mechanical parts still doing their job. This clock is actually rather special because it's not a pendular clock, but a circular one, meaning the pointers on the clock move in a smooth motion instead of ticking minute by minute.

The ceiling of the atrium is just one example of the great meetings between old and modern.

One of the rooms, with grey walls, ceilings and curtains. I might be modern and cleanlined, but I promise, it felt very warm and welcoming in person.

The bedroom of the Nobis Suite. Super luxury and lots of shiny surfaces, without feeling bling.


Berns Hotel, Stockholm

This is a busy week for me as I'm working with Lotta Agaton on a photoshoot during the days, and decorating an apartment for a client in the evenings. Since I live in the countryside 65 km north of Stockholm with buses leaving every two hours, it can be quite a project to get to the city center in the morning (and even worse in the evening when there are no buses at all!) so I was very happy to get the opportunity to stay at Berns Hotel for the night!


I got a big room with a great view through the floor to ceiling windows and an enormous private roof terrace. It was decorated with lots of stylish furniture and great lighting, and on the sofa table was a pile of interesting magazines. But the best part was probably the bath tub, since I don't have a tub at home, so taking a bath is really the height of luxury to me!
Another lovely thing was the breakfast, with the best buffet I've had in years. It really had it all, from fresh sourdough bread and any topping you can imagine, a big tray of fresh fruit and different kinds of juice,  to chocolates and cinnamon rolls. And everything in between.


I can truly recommend Berns Hotel if you ever need a place to stay in Stockholm. It's right in the city center within walking distance of everything, and the rooms and building are beautiful. The lobby also works as an art gallery (during my stay the walls were covered with black and white photos of glamourous naked smoking women.) And last but not least, the reception staff were so cute, they looked like 16 year old fashion models, but were really nice and competent.


Restaurang Bar

There is a new restaurant in town, called Restaurang Bar, run by the same prized cooks and gastronomic visionaries who started Lux, one of Stockholm's very best restaurants. Restaurang Bar's fish and seafood focused menu is in a much lower pricerange though, and the interiors are very minimalist industrial chic with a touch of Parisian bistro. White tiles, black spotlights and chairs and white and grey floors are matched with bare wood, a fifties dirty pastel hue of turqoise and stainless steel. I'm dying to go, it looks like it could be just my kind of place!

 


Hotel Story, Stockholm

I'm still in that zombie like state that comes from no sleep, no time to eat and no talking to other grown ups for weeks... But I did find time yesterday to read some blogs, and I found this post on the blog Solid Frog about a new to me design hotel in Stockholm, and I thought it looked too good to not post here as well.

The hotel is called Story, and it's situated right in the city center, in the "posh" neighbourhood called Östermalm. It's filled with modern art, due to a collaboration with Wonderwall, a Swedish company specializing in affordable art prints from cool artists. Between the lobby and bar they have tucked a small boutique with carefully chosen clothing labels  and accessories from Milan and New York. And of course, the rooms are to die for!

"The philosophy of Story Hotel is to combine design and innovation with an attractive location in downtown Stockholm. Our mission is to offer a smart, stylish and new kind of hotel for today's traveler."


My Stockholm Guide 2009

Somehow the Stockholm guide I wrote two summers ago seems to have disappeared. Very strange. I found the post in my archives, and updated it a bit, and now I'm posting it again, and hopefully it will stay put this time! While rereading it, I realized their are a whole bunch of cafés in the guide, but you know how we are, us Swedes with our fika, right?
Ok, here we go again:

First I'd like to recommend Skansen on Djurgården, the oldest open-air museum in the world, with lots of old houses and Scandinavian animals. It is a really nice place, I take my children there several times every year and we never get tired of it. Our favourite part is the tiny town, where there are a bunch of small shops, a café, bakery, glass blowing hut, pharmacy etc. looking just like they did in the old days. All of them are open and fully functioning!

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Old style food store at Skansen

To get to Skansen, take a ferry from Slussen, it is a nice way to get to see Stockholm from the water. On the way back, get off at Skeppsholmen for a nice walk into town, and a visit at the Modern Museum. The museum has a great shop with lots of contemporary Swedish design, and a fantastic lunch restaurant that you really shouldn't miss! It has a great view of Stockholm, lovely food, in the weekends they are serving brunch, and on Sundays even a special brunch for the kids.

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The restaurant and the museum shop at the Modern Museum

Also on Djurgården is Junibacken, an entertainment park for kids, based on the books by Astrid Lindgren. You can visit the houses of some of her characters (and a few characters from other Swedish childrens books), ride a little train through a fairytale setting, have pancakes in the cute café and of course play, play and play some more.


Junibacken

Speaking of brunch earlier, I just remembered I had one of my greatest brunches ever at restaurant Grill, but the restaurant is also a popular choice for lunch or dinner. Run by Swedish star chef Melker Andersson, the food is always excellent! The restaurant is decorated like a huge livingroom, with different seating options in several styles all over the place. Very nice! Grill is also a good option if you have kids with you, since it is quite a lively place, and no one will mind if your children run among the tables.


Interior of restaurant Grill

And if you have kids you will probably want to do some shopping in Stockholm's coolest kids clothes and toy shops! These are the best ones I know:
Matador, lots of colourful clothes in soft cotton from mostly Danish brands like Molo, Ej sikke lej, Silke og Sus and Katvig.


Matador

Under, handpicked retro clothes and toys from the sixties and seventies, along with brand new stuff from young indie designers.

UNI, unisex clothing in strong colours and cool patterns with inspiration from the seventies. I love their collaboration with Swedish design group De Fyra.

One of the patterns by UNI and De Fyra

Haven, great clothes and small interior details for both you and your baby.

Kalikå, plush animals and real tools and kitchen stuff in miniature versions, free from stuffy old thoughts on gender roles.

If you are visiting in the summer, a swim in the middle of the city is a nice break from the shopping, walking and museum visits. My favourite is Långholmen, a small island between Södermalm and Kungsholmen with a sandy beach and some nice cliffs to jump into the water from.

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Take a bath at Långholmen

When you have cooled off, perhaps a coffee and some cake sounds nice? If so, walk a few hundred meters to Lasse i Parken (Lasse is a Swedish men's name, and the rest means "in the park"), a café in a red little house from the 18th century that lies in a small garden, just off the busy streets. Old fashioned, cute and often crowded. You won't find the latest trends in coffee shop culture here, but you can get ordinary coffee, lemonade, little short bread cookies and home made cinnamon rolls.

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Lasse i parken café

A short walk from there you will find Strand, a bar, restaurant, concert arena, café and all in all happening place. This is a place where you can play ping pong and flipper while you enjoy the food and/or beer, and park your kids in the kid's corner.

Strand is right by the water, and has a small café which is totally ok, but don't pause here. Instead you should go for a walk by the water, past the marina, the park and the little red cottages, to Café Tubby! This is a very relaxed outdoors café, with reggae music in the loudspeakers, hammocks suspended amongst the trees and blankets and rugs scattered on the grass where people chill out, gaze at the sea, eat blueberry pie and drink lattes. I love the atmosphere here, it feels like I'm on a backpacker's beach in Thailand!

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Café Tubby

Another café you shouldn't miss is Vurma (very loosely translated: to have a passion for something). This is my absolute favourite café in Stockholm, and I don't mind travelling all over town just to get a cup of tea here! I love everything about it, the staff are so friendly, the sandwiches are amazing, the cinnamon rolls are enormous and sooo delicious, the interior decoration is totally inspiring (retro flowered cushions, fantastic wallpapers, simple wooden furniture, high ceilings and exotic little details) and the whole mood of the place is just so encouraging and happy! Actuallly there are four Vurmas, they are all equally nice, but I think I like the one on Gästrikegatan just a little bit more.


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Vurma's baker, and a statue outside the café

If you like indie shopping and are curious about the latest Swedish trends in fashion, head to the SoFo area on eastern Södermalm. It is crowded with cool little shops like Grandpa, TjallaMalla, Nudie Jeans, Kunigunda, Lisa Larsson Second Hand, Under, Coctail, Acne Jeans, UNI and Nakkna.

Grandpa

My favourite café in the neighbourhood is Svart Kaffe. They have great sandwiches, nice interiors, and always the coolest music in town! Their outdoor seats are a great place to sit and watch the hippest people in Stockholm walking by... Or try café/vintage record shop Louie Louie, just half a block away, for some delicious chocolate cake!


The owners of Louie Louie

If you fancy something more substantial to eat, the area is full of nice restaurants, but one of my favourites is Berlin - Sthlm, where you get to choose from around twenty small dishes to combine your own meal. The waiter will happily help you if you get confused with all the choices, and will also recommend one of their excellent wines to go with the food you have chosen. Other good restaurants in these blocks are Snotty (just across the street from Berlin), Pet Sounds Bar, Matkultur and Mosebacke.

If you would rather buy your own food and cook it yourself, Cajsa Warg is a good choice for organic groceries. They also sell readymade picnicbags that you can take with you to the park Vitabergsparken next to the store.

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Cajsa Warg's interior, styled to look like an old village shop

For modern Swedish furniture and decorating details, go to Asplund, they sell products from the greatest designers of the moment. The store is very fresh and cleanlined, and apart from the minimalistic furniture there are some really cute and surprising little things for sale.

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Asplund

Other good shops with modern design are Granit, Designtorget, Åhléns, Lagerhaus and Stockhome.


Granit

If you are looking for place to stay, these are the hotels I'd recommend for a sleep in modern Scandinavian style:

Rival, a chic boutique hotel in one of Stockholm's trendiest neighbourhoods on western Södermalm, owned by former ABBA member Benny Andersson. In addition to the hotel they also boast a cinema, bars, a bistro, a cafe and a bakery. All rooms are decorated with an old-fashioned movie print over the bed, and are equipped with a plasma screen tv, egyptian cotton sheets, a selection of different pillows, DVD/CD player with a selection of CDs (movies and video games can be rented in the reception), wireless internet access and bathroom products from Crabtree & Evelyn.

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Hotel Rival

Birger Jarl, a hotel in one of Stockholm's most busy areas, took it's name from the City's founder. The hotel is totally decorated by the most talented Swedish designers of today. Exept for one room, the Forgotten Room, looking exactly as it did in 1974. This room, situated at the end of a corridor, was simply forgotten by the builders during the renovation, and is now kept as a reminder of the old days. It is super cool though, with teak furniture all over, black leather chairs and brass wall lights! Some of the sources of inspiration in the renovation process were Sweden's tall, slender birch trees, the traditional copper-red paint of wooden houses and good old-fashioned thoughtfulness and consideration.

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Hotel Birger Jarl

Clarion claims to be "Stockholm's art hotel no 1", which means that contemporary Nordic art can be seen in all rooms and in the public areas of the hotel, the two bars and the restaurant. The hotel also arranges live concerts with popular artists. Clarion is built on top of Söderleden, one of the largest freeways into Stockholm, and distinguishes itself with it's spectacular architecture featuring a large expanse of glass. The unifying feature of the hotel's interior - it's light background, dark base and accent colours - continues into the guest rooms, where white contrasts with dark wenge wood.

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Clarion Hotel

I hope you will find this guide useful, or perhaps just interesting if you are not planning to come here. I've only mentioned my personal favourites, so of course there is so much more worth writing about, but you will find that stuff in any travel guide... If you have any questions about Stockholm or this guide, just leave a comment or feel free to email me at emmas DOT blogg AT hotmail DOT com.

Welcome to Stockholm!

My Stockholm Guide

I read that Imelda of imedaGoze is travelling here this summer, so I started to write her an email with some tips of what she shouldn't miss while in Stockholm. But the email turned out so long I made it into a blog post instead. Maybe someone else out there can enjoy it and make use of it too!

First I'd like to recommend Skansen on Djurgården, the oldest open-air museum in the world, with lots of old houses and Scandinavian animals. It is a really nice place, I take my children there several times every year and we never get tired of it. Our favourite part is the tiny town, where there are a bunch of small shops, a café, bakery, glass blowing hut, pharmacy etc. looking just like they did in the old days. All of them are open and fully functioning!

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Old style food store at Skansen

To get to Skansen, take a ferry from Slussen, it is a nice way to get to see Stockholm from the water. On the way back, get off at Skeppsholmen for a nice walk into town, and a visit at the Modern Museum. The museum has a great shop with lots of contemporary Swedish design, and a fantastic lunch restaurant that you really shouldn't miss! It has a great view of Stockholm, lovely food, in the weekends they are serving brunch, and on Sundays even a special brunch for the kids.
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The restaurant and the museum shop at the Modern Museum

Also on Djurgården is Junibacken, an entertainment park for kids, based on the books by Astrid Lindgren. You can visit the houses of some of her characters (and a few characters from other Swedish childrens books), ride a little train through a fairytale setting, have pancakes in the cute café and of course play, play and play some more.

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Junibacken

Speaking of brunch earlier, I just remembered I had one of my greatest brunches ever at restaurant Grill, but the restaurant is also a popular choice for lunch or dinner. Run by Swedish star chef Melker Andersson, the food is always excellent! The restaurant is decorated like a huge livingroom, with different seating options in several styles all over the place. Very nice! Grill is also a good option if you have kids with you, since it is a quite lively place, and no one will mind if your children run among the tables.

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Hamburger and interior of restaurant Grill

And if you have kids you will probably want to do some shopping in Stockholm's coolest kids clothes and toy shops! These are the best ones I know:
Matador, lots of colourful clothes in soft cotton from mostly Danish brands like Molo, Ej sikke lej, Silke og Sus and Katvig.

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Matador

Under, handpicked retro clothes and toys from the sixties and seventies, along with brand new stuff from young indie designers.

UNI, unisex clothing in strong colours and cool patterns with inspiration from the seventies.

Haven, great clothes and small interior details for both you and your baby.

Birka Baby, your baby will be the most fashionable and streetcool kid on the block dressed in their clothes! They sport brands like Finger in the Nose, Cheap Monday's baby collection and Minirodini.

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Exterior and interior of Birka Baby

Numero, a small toy store on Katarina Bangata 33, full of great stuff in all price ranges. You will find everything from marbles to retro robots here.

Kalikå, plush animals and real tools and kitchen stuff in miniature versions, free from stuffy old thoughts on gender roles.

If you are visiting in the summer, a swim in the middle of the city is a nice break from the shopping, walking and museum visits. My favourite is Långholmen, a small island between Södermalm and Kungsholmen with a sandy beach and some nice cliffs to jump into the water from.

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Take a bath at Långholmen

When you have cooled off, perhaps a coffee and some cake sounds nice? If so, walk a few hundred meters to Lasse i Parken (Lasse is a Swedish men's name, and the rest means "in the park"), a café in a red little house from the 18th century that lies in a small garden, just off the busy streets. Old fashioned, cute and often crowded. You won't find the latest trends in coffee shop culture here, but you can get ordinary coffee, lemonade, little short bread cookies and home made cinnamon rolls.

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Lasse i parken café

A short walk from there you will find Street, Stockholm's only street market, with lots of cool independent designers selling their stuff, and sometimes they have a farmers market where you can buy organic fruit and vegetables, jams, bread and flowers from nearby farmers. Look at the homepage for more info on upcoming events.

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The Street market

Street is right by the water, and has a small café which is totally ok, but don't pause here. Instead you should go for a walk by the water, past the marina, the park and the little red cottages, to Café Tubby! This is a very relaxed outdoors café, with reggae music in the loudspeakers, hammocks suspended amongst the trees and blankets and rugs scattered on the grass where people chill out, gaze at the sea, eat blueberry pie and drink lattes. I love the atmosphere here, it feels like I'm on a backpacker's beach in Thailand!

image1856
Café Tubby

Another café you shouldn't miss is Vurma (very loosely translated: to have a passion for something). This is my absolute favourite café in Stockholm, and I don't mind travelling all over town just to get a cup of tea here! I love everything about it, the staff are so friendly, the sandwiches are amazing, the cinnamon rolls are enormous and sooo delicious, the interior decoration is totally inspiring (retro flowered cushions, fantastic wallpapers, simple wooden furniture, high ceilings and exotic little details) and the whole mood of the place is just so encouraging and happy! Actuallly there are to Vurmas, they are both equally nice, although the one on Gästrikegatan is a little bit bigger.

image1862image1868
Vurma's baker, and a statue outside the café

If you like indie shopping and are curious about the latest Swedish trends in fashion, head to the SoFo area on eastern Södermalm. It is crowded with cool little shops like Grandpa, TjallaMalla, Nudie Jeans, Kunigunda, Lisa Larsson Second Hand, Under, Coctail, Acne Jeans, UNI and Nakkna.

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Coctail and Kunigunda

While you are there, visit Café String, a retro inspired café where everything is for sale. So if you fall for the chair you are sitting in, the coffee cup the girl at the next table is drinking from or the paintings on the wall, just take them with you when you leave! (Well, you have to pay first, of course...)

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Café String (photo taken from http://absurditypublishing.wordpress.com)

If you fancy something more substantial to eat, the area is full of nice restaurants, but one of my favourites is Berlin - Sthlm, where you get to choose from around twenty small dishes to combine your own meal. The waiter will happily help you if you get confused with all the choices, and will also recommend one of their excellent wines to go with the food you have chosen. Other good restaurants in these blocks are Pet Sounds Bar, Matkultur and Mosebacke.

If you would rather buy your own food and cook it yourself, Cajsa Warg is a good choice for organic groceries. They also sell readymade picnicbags that you can take with you to the park Vitabergsparken next to the store.

image1838
Cajsa Warg's interior, styled to look like an old village shop

For modern Swedish furniture and decorating details, go to Asplund, they sell products from the greatest designers of the moment. The store is very fresh and cleanlined, and apart from the minimalistic furniture there are some really cute and surprising little things for sale.

image1860image1861
Asplund

Other good shops with modern design are Granit, Designtorget, Åhléns and Stockhome.


If you are looking for place to stay, these are the hotels I'd recommend for a sleep in modern Scandinavian style.

Rival, a chic boutique hotel in one of Stockholm's trendiest neighbourhoods on western Södermalm, owned by former ABBA member Benny Andersson. In addition to the hotel they also boast a cinema, bars, a bistro, a cafe and a bakery. All rooms are decorated with an old-fashioned movie print over the bed, and are equipped with a plasma screen tv, egyptian cotton sheets, a selection of different pillows, DVD/CD player with a selection of CDs (movies and video games can be rented in the reception), wireless internet access and bathroom products from Crabtree & Evelyn.

image1831image1829
Hotel Rival

Birger Jarl, a hotel in one of Stockholm's most busy areas, took it's name from the City's founder. The hotel is totally decorated by the most talented Swedish designers of today. Exept for one room, the Forgotten Room, looking exactly as it did in 1974. This room, situated at the end of a corridor, was simply forgotten by the builders during the renovation, and is now kept as a reminder of the old days. It is super cool though, with teak furniture all over, black leather chairs and brass wall lights! Some of the sources of inspiration in the renovation process were Sweden's tall, slender birch trees, the traditional copper-red paint of wooden houses and good old-fashioned thoughtfulness and consideration.

image1832image1833
Hotel Birger Jarl

Clarion claims to be "Stockholm's art hotel no 1", which means that contemporary Nordic art can be seen in all rooms and in the public areas of the hotel, the two bars and the restaurant. The hotel also arranges live concerts with popular artists. Clarion is built on top of Söderleden, one of the largest freeways into Stockholm, and distinguishes itself with it's spectacular architecture featuring a large expanse of glass. The unifying feature of the hotel's interior - it's light background, dark base and accent colours - continues into the guest rooms, where white contrasts with dark wenge wood.

image1869image1870
Clarion Hotel

I hope you will find this guide useful, or perhaps just interesting if you are not planning to come here. I've only mentioned my personal favourites, so of course there is so much more worth writing about, but you will find that stuff in any travel guide... If you have any questions about Stockholm or this guide, just leave a comment or feel free to email me at emmas DOT blogg AT hotmail DOT com.

Welcome to Stockholm!

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