Two weeks in Sweden!

“Dig where you stand” is a popular saying in Sweden, and that’s how I’m trying to get back into the groove of writing on here after my very much unplanned (and rather long) hiatus.

So I thought I would start by looking back at my two weeks in Sweden. Show you what I got up to, and more importantly, ate!

My first supper in Sweden was a simple one, but I had craved proper (smoked) Swedish sausages for a long time, so sausages with buns and mamma’s homemade mash was perfect!

Christmas 2020, when I was in Sweden for a month (first isolating then staying with my parents) my parents and I ate so much we tried to dial it down this time, with some regular food in between the celebration dinners. And we felt much better for it! Case in point: homemade Jerusalem artichoke soup with crispy prosciutto crumbs and mamma’s homemade bread.

But we also indulged in the foods we love, like bleak roe toast and prawns! And pudding!

Our tree this year was probably the best we’ve ever had! So tall and handsome (and a lot bigger than our little London tree!).

I introduced my mamma to mince pies as I made them for the first time (on request) for our mini Christmas party in London. It’s not something I love, but this recipe with frangipane is excellent and they’re fun to make. I made them both regular size (here) and canapé sized for the party.

We had our traditional Christmas food on the 23rd, which we in Sweden call Lillejul (it translates to little Christmas) and it’s a day we’ve always celebrated in some ways. We usually see friends for glögg and when I was little we celebrated the 23rd with the same family friends every year and us children got to open a few presents (that we gave each other) early! It was really special. But these days we eat the traditional Christmas food (our favourites) that evening and have more a more festive dinner on Christmas Eve. It just suits us better.

We actually had a white Christmas this year! (Not a common thing in southern Sweden at all). It was really beautiful actually. This is the view from my bedroom and I just love it.

We opened our stockings (we only do it for fun, it’s not actually a Swedish tradition) before we had eggs, herring and other Christmassy things for lunch.

In the evening we had some nibbles and pink champagne to start off the evening.

Our Christmas Eve table!

This year we celebrated Christmas with fillet of beef, Hasselbacks potatoes (they’re Swedish you know) and homemade bearnaise sauce and for a little Christmas touch, brussels sprouts with butter and bacon.

Our pudding was very traditional, ris a’la Malta, which is basically a rice porridge (a bit looser than a rice pudding) served cold and with lots of lightly whipped cream mixed in. It’s delicious but SO heavy, I can only manage a small bowl.

Christmas Day was gorgeous so we drove to the beach for a lovely walk.

And by the time we came back home the sun was setting and the views were beautiful.

I made very decadent hot cocoas for pappa and I when we got back. With milk, real chocolate, whipped cream a plenty and marshmallows. So yummy!

We had turbot for dinner, cooked whole in the oven, with potatoes, the most delicious sauce, peas and mange tout.

One of the days after Christmas we used the leftovers to make Danish smørrebrød. It’s basically an open-faced sandwich with a small piece of bread and a lot of toppings (so you can eat more than one). It was so yummy and a genius idea as Christmas leftovers are always a bit tricky to use up (at least for us).

I had a lot of lovely family time but also met up with some friends. Sadly not as many as I had planned due to illnesses (Covid and others) but I was grateful for the ones I got to see. I had a few lovely walks (and fika) in the woods with friends, and I can’t believe I haven’t done that before. It’s so lovely to walk and talk (I always struggle to exercise when I’m home as most of my time is spent socialising and eating with friends and family), get fresh air, look at the scenery and such an easy way to see a friend. No need to book anything, dress up etc. Hope to do this more even post-pandemic!

Malmö, Sweden: Seafood Brunch at Johan P

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The Sunday before Christmas my best friend and I have each other the greatest gift; time. Almost a whole day together to just talk, laugh and hang out together. And eat of course. Because without food neither of us are particularly nice to be around.

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Too busy in the lead up to Christmas we hadn’t made a firm plan for where to eat, so when we walked past Johan P and saw that they a) were open on a Sunday (insert dance emoji) and b) were serving brunch, we thought it was meant to be.

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We settled in at our table and ordered some champagne to celebrate being together. Cheers, bestie!

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And then we started on the seafood. It was a lovely spread of fresh prawns, langoustines, king crab legs, prawns and crayfish in mayonnaise, sauces, herring, seafood paté, boiled eggs, hot and cold smoked salmon, cheese and bread.

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We sat there eating, chatting and drinking for hours and were so full of the cold stuff we didn’t have room for the warm fish and chips that was also included in the brunch.

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Everything was really nice and we loved to sample a bit of this and a bit of that as chatting away. We ordered more wine and the staff let us take our time.

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We took a little break to enjoy the wine and digest all the seafood and so enjoyed having a whole day together!

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It soon got dark and we were still there, having a jolly good time. And after our little breather we thoroughly enjoyed the pudding: a light as air deconstructed cheesecake.

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It was the perfect ending to our perfect day. Thanks, bestie!

Johan P, Hjulhamnsgatan 5, 211 34 Malmö, Sweden

Sweden: prawn sandwiches by the sea

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As you might have learnt from this blog, us Swedes LOVE seafood. I ate prawns every single Friday night through my childhood and I still love them. Like a lot.

So every chance I get to eat nice (cold water) prawns I take. Like when I was at home in Sweden in the summer and my parents suggested we try out the local café in Smyge (the most southern point in the country!) because their prawn sandwiches are talked about a lot and meant to be really good!

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So on my boyfriend’s last day visiting we had lunch there, in their cosy little garden a stone’s throw from the sea.

They offer prawn sandwiches in three different sizes and we all decided on medium as that looked pretty big to us. And what we received was the perfect specimens of a Swedish prawn sandwich. It had soft white bread that’s still sturdy enough to not go soggy, lettuce, a nice amount of mayonnaise and sliced boiled eggs and a small mountain of Atlantic prawns peeled by hand. And of course lemon, dill and tomato and cucumber slices as decoration.

So nice, and extremely filling! We only had a hot dog each for supper as we were too full to have something resembling a proper dinner. Great place!  Highly recommend. Especially when you can sit outside in the garden. Inside is quite rustic, but I can see it being cosy too.

Café Smyge, Smyge strandväg 4F, 231 78 Smygehamn, Sweden

Sweden: escaping the rain – lunch at Strandtugg

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I usually bang on about how great Swedish summers are to my London friends, and although that is completely true, we of course have some less glorious days too.

When the sky is dark and the clouds are brooding and you know the thunder and lightning are not far away. But the summer lover that I am, I refused to really believe the weather forecast and still met up with my childhood friend Henrik and his two children on the beach. Mainly because we didn’t really know what else to do!

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We managed a half an hour or so of playing in the sea and sand until the raindrops started to fall, in a rapid succession, so we packed our things and sprinted to the nearest place for shelter. Luckily the nearest place was a brand new (new for this year!) restaurant that were just about to start serving lunch. Perfect timing!

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So we installed ourselves at a table upstairs and had a lovely lunch as the storm continued outside.

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I had the weekly pasta which this particular week was tortellini with smoked salmon in a creamy sauce. It was nice-ish but nothing spectacular and I must admit I was a little disappointed and got a serious case of food envy when I saw Henrik’s Wallenbergare (basically a large meatball made with veal mince) with potato purée and lingonberries.

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He confirmed it was really good, and I know what to order next time. As we finished our lunch the storm had passed and the sun came out, so we did get that glorious sunny day after all. So we went for a walk and in search of ice cream!

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Apart from being a good place to shelter from thunder storms I could see myself sitting on the deck here drinking rosé and overlooking the beach on a balmy summer’s evening. Let’s make a plan for that next year!

Strandtugg, Östersjövägen 79, 236 36 Höllviken, Sweden

 

Sweden: pizza at Kronovalls Vinslott

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Most days I’m in Sweden I tend to socialise with friends and extended family. But I’m also trying to take some time for myself (as it is my holiday and I need to unwind just like everybody else) and to spend time with just my parents. They are so sweet and completely fit into my plans when I’m home, but just because they make it easy for me I don’t want to take them for granted. And I love spending time with them!

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So I was so happy we had a whole day (and evening) just to ourselves. The initial plan was to just hang our at home and on the beach and enjoy the lovely weather, but the weather turned so we had to come up with a plan B. At breakfast we decided to do a little roadtrip instead and although we had some ideas on where to go, we just decided to see where the day took us.

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As we drove east the weather got better (yes!) and we had such a lovely day exploring places not that far from home, but places I seldom have time to visit. Beautiful beaches and coastal villages, harbours and a few shops. And to end the trip we had dinner at the old stables at Kronovalls Vinslott, where they now serve delicious pizza. Overlooking the lovely mansion it was the perfect ending to a wonderful day!

Mamma and I had prosecco (pappa was driving) and we all had a lovely pizza each with tomato, parma ham, olives and rocket.

The menu here is very limited, but also very good. I so prefer a smaller well thought out menu than an incoherent longer one. They have one pizza, which is delicious, and a few other items on the menu. And of course, wine, soft drinks, ice cream, pastries etc. It’s sort of a hybrid of a café and a restaurant but it feels a bit more elevated because of the lovely surroundings. Highly recommend!

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Kronovalls Vinslott, 273 92 Skåne Tranås, Sweden

Malmö: dinner at cosy MJ’S

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One of the days before Christmas and New Year I met up with my childhood friend Therèse for dinner and drinks in Malmö.

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I was very curious to try MJ’S that I had heard so much about and Therèse is always up for trying new places so off we went. I actually got there early but checked with the restaurant if they could fit us in earlier and they could. In the meantime we had a drink in the bar and when our table was ready the waiter from the restaurant came to fetch us. Great service!

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The bar area is dark and cosy with big leather sofa and luxe details but the dining room has a very different vibe. It’s a large atrium with almost a Mediterranean garden vibe. Even in the middle of winter! It’s super cosy and pretty and definitely have a wow factor!

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So cute! Love the pink walls.

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The menu for the day we got there was very concise and consisted of only four dishes, either to order one by one or together as a menu. We were hungry and decided on the full menu. But with some dietary adjustments for me, which they handled very quickly and professionally. Did I say I liked the service here?

Anyway. My first dish (off menu) was this lovely aubergine with a spicy tomato mixture on top and with fluffy aioli on the side.

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The next dish was on the menu and Therèse and I shared it as planned. The perfectly cooked cod with fennel and beurre blanc was very nice but not as interesting as some other dishes.

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Like the pork cheeks with pumpkin and sea buckthorn. A very unexpected combination that totally worked. Loved this!

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The pudding course was this blueberry sorbet on blueberry compote with shaved white chocolate and nuts for texture. A nice ending to our meal.

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I really like MJ’S and can’t fault it one bit. Fine, the food isn’t mind-blowing, but it’s really nice and experienced in this lovely atmosphere it’s perfect. The menu feels accessible for all guests (we saw children and old people here as well as people our own age) – which is very important since it’s a hotel – despite being a little bit different. The service is impeccable and the ambiance lovely.

Yes, I will be back.

MJ’S, Mäster Johansgatan 13, 211 21 Malmö, Sweden

Malmö: tapas at Escama

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That Friday night in Malmö was lovely and balmy and when we arrived to Escama for dinner the outside area was of course packed. I had booked a table but the outside area was first come first serve. A shame, but I get it. So we put our names on the list and and sat down at the bar.

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And we divided our dinner into two sittings; nibbles inside at the bar and more substantial dishes outside once we got our table.

We started with some excellent jamon iberico (tapa negra) and Monte Enebro cheese. Real classics. Especially the cheese section was a little unimaginative. Nice cheeses but a very standard selection. Luckily the ham made up for it!

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It took a good while until we got seated outside, but we nibbled, drank cold Albarino and talked.

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When we sat down outside we got a different waiter, and it was like somebody had forgotten to “hand us over”. We got no attention and had to flag waiters down several times to order, ask for side plates and so on. Really not fun when we were finally going to order the main part of the meal.

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We had the tuna tartar which I was a little disappointed with. It was literally just chopped tuna with a little seasoning. Some crunch, more flavour and a nice emulsion would have been nice!

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But the entrecôte steak that we’d seen our table neighbours inside enjoy was amazing! I would come back to have one of those to myself. Easy! We both enjoyed that VERY much, so they do know their meat here. The patatas bravas were also nice, although on the spicy side, but I quite like that.

All in all, we had a nice but very long (due to the lack of service at the end) dinner with some varied service. But the jamon iberico and the steak were so good that all is forgiven!

Escama, Fersens väg 4, 211 42 Malmö, Sweden

Malmö: pre-dinner drink at L’Enoteca

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A summer’s evening in Malmö. It’s a Friday and that holiday feeling is everywhere. We’re walking around town so my visitor can get an overview of this, Sweden’s third largest city, and as we walk past the cosy courtyard at L’Enoteca we decide to stop for a drink.

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The service was good and efficient and the prosecco excellent. We didn’t even have to queue for a table! So we sat there, enjoying life and each other’s company while people-watching (a favourite hobby of mine) before heading to dinner. I have a complicated relationship with Malmö, but this night I fell back in love with the city again.

L’Enoteca, Västergatan 6C, 211 21 Malmö, Sweden

Skanör: quick lunch at Linda’s Fingermat

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After a day at the beach in Skanör we packed up our things and headed to the harbour for a late little lunch at Lindas Fingermat.

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I hadn’t been before but my friends go here quite often so I followed their lead and ordered the slightly spicy lamb salsiccia in brioche bread with avocado, salsa and mayonnaise (it also came with sauerkraut but I asked for mine without it).

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It was really yummy and the perfect after beach snack. We had our lunch in the outdoor seating area which is really chilled out, still in our beach clothes, and it’s perfect for children too; my friends’ three kids enjoyed hotdogs, fries and empanadas. The mix of Swedish with Latin American food really works and it’s a nice varied menu with something for everyone, including the little ones.

I like this place for a snack on the run or a chilled out lunch. Next time I want to try one of the burgers because they looked really good too!

Lindas Fingermat,  Hamnvägen 1, 239 30 Skanör, Sweden

Second week of holiday!

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My second week in Sweden I tried to take it a bit easier than the first. Try to wind down, not set an alarm and lower the pace. The first day that didn’t happen as I had invited eight adults and five children over for lunch, but I think I managed OK the rest of the week.

But back to the lunch. I skipped a starter so the children didn’t have to sit still for too long; instead everybody could mingle around with a glass of rosé in hand and snacking on these lovely crisps with browned butter, lemon juice and grated cheese.

For the main course I made chicken with lots of garlic and lemon, potato wedges, caramelised garlic sauce and a nice salad.

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And for pudding I let everybody put together their own pudding of soft meringue (everybody loves this one!), ice cream, lightly whipped cream, chocolate sauce. berries and figs.

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In the evening I had a simple supper consisting of Danish red pølse and all the trimmings. So yummy!!

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The next day I went to the beach in Skanör with friends and their three children.

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They brought a lovely picnic and there was a lot of swimming with the kids mixed with chatting to their parents. Such a lovely day that we finished off with a late lunch in the harbour nearby followed by ice cream.

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Wednesday I slept late and spent my time in the sun in the garden before going for dinner at a friend’s new house! They’d made salmon with salad, potato wedges, two sauces and nice bread and for pudding we had rhubarb pie with ice cream. A perfect summer’s evening.

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The next day was another quiet one, with some rain but also some time on the beach (yay!) before having dinner with my parents in the evening. I made lots of pizzas which I will blog about later.

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Friday started off the same way (not bad eh?! three lazy days in a row!) and finished with dinner at Badhytten with all the seafood!

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My last full day in Sweden I spent partly with my best friend, partly with my parents. Friends of the family came by for fika in the afternoon and in the evening my parents and I had something we never get tired off; fillet of beef with homemade bearnaise sauce. This was the first time we had dinner indoors as the weather turned, but I’m grateful for the sunny days I got!

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Sunday was my last day and my best friend and her family came over for lunch with my parents. I got lots of cuddles from my god daughter but we also had some lovely food. Mamma cooked arctic char with potatoes, mange tout, carrots and two sauces; one with caviar and this one with apple. The pudding was a huge success too (although dad would have liked a sweeter version) and I will blog all about it later.

Then off I went to the airport with a quick pit stop at my parents’ house where I hadn’t been all summer. Thank you, near and dear ones, for a lovely two weeks! ❤