First week of holiday!

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My holiday was rather busy, but that’s what it’s like when you’re living abroad; lots of family and friends to catch up with and you’re constantly behind on that front, however hard you try, as there simply isn’t enough time. My strategy this time was to start off busy and try to wind down a little towards the end, as I need to sleep and relax as well. And for once I think it worked. To say I feel refreshed might be pushing it, but I feel less tired than when I left London, which is the whole point of a holiday, isn’t it?!

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But since I had a 7am flight on the Saturday I took that day to relax and really feel that I was on holiday. It was pure bliss to arrive at the beach house, change into a bikini and a cover up, have an glassbåt ice cream in the sun and just try to switch off a little.

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I also walked down to the beach to dip my toes in the water and breathe the fresh air. And in the evening I enjoyed some bubbly and a nice homecooked dinner (pork fillet with lemon and herbs, new potatoes, tomato salad and a cold garlic and herb sauce).

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The next day I went to Helsingborg for lunch with friends and got to see both the hosts’ lovely new house and meet other friends’ little baby for the first time. For lunch we had a lovely poke bowl with sesame marinated tuna and ice cream for pudding. It was so nice to sit in the garden catching up with dear childhood friends like that. The afternoon went by in a flash!

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On the Monday I went to Copenhagen for the day with two friends, and we’ve been doing it for so long it’s a tradition we do everything to keep every summer.

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We started off with tacos and smørrebrød for lunch at Torvehallerne, had fika at our favourite café and in the evening wine and cheese at one place before dinner at another. It was a perfect day chatting away with friends, looking in a few shops and just enjoying what this lovely city has to offer!

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The next day I didn’t have many plans so started with a lie-in and a late breakfast in the garden. I did a few errands and sunbathed a bit and had dinner with my parents in the evening before a visitor from London arrived late that night as the flight was delayed.

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So the next morning another lie-in was in order followed by a cooked breakfast outside. By the way, poached eggs on toast with tabasco is delicious!

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We continued the day driving around the south coast, checking out the beaches and eating ice cream.

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And in the evening we had a crayfish party complete with Västerbotten cheese quiche, fresh and smoked prawns, snaps and silly hats!

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The following day my visitor played golf in Falsterbo while I spent the day with by best friend and my god daughter before meeting up with the golfers for lunch. Afterwards we went to Badhytten for a drink followed by a quick swim in the sea.

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Then I was put to work making burgers (with fake shack sauce) for us all. So yum!

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Friday was my visitor’s last full day in Sweden so we made the most of it spending most of it on the beach and after a late lunch we made our way into Malmö for drinks, dinner and some more drinks.

The next day we had time for a long breakfast and a swim before my visitor had to leave for the airport and I spent the rest of the day taking it easy and had dinner with mamma and pappa in the evening.

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The next day (Sunday) we drove to the southeastern part of Skåne to have lunch with two of my cousins and my auntie. We had hot smoked salmon with new potatoes, soft boiled eggs, asparagus and a cold dill sauce. Very Swedish and so yummy!

It was a lovely week and as you can see I got to see and do a lot and catch up with many of my friends!

Where to go for ‘fika’ in south of Sweden

Fika is a common Swedish word, meaning to sit down with a hot drink and either eat a sandwich or a cake with it. We do this a lot. When I grew up we would have six meals a day, and three of them being fika. Our day usually looked like this:

  • breakfast
  • morning fika
  • lunch
  • afternoon fika
  • dinner
  • evening fika

When meeting up with friends in Sweden you usually go for fika instead of a drink sometimes, since alcohol is more expensive there, but also because the culture is slightly different. Swedes drink, a lot actually, but not usually much on weekdays unless going out for a meal or it being an occasion.

If you ever go to the South of Sweden – where I’m from – I recommend you to try these few places for fika, lunch or just a cup of coffee:

Kust (Coast): A gem in Falsterbo with a cosy deck with tables, feeling almost like New England. The food is fresh and nice and the sandwiches huge. Everything is made to order, and they ask for your name instead of giving you a number – a nice touch. I went there with Emma and we had a salad each. Caesar salad at the top, and sweet chili chicken below.

http://www.kustcafe.se/

Katrinetorps trädgårdscafé (Katrinetorp’s garden café): Near where the bridge between Denmark and Sweden attach to the mainland you find a nice old house called Katrinetorp. On the grounds you find both an antique shop, English garden and this lovely café with outdoor seating in the most adorable courtyard. We had prawn sandwiches here after my parents had picked up us, and I was too hungry to take any photos. But the food is nice, the cakes look amazing and the surroundings are lovely as well. They also serve proper mains for lunch if you prefer.

http://www.malmo.se/Medborgare/Idrott–fritid/Natur–friluftsliv/Natur–och-rekreationsomraden/Katrinetorp/Katrinetorps-tradgardskafe.html

Lilla kafferosteriet (The little coffee roastery): On the street Baltzargatan in Malmö you encounter this low yellow house on the corner where Christopher had his best latte ever (!). You can buy all sorts of coffee, sandwiches, cakes and buns and it all looks lovely. You can either sit in the mismatched cosy sofas and chairs indoors or take a step out into the garden and enjoy the sun. They also have coffee to go, and a shop where you can buy different coffee blends to use at home. As far from Starbuck’s as possible and sooo much better!

http://rosteriet.blogspot.com/

Barbecue and canapés with girolles

The second day in Southern Sweden we spent the day in Falsterbo, a lovely little town by the seaside because Christopher was playing golf with Claes there all day, at a links course with insane amounts of water but nice views. I don’t play golf, so I spent the day with my best friend Emma (Claes’s fiancée). We gossiped a lot, had lunch at a nice café and prepared dinner for the boys. When they got back feeling tired after a day outside, we bribed them with beer to light the barbecue, while we took care of the rest of the cooking.

When we went to the supermarket I was pleased to see that they had lots of fresh girolles, that are in season now. It is my favourite mushroom and I find it really sad that I can’t buy them in a normal supermarket here in the UK. Girolles are best paired with butter and garlic and they make out a simple, but delicious, canapé.

We also had souvlaki, a nice salad with cucumber, tomatoes, leafy mixed salad, red onions and plenty of feta and another salad with giant couscous, pitta and homemade tzatsiki.

Emma gave the sauce top marks! It tastes fantastic with fat yoghurt and a big glug of olive oil. Yu-um…

I prefer giant couscous to the smaller variety, it is chewier and tastes better I think. In the salad above I kept it really simple, adding just thin slivers of red onion, herb salt, olive oil and chopped parsley. Simple yet delicious.

Girolle canapés, serves 4

100-150 g girolles, brushed and chopped

1/2 solo garlic or 1 garlic clove, pressed

a large knob of butter (enough to coat the mushrooms generously but not enough for them to bathe in)

chopped parsley

a bag of readymade brushettinis (garlic and herb if available

Fry the girolles on high heat in some of the butter. Add more butter as well as the garlic and lower the heat (so the garlic won’t burn). Season and mix in the parsley. Scoop up onto the biscuits and serve.