Stockholm: dinner at Hillenberg

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Saturday night in a sunny Stockholm. After a long day walking around the beautiful city we had a little breather in my friend’s flat before we got ready for a night on the town. It was actually a relief for my tired feet to swap my flats to heels, and taking a taxi to the restaurant obviously helped too.

Hillenberg, the restaurant I had booked, is the more relaxed one of Niklas Ekstedt’s (quite the frequent guest on Saturday Kitchen in the UK) two restaurants and I was super excited to try his cooking.

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On arrival we were shown to our table (with a sofa each to sit on) and started to study the menu. The service was a little slow at times, but that meant I had enough time to translate the menu and plenty of time to ponder it too.

Although I would have liked to try many things, I couldn’t resist the classic Toast Skagen, which I expected would come with a little twist. And indeed it did, as it was a deconstructed version. It was really lovely and I especially liked the dill dust on the side. Amazing mayonnaise too. Yum!

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My dinner companion had the nettle soup with äggost (a type of curdled cheese) and trout roe. Delicious!

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I was really indecisive when it came to my main course and so let our waiter influence me to try the monkfish bourguignon. It was really delicious and the “meaty” fish worked well with the powerful flavours. But the highlight was almost the velvety potato puré that was served alongside it. So rich, but beautiful!

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My dinner date had the lamb and was presented a very generous portion with lamb rack, artichokes and aubergine. Really lovely as well!

Unsurprisingly, we were too full to even be tempted by pudding. Instead we sat back (loved those sofas!) and finished our bottle of wine and just enjoyed life. Very content we weren’t completely finished with our night out and so walked around the corner to Riche for another glass of wine and lots of people watching.

Hillenberg, Humlegårdsgatan 14, 114 46 Stockholm, Sweden

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Lunch at Petersham Nurseries, Richmond

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The weekend before last my foodie friend Anna was in London and we had a lovely long wine-fuelled lunch at quaint Petersham Nurseries in Richmond on the Saturday.

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It was my first time there but I love the greenhouses made into a restaurant and tea room with plats, and nice furnishings every wear. So rustic and so lovely!

We started our meal with a delicious rhubarb bellini and had a scallop each; marinated in olive oil, rosemary, lemon and chilli.

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Anna then had a very springlike salad of rabbit, radicchio, polenta cubes, prosciutto and violets as her starter. It was wonderful and pretty as a picture.

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I had the nettle soup which was lovely too. Just look at that colour! It was served with a dollop of thick tangy creme fraiche which was the only sidekick needed.

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Four our mains we both chose the same whole lemon sole stuffed with creamy spinach, spiced butter and brown shrimps. The flavours worked really well together and we thoroughly enjoyed it – and the side of purple sprouting broccoli.

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After a little wine break (much needed after all the food) we were ready for some cheese and tried these three (one was a Cornish Yarg but I’ve forgotten the others), all delicious and a perfect end to our meal.

Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, Off Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey TW10 7AB