31 is obviously not an age our friend Tini wanted to celebrate big time. Granted, she threw a huge party last year, so it’s fine. However, all the sudden (while we already had planned her trip to Stockholm, that she desperetaly wanted to do, but ignored to organize it because “we have to save money for Coachella first. And then everybody will say it’s too spontaneous, they won’t have the money or time. That’s all rubbish”) she wanted to throw a brunch on her birthday. OH NO! We un-invited everybody (thanks for not using blind copy) right after her email, because there was the Stockholm plan…
Happy Birthday Tini! Surprise, Stockholm, vi kommer!
Thursday 14:07 – Tini tries to hang up the phone on some random business partner. Done, she screams that she needs to be in a meeting that started 7 minutes ago. No, she doesn’t. Yes, she does, she wants to make clear. No, she doesn’t, because we arranged a SURPRISE! Our friend Bine from Hamburg comes around the corner. Certainly a very nice surprise, but that’s not it. She has another surprise. Tini will have to pack her bag and come with her. Yes, we asked her boss to get the rest of the week off. Yes, your entire department was involved. Yes, you will have to leave right now.
Speechless, but in pleasant anticipation (by now she knows Stockholm will be the destination) she leaves the office, not knowing a bunch of girls will come as well. Later that night she meets Susie surprisingly at the boarding gate and in Stockholm, Anke opens the door to the rented apartment. By the way, my favourite website for accomodations in Stockholm is CO Stockholm. The offered apartments are always another positive plus to a trip to Sweden’s capital.
On Friday, Maria, Kathrin and I travel northbound as well. Our trip starts with a reasonable shot of Prosecco. Thanks to Bine who works at Visit Sweden we can take the Arlanda Express for free to get to the city center. Especially if you only have short time or an appointment to catch in Stockholm, it is the best way from the airport. It only takes 20 minutes from the airport to T-Centralen. That is even faster than any taxi.
And we need to be fast, because midnight and so Tini’s birthday is getting closer. We agreed to meet the others at the Scandic Malmen, where they all had dinner and now hang out at the cocktail bar. You can either have drinks at the restaurant’s cocktail bar or at the Lilla Hotellbaren. Both are very popular places and always crowded. Our luck, because this way Tini is not able to spot us while we get some drinks. At exactly one minute before midnight we arrive at the table to surprise her with our lovely voices singing H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y! What better start for one’s birthday can there be?
The next morning we enjoy breakfast at one of our favourite spots in Stockholm, the Muggen Café. It’s the perfect place to sit outside in the sun (optionally behind the big windows, in case it is too cold) and watch the stylish Stockholmers walk by. That is actually like flipping through a fashion magazine.
Besides sandwiches, a selection of hot meals, pastry and all kinds of drinks, they offer all different sorts of water (with berries, lemon, oranges and so on) such as bread with varying dips for free. For me personally the coffee at Muggen is one of the best sort.
We’re on a Boat. Stockholm’s Archipelago is simpy stunning.
To make use of this sunny day to the fullest, we hop on the ferry to go to Fjäderholmarna, the closest island of Stockholm’s archipelago. With Bine as our tour guide, we receive a special AAA VIP treatment. The so called Key of Honour allows us free entry to almost all museums and sights. Even the boat trip is for free. Happy Birthday to all of us, as it seems.
Boats to Fjäderholmarna as well as to other destinations within the archipelago leave at the downtown district along Strandvägen. From here it only takes 20 minutes by boat to get to Fjäderholmarna.
The island itself is not very big. It doesn’t take more than 20 minutes to walk around this little piece of cuteness. There are several art exhibitions and handicraft shops such as restaurants and cafés. We find a table in the sun at a little café serving self made ice cream. Brilliant! Right next to it, we find our battle of the day: a huge ludo game. Fjäderholmarna is great for a little escape or even just for a quick coffee, as it is so close to the city.
Dinner at Herman’s: A Vegi’s 9th Cloud.
Back in Stockholm City we go shopping at Götgatan. Newly dressed we start into Tini’s birthday night. For dinner we walk up to the vegetarian restaurant Hermans. In case you are a meat eater, don’t bother, because it’s worth a visit only for the view. The restaurant is located on the north rim of Södermalm, on top of the granite rocks. From here you have an stunning view onto the northern part of Stockholm. During summer the huge terrace is open. At Hermans you don’t get served, it’s an all you can eat restaurant with an incredibly diverse offer. All kinds of salads and specially seasoned vegetables, pizza, chilli sin carne, casserole and self made bread will make you eat until your stomach almost bursts. And then there is the desert table! All sorts of lovely baked fruit and chocolate and whatever cake. We feel almost happy, all those treats are not included in the buffet price, other than coffee and tea.
Drinking the night away in SoFo
With this vast dinner, we form the perfect basis for the upcoming party night. A great district to hop from one bar to the other is the bohemian SoFo. The blocks south of Folkungagatan are packed with interesting, cool and creative shops specializing in clothing, design, jewelry, vintage and second-hand, houseware, books and magazines, music and much more. Several fashion brands have their own stores in this district. There are also kinds of restaurants, cafés and galleries. The atmosphere is laid-back, yet highly aware.
We have our first Dågens (white whine spritzed with Sprite) at Snotty. A small bar, packed with stylish young people. You can have dinner there as well.
Our next destination is only a few minutes away: Pet Sounds Bar. This bar belongs to Pet Sounds Records a very popular record store in Stockholm. Here as well you can have dinner until the location turns into a party place. There are bars upstairs such as downstairs. In the basement you can find a little stage as well, so every now and then bands will play a gig here.
We pay a quick visit to the new restaurant and bar (yay, Stockholmers like to mix eating and drinking) Och Himlen Därtill. This is a very elegant and luxurious cocktail lounge and sky bar with spectacular 360-degree views of Stockholm, from the top of a skyscraper in Södermalm.
Since this place is packed, we decide to stick to the proven good and have our last drink of the night at Lilla Hotellbaren. In Stockholm most bars close at 2:00 and security knows no mercy. With the stroke of the gong the lights are turned on and security guards ask you to empty your drink. Well, at least we don’t sleep in the next day.
Stockholm, it was quick and dirty. We need to come back soon.
Our plane doesn’t leave until the evening, so we want to make the most of our day, although being tired (means sitting in the sun and have the first rosé wine at noon). For breakfast we all meet at Coffice. A dainty clean, chic coffee bar. However, that’s by far not all. Coffice is a combination of a café and an architect’s office. The interaction between private offices, the working environment such as the public coffee bar creates a unique atmosphere. This creativity is reflected in the menu as well. It’s held simple, but tasty.
For the rest of the late morning we stroll through the streets and shops in SoFo and do a little shopping until we decide to have a break in the sun at one of the most beautiful viewing points in Stockholm, the Skinnarviksberget.
Enough action for a lazy sunday, we sit down at a bar and enjoy a few rosè wines in the sun. Too soon it is already time to go back home, but before we pick up our luggage from the apartment, it’s korv time. People always make fun of the Germans and their passion for Bratwurst, but it seems like the Swedish people are not less into sausage. On every corner you find a little korv hut. Since the bread around the sausage is not open like it is around a Hot Dog, just choose any kind of sauce for your sausage, it won’t leak. Yummy!