Monday, 7 December 2015

Stockholm


Last week I visited the beautiful city of Stockholm for a few days with my husband as an early birthday treat. I love nothing more than a cold wintery city break at this time of year, especially to European cities as they all seem to know how to celebrate the festive season in style. 

This time last year we set off on an adventure to the vegan capital of Europe Berlin which was amazing and really set my mind on doing something similar again this year. Having never been to Sweden before, I was really excited to experience their culture and scenery.

I always think there's something very romantic about taking mini breaks at this time of year too. I have many fond memories of Andy and I wrapped up warm arm in arm and exploring different cities by foot. I love the frequent pit stops into cosy little cafes for hot drinks and sweet treats. When the early evenings set in and the twinkle of Christmas lights make the streets come alive you can't help but feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. One of our favourite things to do is to pick up a small Christmas tree decoration from the places we visit too which then once a year serves as a little reminder of the good times we've shared together. 

I'm normally a little over organised when it comes to planning out our holiday itineraries and this is something I wanted to take a slight back step from on this trip. Normally my itineraries involve days of research and include a number of veggie/vegan restaurants which I become obsessed with visiting. This isn't an all bad way to be and has resulted in us experiencing some wonderful places. However, I really just wanted to go with the flow more on this break and not dictate the holiday around where we were going to eat. This can of course be a little risky if you're hoping to eat purely vegan abroad and I would normally recommend planning ahead and locating vegan eateries. But this time I wanted to feel free from any restraints as I felt myself missing the days of just stumbling across somewhere cute looking and wanting to go inside. That doesn't mean I'd resort to eating meat just because the place looked appealing (I'd never do that!). It meant making the mental decision beforehand that I would where possible do my best to eat vegan but if I wasn't able to then I'd eat veggie instead and try not beat myself up about it afterwards. For the sake of enjoying being in the moment and enjoying the here and now I needed to loosen the reigns a little on this trip. 

To my surprise we happened to stumble across more veggie places than I'd anticipated and most of the time I was even able to eat vegan which was great! Stockholm, and in particular the trendy SoFo area, were indeed more veg friendly than I'd imagined. 

One of my favourite places from our whole time in Stockholm was a small restaurant called FLFL located within the SoFo area. This is a falafel restaurant and the food was just to die for! It was exactly what we needed after hours of walking around exploring in the cold and it more than hit the right spot. I was also pleased to see some clear vegan labelling on their menu! The falafel wrap and fries were huge portions and delicious. If I ever happened to be in the area again this is where I would eat.



One place which I had heard about as being the best veggie friendly restaurant in Stockholm was Hermans. I kind of knew that if I only got to visit one place I wanted it to be here and we luckily enough got to visit it one evening for dinner. Hermans reminds me of so many vegetarian restaurants I've been to in the past with its slightly rustic but homely interior and self serve buffet style food. I think because I had already heard good things about Hermans, and their amazing view over the city, I did go in with some expectations and once I saw the buffet these were more than met! All of the food looked so inviting. There was a selection of cold and salad type dishes along with a few hot dishes including curry and shepherds pie. To my sheer amazement everything just so happened to be vegan including the dessert selection. It did feel as though we'd hit the jackpot with Hermans! My only regret is that we didn't visit during the day for lunch as the view in the evening is rather limited.







Another place I managed to eat vegan was at Cafe String in SoFo. We went inside because it looked very eccentric and cool and luckily enough there were vegetarian options on the menu. The staff were really accommodating when I requested an avocado salad sandwich with no cheese and I got exactly what I asked for! After a few days of no avocado I really began to crave it but I wasn't hopeful I'd find it anywhere so this sandwich felt like a real treat. 


I think my main vegan downfall on this trip were the pastries and baked treats. If you didn't already know they have a tradition in Sweden called 'fika' which basically means stopping for an afternoon tea and something sweet. As a result of this all of the cafes have the most amazing and inviting selection of cakes! My sweet tooth has always been my downfall in life and this time was no different. I admit that I didn't even ask if any of these were vegan friendly but I'm pretty sure they weren't. 



To my amazement we did happen to stumble across a couple of other veggie restaurants on our travels but unfortunately it wasn't the right time to eat but both looked like great options. Firstly a restaurant called 'Chutney' in the SoFo area which was absolutely packed - always a good indicator that the food is good! Then we came across 'Hermitage' in Gamla Stan which prides itself on being 'the only vegetarian restaurant in the old town'. If we had more time in Stockholm these were two restaurants that I would have definitely liked to try out. 


All in all, and aside from the food, it was such a fun few days away together. We enjoyed so much walking, shopping and sightseeing. Highlights of our trip included a visit to the modern art museum and the photography museum, mooching the Christmas markets with a traditional cup of 'glogg' in hand, ice skating and of course a great deal of lusting over beautifully designed Swedish homeware. 



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1 comment

  1. Holy cow, that veggie buffet!! Looks like you guys had fun, Stockholm is definitely on my travel list!

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