|HOTEL SCANDIC HASSELBACKEN|
A little late I know, but here finally is the post on my recent long weekend to Stockholm!
A fabulous few days away with my mother and sister, visiting the beautiful city on the water, that my mother grew up in. A series of fourteen interlinking islands, with a stunning archipelago of forty thousand islands stretching out beyond.
What a wonderful lifestyle Stockholm has to offer! Elegant, vibrant, clean and healthy city living, with nature just there on the doorstep!
So inspired was I by everything to be seen, that I took rather too many photos! Here are just some of them, (although I warn you that this post is a little photo heavy…sorry!) which hopefully captures the essence of our trip.
We stayed at the historic 'Scandic Hasselbacken' hotel, seen in the above photograph, which is in the lovely quiet, leafy Djurgården part of the city, yet an easy walk or cycle (everyone cycles in Stockholm!) to the city centre.
The beautiful main waterfront along Strandvägen….bicycles to hire, boat trips to take, floating bars and cafes…stunning architecture!
There is so much to see and do in Stockholm, and I would highly recommend a visit to the late Prince Eugene's (1865-1947) palace at Waldemarsudde. Here he created a wonderful space to house not only his own art, but his impressive art collection. Bequeathed to the Swedish state since 1948, it has been open to the public as a museum since.
Filled with beautiful antiques and paintings…and fresh plants and flowers, showing the late Prince's love for gardening and plant collections.
These Waldermasudde pots, originally designed by the Prince's mother Queen Sophia, are very collectable….
Originally the Prince's artist studio on the top floor of the palace, this magnificent space now houses visiting exhibitions from Sweden's best contemporary artists…
Beautifully laid out formal gardens overlooking the water….
And an equally 'informal' café…so charming and relaxed, and serving the best Swedish coffee and cinnamon buns!
A visit to Stockholm would not be complete without a visit to 'Skansen', the world's first open-air museum, founded in 1891. Showcasing five centuries of Swedish history, with carefully reconstructed historical buildings collected from all over the country, a zoo, glassblowing, a working pottery, some wonderful eateries, and a venue for festivals and celebrations with an open air theatre….one could happily spend a whole day here. It is somewhere that I enjoyed as a child, and still do to this day!
Just some of the beautifully preserved historic buildings now housed at Skansen….my favourite part of the park.
Saturday was Sweden's 'National Day'…a great atmosphere throughout the city, and we particularly loved coming across this display of traditional Swedish country dancing and the gorgeous embroidered national costumes.
A bonus on this special day, was the surprise of discovering the Royal family's procession to Skansen that evening, just below our hotel wall, on their way to an evening celebration concert at the open air theatre there….
…which we too enjoyed, with a wonderful view of the stage from 'Solliden' restaurant, where we enjoyed a delicious traditional Swedish smorgasbord dinner!
With its abundance of green, lush outdoor spaces along the water front….nature is everywhere in Stockholm. We took our children there many years ago when they were younger….it is a great city for children and with this abundance of outdoor space, and things to do, I would highly recommend it if you have younger children and are hesitant to take them on a city break? 'Gröna Lund' amusement park and Junibacken which is a park based on the writings of Astrid Lindgren (Pippi Longstocking, Bullaby children etc.) there is something for children of all ages!
Talking of children of all ages…we girls certainly entered the spirit of things when visiting the interactive areas of the Abba museum! With our own recording of 'Mama Mia' and my sister and I throwing caution to the wind when performing on stage as the extra members of Abba in front of a museum audience….well…all I can say is that it is a lot of fun and definitely worth visiting, as an Abba fan or not. One thing is for certain, the personal downloads of our adventures which were viewable online to us after visiting, shall most definitely not be appearing on this blog…ha ha!
On more serious matters, for stylish design inspiration, a trip to iconic 'Svenskt Tenn' in Strandvägen was a must for me!
Showcasing their distinctive colourful designs on everything from lampshades to furniture…a happy hour was spent browsing this lovely store.
A must also was a visit to Ostermalm Food Hall….dating back to the 1880's and packed with the finest fresh produce and housing numerous restaurants and cafés serving traditional Swedish delicacies, with an emphasis on seafood. Thank you reader Jane who kindly recommended after her recent visit to Östermalm, the great restaurant 'Lisa Elmqvist'….
…where we enjoyed the most delicious prawn open sandwiches for lunch!
We walked miles around the city…the only way to truly appreciate a city in my book. With an abundance of wonderful museums, great shopping, boat trips across the harbour or further out, a great water front cafe culture, there was so much to see and do. We particularly enjoyed the historic old town of Gamla Stan, which is steeped in history and wonderful architecture and a great atmosphere.
Sunday lunch found us on board a boat for a three hour lunch cruise (yet another delicious meal!), heading out into the archipelago as far as the island of Vaxholm. Above is just one of the stunning waterside properties that caught my eye….could be very tempted to rent one of these beautiful houses one summer!
The last morning came around too quickly, and before heading off to the airport we had a last coffee on the top floor of the 156 metre high Kaknastornet tv tower….
….and as I looked back at beautiful Stockholm spread out below me, I vowed to aim to return often to this very favourite of special cities.
If you have never visited, I urge you to, and
if you have been lucky enough to have been, what were your highlights?
Wishing you all a very happy Wednesday!