“It is not a city at all. It is ridiculous to think of itself as a city. It is simply a rather large village, set in the middle of some forest and some lakes. You wonder what it thinks it is doing there, looking so important.” – Ingmar Bergman
This is how Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman described Stockholm, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe that spreads across fourteen islands, and many more lie beyond in the archipelago. My first impression back in 2003 when I first visited this amazing city was similar, but it took me just a few days to start to appreciate it for what it is, and to see this untouched and treasured nature merged with modern architecture as something rare that from that time kept my heart and I needed to go back to it over and over again.
Scandinavia and Stockholm are known for cold weather, but summer is surprisingly pleasant. Famous Swedish proverb says that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes, and the Swedes know how to enjoy the unfavorable weather conditions. Our staying a few days before and during Stockholm Fashion week has been followed with “the Swedish summer” how our Stockhomies liked to call alteration of sun and rain, but that did not break our „fashionistas spirit“. Fashion stylist Nemanja and I, walked first evening through Gamla Stan to traditional restaurant and bar Erik’s Gondolen. He was in an elegant suit and I was in high heels and a cocktail dress. Optimistically we took a walk in the rain and the wind to Slussen where from the twelfth floor, where Gondolen is located, one can get one of the most beautiful views of the city center. We started our Swedish adventure with proven Mojito and one of the favorite cocktails of Eriks Gondollen guests Strawberry daiquiry. We enjoyed equally the skillful preparation of the cocktails by cocktail masters, as well as its taste.
The view from Erik’s Gondolen
Already the next day we adapted to the Scandinavian style to be able to visit all the outstanding places. Skinny jeans, leather jackets and tailored lines will give you a complete Scandinavian look. First we went to wonderful open-air museum Skansen to see the zoo and collection of the 19th century buildings and settings from all around Sweden. After we walked a few minutes to the Vasa Museum which was purpose-built to house the 17th century Vasa ship and I don’t just mean bits of it – I mean the entire ship, which was raised from nearby Lake Mälaren.
The Vasa Ship Museum
In a city surrounded by water, each district or island is like a smaller town in itself; be it the architecture, sights or the people and their sense of style. To really experience Stockholm, you are likely to gain the most from your visit by embracing all sides of this spectacular city. Stureplan is the centre of the northeastern part of the city, Östermalm, and home to the most luxurious brands. The area known as “South of Folkungagatan” is home to Stockholm’s great hipster community on Södermalm. Tjallamalla on Bondegatan is a creative hub to many of Sweden’s emerging designers, representing more than 250 designers and labels.
Fashion in Stockholm
As any fashionista, immediately after the first business meeting we visited the department store NK (Nordiska Kompaniet). All compliments to the person who decorates the windows of NK, as they are always exceptionally designed and creative. In this department store you may find brands: Marc by Marc Jacobs, Hermès, Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Diane von Furstenberg, DKNY, MaxMara, Boss Orange and Hugo Boss, Karen Millen, but also Swedish famous brands Gant, Filippa K, J. Lindeberg, Oscar Jacobsson among many others. Acne‘s main store is located underneath the Nobis Hotel in the former Kreditbanken, famed for the 1973 hostage drama that inspired the term “Stockholm syndrome.”
NK (Nordiska Kompaniet)
This year on Stockholm fashion week, the most talked about brands were Back from designer Ann-Sofie Back, AltewaiSaome- a five-year-old label by Natalia Altewai and Randa Saome that’s quickly becoming the star of Stockholm Fashion Week, and House of Dagmar.
AltewaiSaome Stockholm Fashion week Spring/Summer 2015
House of Dagmar Stockholm Fashion week Spring/Summer 2015
It’s no wonder that pictures of Stockholm’s street style are on fashion blogs and in magazines world wide. Although Stockholm is known for beautiful and tall blond women, men are unjustly neglected. We can call them „the new Italians“, the only difference is the skin tone and hair color, but sense of styling and an interesting combination of trendy pieces is not absent in both casual variants as well as in business. All praise for their style. The beauty of Stockholm also lies in fact that it is a home for many nationalities and people in Stockholm appreciate diversity that came with them. We bonded with a Swede immediately. After all, everyone needs Stockhomies.
Stockholm – Bars and Restaurants
Second night we went out for a special dinner. Our first choice was Smak, one of Stockholm’s most talked-about restaurants run by restaurant group F12, which was founded in 1999 and that has a number of good restaurants in the Stockholm area, each of them suitable for a special occasion. Smak is located in Stockholm city centre, just a a few hundred meters from Hötorget. The concept is all about flavours. Smak is swedish word for taste, flavour. At Smak you can choose one, three, five or seven flavours from the dinner menu, instead of the more traditional entrée, main course and dessert. They have a menu of 20 dishes (5 of them are desserts). This gives you the opportunity to try a number of different dishes and flavors during dinner. The most influential flavour gives its name to the dish. You may chose to try wasabi, yuzu, mint, hezelnut, coriander, garlic, lemon, almond, ramson, pimento, curry, goat’s cheese, soya, truffle, chipotle etc. The food is amazingly good and the flavors and combinations are beyond words! Wines and other beverages are also available in smaller tasting glasses, all to give you the possibility to try as many flavours as you wish. We have never been given a better restaurant service and I still feel that heavenly „smak“ that was especially picked for us by the manager of this fabulous restaurant.
SMAK (Melker Andersson and Danyel Couet, F12 Group)
Tel: +46(0)8-22 09 52
After Smak we went to one more trendy restaurant named Miss Voon. It is the latest addition to the empire of Melker Andersson F12 group. Miss Voon is located at Sturegatan 22, just next door to the Elite Eden Park Hotel. It is a modern restaurant that combines tastes from all the Asian cultures with European cuisine. Freshness, simplicity and an abundance of distinctive tastes have been the cornerstones of their menu’s design and this is also reflected in their wine and drinks list. Asian cuisine combines many different flavours, often in the same meal. This is why the dishes served at Miss Voon are half-portions, making it easier to combine and share different taste sensations. At Miss Voon we tried various deserts. The place was full of people even though it was Wednesday. When you enter, you suddenly see where all the cool people go. It is a natural meeting place where you can either just drop by for a quick drink or come and enjoy a whole evening. The drinks list also reflects the Asian character of the restaurant. A DJ provides the music from Wednesday to Saturday.
Miss Voon (Melker Andersson and Danyel Couet, F12 Group)
114 36 Stockholm
Tel: +46 8 505 244 70
To leave the city without dinner at Grill, would be a fatal error. The next day we went to see this spectacular place also owned by F12 group. At Grill bar guests are mixed with dining guests, lounge chairs and sofas with dinner tables. Since they opened in 2003 they have changed interior several times. Grill creates a unique setting with a homely and playful décor, and the dining room is divided into eight parts, each with a personal style.
Right now you can enjoy having dinner in Orientexpress section, or for example Moulin Rouge which was our choice and it really felt like sitting in a bordel. I ordered tuna which I was able to grill it on my own, which was quite a unique experience. In this restaurant they grill everything from chicken, lamb, fish and seafood to their premium selection of steaks. They have a large bar with professional barmen who will serve you exciting cocktails from all over the world.
Grill also have a small stage for intimate live music performances on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. On Sundays they serve a grill buffet.
Grill (Melker Andersson and Danyel Couet, F12 Group)
113 60 Stockholm
Nobis Hotel’s Gold Bar and Lounge
Nobis Hotel’s Gold Bar and Lounge is an architect’s dream. Since it opened in December 2010, the Nobis has been a hit with the locals, who love to come to this retro-chic Gold Bar, the atrium lounge that features an enormous crystal light chandelier called Octopussy, and Caina, which is one of the best Italian restaurants in town.
Before coming to Stockholm we knew this place will be on our daily list for a coffee or cocktail, because we fell in love with its amazing design. The warm urban decor of the Gold Bar brings in the crowds during all week. This glamorous bar offers a constantly changing fare of spectacular and irresistible drinks and cocktails, mixed under the leadership of bar manager Robert Radovic.
Norrmalmstorg 2-4, P.O. 1616
SE-111 86 Stockholm
Tel: +46 8-614 10 00
The Cadier bar
The Cadier bar is named after Régis Cadier, French chef and the founder of the Grand hotel. The hotel is located next to the Nationalmuseum and opposite the Royal Palace and Gamla Stan Since 1901, the Nobel Prize laureates and their families have traditionally been guests at the hotel, as well as several celebrities and world leaders. They say everybody feels at home at the Cadier Bar, Stockholmers and hotel guests too. I got to say that this place was quite pleasant for us and it has a very nice waterfront view of the Royal Palace and Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old town. This spectacular Cadier bar is a popular gathering spot for an after work drink, informal meetings and nights out on the town, bubbling with Champagne. You’ll also find an à la carte breakfast, brunch, lunch and of course afternoon tea. We went there for a drink before our relaxing Sunday in amazing spa Yasuragi.
The Cadier bar at Grand hotel
Södra Blasieholmshamnen 8
111 48 Stockholm
Tel: + 46 (0)8 679 35 85
Mathias Dahlgren Matbaren/The Food Bar
Mathias Dahlgren’s Matsalen and Matbaren are already legendary with their Michelin stars. Weathered farm tables, flame red chairs with graphic Swedish blankets and mod chandeliers lend a playful vibe to the Michelin-starred Matbaren, the more casual of Chef Mathias Dahlgren’s two Grand Hotel restaurants. Menus change daily, but always include wildly inventive dishes with classic Scandinavian ingredients.
Södra Blasieholmshamnen 8
111 48 Stockholm
Tel: + 46 (0)8 679 35 84
Tokyo restaurant at Yasuragi Hasseludden
We wanted to experience Japanese culture and cuisine in the Stockholm Archipelago at Yasuragi Hasseludden, and we loved the concept. ‘Yasuragi’ means inner peace and harmony in English, which is exactly what this Japan-themed spa would like you to feel when you visit. From the minute you arrive you start to walk in a slower pace. The Japanese-inspired theme is ever-present at Yasuragi, with Japanese-styled interiors and gardens. Wearing the robe yukata the whole day, even during dinner at Tokyo restaurant was quite relaxing for us. At Yasuragi Hasseludden, the culinary experience is just as important, and as health-focused, as the baths. Food and beverage manager Daniel Petterson, who has previously worked for the well-known Japanese-influenced restaurants Esperanto, Råkultur, and East, works hard to offer interesting menus and dishes made from sustainable, local Nordic produce. The Tokyo restaurant combines Swedish and Japanese cooking traditions in imaginative and exciting ways. After a day of relaxation in hot springs with a view over Höggarnsfjärden Bay, and sauna, we enjoyed in our “drink of the gods” how they call sake, nice dinner and lovely sea view. We were ready for the most exciting fashion event in Sweden – Stockholm fashion week.
Hamndalsvägen 6, Saltsjö-Boo
132 82 Saltsjö Boo
Table bookings only
Tokyo: 08-747 64 45
Vesna Filipović for Fashionela