Arts and Stockholm
Stockholm archipelago is one incredible view up from the plane. On landing I was amazed by the mix of land and sea, spreading for about 80km, and 30.000 islands. With babygirl sleeping tightly in my arms, we were admiring the scandinavian scenery- Stockholm, at the intersection of the Baltic Sea and Lake Mälaren, looks like a mirage on water.
The holiday was a look for relaxation with not much of expectations or planned activities.. only to explore and be surprised by the first nordic country I was visiting. It was the first trip with my little family.. just the 3 of us.
The cityscape is a mix of old-world landmarks and signature modern design.
For who is interested in visiting and using the public transport, find the Stockholm card that you can purchase long before the trip.
For the transfer from the airport I higly recommend the express train. We used it from the airport to the citi centre and it couldn’t have been easier to get around, especially with luggage and a baby. There were no stairs, no stumbling, all the way from the airport luggage check out to the hotel. Otherwise since we were accomodated downtown, everything was walking distance.
We looked for a youthful atmosphere and a great location and Lydmar offers it. This boutique hotel is overlooking the quays, the Royal Palace Nybroviken and Strandvägen, with splendid views of Humlegården park. The ground floor with the restaurant, bar and the lobby is an ultracool setting. It is populated all day long and it turns to be a sleek hangout in the weekends, that the city’s beau monde don’t miss. Its design is modern with classic touches, exhibiting, periodically, fine-art photography on the walls.
The restaurant- the center piece, feels more as someone’s living room, decorated as a chic library, it is warm and inviting.
As Lydmar is owned by the Grand Hotel next door we had Spa and gym access there. For outdoor sports lovers the Royal garden is at walking distance and my husband was running there every morning. You will see at least 2-3 deer while running through the woods and it is a wonderful feeling knowing you are in the citi centre…
Where to eat
We decided the Michelin starred restaurants are not for a family with a 1 year old baby in the mood for neighbour talking 😉 so we were looking for a more relaxed setup.
The restaurant serves a fusion of French, Scandinavian and American cuisine, opened for breakfast rendezvous, daily business meetings to friendly dinners. Apparently breakfast has become the most popular time on the day to meet in Stockholm, so the restaurant is populated starting early in the morning. On warm weather, enjoying brunch on the terrace is delightful, before exploring city.
We had lovely family dinners, as the place is very nice and the food tasted great.
The changing selections may include sirloin, escargots, tuna tartar, smoked-pork buns with spicy apple and pickled cucumber, seared king crab.
On that Sunday after returning from the spa, we sat in the lounge end enjoyed some prosecco along a cool DJ lady playing among others…sweet Lovin’ of club des Belugas. And our little one too..except the prosecco part.
We were looking for a casual dinner within walking distance from our hotel, so the concierge suggested this restaurant. The place was packed with locals.
It’s an elegant large lively restaurant with tasty food and long and detailed wine list.
Brasserie Bobonne– We found this restaurant in the Michelin guide, as we are big fans of the Bib Gourmand places. There is a need of a reservation in advance. In addition to the delicious food, we were delighted with some nice paintings of a Swedish artist, that no one knew her name. It was a mix of Matisse’ unmodulated color and Modigliani’s almond -eyed figures.
What to do
· Stockholm is home to many great art museums. The city itself is like a big museum, with art pieces and architecture exposed everywhere. There are interesting buildings, from cutting-edge contemporary to 13th century houses.
2 museums are not to be missed: Moderna Museet, with contemporary art of Pollock, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenbergor, Niki de Saint Phalle and the National Museum with Medieval Dutch and Swedish art.
· You may want to attend temporary exhibitions of Cecil Beaton, Nick Brandts around the city or enjoy Anna Leibovitz or David Lachapelle in Fotografiska museum.
· If you want to learn more about Swedish arhitecture and design, for sure you’ll discover the iconic timeless designs of Carl Malmsten, Joseph Frank , Kerstin Hörlin-Holmquist, or Greta M. Grossman.
· Enter Medieval Stockholm– Take an historic tour in Gamla Stan, with small squares, ancient churches and the Royal Palace.
· Catch a ferry to the Stockholm Archipelago. For the Millenium trilogy of Steieg Larson lovers (including „The girl with dragon tattoo”), you may want to visit Mikael Blomkvist cottage on the archipelago island of Sandhamn.
· Vasa Museum, the warship that sanked in the 17th century savaged in the 90’s is the most visited museum in Scandinavia.
· We enjoyed pretty much the ABBA museum. A very cool place indeed…
Here are some photos from the most relaxing vacation in a city.