Stockholm is the city of fourteen islands, the so-called “Venice of the North,” and is the home to one of Europe’s best-preserved old towns.
It’s no wonder that this beautiful capital city had been on my travel bucket list to revisit for quite a while.
Early one morning in August I arrived by boat, cruising through the Stockholm archipelago, the largest archipelago in Sweden with approximately 24,000 islands and islets.
It is the second-largest archipelago in the Baltic Sea (the largest being across the Baltic in Finland). Island after island. Amazing!
I had been to Stockholm before, the first was 50 years ago, my first ever trip abroad which was quite something for a schoolgirl from Cumbria! I have to admit to always having a fondness for Scandinavia.
So for my one day in Stockholm
I took myself to the Veranda at the landmark Grand Hotel for Smörgåsbord. Besides spectacular views of the Royal palace, an authentic Smörgåsbord is served, a centuries-old Swedish tradition. Once seated overlooking the Royal Palace, I was given a guide to this national gastronomic pride.
You have to think of the Swedish Smörgåsbord as a four-to six course meal, not overloading your plate. You make several trips to the buffet instead and take a fresh plate each time.
You begin with the herring dishes traditionally accompanied with hot potatoes. Together with the herring, try a slice of sharp Swedish cheese, crisp bread and a shot of aquavit (or pressed apple juice in my case).
Next, sample the fish dishes and try the Swedish speciality, ‘gravlax’ marinated salmon, not forgetting the mustard sauce with dill. And then to try the smoked salmon with a squeeze of lemon.
It was suggested to then move on to a variety of salads, egg dishes and cold cuts of meat and poultry.
Now to take your pick of the hot dishes and remember to take lingonberries with the home made meatballs.
Finally, the famous desserts, the fruit salad was delicious too.
So that was one lovely hot summer day in Stockholm and I’ll be going back for New Year for lots more Scandi food combined with visiting the famous historical sights once more.