Rimowa Salsa Air cabin case
Hire car from Europcar
Total travel time 1.5 hours from London
Ett Hem, Stockholm
Stockholm is home to one of the most unique hotels in the world, Ett Hem – which translates to ‘a home’ and this is exactly how it feels when you’re there. Set in the classy Ostermalm, this place does not disappoint. Transformed from an old embassy, it has relatively small 12 rooms to maintain a nice and intimate feel and some of the rooms come with amenities such as open fires.
We’ve been three times now and were lucky enough to visit Ett Hem during a Swedish winter, in February, and there’s nothing better than keeping your room warm with a real fire.
Whilst lounging in the common areas you are welcome to visit the kitchen and help yourself to coffee, tea or an afternoon cake. Alternatively, the staff will attend to your needs, whether you choose to sit in the superb garden, conservatory or the lounge. You can choose to lunch with the staff and you can make special requests direct to the chefs. Indeed, at dinner, where you’ll be served with three starters, one of the chefs will spend serious time asking your requirements, configuring your dishes and serving you personally. This really has to be experienced.
Away from the hotel, a perfect way to spend some of your time in Stockholm is to venture across to one of the many islands which form parts of its unique archipelago. We chose Grinda, is one of the closer island and perfect for a day trip. Only over an hour away on the boat, Grinda offers many activities, with plenty of woodland and no roads. It is very peaceful, tranquil and offers a beach and even a hotel if you prefer to stay the night. There is also plenty of places to get great food, perfect views and different types of experiences. During our visit we enjoyed plenty of hiking, and a very secluded workout with the TRX and RIP trainer deep in the woods and a spot of swimming, which is perfect in Sweden as the water always stays cool to prevent you from getting too hot even when the weather is surprisingly warm.
After a long day exploring the island, we made our way back to the mainland to consider our options. Deciding there is no better way to refuel than having the traditional Swedish staple of Meatballs, we decided to head to Meatballs For The People, located in the hip and trendy Sodermalm. The classic meatballs are served with potatoes and lingonberry jam, but we were feeling adventurous and plumped for the moose and boar variety. These were part of the deluxe dinner so they came with mash, lingonberries, mushroom and crisp bread.
After dinner, we made our way closer to the hotel for a drink at Nosh and Chow. Consisting of five floors, including a very funky multi-gender (only in Sweden!) bathroom area, which has to be seen to be believed. On the top floor, there is an impressive rooftop where you can enjoy a drink under the clear Stockholm sky.
We decided that Sodermalm deserved a day to itself, so headed out early for a visit to the wooden outdoor gym by Eriksdalsbadet. This gym is extremely well equipped and provides plenty of equipment to do a full body workout which is very close to working out in a normal gym. Better still, it’s free for anyone. After a quick workout, we headed a mile or so down the road to enjoy the beach for a quick dip – a beach in the centre of a city is always an incredible find. After a morning workout you need a good breakfast to continue your day in perfect fashion and we found this at Kaferang by Nytorget. Here we fueled up on pulled beef topped with a poached egg and truffle, a true a Swedish specialty.
To burn off this breakfast we decided to hit up the many shops that Sodermalm has to offer. There is a range of high end unique brands, such as Acne, Aesop, Marimekko and Nudie just to mention a few. After exploring the shops, there is no better than Drop Coffee for a pick me up. Drop Coffee is an award-winning coffee roasters with colourful furniture and a warm feel. It’s perfect to bring your laptop to get some work done or just to have a chat with friends. The baristas serve consistently good coffee (which justified a repeat visit from ourselves).
Finally, to top our trip, we couldn’t resist trying some cardamom and cinnamon buns, so we headed down the road to Fabrique bakery for one final treat before heading to the airport!
There are many other alternative highlights in Stockholm. It’s worth adding that Svenst Tenn serves a wonderful afternoon tea, close to area where you’d catch a ferry to the island arpeggio. It also is a multi-floor design centre and a real destination if you have a spare hour. Café Saturn is another destination we recommend and is often our go-to destination on the way back from Stockholm to Arlanda.
Lastly, it’s worth adding that you can escape the city but remain on the mainland by visiting a destination such as Sigtuna. We spent 48 hours in this area recently and it has everything. A fantastic clean lake with various swimming locations, a small beach, boating, great cafes and a secluded woodland for either your bike or trekking. Close to Arlanda, you can be in Sigtuna within 15 minutes of grabbing your bag. Perfect.
As you can see from the InfoBox above, we’ve been to Stockholm three times whilst working on the Short Motivation project. February 2014 was freezing cold and lucky to have an open fire in our Ett Hem room. In August 2015 the weather was very warm in places and, again, in August 2016, we had a fantastic weekend where the temperature was more than acceptable, concluding Summer in Sweden is a realistic option.
Have you been to Sweden? What did you think of Stockholm and did you go in Winter or Summer? Any preference? Let us know in the comments section below.