Monday, 28 November 2011

We have moved!

We have moved our VisitSweden UK blog to this URL

Come join us!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Vilma Núñez de Escorcia awarded the Stieg Larsson prize

Vilma Núñez de Escorcia has been awarded this year’s Stieg Larsson prize for her contribution to human rights in Nicaragua.

She has been fighting for human rights in Nicaragua since being a student during the time of the dictator Somozas. Today she is still fighting for human rights as the president and founder of the CENIDH organisation.

The Stieg Larsson prize was founded two years ago by Stieg Larsson's brothe and father, as well as the Norstedts publisher. The award goes to a person or organisation that follows Stieg Larsson's own work to fight racism and oppression.

Vilma Núñez de Escorcia has been awarded the prize for her fight to improve day to day life for women in Nicaragua.

The award ceremony takes place in Stockholm today 9th November.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Experience a Swedish Christmas fair in London!

Don't miss the traditional Swedish Christmas Fair at the Swedish Church in London!  Come and enjoy Swedish mulled wine, saffron buns and gingerbread snaps, traditional handicraft and lots of yummy Christmas food.

The Swedish Church in London
6 Harcourt Street
United Kingdom

Map to The Swedish Church

17th November, 11am to 8pm.
19th November, 11am to 6pm
20th November 12noon to 5pm.

Enterance: £1 for all three days

Monday, 7 November 2011

St Martin’s Eve, celebrating the goose in Skåne!

Fried goose breast with brawn on the thigh wıth black pudding and berries.
Jakob Fridholm/

As the days are getting darker and the thick autumnal fog covers the fields in the Southern county of Skåne, many people start to look forward to the goose feast on St Martin’s Eve 10th November.

St Martin’s Day was an important medieval autumn feast, and the custom of eating goose spread to Sweden from France. This is the time of the year when seeding is completed and goose is ready for slaughter. Many countries celebrate St Martin’s Day and traditionally 11th November marked the start of fasting so at St. Martin's Eve, people ate and drank for a last time before they started to fast.

A goose dinner takes a long time to cook and it is incredibly rich. Traditionally you start with a bowl of "black soup" (svartsoppa), made from goose blood and goose broth. The goose is often stuffed with apples and prunes and you eat it with seasonal delicacies like cabbage, apples and potatoes. Very often you finish with an apple tart and vanilla sauce.

Have you ever been to a goose feast? What do you do to celebrate St Martin’s Day? Let us know!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Speaking of innovative...

Three members from the Swedish vocal group Erato sings Call Your Girlfriend. Originally by Robyn, it is now performed by Ebba Lovisa, Amanda Wikström and Petra Brohäll - using spread (?) packages as instruments..!

Innovative Sweden

One hundred years ago Sweden was one of the poorest countries in Europe. Today it's ranked as the world's most innovative country, and a world leader in many research areas. This is a journey through some of the fields in which Swedish research excels.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Stockholm hotel offers room exclusively for bloggers

Blogger’s Inn is the next step in the Nordic hotel chain, Scandic’s, effort to raise the living standard in their hotels. With the help of Frida Ramstedt, who runs the design blog, Scandic has developed a ”Blogger’s Inn” room at the new lifestyle hotel Scandic Grand Central in Stockholm, Sweden.

Bloggers and entrepreneurs who have job related errands in Stockholm may apply to live cost-free in the concept room being tested at Scandic Grand Central. Frida Ramstedt of Trendenser, a highly acclaimed blog based out of Sweden, has been a part of the development and thought process since the beginning, helping Scandic develop a market research survey and plan for outfitting the room.

The room’s amenities and fixings, carefully tailored to the needs and desires of digital entrepreneurs, reflect the results of a thorough market survey. Scandic circulated a survey of questions regarding hotel habits and demands among 200 of Sweden’s most influential bloggers in the following categories: fashion, family/mother/father, design/interiors/photo, lifestyle, music/film/literature/computer games, food/drink, PR/advertising/social media and sports/hobbies.

A survey showed that approximately 6 of 10 bloggers (56%) stay in a hotel when they visit Stockholm. 7 of 10 of the questioned bloggers (70.1%) have been forced to turn down invitations to blog events, press days or trade shows in Stockholm due to the high cost of lodging. The bloggers’ most important tools during travel are their laptops, digital cameras, chargers and USB-cords. Only 15.2% travel with an iPad/e-book reader. However, 82% of the questioned bloggers would use an iPad/e-book reader if it were available in the hotel room.

The hotel’s acoustic bar has every chance of becoming Stockholm’s best cocktail bar, with live performances several times a week. If you enjoy people watching, this is the place to be!

For more information, please contact:

About is a daily website dedicated to home and interior design run by the
Swedish editor Frida Ramstedt. Launched in September 2005, Trendenser features
store and product reviews, trend forecasting, design hotels, travelling-, city- and gift
guides, DIY projects, recipes, and personal reports from different interior design events
in Scandinavia. In addition Trendenser also covers international design trends from
furniture fairs around the world. The site/blog is updated frequently (with an average of
2-3 posts a day) and attracts a core group of devoted readers who are interested in
interior design. Trendenser's audience stops by on a regular basis to check out the
latest news, reviews and recommendations for products and services. The site/blog
currently has 40.000-46.000 readers each week, mainly women between the age of 25-

Book Launch: You don´t look THAT old!

Sweden’s best-selling doctor-author-standup comedian Richard Fuchs is coming to the UK on the 3rd of November to launch his new book You don´t look that old! (£9.99).

In this humorous and friendly guide to all things that affect us as we age, Fuchs takes a look at subjects as diverse as hair, changing partners, glasses and plastic surgery. This is a very funny book with a touch of seriousness, no matter whether you've just reached 25 or forgotten when you were 65. You will find this book funny and a little bit useful no matter how old you are or how old you look. It is filled with wisdom and humour relating to the ageing process, from Signs of Ageing to Food for Wrinkies and from Hobbies to Plastic Surgery.

The Author is available for interview
Rickard Fuchs is a medical practitioner and best-selling author, serious lecturer and stand-up comedian. His books have been at the top of the bestsellers list on several occasions and he has sold more than two million books in his native Sweden. He has been published in 20 countries worldwide. His latest book Have A Nicer Day, was twice named book of the week in the Daily Mail.

Book launch:
Thursday 3 November 2011
6pm - 7.30pm
Embassy of Sweden Reception Suite
5 Upper Montagu Street  London W1H 2AG

Monday, 17 October 2011

Spaceport Sweden introduces its first space tourism product: northern lights flights

The collaborators Spaceport Sweden, ICEHOTEL, Swedavia/Kiruna Airport and Scandinavian Airlink, are launching an exclusive space tourism product that brings you closer to the magical and mythical northern lights: northern lights flights.

”The northern lights are a natural space phenomenon. The phenomenon is also the base to Swedish space activities and research, which started 60 years ago. Northern lights flights are Spaceport Sweden’s first space tourism product and with it we offer an exclusive possibility to see and experience the mythical northern lights from a front row seat”, says Karin Nilsdotter, CEO at Spaceport Sweden.

The Kiruna region is situated within the auroral zone and has among the best prerequisites in the world to see northern lights. There are several climate zones in the region that together with good weather conditions increases the chances of seeing northern lights. Moreover, northern lights are predicted to become more and more frequent over the next few years due to increased activity on the sun, according to the Institute for Space Physics in Kiruna, Sweden.

The premier flight takes place 15th of January 2012 and on it is Renata Chlumska, member of Spaceport Sweden’s Advisory Board and Sweden’s first female space tourist.

”Space tourism is not only a future utopia – it happens here and now. Sweden has through Spaceport Sweden taken a leading position in establishing this new business and that’s fantastic. I look forward to learn more about and experience the space phenomenon northern lights”, says Renata Chlumska.

The premier flights will be followed by three more flights the 5th, 12th and 19th of February. The tour starts at ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi with a short presentation about northern lights and a transfer to Spaceport Sweden where an airplane with seats for nine passengers will take you above the clouds with the northern lights outside the airplane windows.

”We’re looking at a completely new and up and coming industry where Spaceport Sweden’s goal is to make space available to anyone by developing innovative services and experiences that are unique to the world and where space is the platform. This will create atractiveness for the whole of Sweden”, says Karin Nilsdotter.

The Northern Lights Flights can be booked via Discover The World as of 17th of October 2011. There are three types of package deals to choose between: a basic, deluxe and a charter package deal that is bookable all days between 1st of January and 15th of March 2012.

Provocative Swedish comedy back on the London stage

Photo: Helena Sandklef
Stand-up comedian Magnus Betnér is returning to Britain to once again have us in stitches over his reflections and remarks on contemporary society, culture, religion and not least politics, starting in London on 2 November and finishing in Edinburgh on 6 November.

With over 10 years behind him as a TV and stand-up comedian back in Sweden, Betnér is one of few Scandinavian comedian who have ventured further afield and is making a name for himself in the UK and the States. Betnér’s frank attitude and in-your-face monologues are a sharp contrast to the reserved and polite veneer that Swedes are often associated with abroad. Non the less he has gained recognition in Sweden and beyond for daring to bring some of the most touchy subjects of contemporary Europen society onto the comedy stage and although it is certainly not for the faint-hearted nor the politically correct, it has taken him to the fore-front of Swedish comedy and gotten him several awards appointed by his industry colleagues.

You can find out more about Betnér as well as his tour plan and where to buy tickets on his website

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Sweden in the top ten Wallpaper* list

Villa Alba, in Saltsjobaden, Stockholm, designed by Swedish architects Widjedal Racki Bergerhoff.
Photo: Ake E:son Lindman

Swedish fashion label Altewai.Saome Photo: Duanne Nasis

Wallpaper*, the international design, fashion and lifestyle magazine is celebrating the best and brightest names from the world’s ten leading style and design nations. This year, the list includes Sweden.

Shining a spotlight on its favourite destinations, Wallpaper* is highlighting 20 hand-picked happenings from each country. The Swedish edit, spread across eight pages in the November issue, includes a sourdough hotel, multicultural fashion designers and Stockholm’s new generation of estate agents who are reinventing the industry. Wallpaper* editor-in-chief Tony Chambers says: "Despite facing stiff competition from its neighbours, Sweden is leading the new wave of Scandinavian design and style talent. They are bringing their unique vision to bear on everything from underwear and vodka bottles to stunning private villas and the world of fine-dining. We’ll continue to indulge in the Swedish creative scene in the years to come."

Alongside Sweden are France, USA, China, South Africa, Canada, Portugal, UAE, The Netherlands and Argentina. Each country has been given its own section which celebrates its diverse mix of both rising stars and established names in fashion, art, architecture, design, travel, food and beauty.

The November issue of Wallpaper* about Sweden hits the newsstands on 13 October.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Meet the Swedish Icehotel chef Alexander Meier

Alex Meier with Harrods restaurant manager at the SeaGrill bar

Hello Alex, welcome to London! You have created two dishes for the SeaGrill bar at Harrods, one with arctic char and one crab mousseline. How come you chose those two?
I created them because I think they represent Swedish Lapland. Both dishes are made with fresh Swedish products and if closing your eyes while eating it, you can only imagine how fresh, clean and mysterious the north of Sweden is.

Sounds yummy! What´s your view on Swedish food in general?
This is how it is; we have the forests, the rivers and the mountains that are full of products and flavours. If you make a fusion of these products; mixing for example the traditional Sami food with new fresh ideas, you can create amazing dishes.
You are the head chef at the Swedish Icehotel, what will be on the menu this year?
The new menu for the winter season was created by my F and B manager Stefan Benjaminsson and I. We are going to have exclusive products from Swedish Lapland with a hint of French cuisine. People will be given the chance to taste products from the forests; like reindeer, from the rivers; like arctic char and from the mountains; like cloudberries.
The season at the Icehotel starts on the 3rd of December, what are you looking forward to the most?
For our guests to come and eat and enjoy the greatest food they ever had..!

You are originally from Switzerland, how does it feel living in Sweden?
I love Swedish Lapland. Working with people that are like family to me, I´m living the dream.

Alexander´s dishes will be served at Harrods SeaGrill bar until October 19. To taste these gorgeous ingredients and recipes in their native environment, fly direct to the ICEHOTEL in Swedish Lapland this winter with the experts Discover the World (, three night trips from £1,093 per person.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Discover the Swedish world at Harrods 3-19 October

Absolut Svea (ginger and apple) with cloudberry liquor in frozen glass served with...
...Swedish Arctic char and crayfish at Harrods SeaGrill bar

The masterchef himself, Alexander Meier, from the Swedish Icehotel

Happy Cinnamon Bun day!

Today, 4 October, is Cinnamon Bun day in Sweden and cafes and shops will stock up with freshly baked wonderful cinnamon buns. 

Cinnamon buns are easy to make at home. They taste best on the day of baking but can also be frozen and enjoyed later after a few minutes in the oven.

Below is one of my favourite recipes. You can also buy these lovely buns in places across the UK, here is list of a few cafes we know of. Where to Fika in the UK
Fredrik Broman/
Swedish Cinnamon buns

Time: about 2 hours
Makes 25 cinnamon buns

  • 25 grams yeast, fresh yeast seems to work best but if you can't find it I normally use one or two packets of dried yeast instead
  • 75 grams butter
  • 2 ½ deciliters milk
  • ½ deciliters sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tea spoon of grounded cardamom
  • around 7 deciliters flour
  • 50 grams butter
  • ½ deciliter sugar
  • 2 table spoons cinnamon
  • one egg
  • pearl sugar

With fresh yeast break it up in a bowl. Then melt the butter in a saucepan,  pour in the milk and heat it up to 37C, you can test this by putting your finger in the saucepan, if it’s the same temperature as your finger it’s about 37C. With dry yeast follow the instructions on the package.

Stir in a tiny bit of the milk and butter mix in with the yeast. Then add the rest of the milk and butter. Add salt, sugar and cardamom while stirring.

Add the flour and work the dough into a smooth and elastic dough. You should work the dough for a  least 7 or 8 minutes if you are doing it by hand.
Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rise for about 45 minutes.

Set the oven to 225C.

Use a rolling pin and roll out the dough to a rectangular flat cake, about 20 cm x 50 cm and 1cm thick.
Once rolled out you can use a cheese slicer and slice the butter (make sure the butter is cold if using a slicer) all over the dough. The sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon on top. If you would like more filling just add more of the butter, sugar and cinnamon. Make sure you cover the dough evenly with the filling.

Roll up the dough and cut it in slices that are around 1 ½ centimeters thick.
Put some grease proof paper on a baking tray. To get that lovely sticky bottom of the bun, put bits of butter and some sugar on top of the greaseproof paper. Then put the buns on the paper with enough space in between each bun so they can rise. Cover with a tea towel again and let the buns rise again for about 30 minutes

Whisk the egg and glaze each bun with a little of the egg mix. Sprinkle some pearl sugar on top.

Cook in the middle of the oven for 8 – 10 minutes.


Thursday, 29 September 2011

Delicious products are coming to London

Photo: Markus Alatalo
This winter, Harrods is launching an exclusive range of Swedish products, many of which will be completely new to the UK. For those who want to try some of the ingredients in action, the Sea Grill will also be serving two dishes created by Alexander Meier, the head chef at Swedish Lapland’s renowned ICEHOTEL between 3 and 19 October 2011. An innovative take on traditional Swedish food, the dishes will be Arctic char with dill butter, asparagus and morel cassolette, fried cherry tomatoes and assorted crayfish and King crab mousseline with candied tomatoes, clams, lingonberry vinaigrette and autumn salad. The array of Swedish treats will be available from 3 October 2011 up until Christmas.

For one of Alex´s recipes, click here.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Has anyone seen it yet?

We are so excited that Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is now out at UK cinemas! Directed by Swede Tomas Alfredson, who also directed the scariest movie of 2008, Let the right one in, is back with an adaptation of John Le Carré's cold war thriller.

Has anyone been to see it? With the amazing cast of Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciaran Hinds, Colin Firth, David Dencik and the amazing Gary Oldman, we cannot wait!!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Swedish Fika - The movie!

If you missed our Fika event in London in August, or if you would just like to experience it all again, we are proud to introduce Fika - The Movie!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

SWE-DISH, a celebration of Swedish food

Last night VisitSweden, The Embassy of Sweden, the Swedish Trade Council and our partners opened the doors to SWE-DISH, a food event which welcomed 250 tour operators, MICE agents, retailers and press at the iconic OXO Tower in London, to enjoy delicious food and drink from Skåne in southern Sweden.

With its unique geography, a diverse set of pure, natural ingredients, a thriving restaurant scene and a healthy, modern, lifestyle, Sweden is the new culinary destination of the future.

This year’s SWE-DISH food event focused on Skåne, the country’s most southern county and the region known for its seasonal produce and locally sourced ingredients.  The evening was a chance for press, trade and partners to get together and also meet regional tourist boards and partners from across Sweden.

The evening began with an introduction by Gabriel Dorch from VisitSweden and was followed by an introduction to Sweden, the new culinary nation by The Ambassador of Sweden, Her Excellency Nicola Clase.  We were then treated to some inspiring speeches from Eva Turesson, representing the food from Skåne and Semmy Rülf at VisitSweden who spoke about all the activities that we are currently doing in the UK to promote Swedish food.

A team of Skåne’s award winning chefs were present to cook up a storm showcasing the region’s finest ingredients during the evening. I sneaked into the kitchen while they were preparing the food and was met by a hive of activities and wonderful smells from the pots and pans.

The fantastic menu we sampled was as follows:

New Carrots with Crown Dill Syrup in crumbled Rye Bread
Hot-smoked Salmon – Marinated Fennel – Sour pearl Sago
Brantevik Herring
Venison rillettes – Lovage Leaves – Golden Beet
Herring Cake – Apple Bread – Lemon
Goats' cream Cheese – Beetroot – Chioggia Beet

Venison Tartare – Sea Buckthorn – Bacon – Funnel Chanterelle
33°C Halibut – Jerusalem Artichoke – Cress
Pear Amandine – Almond – Yoghurt

Crayfish-stuffed Coley – Cauliflower – Leek
Venison Consommé – Wild Boar – Potato
Mature Präst Cheese – Carrot – Rapeseed Oil
Chocolate Terrine – Cherries

Chilled Ingelstorp Tomato Soup
Sugar-salted Wild Salmon Trout – Hard Roe – Apple – Dill Pickle – Potato Foam
Hot Wild Mushroom Broth – Venison Sausage – Juniper Berries –
White Root Vegetables – Red-veined Dock

Air-cured Wild Duck – Red Onion Preserve – Xo Präst Cheese
Smoked Rooster – Parsnip – Apple – Cavolo Nero – Caraway
Gooseberry – Vanilla – Cardamom – Meringue – Pistachio

It was all amazing! The elegant but also quirky presentation of the dishes made the eveing. In the middle of the room stood a wheelbarrow with what at first looked like carrots sticking up out of soil. On closer inspection the soil turned out to be crumbled up rye bread holding small delicious carrots with crown dill syrup. One of the guests even tried to shake off the soil before putting the carrots on his plate.

My own favourites include the venison consommé with wild boar and potato and the very interesting flavour combination of the goats' cream cheese with beetroot and chioggia beet, oh and the delicious hot-smoked salmon with fennel and sour pearl sago as well! We were also treated to some fantastic Swedish wine, Briska cider and Mariestads beer from Spendrups Brewery, as well as delicious apple juice from Kullabyggdens Musteri.

Do you want to try Swedish food too? Then head to Harrods between 3 October and Christmas to sample some Swedish delicacies.

For those who want to try some of the ingredients in action, the Sea Grill will be serving two dishes created by Alexander Meier, the head chef at Swedish Lapland’s renowned ICEHOTEL between 3 and 19 October 2011. An innovative take on traditional Swedish food, the dishes will be Arctic char with dill butter, asparagus and morel cassolette, fried cherry tomatoes and assorted crayfish and King crab mousseline with candied tomatoes, clams, lingonberry vinaigrette and autumn salad.

Or why not try one of the Swedish cafes in the UK? Here is a list of a few places I like.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The Swedish crayfish comes to London!

It’s early autumn and for us Swedes that means crayfish party time! This year The Swedish Chamber of Commerce kicked off its autumn events program with a crayfish extravaganza onboard the RS Hispaniola moored off the Embankment in London.

Delicious crayfish

The VisitSweden office here in London, and some lovely guests headed down to the Embankment and bravely ‘walked the plank’ across to the RS Hispaniola and were met by a ship in full crayfish decoration. Crayfish inspired paper lanterns shaped like the moon and crayfish bunting lit up the unseasonable warm August evening.

After a glass of Pimms on deck with Big Ben and the London Eye as a beautiful backdrop we all headed downstairs to dig into those delicious crayfish.

Swedish crayfish comes to London

Now if you have never been to one of these parties, there are a few things worth knowing:
  1. You will get messy, crayfish juice gets everywhere so don’t be embarrassed about wearing the provided bib or spraying your neighbour as you crack a crayfish claw!
  2. You must wear the silly crayfish hat!
  3. You must join in with the drinking songs, despite not knowing the words or the melodies
  4. Schnapps drinking I guess could be seen as optional in extreme circumstances but the singing will definitely improve with each shot of aquavit and your fellow party goers will appear so much better looking and funnier after a few shots.
We were served a traditional crayfish menu consisting of crayfish, quiche, salad, bread and cheese. You eat your crayfish with your fingers and making loud sucking noice to get to the delicious juices is perfectly acceptable. 
Crayfish party!  
To eat the crayfish you can use either a sort of nut cracker to crack the shell or just your teeth (though be careful if the shell is hard!). You can then eat as much or as little of the crayfish as you like but the more you eat the better of course.

The tables fell silent for a few minutes as we all tried to get to grips with how to crack open our crayfish but it didn’t take long until a clinking of glasses told us that now it is time for the first song. After clearing our throats and making sure our schnapps glasses were filled with delicious Skåne aquavit, we all joined in to sing “Helan går”, phonetically translated to the rather ghastlier sounding ”Hell and Gore” in English, the most well-known drinking song in Sweden.
Crayfish decorations
We had the option of singing it in Swedish or English which made for an interesting mix of both tunes and lyrics.

Here are the lyrics in Swedish:

Helan går
sjung hoppfaderallanlallanlej
helan går,
sjung hoppfaderallanlej.
Och den som inte helan tar
han ej heller halvan får;
Helan går!
Sjung hoppfaderallanlej.

And in English:

Hell and gore, Chung hop father Allan ley
Hell and gore, Chung hop father Allan ley
Oh handsome in the hell and tar
and hell are in the half and four
Hell and gore, Chung hop father Allan ley

One of the drinking songs, photo by Dave Lorch

The evening carried on with more slurping, cracking of crayfish shells and a lot of singing and drinking, until we all happily staggered off the boat at just before midnight, some still clutching a crayfish hat and wearing their bibs.

We had our two lovely social media and now of course crayfish fans Ailbhe and Dave who tweeted throughout the evening at #crayfish

You can also follow them on at:




Don’t miss Ailbhe’s fantastic blog

Crayfish have been eaten in Sweden since the 16th century. For a long while, only the aristocracy partook of these delicacies, as popular suspicion of shellfish was widespread. Originally, crayfish meat was used for sausage, ragout, patties or puddings.

Skåne aquavit
In the mid-19th century, people started eating crayfish as they are eaten today. The crayfish feast or crayfish supper in the month of August spread through the middle classes. In the 20th century, crayfish became a national delicacy and people in all sectors of society began celebrating the occasion.

It’s a whole year now until our next crayfish party but we will continue to bring you Swedish food to London. Keep checking this blog for a post of our next food event that takes place tomorrow night!

Crayfish table decorations
Here’s an article I found about crayfish in The Telegraph this morning:

Friday, 26 August 2011

Fika Square closes its doors for this time

After three fantastic days at Soho Square, Fika Square has now closed.

Day three was a little rainy but it was warm and cosy in the Fika Parlour marquee.

Fika Parlour
Emma Karp Lundström’s art  piece was completed in the morning and our Fika guests could rest their eyes on an amazing scene from a Skåne landscape created with thousands of colourful apples while sipping their coffee.
The apple art piece

A huge thank you to all of you who stopped by at Fika Square and of course to Emma and Jan who were our star attractions at this event and helped us make it such a success!

Don't forget that you can read all about Skåne AND be in with a chance to win your dream trip to this southern county in Sweden on our dedicated Skåne site

Sunny Wednesday afternoon at Fika Square

Fika Parlour moves into the cosy marquee

Day three was a little rainy but it was warm and cosy in the Fika Parlour marquee. By 12.30pm a
queue of people with reservations for the Fika Parlour had formed and before long the smell of freshly brewed coffe and delicious cookies filled the marquee in Soho Square.

Vincent Boczarski and Stephen Pell had made sure they got a reservation at one of the Fika Parlour tables. They are both big fans of Sweden and the tradition of Swedish Fika.

 Vincent Boczarski and Stephen Pell in the Fika Parlour
“I’ve spent a lot of time in Sweden and in Malmö in particular”, says Vincent.

“It’s a great place that has transformed in the last decade and there is just so much to see and do there now.

"And the coffee just seems to taste better in Sweden!”, he laughs.

Jan Hedh's delicious cookies

For all of you who tried Jan's delicious cookies and forgot which one was your favourite, here is a list of what they were:

Chocolate cookie with tiny pearls of sugar on top

Vanilla diamond
See Jan's recipe on BBC GoodFood

Havrekaka med russin
Oat cookie with raisins

Brussels cookie

Farmers cookie, with almonds

Fransk pepparkaka
French ginger snap, with almonds and ginger

Golden syrup cookie

N.B  The translations are my own and may not exactly correspond to their official name in English!

Some photos from Fika Square

We've been so lucky with the weather so far, after rainy mornings the sun came out during both Wednesday's and Thursday's Fika Square when we opened the doors at 12.30pm. Fingers crossed for another sunny afternoon today!

Here are a few photos from Fika Square yesterday and Wednesday. To view all our photos please visit our facebook page

We'll be adding more from the event during the day so keep checking!

Photo W Communication

photo Anna Hjerdin

Photo Malin Nyberg

Photo Malin Nyberg

Photo Malin Nyberg

Fika Square - day 3

It's the third and final day of Fika Square!

We will open the Fika Parlour at 12.30pm again today and we'll be in Soho Square until 2.30pm.

It is a little wet again today so the Fika Parlour will move into the marquee so you won't get wet while enjoying the seven delicious cookies and yummy Löfbergs Lila coffee.

Emma Karp Lundström's apple installation is now finish so come down and have a look at this amazing painting all made out of apples.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Wonderful Swedish cookies for all at Soho Square!

Rain and grey skies met us at Fika Square this the morning but by the early afternoon the sun came out and warmed us up in Soho Square.

The ground was too wet for the Fika picnic and instead we went out around Soho Square and offered free cookies to passers-by. The Fika Parlour moved into the tent and this created a cosy atmosphere where guests could enjoy a cup of coffee, a delicious cookie and a chat about Skåne and Sweden.

Seven delicious cookies

Sweden’s most famous chocolatier, pastry chef and cookbook author, Jan Hedh, made the seven kinds of delicious cookies and spent the day chatting to guests about the summer destination of Skåne and introduced Britons to the custom of Fika.

Photo by W Communication
I had a quick chat with Jan who told me how he used to work on cruise ships to fund his studies while studying to become a pastry chef in Switzerland. This gave him a taste for adventure and he has since continued to travel the world within his profession.

Jan grew up in Malmö in Skane, Southern Sweden. Since the age of 14 he has been baking and is now one of the foremost chocolate experts and pastry master in the world.

Jan is also the author of several books and a World Championship medalist. He is co-owner of Olof Viktor's Bakery in Glemminge and artisan bakery Peter's Yard in Edinburgh. He is also a consultant to the Chocolaterie Les Trois Roses in Malmö, where it manufactures chocolate and pralines, jams, marmalades, mustards, vinegars, and spice blends.

For more information about Jan please see the links below:

Jan Hedh

Olof Victors

Peter's Yard

Les Trois Roses

Apple art - day two

Emma Karp Lundström's live art installation during the Fika Square pop up has really started to take shape on the second day of the event. More colourful apples were delivered, and despite the wet morning Emma carried on creating the apple art piece.

Boxes of colourful apples

Maney people who walked past the Fika Square event asked what we were doing and wanted to come in and have a look.

Emma depicts nature and plants in graphic art and watercolors. She also paints with apples and potatoes. She studied art for 10 year including a masters degreed and followed in the footsteps of her parents who are both artist and work within Apple Art.

Apple art is taking shape

Amongst her many instillation, every year Emma produces the 108 square metre apple art work for the Kivik Apple Market & Autumn Festival. This year’s apple picture is her 11th, the market is celebrating 24 years. Emma’s apple picture attracts 100 000 visitors in September each year, 70 000 nails are used to hold up 35 000 apples.

Emma at the Fika Square event

Photos from yesterday and win a trip to Skåne!

Malin, our press manager here in the UK office, has just put up some great photos from Fika Square yesterday.

Have a look and at the same time don't forget to enter our Your Skåne Facebook competition and be in with a chance of winning your dream holiday to relaxing Skåne

View all photos

or go straight to the competition by clicking on the image below:

Skane competition

Day two - Fika Square

It's a little wet out there today but Fika Square will still be in Soho Square from 12.30 to 2.30pm today.

Pop in for a cup of coffee and some amazing cakes baked by world famous pastry chef Jan Hedh and watch how Emma Karp Lundström's apple art piece is taking shape.

I will post some photos of the apple art later this afternoon for any of you who can't make it to the event.

See some of you there later and fingers crossed for another sunny afternoon!

Boxes of colourful apples

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Fika Square - doors open again tomorrow

Fika Square has now closed for today but we will be back at Soho Square from 12.30 to 2.30pm tomorrow. Pop in for a Fika and try some of Jan Hedh's amazing cookies or watch Emma Karp Lundström work on here beautiful apple art piece.

The Fika parlour is now fully booked but you can still come to the drop in Fika picnic.

See you tomorrow!

Seven cookies and a cup of coffee

After a dreary looking start to the day the sun came out just as the doors opened to Fika Square at Soho Square in London. Within minutes all the tables in the Fika Parlour, and most of the picnic blankets were filled with excited Londoners on their lunchbreak, Swedes living in London and tourists who wanted to try a relaxing Fika.

World famous pastry chef Jan Hedh’s cookies proved a hit and our Fika guests had a hard time trying to decide which one was their favourite cookie. 

photo by W Communications

 - I think I prefer the one with the almonds, says Jackie Hannan. Jackie has travelled in to Soho Square from Ealing in West London to try a Swedish Fika and relax in the sunshine.

Traditionally, seven cookies are served as part of the Fika ritual, made from the finest natural ingredients, married with a fresh cup of coffee, it’s the perfect time to indulge and revitalizing. In the 19th century the ingredients for cookies were expensive and it was a sign of wealth be able to offer your guest several varieties of cookies. A competitiveness between hostesses developed and the custom for serving seven varieties derived.

An apple master piece is starting to take shape!

A lot of people have come to Fika Square to see the amazing apple art piece by artist Emma Karp Lundström. Emma has been behind the apple art at the famous Kivik Apple Market in recent years and today she is creating a huge piece of art made out of apples. The piece of art will look like a painting, but it is actually pieced together by colorful apples.

Boxes and boxes of colourful apples were delivered to Soho Square in the early hours and by mid morning Emma had already started putting up the first apples for the art piece.

Emma's apple art piece in Kivik is much larger than the one she is creating for the Fika Square event, but Emma says,

- It's harder to make a small piece than a big one.

The Kivik piece of apple art has around 35,000 apples installed on 70,000 spikes. The Kivik Apple Market started in 1988 when the Swedish fruit-growing industry joined forces to raise positive aware­ness of Swedish fruit. Times had been hard for apple growers and when the USA and EU demanded the removal of the Swedish import ban on foreign fruit during the Swedish fruit season, fruit growers protested and countered by starting the “Apple War”.

Fika Square has opened!

Fika Square has now opened in Soho Square! The sun is shining on the fika parlour and people are enjoying coffee and home baked Swedish cookies.

photo by W Communications

Artist Emma Karp Lundström has been building up the apple art piece all morning and the apple painting is starting to take shape.

World famous pastry chef Jan Hedh's cookies are already a hit and we are very pleased to report that the fika parlour is now fully booked.

You can still drop in to the fika picnic though, open from 12.30-2.30 today, tomorrow and Friday.

photo by W Communications