All posts tagged: Scandinavia

Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel, Norway

Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel – one of my faves of all the hotels over all the years – features 15 cute, white rooms, an on-site restaurant serving up appetising Nordic cuisine, and a welcoming owner who really is living out his picket-fenced dream – and inviting you to be a part of it. Do people still harbour the ‘white, picket-fence house’ dream from the 1950s or whenever? Pretty sure for my friends (in Sydney at least), it has been downsized to the ‘owning real estate at all’ dream. Either way, if you’re not there yet, you should consider finding a homely, white hotel in which to live out these fantasies – even if for a little while. Like, perhaps one that hangs over the water in the fjords of Western Norway, that has a bright, window-encased sitting room with little book stacks on the sills. Charming Communal Spaces I couldn’t stop gushing at the front sitting room, with it’s large windows that keep the fjord in view, cosy chairs and scattered stacks of books – this …

Norway Fjord Fjaerland Scandinavia Book Town Glacier

Fjærland – Norway’s Book Town Deep in the Fjords

Often the most magical places are a little tricky to reach. But if you make that extra connection, wind a little deeper into lesser-known terrain, the rewards can be significant: the feeling of discovery, a comforting dose of tranquility, and in the case of Fjærland, more books and pine trees that people – and the people are mighty nice. Fjærland is a village in the Norwegian fjords, and this particular fjord is called the Sognefjord. It can be reached by two ferries from Bergen (or a long bus from Oslo, which was our onward journey – there is a big, modern info centre down at Bergen Harbour which will point you there and sell tickets). This charming town is a drawcard for two reasons – one is that it is the gateway to the vast Jostedalsbreen glacier – the largest glacier in continental Europe that spans a staggering 487 square kilometers! The arm that people come to see is called Bøyabreen. The other, which had my heart aflutter and was my main purpose for the …

Miss Clara, Stockholm

When somebody says Scandinavia, the first thing that floats into my subconscious is clean lines and beautiful, functional design. Well, at least as the top three things with hygge and Alexander Skarsgård – in no particular order. So to even consider going on tour in the land of sleek interiors and not stay in a beautiful hotel or two was out of the question. Enter Miss Clara, Stockholm. From our first experience checking in, where we were greeted by a very friendly and helpful concierge (who later gave me great tips for exploring the design stores of Östermalm), we knew were in a place that was pure class. Then our room, with dark solid wood and billowing white clouds curtains, walls and sheets of crisp white as well, lovely light whether natural or lamp-made, we were arriving into the very aesthetics that Scandi design conjures. A nice hotel is also as good as the little touches, like the Orla Kiely products in the bathroom, the Swedish script on the frosted bathroom window,  and the divine …

Scandi Food Fave: Oaxen Slip, Stockholm

Oaxen Slip has a giant boat suspended from the ceiling. This painted vessel is hoisted up to dangle from the high ceiling of the bright white dining room, where it sits above wooden tables with retro cinema seating and red leather bar stools. Arriving for the first seating of the day meant we had the pick of the balcony tables, so we plonked in the sun, ordered some plonk and settled in to what was to be a glorious afternoon by the waters of the inner archipelago. We discovered this restaurant in the fab CITIx60 Stockholm Guide, which features everything from restaurants to galleries and hotels to markets, all recommended by creative locals. I was sold on the big, crafty boat scenario, but another alluring factor was that Oaxen Slip is a short ferry trip from Stockholm to the small island of Djurgården (which , you can tell your mother, also houses the ABBA Museum – she’ll be pissed you don’t go) and a little leafy island stroll to get there.   Oaxen Slip is …

Hotel SP34, Copenhagen, Denmark

How does one readjust after a wild, multi-day jaunt in a muddy campsite at Roskilde Music Festival? By checking in to a stylish design hotel, with beds like fluffy clean clouds, of course! It’s about balance, people, b-a-l-a-n-c-e. I had been daydreaming about shacking up in this hotel, located in Copenhagen’s Latin Quarter, long before we arrived in Europe, after spying it in the (essential) Copenhagen Style Guide by Anna Peuckert & Søren Jepsen (of wonderful blog 12 HRS fame). And boy did I think of it when in the dirtier-than-thou campsite at Roskilde (don’t get me wrong, just the 3 1/2 hour set by Neil Young was worth that experience alone – and don’t get me started on PJ Harvey, At the Drive In, Grimes…more on that at another time). So when we showed up at the hotel, probably not looking exactly like the kind of clientele they are used to (I had a red wine stain down the front of my ripped jeans), we were ready to dump our bags, were dying for …

PapirØen Street Food, Copenhagen

Whether you consider yourself a culinary traveller or not, PapirØen Street Food is a destination sure to evoke a squee of delight. Situated on PapirØen (Paper Island), which is a short (and I mean very short – around 5 minutes) ferry trip across from the pastel photo paradise that is the streets of Nyhavn, this foodie gem has casual river-side dining figured out. Copenhagen Street Food is set in two large warehouses with pop-up shipping containers out front, long communal benches, and a row of reclining chairs with views across the river. This is people watching at it’s best. Stake a spot, then duck inside and veer to the right until you find Cocktailbaren for their off-the-hook berry mojitos. You’ll need it to mellow your excitement when you head back inside and start decision tackling the plethora of food stands. Skymie indulged his love of Korean food by heading to Bulko for some spicy BBQ vegetarian bibimbap with a side of kimchi, while I braved a huge line to get a middle-eastern pita pocket – …

Restaurant Love: Svartsö Krog, Sweden

An hour and a half out of the city by ferry, Svartsö is an island gem in the Stockholm archipelago that is almost worth visiting just for its lovely (and only) restaurant – Svartsö Krog. This dining experience can be filed under Travel’s Welcome Little Surprises. We arrived in Svartsö (as per my previous post on this island adventure) with zero expectations of a delicious meal – rather just a dim hope of any meal – and floated into what was surely some kind of heaven portal. Gourmet (but not wanky) local fresh Swedish food, delivered with friendly service. We couldn’t believe it when our waitress confessed – in the infuriatingly perfect English adopted by all Scandinavians – it was her first week. Even without a booking, we were seated on the wooden balcony, with views out to the water. The eve was starting to get cooler, but there were big rustic blankets at hand should we need them. On learning that food was served until 10pm and the restaurant was open until midnight, we …