After Thanksgiving, I travelled to Stockholm, Sweden where my best friend has moved with her Swedish fiancé. Walking around the city with these two was so fun, there is so much to see in this beautiful city! Some call it "Venice of the north" because of all the islands (12) and bridges (42). We spent the week ducking into shops and cafés, trying to stay warm (30 degrees!) and grinning at all the Christmas lights and decorations.



This super fun shop sells high quality Swedish handicraft like candles, wooden spoons, textiles, and toys. I found some beautiful towels for my kitchen here that were a woven texture in pink and red. Very bright and cheerful. They also had some antique pieces from the indigenous Sami people from the northern part of Sweden. Woven jewelry and those lovely carved horses that are seen all over Sweden. 

The architecture of Sweden is very intentional and colorful. I loved the varying shades of yellow and orange plaster and contrasting window trims. I didn't go into this cute children's shop, Livly, but I thought the romantic gingerbread house in the window was so sweet. 

NK  Nordiska Kompaniet

Founded in 1902 and designed by Ferdinand Boberg, Sweden's leading Art Nouveau architect, NK is the Bergdorf Goodman's of Stockholm. I'm a sucker for luxury shopping, even if its just a visit to window peep and for a glass of warm glogg (pronounced glook) while I browse.


Fabrique Although a chain (they are verywhere) - these are hands down the best quick fika stops in Stockholm! So charming, each café has their own wood-fired bakery onsite. Known for delicious sourdough bread, the traditional kardemummabulle and saffron buns that are baked by hand with natural ingredients.

Lille-Brors Traditional bakery. Known for having perfect Semla and yummy savory olive rolls. Rörstrandsgatan 12, 113 40 Stockholm, Sweden

Vete-Katten (meaning “the cat knows”) This institution founded in 1928 by earlydays-girlboss Ester Nordhammar. I wanted a traditional spot to try the classic "princess cake" and this place was perfect in its old-fashioned decor and ease. A labyrinth of halls and dining rooms, there is probably always a place to sit and have a quick sweet bite. Perfect spot to catch up with a close friend as the coffee is påtår ingår or as we Americans call it - free refills! Kungsgatan 55 in Stockholm

Kaffeverket Very chic cafe, has a west village New York-feeling to it. Sankt Eriksgatan 88, 113 62 Stockholm

^ ANDROUET Den franska ostbutiken

Best cheese shop!


Food hall, similar to SF's Ferry Building, with high-quality ingredients and food from Swedish and international cuisines.


This hotel was fitting for our girl's only staycation night. An all-girls school for nearly 40 years, it was named for its beloved head mistress, Clara Strömberg. The buffet breakfast is not to be missed and the decadent BYREDO toiletries in the bathrooms were a huge and exciting surprise after I lusted through all the products in a nearby store.


Of course my bestie knew the one spot we couldn't miss ~ Rosendals Trädgård! The main purpose of this glorious place is to "spread knowledge and interest in gardening to the public" and to "inspire an enjoyable, yet sustainable life-style". I love this mission. They value true craft (wreath making to bread baking) and the seasonal garden cycle leads the year's focus. The bakery and plant shop were especially fun to shop for the holidays.


Floristkompaniet Norrlandsgatan 16, 111 43 Stockholm

Ginko Blommor Hornsgatan 60, 118 21 Stockholm, Sweden

Christoffers Blommor Kåkbrinken 10, 111 27 Stockholm


This year's theme for the annual Gingerbread House exhibit was boundless. Children, professional bakers, architects and amateurs ("everyone else") can create a house for the series and it was inspiring to see them all together and read all the descriptions and concepts. Many were reacting to the theme in political statements some in mere aesthetic ways.

SKANSEN, the "worlds oldest open air museum" reminded me of a cross between Shelburne Farms in Burlington, VT and colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. At the Christmas market, I purchased a couple light brown patchworked shearling squares that I intend to make into luxurious pillows. Lots of traditional Swedish snacks and sweets to try and handmade crafts to enjoy. 

Below, the Christmas market in Gamla Stan was in a gorgeous old square but not at all as interesting nor enjoyable as there where too many people and mainly cheap touristy souvenirs for sale.


(Swedish: [ˈɡamːˈla ˈstɑːn], The Old Town)

Dating back to the 13th century, the old town is made of medieval alleyways and cobbled streets. "The square was the site of the Stockholm Bloodbath, where Swedish noblemen were massacred by the Danish King Christian II in November, 1520. The following revolt and civil war led to the dissolution of the Kalmar Union and the subsequent election of King Gustav I." -wikipedia

The restaurant Den gyldene freden has been in business since 1722 and according to the "Guinness Book of Records is the oldest existing restaurant with an unaltered interior." -wikipedia

Cafe Schweizer has been open since 1920s. Originally, a coffee shop, or "schweizeri" where liqueur was served, this cafe was founded by Swiss immigrants that came to Sweden in the late 1800s. I didn't make it to either this visit, but are on my list for the next. I'm a sucker for classic historical restaurant and bars and get the feeling these won't disappoint!

v After Gamla Stan, walk by and peek in to the Royal Swedish Opera building - its glorious!



Duvel Café for a french inspired meal or cocktail or Meno Male for Italian!

Fotografiska Stockholm Contemporary photography museum. The top floor café has one of the best views of Stockholm, especially romantic at night.

v the view from above the museum