Explore Stockholm with Khoollect Editor-in-Chief Rachel Khoo

***Rachel Khoo would like to thank all the inspiring people who helped make the Khoollect studio a hive of creativity. Although the Khoollect studio’s doors have now closed, you can keep up with Rachel’s newest adventures on RachelKhoo.com and on Rachel’s Instagram and Facebook pages – and, continue to enjoy the Khoollect website’s stories and recipes, which will remain available.***

After years spent living in both London and Paris, Khoollect Editor-in-Chief Rachel Khoo recently made a new home for herself in Stockholm, Sweden. She takes us on a virtual tour of her favourite spots around the city, offering truckloads of tips and advice on where to linger for longer:

Which part of Stockholm do you live in?

I live in Södermalm. It’s a great neighbourhood for restaurants, bars and shopping.

What do you love about Stockholm?

I’ve been here for a couple of years now and love how easy going it is. I think it’s partly due to its close proximity to nature – no matter where you live, you’re never more than 100m from a park or green space. This summer has been fantastic – after work there’s always a mass exodus as people head to the parks and beaches to enjoy a swim, picnic, and the last of the evening sun. Stockholm is a small capital (in comparison to London and Paris) so it’s also super easy to get around.

Ideal day out with a visiting friend?

Well, we would definitely have to have fika – the Swedish tradition of having coffee and a cinnamon or cardamom bun at morning or afternoon tea time. My favourite bakeries for fika include Lille-brors Bageri, Petrus and Magnus Johansson.

After our fika break we would take a wander around the cobbled streets of the old town towards Svenskt Tenn – a stunning interiors shop (forget Ikea) with lots of beautiful furniture and fabrics designed by Josef Frank, a famous Austrian designer. It’s very expensive but well worth browsing.

Then finally, we would head to Djurgården and enjoy a walk around Rosendahl Trädgården and stop for a spot of lunch or afternoon tea. If the weather isn’t looking so favourable, the Vasa Museum makes a great rainy-day alternative. To end the day, we would hop on the boat back to the old town before heading home.

Best kept Stockholm secret?

If you’re in Stockholm for more than 48 hours I recommend catching a boat out to one of the many Archipelago islands. It’s such a beautiful way to enjoy Stockholm’s nature and get a better understanding of Swedish culture (which is very much about enjoying the nature regardless of the weather, as per the saying: ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes’). Landsort is on the most southern part of the Archipelago and is dotted with traditional red wooden cottages along with the country’s oldest lighthouse.

Favourite restaurants to dine out? 

  • Portal – for seasonal Swedish ingredients served with a modern twist. The food isn’t fussy and the atmosphere is laid back and friendly without the stuffiness of white tablecloths.
  • Sturehof – this is an institution in Stockholm, serving classic Swedish food. I’ve been there so many times and always had great food. A great place to be if you fancy dining on traditional offerings, such as Swedish meatballs or herring…and do a spot of people watching in the process.
  • Niklas Ekstedt – for delicious food cooked over a fire inside the restaurant (don’t worry, you won’t end up smelling like a bonfire). You’ll be impressed at how they manage to control the fire to cook such refined Swedish-inspired dishes.
  • Rutabaga – for a fancy night out. Head chef Mathias Dahlgren already had a few Michelin stars to his name before he opened this plant-based restaurant. If you’ve got cash to splash and want to be surprised with creative vegetarian food, this is the place to go.
  • Hornstulls Market – the market is open on Sundays from April through to October. You’ll find loads of food trucks and a flea market with people selling vintage and secondhand odds and ends.

Favorite cafés?

  •  Drop Coffee – they roast their own delicious blend of coffee. It has become so popular that you can now find it in coffee shops around the world.
  • Bergianska trädgården (botanical garden)– the glass greenhouses are beautiful and there’s a fantastic café on site too. I had a delicious lunch there recently of simple homemade soup and carrot cake.

Ideal spot for a good drink?

  • Tyge & Sessil – owned by Niklas Ekstedt, this bar offers a great selection of natural wines, live music, and delicious small plates. I’d quite happily spend a whole evening here sipping on a glass of wine and sampling the food.
  • Hornstulls Bodega – tucked away on the corner of a side street in hipster Hornstull, this tiny wine bar fills up with locals after a day at the office.
  • Pharmarium – it’s no surprise Pharmarium features at the top of many Stockholm lists. The cocktails are delicious and the interior is the complete opposite of the Scandi minimalist style most people are accustomed to.

Where do you love to shop?

There are lots of great little shops around the blocks south of Folkungagatan (Sofo) selling everything from clothing to interior decor, to furniture and more.

Best places to get a dose of culture?

Artipelag – it’s a little out of town, but you can easily catch a shuttle bus from central Stockholm. It’s a great art space set in the most stunning location surrounded by the Stockholm Archipelago.

Fotografiska – the Stockholm photography museum consistently offers interesting exhibitions, and as an added bonus, the on-site cafés and restaurant has an amazing view over the city (this is a great place to go if the weather isn’t favourable).

Where’s your ‘happy place’?

On a sunny day, I love going for a run around Långholmen (one of the many islands in Stockholm). There is a lovely beach on the island too. If you’re up for it, you can also hire kayaks and paddle around the islands.

If you could change one thing about Stockholm what would it be?

It would be great if the Swedish winters were just a little bit shorter. The darkness and cold gets to you after four months.

Have you spent time soaking up the sights around Stockholm? Tell us your favourite places to frequent in the comments below…

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