Stockholm Syndrome – You’ll never want to leave.
I don’t really know where to start with Stockholm.
Imagine walking into a restaurant and laid out in front of you are your five favourite meals. Where to stick your fork first? Fork knows.
It’s such an amazing city I’m a little bit perturbed with everyone I know who has ever been and not immediately forced me to go. I had to stumble upon the place by accident. And now I spend half my time talking endlessly about the place and the other half regretting not going sooner.
Staying at the Lydmar Hotel was a stroke of genius. Yes I chose it. Clever me. It inevitably faces the water (comes with the archipelago territory) and the royal palace beyond it. And has the most beautiful little terrace that seems to have direct sunshine beaming on it for more of the day than physics suggests is possible.
It also appears to be the most popular place for Stockholmians to head to after work on Friday night so it was abuzz with the beautiful fashionable people that litter the city. Something ought to litter the city in the absence of actual litter.
I don’t know who chose the furniture at the Lydmar but I could do with their help. The reception which is so often sterile in hotels is cosy and the breakfast room/restaurant/bar is a chameleon of a room managing to seamlessly be all three things successfully.
Our room looked like a catalogue photo from one of those companies that are so tasteful it’s actually a touch annoying to go home and live in the relative shambles of your interior décor attempts.
So, the perfect base. For what I discovered was the perfect place. We rented bikes (Henry likes to show off on hills) and were accidentally surrounded by the greenest of greens within about 5 minutes.
By crossing one bridge we were on another island called Djurgarden and beautiful city became beautiful countryside in the blink of an eye. We stopped repeatedly for no particular reason other than to express continued surprise about how pretty it all was. A transcript of our conversations over the three days would win the award for the most boring screenplay of all time.
“Oh isn’t that pretty.” “Look at that view, it’s stunning.” “This is a great place to sit and have a drink.” “Stockholm is amazing.”
We probably burned about 9 calories in total thanks to all the stopping and staring. And the repeated drinks stops which we blamed on sheer volume of lovely places to stop for a drink.
Our favourite was called Tragards Grill btw. You can’t miss it. And to be honest, if you do, fear not, you’ll find eight other perfect places to stop within 7 or 8 seconds.
Our next bike stop provided an equally dull screenplay of conversation with ‘pretty’ replaced with ‘cool’.
We were shopping in Sofo between Sodermalm and Katarina-Sofia which is essentially a whole load of cool (here I go again with that word) shops and café.
. In 10 minutes I had three dresses, some trainers and a necklace. All far cooler than anything I had ever bought before. The furniture and home décor shops were so stunning (and cool) we genuinely considered hiring a van, filling it, and driving back to London. Henry is not as bad as many men at shopping but he’s never actually enjoyed it before. Here he was a man possessed. He even bought bowls. He hates bowls. But not Stockholm bowls. Now he refuses to eat out of anything else.
We also explored Gamla Stan, Norrmalm, Ostermalm and more and at no point did I find a flaw in this wonderful city. It’s got art, architecture, history, great food, great bars, wonderful green areas, incredible shopping, it’s easy to get to and one of the best hotels anywhere.
I urge you to go immediately. Just be prepared for the inevitable grief that comes with leaving what is the most perfect city I’ve ever seen.
Have you ever been?