All tagged Sweden

ARN-FRA-VLC: new SAS lounge + new Lufthansa pastries


My journey back to Valencia started in the groggy early morning hours to walk to the train station, getting on the Arlanda Express, and checking in my bag in time for the 6:15am flight. I wasn't particularly looking forward to the SAS Lounge, having been to the Copenhagen one a couple years ago (very crowded), and the Gothenburg one (very slim pickings). I was surprised that the lounge in Stockholm featured a new design, with sections separated by carpeting and screens, creating various little living rooms. The use of diverse furniture designs is brilliant in breaking up that massive uniform look a lot of lounges have.

The food was pretty good - mainly cold options besides an oatmeal option (I seem to recall). I went in for one last big helping of the pate that I so loved from the hotel breakfasts.

When checking into my Lufthansa flight, there was a warning in the email saying that certain countries (i.e. Sweden) have instituted passport control, even for flights within the Schengen zone. This started with the refugee crisis...

Lodging Review: Haymarket by Scandic, Stockholm


I'd stayed in a few Scandic hotels in my previous travels through Sweden - once each in Stockholm, Linköping, and Gothenburg. They were all pretty nice, clean hotels, approximately the standard of a Hilton Garden Inn perhaps.

So I was curious what kind of hotel "Haymarket by Scandic" would be. Usually when someone puts a new name, followed by the world "by" and then the original brand name, it means that the new concept departs from the original brand in some way.

And the Haymarket certainly does! In fact, I'm not really sure what the "by Scandic" buys it from a branding perspective. The Haymarket is a hip, stylish hotel built in a former department store, and carries a 1920s glamour theme consistently throughout the experience from the logo typography down to the last details of even the bathroom mirror and coat rack. 

Stockholm Eats: Getting a Mouth Workout at Oaxen Slip


It was late, and I had just finished walking back to the hotel through snow flurries in the dark. I was enjoying the warmth of my room, and was contemplating perhaps just going across the street to a food court, but none of the restaurants there really struck my fancy.

I called a restaurant a bit away to see if they had any tables for dinner, but they were fully booked. So then I tried Oaxen Slip, which was even further away. A super friendly guy answered the phone said that they certainly did have space, and welcomed me to come over.

So I put on my boots and coat, and walked quite a bit in the freezing cold to a tram stop, and waited there for ten minutes or so for the tram to come to take me to the area of Skansen, where Oaxen was. This had better be worth it! Little did I know...

Stockholm Eats: Semla at Vete-Katten pastry shop


On the way to and from my hotel, I passed by a cozy-looking café always filled with people leaning into tables with cups of coffee in their hands.

I decided to come in for a break, after a long trek on food through dark, snowy weather. After ordering and picking up my food at the counter, I had a sudden case of déjà vu when I turned the corner into the rear dining rooms.

Seeing this central table with carafes of coffee and empty cups for the taking, surrounded by a motley collection of well worn tables and chairs, I realized that I had been here a few years ago with my parents!