Sweden is famous for its foodie scene | Photo: Ulf Luden/imagebank.sweden.se
Some may think that Sweden goes into hibernation once the dark months hit, temperatures plummet below zero and crisp white snow blankets everything with absolute abandon.
They couldn’t be more wrong, Swedes like to eat and drink all year round, regardless of weather and as a result, there’s a long, awesome food culture that every LGBTI foodie must experience.
Swedish Lapland is a true winter wonderland with incredible food experiences to be had in the colder months.
In Brändö, you can dine between the stars and sea, by eating on the ice itself. Dinner on Ice is just 30 minutes outside Luleå at Brändö Kvarnväg. Beneath a starry sky and above the water itself, leave the shore surrounded by darkness and walk towards the glow and warmth of fire and enticing smell of food.
The lávvu tent sent up on the ice offers a truly unique experience for all the senses that seems all kinds of wrong in theory but in practice works on every level.
Sit upon reindeer hides at the white tablecloth-adorned wooden table styled with candelabra, winter plants and table decorations and enjoy a delicious three-course dinner followed by steaming hot coffee.
You will almost forget that the sea ice is the restaurant floor over dinner whilst after you may even be lucky to have an unspoilt view of the dancing Northern Lights. This 2.5 hour activity is available from the beginning of January until the end of March annually.
For more edible adventures in Swedish Lapland, visit swedishlapland.com.
‘Fika’ is still the foodie/wellbeing movement most associated with Swedish culture. It feels that most of the world is mightily impressed – and a little bit envious – that the Swedes take time out of their day for coffee and cake for some light relief from the pressures of everyday life, some time to reflect and an appreciation of truly living in-the-moment.
In Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, there’s an incredible array of coffee houses and food-led cafes that are perfect for fika or just your everyday caffeine fix.
Chokladkoppen is a LGBTI-friendly, gay-run cage right in the heart of the old town, Gamla Stan. A traditional place, it’s not the most chic of Stockholm’s hipster coffee offerings, but it is rich in history as the first establishment ever in Sweden to hang a rainbow flag outside its door.
The setting, the food, the artwork, the friendly welcome and the huge bowls of hot chocolate all combine to make this one of the city’s best cafes whilst still being a little bit off the beaten tourist track in the historic old town.
For more places for Fika in Stockholm visit visitswedenlgbt.com and for more about the city, visitstockholm.com.
Malmö has become known as quite the contemporary foodie’s destination, giving its much larger neighbour and capital of Denmark a run for its money on the food front.
Seafood remains a firm staple of Swedish cuisine and a pair of brothers with a proud pedigree in the seafood trade, Björn and Erik Malmsten are shaking things up with their Malmstens Fisk & Kök (malmstensfisk.se) in the Malmö Salhuhall on Gibraltargatan.
Both a fish counter and casual restaurant with a great selection from flounder to fish soup, on Fridays stop by for oysters and bubbles after work!
For more foodie fun in Malmö, visit malmotown.com
Love Mussel, West Sweden
Welcomed by the smell of fresh seafood, at the Musselbaren Lyckorna in Ljungskile, a little over 30 minutes from Trollhättan, mussels are given pride of place. Musselbaren Ljungskile Offering a real Bohuslän experience. The Mussel Bar is located by the historic health spa resort of Lyckorna with a restaurant and bar overlooking the sea and the daily boat trips through the surrounding fjords.
Using mussels from Scanfjord’s farms, the dishes are kept simple here and allow the molluscs to speak for themselves. Each mussel dish is served with classic accompaniments and delicious sauces. Three of the signature dishes are always on the menu: moules frites, moules marinière and moules Roquefort.
As far as possible, they keep things local and seasonal as well as hand-made in-house as often as possible – from the daily bread to the aioli freshly whipped each morning. From here you can even go on a mussel expedition (April-October) and try your hand at harvesting fresh ones whilst The Mussel Bar also sells local produce, fresh mussels and accessories. They close for the chilly winter season and re-open in Spring!
For more on gay and lesbian Sweden, head over to visitswedenlgbt.com or follow the conversation at #SwedenYoureWelcome