At the end of August I was hugely lucky to be able to escape to Stockholm in Sweden for a short break with  my family. Having never been before I was verrry excited...but it's easy for high expectations to fall flat when something has been looked forward to so heartily. Reader I can assure you that Sweden did not let us down!

We chose to stay outside of Stockholm in a place called Viggbyholm in a super-cute airbnb house, which was a miniature version of hosts Eva & Mikhail's own home. We chose this spot because there was a wonderful lake nearby which offered swimmings and walks, and we just thought it would give us a little chance to catch our breath from the city.

The littie pink swimming hut in the first photo is free for anyone to use and everyday we met older ladies there having a daily dip. Sports facilities were abundant and seemingly really accessible. Further up the lake there was even a wheelchair ramp going into the lake.  One of my main takeaways from the whole trip was the Swedish approach of investing in the health of the population - everyone we met and saw just looked healthy!

During the rest of our time there we had a couple of museum days and a couple of days following our noses and seeing where we ended up. Highlights were Skansen, the world's oldest open air museum dating from the 1890's.

It was on a very large site with an amazing array of Swedish wooden buildings, beautifully preserved. The craftsmanship on display in the different buildings was just staggering and anyone who loves their woodcraft or traditional architecture would really enjoy a visit.

There was also a zoo, an aquarium and red squirrels (we are still bitter that recent trips to Anglesey and the Isle of Wight failed to deliver on their promise of red squirrels).

We also went to the photography museum Fotografiska which had a great exhibition on Terry O'Neil and was handily close to Hermans, a great all you can eat vegan buffet that a friend had recommended. And the Viking exhibition at the HIstory museam was really enjoyable too - it gave so much insight into the Viking period with some amazing displays of their craftsmanship.

Travelling round was really straightforward and everything felt a little simpler and less frenetic than the UK. We found some great shops too, probably too many to detail here, but highlights were Afro Art whose products we stock and it was really great to see their whole range and how they merchandised it.

But the ultimate destination was always going to be Svenskt Tenn, as a long and ardent fan of Josef Francks designs,

I was pretty keen to visit the shop that I had admired from afar for such a long time. Svenskt Tenn did not disappoint, set in a lovely building close to the waterfront, it was so wonderful to be able to see all their fabrics up close and just breath it all in.


The quality of their products is exceptional, though sadly that comes with a matching price tag, but I brought a small piece of fabric home with me as a reminder of a really great trip. I hope to make it back to Stockhom and Svenskt Tenn in the not so distant future.... just maybe with a bigger suitcase.


September 07, 2022 — Julia Grant

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