Saturday, 2 January 2016

Lifestyle: Winter Weekend in Stockholm, Sweden

In December, I finally managed to get away for a well deserved holiday with Ben. We wanted to go to somewhere new we have never visited before in Europe, and preferably something that would give us Christmas spirit. Eventually we decided on 3 nights and 4 days in Stockholm, upon recommendation from a girl in my team at work who hails from the city. Its safe to say we made the right decision, as we loved the city and our time away.

The flight there was really easy, about 2 and a half hours from Gatwick, although the 5am wake up call was quite painful! We flew with Norwegian airlines, and their planes were really comfortable, with TV programmes showing the whole flight and free wifi, which I thought was pretty great for economy and a short haul flight.

Once we touched down in Arlanda airport, we got the Arlanda Express train to the centre of Stockholm, which takes about 20 minutes. We stayed in a hotel very near the centre called Miss Clara and it was absolutely beautiful. We chose this hotel mainly because the style inside was very Scandanvian and we weren't disappointed. Our room had lovely touches such as a chair back connected to the end of the bed so you can eat breakfast in bed comfortably, and fairy strip lights in the windows and ceiling which gave it a nice ambience. The bed was the most comfortable thing we have ever slept in, and the bathroom was incredible - the bath was so deep the edge came up to my hip when I was standing in it!

One of the main reasons I loved Stockholm so much was that although it is made up of about 4 or 5 islands, you can walk it very easily. There is loads of different public transport such as the tram, underground or bus, and there is even uber available there too if you wanted to use that, but we decided to walk most of the time during the day. The weather at this time of year was pretty cold though, I wore thermals every day, with a fur headband and gloves as we were outside most of the time.

The people were also so friendly and spoke amazing English which made us feel very at home. The only downside is that it is a very expensive city - we spent about £400 in total over 4 days on just food and drink. It is also worth noting that you can also buy alcohol over 2% in off licences as it is not available in shops and the rate of a beer is about £7-8 for a little less than half a pint. The Christmas markets were also a little bit disappointing but were still fun to explore.

All the food we had was absolutely amazing, we had the best burger in Stockholm at Flippin Burgers, a delicious first meal at Grill and traditional Swedish meatballs in the oldest restaurant in Stockholm. We also tried a mixture of Moose and Elk at the small Christmas market which was interesting and quite yummy, washed down with a cup of Glogg (similar to mulled wine).

Of course we did a little shopping while we were there, and I picked up a few make up items from KICKS, which is a bit like our Boots and they have their own brand make up line. Unfortunately the Sephora was tiny so I didn't buy anything there and there was also another drugstore brand I was recommended to try next time called Issadora.

Our Top Suggestions for Stockhom
* The Christmas Market/Village in Skansken situated on the island of Djurgarden - very touristy but there is also a zoo, food and drink and lots of craft stalls.
* Grill - a Tiki themed restaurant which had the most delicious cocktails and tasty food. Quite expensive but worth it.
* Miss Clara Hotel - amazing breakfast, service and rooms, I could not recommend this hotel enough!
* NK - big shopping mall similar to Selfridges in the UK
* Princess cake - you can get this pretty much anywhere but it is very traditional and yummy.
* Urban Deli - similar to Whole Foods but so much better and has a restaurant/bar inside. Delicious meals and snacks to take away.
* Weiners cafe - lovely for a glass of wine or afternoon tea. Super pretty inside.

Where is your favourite place in Europe to visit? xxx


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