Fika in Stockholm

I have to get my daily fix of caffeine wherever I go. I also make it a point to hunt down the must-have local desserts to complement the coffee, more so when their consumption is part of the country’s culture.

The Swedes have fika – a time when friends gather over cups of coffee and favourite pieces of sin. Like how the English have their tête-à-tête about weather over scones and earl grey, and Singaporeans bond over their toasted kaya bread and kopi kosong whatever time of day. So, fika SJ and I did whenever the tummy churns.

We had heard about how wonderful Swedish cinnamon buns were and so had ourselves bite into some on a Sunday fika. Hmmm. Not too sweet…good. It had a hint of ginger…maybe that was the selling point. Otherwise, it was alright.

For our fika today, we waltzed into Vate-katten, a bakery established since1928. The interior retained bits of its past but had been largely modernized. What caught my attention were the little odd nooks that the proprietor cleverly turned into pretty seating areas – patrons could squeeze into some and have their rendezvous without others realizing their presence. But I like the courtyard best.

There was also quite the impressive display of baked goodies to choose from. I was overcome by gluttony so I picked the largest slice of cake they had. It turned out to be a fantastic choice – almond and raspberry sections of glorious cake fused together by light, fresh cream and wrapped in a thin layer of not-so-sweet lime marzipan; Princesstärta (Princess Cake) is its name. Sooo gooood!

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Paired it with fragrant earl grey tea, and we were in seventh heaven. ‘Tis the satiation of a mid-afternoon craving for sweets.

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Hej Hej !

Not a few moments after we landed, we transported our post 12-hour flight, blurry-eyed selves to the DIY furniture megastore synonymous with Sweden’s knack for innovation and design, but uncharacteristically economical, IKEA.

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The free shuttle that runs weekdays to and from the city to IKEA leaves every hour, on the hour. They made it so convenient. Until they decided to change pick up location the week we left. I checked the week before, and didn’t think that Murphy might have a trick up her sleeve. But of course she did.

We spent an hour hunting around and being sent on a wild goose chase by well-meaning locals who didn’t actually know where the pick up location was. After it dawned on us that there was a new pick-up point, we thought it wise to go ask at a tourist info booth – the one that just opened its doors at 10am. The just as blurry-eyed receptionist drew a long line on the new street we were supposed to be on and sent us on our way. Walking there was easy enough, but identifying the exact spot took another 45 minutes and a cup of nerve-calming coffee. Why did she have to draw such a bloody long line….

Anyway, we made it there and back. It had a few more things than the two stores we have in Singapore.

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Wait. We have TWO and we spent so much time hunting for the one in Stockholm just for a few more things?? What is wrong with us?!
Well, there is nothing like seeing the original right?
Absolutely!