Stockholm Is The Most Magical Place

After our fun Finnish boat ride, we immediately navigated our way to Gro, a restaurant I had read about in Eater's totally on-point Stockholm Heatmap. We arrived to find a line out the door, and the queue of people waiting in the rain looked like they were from Brooklyn, but a much more attractive version of Brooklyn. This must be the place.

HIP!! Everyone ordered the very affordable special of the day, which made things so much easier for us. It was pork, potatoes, artichokes, and other veggies, and I wish I was eating this right now. Can't recommend this place enough! Even the gratis bread and butter was perfect, and I love how the butter was artfully smeared on a rock. I am going to get people "butter rocks" for wedding gifts now. Here's your butter rock, it's so cutting-edge. Hand wash only.

So we were only an hour into Stockholm and this was a home run. We focused more on sightseeing than food, but our final meal of the trip was Oaxen Slip bistro and that was so wonderful as well. The restaurant design was stunning too. That was also from the Eater list! Go Eater! Thanks for making me feel with it. 

I can't write enough good things about our hotel, Story Signalfabriken. The design was completely up our alley. We spent about 15 minutes photographing the hotel room like the design geeks that we are. This photo doesn't do it justice. Everything was just so! And what a deal at $130 a night. I almost ate that much in salmon at the dynamite free breakfast. With hand-squeezed strawberry orange juice!

European hotel breakfasts are so amazing. We went back for thirds and people around us just had a slice of toast. 

The details! Not only were the mugs perfectly unperfect, they had little tea lights under a trivet to keep the teapots warm. Genius. 

We got the 72-hour metro pass, and never waited longer than seven minutes for a train or bus. Gotta love the cave-like metro too.

This dog was absolutely everywhere! Many fun!


Isn't this a beautiful place! Everyone goes on and on about Paris, and for good reason. But Stockholm really is special, at least from what I gathered from a 48-hour trip. More Americans should go there!

Also, we're always comparing ourselves to French women. I hate to break it to you, but Swedish women have our number too. "Where are all the frumpy moms?" Penelope and I kept asking ourselves. The women in Stockholm were impossibly glamorous, and just happened to be toting perfect toddlers in perfect city strollers. Lots of hot dads too. Just beautiful people in general. Maybe these put-together families have something to do with generous time off for parents? Just guessing. 

Stroller parking! So family-friendly. This was at the Nordiska Museet. 

This is one of the exhibits at the museum. Which of these is not like the other? Maybe an employee accidentally broke a historic horse and then had to improvise.

Here I am, posing with an exhibit about stripes. I got the memo. I only wear stripes. 

I went blonder for my Sweden/Finland trip, in hopes that people would think I was Swedish. I think it worked! When we went shopping, a few people spoke to us in Swedish but quickly realized their mistake when we just stared blankly, blinked, and then said one word: "English?" And then they would apologize to us for speaking their native language, which was so nice and unnecessary.

At first the blonde was a little shocking because it felt so different, but I love it and it seems like it's always been that way. Thanks, Stefeny at Fringe!!!

The Vasa Museum is a must-see. It's absolutely mind-blogging to see this gigantic, perfectly-preserved ship and the story of how it was recovered is fascinating. 

We barely explored this park. I wish we could've ridden bikes and toured, but the weather was cold and rainy. So!

Shopping in Sweden was so incredibly fun, maybe because I didn't have a firm grasp on how much anything cost with the currency exchange. I didn't have know how expensive everything was, and the world was my oyster. Note: I was heading for a rude awakening.

Pictured above, you'll see DesignTorget, or Design Target as we charmingly called it. Neons, stripes, everything was so modern and lovable!

The only store I loved more was NK Stockholm, the most amazing department store I've ever been to. Look at this home section!! I could've lived there. In the Women's department, it was like stores-within-stores, with a whole section for Swedish designers. We spent several hours just worshipfully walking the halls of NK, not buying anything. And everyone was so nice to us, even though we were obviously gawking tourists.

So the next day, I was like, I gotta buy something here. Anything. And I found this teal espresso set with stripes and polka dot. It was a tray, a bowl, and two small cups, and it was an explosion of cuteness. It didn't have a price tag, but hey, I'm on vacation. I deserve it.

So the lady rang it up, and like a dummy, I swiped my credit card. And then Penelope started laughing. "Adele," she whispered. "Did you mean to spend $600 on that? Just wondering." Oh. MY. No, I did not. That never even entered into the realm of possibility. I can't spend $600 on several small bowls, this just is not an option in my life. But the lady was already wrapping them up in gift paper, very carefully.

My mind grinded to a halt and two options floated into view: accept defeat and just get the stupidly expensive bowls to avoid embarrassment, or suck up your pride and tell the lady you've made a horrible mistake and you'll be needing to return right here at the checkout. I decided I would never see her again but the credit card bill would linger on, so I said, "Actually I just want the tray." But that was still $200. So I said, "Actually, I just want this small notebook. Yes, this notebook right here is all I will be purchasing, good day." For the record, the notebook was $20.

So shopping in Stockholm is so, so world-class, with prices to match. I also bought this Swedish perfume, Byredo "Pulp." The scent is intense, like you hate it at first, but then you love it. It's intensely fruity and a little bit sinister. To quote J-Law in American Hustle: "It's like, perfumey, but there's also something, rotten. And I know that sounds crazy, but I can't get enough of it." 

We wondered where Swedish women shopped, and the answer is COS. I have never been in a busier store. Wonder if New Yorkers will feel the same way! 

I think we went to every Acne store in Stockholm to gape at Pistol Boots. They are stunning, and really every cool girl in Stockholm seems to wear them! We saw so many pairs on the subway and just walking around. I promised Penelope I would buy them soon, and she promised me she would buy Byredo. It's our shopping pact. 

I think the Pistol boots are way more timeless than these beauties. Or maybe they are for forever. We hung out at the Acne store and the hip shop girls almost convinced me to buy this insane swan sweater. It was so ugly it was chic. Maybe? Not so practical when I got home to D.C. and it was 90 degrees. Anyway, I resisted, and good thing because it turned out to be $370 U.S. dollars.