Posted: Tuesday 10th October 2017
When I booked a long weekend away with my husband Lee to Stockholm with the sole aim of seeing John Mayer at the Erickson Stadium I never really thought about what an incredibly inspiring city Stockholm was. I had been to Sweden skiing a couple of years before and loved the scenery, the great food and the healthy balance the Swedes seem to have between having fun in the great outdoors and their chilled out approach to work. I also loved the natural elements and simplicity to their styling with every home, bar and hotel reinforcing why Sweden rates so highly in the design stakes.
So when I was planning this weekend treat I wanted to get everything right. Lee didn’t know he was going to Stockholm until a couple of weeks before and he didn’t know he was going to the concert at all. That was a surprise! His first reaction was what an unusual choice after naming all the obvious places (Paris, Rome) for what he thought was going to be our first romantic weekend away since we had had the kids. But once he knew he found himself getting quite excited about what was on offer in this quaint city - the natural beauty, the water, the history and the art.
I myself had already booked the hotel, The Story, a very modern stylish boutique hotel with easy access to the underground. I had also booked the evening meals for two of the three nights thinking it might be busy.
The first night I wanted to get into the spirit of things so booked the Aifur Krog, a wild Viking restaurant with large shared wooden tables, live traditional music and traditional dressed servers that looked like they were from the set of Game of Thrones!
The Saturday night I reserved The Ardbeg another highly recommended restaurant in the Vasterlanggatan area in the centre of the city. Sunday was left flexible to have a chill out day and the concert at night.
After arriving at the airport we jumped on the convenient airport to city bus service which had a stop right outside our hotel. Walking into The Story instantly filled me with inspiration, from the quirky artwork and bear walls and ceilings in this old converted factory. The letters on the wall of the hotel name below gave me some ideas for the wall of my workshop and the simple circles in coloured cardboard were dramatic against the old brick wall. My favourite was the cast man’s head in bright red peeping over the old oil barrel.
This theme followed through the whole building with the rooms being small but very stylish with dark walls and subdued paintings and lighting fitted with the industrial feel.
Everywhere we went we found ourselves drawn to objects, architecture and scenes that inspired us both. Even in the underground the piano key painted ceiling lifted an area that is traditionally quite stark.
We turned a corner at the bottom of the escalators to be faced with these amazing doors – not the expectation of an underground in my head anyway!
Then there was the palace and the quaint multi-coloured buildings and the Vasa museum, an incredible armada ship that sank nearly 400 years ago is centre stage and absolutely incredible.
Our trip to the Museum of Modern Art also gave me some ideas on shape and design with metal.
Our final day was relaxed with a trip on the ferry to some of the islands, a walk through one of the cities many parks and then the underground to the Ericsson Globe, the largest globe stadium in the world.
I leave you with the amazing John Mayer. A fitting finish to an awe inspiring weekend.
Lee and I will be back to Stockholm!
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