With an insatiable ambition to become Europe’s next big gourmet destination, Stockholm’s a must for foodies. Offering one of the most dynamic and lively food scenes, and with two of its restaurants having just been awarded a further two Michelin stars, there’s never been a better time to book a tasty short break.
Set in the centre of this delectable city, and just a short walk to some of the top gastronomic experiences, is the stylish Berns Hotel – a hotel/entertainment palace with 82 rooms that simply drip with style, plus its own basement nightclub and concert venue. With great links to several of Stockholm’s top restaurants – thanks to its connections with parent company Stureplansgruppen – and its own acclaimed Asiatiska restaurant, serving lip-smacking, pan-Asian cuisine, Berns makes a perfect base for a foodie escape.
Attracting food lovers from all over the world, Stockholm has something to suit every palate. Here are Berns’ top picks:
Volt, Östermalm – 15-minute walk from Berns
Awarded its first Michelin star in 2015, Volt’s kitchen prides itself on its use of fresh and local produce, with a clear statement on the restaurant’s website declaring its menu to be ‘clearly focused on ingredients and products from the forests, fields and seas that surround us. Natural, distinct and honest’. Packed with innovative ideas, the modern Nordic menu is split into either four or six courses, with simple dish descriptions such as ‘Milk, roasted bark, pine’ and ‘Reindeer, salsify, green juniper’. VisitRestaurang Volt for more information.
Oaxen Krog, Djurgården Island – 28-minute walk or 18-minute boat ride from Berns
This Michelin-starred restaurant received its second star in 2015, within just two years of opening. One half of twin restaurants, Oaxen Krog & Slip, on the leafy island of Djurgården, Krog is the more refined of the two. Seating just 35 diners, the six or ten-course tasting menus are full of Swedish, locally-sourced and seasonal produce, with the kitchen staff foraging for wild herbs and plants on Djurgården each summer. The menu is paired with wines from small European ecological vineyards. Visit Oaxen Krog for more information.
Asiatiska, Berns Hotel, Norrmalm
Berns Hotel’s centrepiece restaurant serves Asian fusion at its best, under a crystal chandeliered ceiling in a grand, Baroque ballroom that dates back to 1863. Based on the traditional kai seki style of sharing, the restaurant offers dim sum and modern sushi (prepared in front of you), plus a range of Sake cocktails. Its tasty brunch menu comes highly recommended, too. The origins of Asiatiska go back over 65 years: During World War II, a company of Chinese jugglers, who had been performing at the neighbouring Chinese Theatre, missed the food of their home land so much that they opened a Chinese restaurant at Berns, the first in all of Sweden. Visit Berns Asiatiska for more information.
Le Rouge, Gamla Stan – 13-minute walk from Berns
Boasting wonderful fin-de-siècle decadence, this restaurant in the heart of the Old Town (Gamla Stan) holds tradition over and above trendiness. With a plush, red-velvet interior – that somewhat resembles the Moulin Rouge – the restaurant offers dishes, ‘in classic Parisian spirit – with Swedish produce’. Don’t miss the bar next door, Le Bar Rouge, where the its flamboyant hosts and DJs transform it each weekend into a lively party venue. Visit Le Rouge for more information.
Östermalms Saluhall, Östermalm – 10-minute walk from Berns
This food hall has been the pride of Stockholm’s foodie scene since 1888. A must-see for both the architecture and the counters and shelves packed with local delicacies – such as tinned smoked reindeer, Västerbotten cheese and Lingonberry jam – the food hall is the place to experience Swedish cuisine at its finest, as well as pick up top-quality ingredients to take home. There are also a number of restaurants and cafes with an emphasis on seafood and the classic Swedish fare known as ‘husmanskost’. Visit Ostermalms Saluhall for more information.
Ekstedt, Östermalm – nine-minute walk from Berns
Running in the opposite direction to the modern Nordic food trend, Ekstedt takes Scandinavian cooking back to its roots. The back-to-basics approach sees the restaurant swap electricity for traditional wood-burning ovens, fire pits and wood stoves. Featured last year on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s UK TV series, Scandimania, which celebrated the evolution of Scandi cuisine, this restaurant is certainly one to watch. Visit Ekstedt for more information.
Djuret, Gamla Stan – 15-minute walk from Berns
As the Swedish word for animal, the name is quite fitting for this unique restaurant that only serves one ‘animal’ at a time. Certainly not for vegetarians, Djuret offers the chance to sample the meat from a single animal – in its different cuts and interpretations – over a three or six-course menu. To complement the theme, the restaurant has striking décor, inspired by hunting and butchery, with meat grinders as lamps and targets as art. Visit Djuret for more information.
GET A ROOM
Stays at Berns Hotel cost from 1800 SEK / approx. £142 for a standard double (two sharing), including breakfast.Berns’ Concierge has excellent connections throughout the city and can arrange restaurant reservations at the time of your hotel booking.
At weekends, guests also receive a complimentary VIP wristband that queue-jumps them straight into special treatment at Berns’ own basement nightclub, Gallery 2.35:1, plus top Stockholm clubs Ambassadeur, Hell’s Kitchen, Sturecompagniet, White Room and Spy Bar.
Berns’ concert hall, Stora Salongen, has hosted the likes of Rihanna, on her infamous 777 tour, and, more recently, Haim, White Lies, Manic Street Preachers, Lykke Li and Angel Haze. George Ezra has just been announced for June 2015 (tickets from £21 pp) – hotel-and-concert packages are readily available.
Direct flights start from £44 pp return with Ryanair (Stansted to Stockholm Skavsta). Alternatively, fly direct to Stockholm Arlanda from £80 pp return (Gatwick or Heathrow) with Norwegian.