May 5, 2011

A trip to Bruxelles

Take the ferry from the house with the dog and luggage.  Drop the dog with Hans.  Get on the bus to the train station.  Bus gets stuck in traffic due to road closure for huge crane construction thing.  Have to get off the bus and walk to the station.  Get to the station. Tunnel to train closed.  Cross the street to other side of train station.  Electrical problem - express train to airport not working.  AT ALL!  So.  Get into taxi for airport.  Me and the other million people trying to get to the airport on time.

Taxi not moving.  Putin has arrived and road to airport is closed for security.  Taxi driver drives wildly through back streets to get through road block a la Steig Larsson's "Girl who played with Fire".  Many jokes in the taxi about how we are going to have to drive to Brussels (all of us in the taxi on same flight) but I am not laughing.  Try text Bron to tell her I might not be meeting her in Brussels (Bron flying in from Copenhagen and we meeting in Brussels airport).  Phone not working.  Bron cant call me back so I have to borrow a fellow taxi passengers phone a few times so she knows I might not make my flight.  Yay, I love bumming calls off strangers.

Traffic clears up, we fly through.  Get to the airport to late to check in.  Talk our way onto the flight.  Trainee lady forgets to give me a boarding card.  Rush back to get it.  Get through security with a bottle of water and cell phone in pocket.  Let Bron know I have checked in and will met her in Brussels.  Her flight is delayed 1,5hrs because the wheel fell off her plane.

Fortunately our flights are safe and the drama stops there.  We meet in Brussels. Our room has been upgraded to a suite with two complimentary mini bars.  Oh Boy!

Next day I walk for hours and eat waffles, chocolates, pommes frites avec mayonnaise, croissants, hot chocolate.  The day finishes with another train, flight and taxi, all of these thankfully smooth and calm.
I wouldn't have been able to take that kind of stress two days in row.

Found in the Mini Bar!

Our Suite 

Le Grand Place

I couldn't resist a pic of the bathroom!  Can you see the t.v for watching in the bath?

Royal Palace

I loved  Belgium, I highly recommend it and am looking forward to going back one day *hint hint*


April 22, 2011

Glad Pask!!!

Happy Easter Weekend!

We have had a lovely start to the Easter Weekend here - good weather, company and food.  Yesterday I made some homemade Hot Cross Buns and then we ate them!  Today we slept late, walked in the sun and had a long lunch with champagne and salmon and made our own marzipan chickens and bunnies for dessert.

Good Friday Lunch

Making Dessert
Last weekend we went to the country and stayed in an old manor house and went to a chocolate exhibition in a nearby town.  We bought homemade pralines and did some antique shopping.  We went to a ballet in the Stockholm Opera house on monday and the rest of the time I have been working, shopping and walking the dog.
Sun in Grythyttan

Early morning on the river in Grythyttan

Summer Daffodils in the park

Early morning on the bus on the way to work!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend with your families!


April 10, 2011


Hi All,

Apologies for my lack of communication, I have been enjoying a little break from reality :)
Now its back to the real world!  I have been "working" a bit, traveling a bit and exercising a bit and relaxing a bit - a perfect mix.
I don't have much to say (actually I am feeling just a little lazy!) so I will just share some pictures of the first week back here in Stockholm (which is often far more interesting anyway).

Yummy Semla Buns!

Beyootiful tulips- they are called "Parrots" I think. 

Hotel in Copenhagen which Bron is re-doing.  This is the pic in the lobby so guests can get an idea of what the new hotel will look like after the renovation.

City Hall of Copenhagen.

Lots of love to you all, 

February 2, 2011

Ding Dong....

a Witch is dead.  I've had to face some tough things this week, but I got through them. It wasn't easy and I really wasn't sure if I could handle it, but I did, can you believe it?  All dead by Wednesday afternoon.  Now I am left standing to enjoy the rest of the week and the weekend.

Now I'm not saying some New Witches wont surface next week and knock me to the ground and drag the stuffing out of me (actually I guarantee it), but this weeks Witches are done and dusted. And thats enough for now.

Someone Loves Me.


January 31, 2011

On my last night in Stockholm my super duper big sister and fellow food lover had this idea - that every chef should eat in a Michelin star restaurant at least once in their lifetime.  And wouldn’t you know it but I happen to be a chef, so we had no choice really; it had been decided for us.

We went to FrantzĂ©n/Lindeberg.  A small restaurant that only seats 18 people and has had 2 Michelin stars awarded. Make sure you check out their website as I won’t be able to do it justice, it’s enough to make you cry it’s so moving.

They only do a set menu and we had the 12 course menu, it was fantastic!  I can’t say enough about it, really a once in a life time experience.  Their approach to food and the way it is eaten really is extra-ordinary and each mouthful so thoughtfully put together to give you maximum flavour and texture.  To give you an idea of what we ate I will tell you about some of the courses, but I won’t include each one as you might die of boredom or start chewing on your keyboard .  Either one is not good.

Carrot Macaroon with Creamy Liver Filling
Crispy Squash with garlic, parmesan cream and truffles
Minute smoked marrow bone served with a pot of onion puree and greens
Horse Tartar! (yes, really) with aioli and caviar – then to add insult to injury they grated dried foie gras over it.  That was a little out there, but it was tasty I have to say.
French pigeon with pistachios, glazed carrots and veg purees
French Toast with onion, truffles and served with truffle consommé

Potato Cake w Caviar and Duck Heart and Puree 

Monk fish with 31 ingredients

One of the desserts - mini swiss rolls with dipping sauces
One of the desserts was a little Citron pot.  It had vanilla buttermilk, meringue, lemon curd and lemon jelly all served  in a little pot much like a trifle.  Another dessert was “Chocolate Party” which consisted of salted caramel ice-cream, chocolate ganache (Equadorian chocolate), crispy chocolate pieces, brownie squares and roasted chocolate oil.  Oh my goodness!

All their produce is grown in their own gardens to ensure quality and they give you the name and number of the boat they catch the fish on.  Their menu is seasonal so that makes everything a little more special as you will never get to have the same menu twice.

And so, I am home now.  Working a bit and trying to get to the gym and trying to get all sorts of things up and running really.  My posts won’t be as exciting now that I am back to real life but I hope you will come back and check up on what I am up to from time to time.


January 28, 2011

More food!

I find drinking champagne during the week and eating at Michelin star restaurants really suits me.
I suspect I might be getting a bit spoilt here, luckily I am being shipped off home soon so I will come back to earth with a bump.
Watch this space for the full scoop on the eating I did tonight - if you dare!


January 26, 2011

Look what a little bird brought me...

from Berlin!

Aprikosen Torte
Bron had a day meeting in Berlin and she brought back a big something for me!  The three of us nearly polished the thing off in about 10 mins.  So delicious!  Hopefully it wont be long until I am shopping for baked goods there myself.

It was a beautifully sunny day in Stockholm today.  I walked the Nike to work for Bron and then ambled around the city - nothing I like better than wandering around a foreign city and just seeing where you land up. You can stumble onto the most spectacular things this way.  I found a park on top of a hill that was completely empty of people and full of glittering snow and sunshine. I also had such a breathtaking view of the city skyline with all the snow covered rooftops. Tonight I am making supper for us and a few guests so I spent some time shopping for that this afternoon.  Its a bit of a guessing game really with all the labels in a foreign language.  I know a few words but not enough to know what everything is so its a bit of gamble.  I think I got all the right stuff though so kudos to me!   

Yesterday it was snowing when I woke up and it was really amazing to see.  I walked the Nike out in the falling snow and there is nothing quite like walking out in fresh snow with a cheeky dog who bites your bum if the walk gets to boring. It was only a little bit of snow compared to what they usually get here but it was enough for me.  It was quite warm too so it was easy to enjoy it.  We ran a bit and played a lot with sticks and frozen ice so that kept the bum biting to a minimum, thankfully.  

View towards the city from the hall window

Around the corner from Bron's place

Snow falling on trees
Tomorrow is my last day here and then I am back home on Saturday.  Hopefully see you all soon for a good catch up. I know a couple of you are of out of the country for a bit when I get back but I would love to see every one of you when I get back so - y'know, call me!


January 24, 2011

A Lazy Weekend

After all the excitement of last weeks adventures we needed a laid back weekend in the sunny and warm climate of Stockholm.  Last week also saw us shopping (i so lurve ikea, h&m and january sales!) and eating.  Really, what more is there in life?
This weekend we slept late, walked the Nike in the Queens garden and joined the weekend crowds in their shopping (yes, more - and I am not sorry!)  I was a little sick on Sunday so I slept all day and surfaced in time for supper.
I have had some demands from high up (my mom) for more pics, so here you go mom!  

A smug smile after eating the best almond pastry EVER! (and half brons pain au chocolat)

New scarf

Castle, Lisa and the Nike

Saturday supper

Words fail me.....

Cheese course - Manchego and Spanish blue

Exciting stuff yes?  
Hopefully see you all soon!


January 21, 2011

This speaks to me.

It's the summer version of an art installation here on Djurgarden, the island on which Bron lives.  At the moment its white on white because of all the snow, so its more difficult to make out, but it reads "This is a corner of a larger field".

So much comfort in such few simple words.  I like it. 


January 20, 2011

Picture it,

Jukkasjarvi, January 2011.  Its -28C, around 10pm. Helena and I are out walking on the frozen lake.  And a little dream of mine comes true!  We get treated to a spectacular show of the elusive Northern Lights!!
And no, I didn't take any pictures.  I just stood still and watched.  Here is a pic off the internet that gives you an idea of what they were like.

Our night in the Ice Hotel room of -5C was happily event free.  It was cold in the room but warm in the sleeping bag.  I slept better once I figured out that you can make the face hole in the sleeping bag smaller.  Much more comfy and considerably less draughty.  The toilet break at 3:30am was an experience as I had to walk through the hotel (-5C) and then outside (-20C) to get to the Dressing Room area in the warm section of the hotel - JUST IN MY THERMAL UNDIES!   Think camping but in the arctic circle.  In the morning we were woken with a cup of hot ligonberry juice. Yummo!

And then at lunch time the Bron arrived.  O happy days!

Off to the snowmobiles!  What an adventure. For 2 hours we snowmobiled over frozen lakes and through fairy tale forests which have been untouched for years.  "Into the wilderness" as our guide put it.  All in the dark with a full moon.  The snow was all sparkly and thigh deep.   It was so cold on the home stretch that Helena literally started to freeze.  Put it this way, its around -28C and then you are on a snowmobile going around 55km out on a lake which is frozen solid.  We were only 400km from the Russian border - I got a real kick out of that.
A frozen Helena - note the icicles on her eyelashes and frozen hair!

Snow suit up!

Waiting for our guide - its 4pm

Moi! (its blurry coz our hands were frozen!)

Into the sauna to thaw ourselves out and then out for dinner - I had elk with a lovely french wine which Hans chose for us - I was tempted to try the "Game bird of the night"  but Elk seemed more exotic.

Game bird of the night, stealing glances....

I willl leave you with some more pics of the Ice Hotel.  Thanks Bron for a lovely time in the Swedish Wilderness. 

Sun rising over the hotel at 12

Entrance to Ice Village

Full moon over Ice Hotel at 3pm

Ice Hotel Entrance

Little Cabin where we spent our second night

Ice Hotel Chapel

Themometer outside our cabin just before we left at -27C