Lovely Places of Stockholm

Perhaps you are taking the tube and getting off at the Old Town, Gamla stan, where the lake of Mälaren meets the Archipelago and, farther away, the Baltic Sea, the red islands in Åland, and the neighbouring coast of Finland. Yes, here the water front is a kind of beginning. Let us say you head north west crossing two small bridges to visit Skeppsholmen and Moderna museet where Niki de St Phalle and her husband Jean Tinguely’s artwork tower on the hill close to the entrance. After a few hours in the halls you enter the small museum café and find it offers an avocado bowl or an avocado sandwich on rye bread, treats to enjoy while resting in the museum garden and letting the brilliance of the Lynette Yiadom Boakye exhibition sink in.

For long it was not easy to find a plant-based fika place in central Stockholm, whether at a cultural spot or not. If one wanted to get an affordable lunch, or dinner, or just a refreshing macchiato or smoothie with exclusively vegetable ingrediens, one must execute a proper investigation. Today and increasingly since two decades, many eating places inform their guests, either by giving information verbally, or by writing it on the menu: this is vegan or, this is plant-based. Little by little the question and the answer from the periphery entered ordinary dialogue thus giving concrete proof of positive change; conversations of modern enlightenment.

A lovely and recent addition to what is needed in the era of planetary challenge is Kulturhuset café Plattan, residing conveniently in the very heart of the city, a five minute walk from the Central station inside the entrance of Kulturhuset Stadsteatern. Plattan café is spacious and open, and next to it there is the ticket box to the Stadsteatern plays and the exhibitions on the floors above. Kulturhuset hosts a library where you may read for instance Olga Tokarczuk’s and Abdulrazak Gunrah’s novels while admiring the Sergel view; also there is a youth centre, Lava, and a design shop. This since-long-wished-for café is a haven for everyone progressive, or just hungry, and especially for those interested in what’s on in the central city culturally.

But do not miss the opportunity at the northern water front of Skeppsholmen facing Djurgården. A refreshing old style boat arriving from Slussen and Gamla stan takes you to the Liljevalchs Art Gallery & Museum and the new hyper modern concrete building, a silver crown fort designed by Gert Wingårdh and ornamented with art by Ingegerd Råman. See the rebellious Swedish Female Artist Association’s exhibition from the year of suffrage 1921, featuring, among others, Sigrid Hjertén and Siri Derkert; browse the shop and last but not least find the vegetarian café Blå plus with a menu of vegan and vegetarian courses and drinks. Is this younger sibling of the legendary Blå Porten restaurant the first wholly vegetarian art museum café in Sweden? The initiative is splendid, as is the location with the square and the thirty seconds walk from the commuting boats. From here you may round off your visit by relaxing in the since 1916 Blå porten Garden; it is situated just around the corner.

© Arimneste Anima Museum # 17