M&S: Back in the day, way back before it spiralled out of control.
"Shake your hair girl with your ponytail
Takes me right back (when you were young)
Lift up your feet and put them on the ground
You used to walk upon (when you were young)”
From the film, Flashbacks of a Fool: If There is Something by Roxy Music, 1972
Clean Bandit : Telephone Banking.
Mesh, sequins, gems. Wish I knew who made this.
Luisa Sobral - Union Chapel, May 2012
It’s a bright Friday morning on 9th November and, with only an 40 minutes before we have to be packed and ready to depart for the tube, I am only just coming out of my hazy hungover comatose state. I stuff 2 jumpers and some jeans in to what seems like a hang bag (thank you, Ryanair) before it is full, wear everything else that I want to take and run out the door, birthday girl in hand.
We are on our way to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, and also home of the highest number of McDonald’s ‘restaurants’ per square mile in Europe (I thought they only ate meatballs and salty liquorice?). It is my best friend’s birthday, and only a few weeks ago had we decided that we would take this £40 return trip to her birth place.
As we arrive, the air is noticibly sharper. It’s ridicuously easy to get round, and in no time we are at our hostel, STF Fridhemsplan (http://www.fridhemsplan.se/), which is, in fact, more like a hotel. We immediately venture outside to pick up some traditional Scandinavian food, consisting of meatballs, an unspecified ‘fish’ plank with decorative mash and bottles of Eriksberg beer.
Shortly after, we head to a moored boat party ‘Vielle Montagne’ on Soder Malastrand, where there is an open bar, disco floor and free food. The area is beautiful, with about 14 boats moored next to each other. The boat we are on is massive, with a stage for the DJ (who was, in fact, from North London). It isn’t too long until my best friend and I are behind the bar serving drinks, and dancing to ‘Gangham Style’, and then, unfortunately, at McDonald’s, ugh.
The next day we wrap up, grab a traditional sweet honey and saffron bun for breakfast and take a gentle meander down the river Norrström. The day is overcast, but surprisingly lit up by the array of coloured buildings on the other side of the river.
From the Old Town, to Södermalm, it is apparent Christmas is round the corner, and we cosy up in an underground art cafe with coffee and pastries. There are many small roads and cobbled streets in Stockholm, buildings painted in bright yellow and church steeples in vivid turquoise.
We end the day at a restaurant recommended by a Swedish girl at work, called Pelikan (http://www.pelikan.se/). The decor takes our breath away, and the food is simply delectable!
We attempt a night out in Östermalm, a prosperous part of town where G&T’s are at least £13, but the queues are overwhelming and we are eventually told ‘guest list only’ after over an hour of waiting, so we go home.
The flight home on Sunday is spent mostly passed out cold, and wishing we had spent more time exploring such a beautiful city.