Hej! Hur går det? Välkommen till mitten av vintern! It’s the kind of weather to get back to some swedish fika roots don’t you think? They know the cold. They soldier on. They look snow in the eye and say ‘Not today.’ That’s not true. Maybe they do but it snows anyway, and they carry on. We will take courage from them! And also take their goodies. Njut av!


How do all these tall lithe scandos stay so tall and lithe while eating meatballs and cardamom buns all day? Probably because they’re all out felling trees, building cabins and hunting caribou all day. It’s hard work. Load up on these and you too could yield an axe one handed riding an elk through the forest.

If you have time, make Swedish meatballs

If you don’t have time – to IKEA with you! I knew they had a food section but I have not appreciated it enough. I’m getting the cod spread (caviar in a tube!) and crackers and seaweed balls 

If you have even less time (because you could make three batches of meatballs and knitted half a Swedish sweater in less time than an IKEA trip) go get a cardamom bun from your favourite bakery. That and a coffee is Fika. I love Fika.


The words mulled wine sound soft and mellow and fuzzy. Glögg sounds like a water going down a drain, which is maybe an accurate description of how it sounds glugging the jug in one go cos it’s so glogg. I mean good. Skål!


The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

With their zillion days of darkness per year where the sun never rises, it stands to reason Scandinavians are good at noir. Their arts scene is full of dark and brooding films, dark and unsettling novels, heavy metal. Abba. But why not embrace it! A bit of doom and gloom can make your humdrum everyday positively sparkly by comparison.


Sweden has produced a smorgasbord (another great Swedish contribution to my vocabulary) of international bands – including Ace of Base! My very first cool cassette tape! For fika listening I would recommend Junip, Kings of Convenience, and First Aid Kit, and imagine you’re walking through a fir tree forest while snacking on your coffee and cardamom buns.