Sunday, 20 March 2016

Swedish Hideaway

I'm surprised by how long it's been since my last post yet life has been so full and happy these past few months. But so busy and tiring! Since Christmas I took on a volunteer position (alongside my waitressing job) to gain experience at an east London art gallery which I absolutely love, but it has meant working six day weeks. I've been so blessed to live in such an incredible part of the world and it's my goal to make the most of it. 

With the tax year coming to an end I've been able to book off some 'holiday' days to catch up with friends and simply be with my husband. Giving me the opportunity to finally visit the Swedish cafe Fika on the famous Brick Lane with my Swedish friend and bridesmaid Amelia! The very idea of fika is a beautiful tradition that we would do well to adopt. As I understand it, a fika is an every day event of food and good company. Similar to the British afternoon tea, it often includes biscuits or sweet delicacies but minus the fanfare. It seems an easy going soul nourishing activity. I particularly found this website a good explanation. I believe that the British culture of food is not always positive and I especially have an issue with people working through their lunch breaks. It is so important to recharge, sit, relax, just eat, digest your food and reflect. Often I try to read a book or study my scriptures on the lds phone app or simply stare into space lost in thought. And honestly, I feel so much better for it. So any tradition or culture that preaches the idea of nourishment and recharging, not just by shovelling food down our mouths, the better. 

After walking past the cafe multiple times and checking out both their website and instagram I was so excited to go with a Swedish person and was secretly scared that it wouldn't be legit enough! But she loved it. The decor alone was like stepping into a cosy woodland fairytale full of illustrations and cushions. My favourite aspect was the branches wrapped with fairy lights suspended from the ceiling. Which apparently is a very common practice found in homes during the darker months. The whole place has been so thoughtfully considered, with fabric drapes or curtains used to hide the toilet corridor and keep out the cold from the roof terrace. Which, let's be honest. I sneakily snuck up to have a little look. And oh. It is lovely. A tiny little garden space that feels like home. Make sure you have a look. 

We of course ordered hot chocolate, the cream on which was divine. Followed by mains of Gravadiax (cured salmon on a bed of salad) and a Swedish meatball melt. While I would have preferred bigger portions for the price (London and tings) I found the quality of meat to be very high and delicious which impressed me as my taste for beef has been seriously disintegrating recently. We even had a dessert of Kladdkaka (chocolate cake) and a Maple Syrup Dome. Again very small but lovely. 

After stalking their instagram account I was disappointed not to be served my pudding on a quirky Donna Wilson plate as they seem to at their other venue on Roman Road (a much more out the way place for me) but I loved the cosy, hideaway atmosphere. When we arrived at midday it was almost empty, with a few more tables joining us later on. Absolutely refreshing for London. It was just such a happy tucked away experience and I look forward to returning!

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