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On a random Friday about a decennium ago I decided to leave the shores of Sweden in search of a new place to call home, and thought I would stop by London on the way. Ten years later I am still in London, and now I can both drive like a London cabbie (my car has the scars to prove it) and navigate the Tube system in rush hour (sometimes I don’t even get bruised by it). In short, London is my home now; I am a Londoner in all but accent.
London is overcrowded, but the fact that it is overcrowded is also what well and truly makes London one of the most vibrant and entertaining places in the world. Gothenburg has its small little streets with wonderful cafes all set to the beautiful backdrop of the Atlantic, Stockholm has its archipelago and lakes, London has its people and its ever-changing soup of cultures and influences.
If you happen to like hard hitting-beats because they are likely to turn you into a brainwashed zombie, you will find like-minded people in London to share the experience. If you are really interested in a specific technique to fold napkins, used to send coded messages in the Vatican during the 4th century (a technique only hinted at in a lonely paragraph in a book about masonry), London is the place where you will find someone who shares your interest, and there is most likely even a museum dedicated to napkin folding that you can meet up in. You can find any kind of food, from any country, region or city, sometimes even from a single village. You can spend your whole life in London finding new things to try and new things to experience, and that is why I never left London.
For those who want to sample Sweden in London:
- National food: IKEA has a Swedish food hall, try the flatbread
- Regional food: There is a stall on Borough Market that sells west coast fish, try the west coast salad
- Swedish city experience: Scandinavian Kitchen, it’s almost like going to a real Gothenburg cafe, try their taster “Swedish Smorgasbord”
- A Swedish village: Garlic and Shots in Soho, the founding “Olson Brothers” are from a one-horse village in the darkest end of Sweden, try the blood shot if you dare
What’s your experience of Sweden in London? Tell us in the comments below.