Over the years it’s become popular to leave the British Isles for hen and stag dos overseas. While the men go to where the beer is cheap, we’d like to think our female readers are slightly more discerning in their choice of destination. If you’re in charge of organising a hen do, have you thought about heading east to trendy and cool Stockholm? The capital of Sweden has a lot to offer fashion and foodie fans who are looking for a stylish way to celebrate forthcoming nuptials, with world class gastro food, designer cocktail bars, cosy cafes for the traditional ‘fika’ and eye candy in the form of tall, blonde Viking-like men. What’s not to like?!
A hen do in Stockholm: the essentials
A bijou city, the capital offers streets brimming with established designers and fashion houses from Acne, Fillipa K and Hope as well as upcoming talent just waiting to be discovered. Team this with an abundance of new restaurants and stylish hangouts set with a stunning backdrop of beautiful architecture and water and you have an idyllic destination for a stylish hen do.
There’s always time to indulge in some retail therapy, so head to the most luxurious department store in Stockholm, Nordiska Kompaniet (NK), for your fashion fix. Housed in a beautiful period building dating back t th 1900’s, you’ll find designer brands as well as Swedish superstars: Acne, Hope and Whyred.
Take a trip to the affluent district of Östermalm, where you’ll find museums and art galleries aplenty. Head down to the waterfront and The Grand Hotel. Open since 1874, the hotel overlooks the Royal Palace and Stockholm’s old town. One step inside and you’re taken back in time when plush carpets, awe-inspiring chandeliers, opulent banqueting halls and the kind of service that you’d expect at Downton Hall was the norm.
If you’re visiting during the colder months, warm up with a fika at Xoco(Rörstrandsgatan 15), famous for its chocolates and cakes. If you’re more into the savoury, try the Swedish classic, Toast Skagen (shrimps on toast), which can be found at the The Saluhall of Östermalms – the city’s oldest market established over 130 years ago (Östermalmstorg, Humlegårdsgatan 3).
Food glorious food
Stockholm is a foodie fans dream packed full of gastronomical delights!
The lively Restaurant AG (Kronobergsgatan 37) serves the best meat dishes in town, or to experience a modern Swedish encounter then Lux at Lilla Essingen (Primusgatan 116) is the place to go. The menu is mainly organic and locally sourced and the tasting menu comes highly recommended. For a more decadent menu, head to Teatergrillen (Nybrogatan 3). The décor is both contemporary and romantic and the memorable menu includes reindeer steak with morel cream and salmon with a lemon crème – a perfect hearty winter warmer.
The innovative and acclaimed restaurant Ekstedt’s (Humlegårdsgatan 17) is the place to go to warm up after walking round the city. Everything on the menu is cooked over an open fire with a variety of Scandinavian woods, adding a unique flavour to every dish.
Cocktails and wine
When you’re done shopping and have eaten your way through the Scandinavian delight, no hen weekend will be complete until you’ve had a cocktail or three, preferably in the company of dashing men.
The Avec Pontus Wine Bar (Brunnsgatan 1) is a favourite of the Stockholm glitterati and serves an array of wines by the glass. If you want to try the trendy nightlife, head to Södermalm, Stockholm’s hip and bohemian district home to a stylish set. For delicious cocktails and a spectacular 360° views of the city try Och Himlen Därtill (Götgatan 78).
After hours, if your budget allows, move the hen party to Stureplan – Stockholm’s symbol for luxury and style. Media icons, models and celebrities – and often a royal or two – can be found hurrying past the square’s famous mushroom to visit some of the city’s most exclusive clubs and restaurants.
Top spots for beautiful people and cocktails include the uber cool Nobis Hotel, Sturecompagniet, Spy Bar and Hells Kitchen.
Only a two-hour flight away, Stockholm is easily accessible from the UK and has so much to offer. For more information on Stockholm head to www.visitsweden.com.