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Pretty Summer Touches in an Idyllic Swedish cottage

You might recognise the lovely home of Anna-Maria Blomqvist from this wintery tour. But Swedish homes can look completely different in summertime (who knows, I'm might even come back to this one in the Autumn too!). There's something special about the light, the flowers and outdoor space that make cottages feel extra special at this time of year. Anna-Maria's 19th century cottage in Sigtuna - known for having Sweden's oldest high street, is particularly idyllic in summertime. I hope this tour gives a few ideas for your own home and outdoor living space! 

Oh so lovely! We've been having great weather lately here in Sweden too so I can imagine the family have been making good use of their garden! 

I hope I haven't jinxed it now.... eeeek!

Wishing you all a lovely, sunny start to the week.

Niki

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Glad Midsommar!

The summer solstice was on Monday, but in Sweden, Midsummer is always celebrated on the Friday - so as I pack up and get ready to wander meadows in search of wild flowers, I wanted to stop by and wish you all a lovely Midsummer's Eve! May the sun shine (that would be a first!) and your flowers stay bright! 


Looking to celebrate? See 5 ways to celebrate Midsummer like a Swede. And find the recipe for that luscious looking strawberry and elderflower chiffon cake here

I'll be back on Monday with a Scandi-inspired tour. See you then! 

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Niki

Credits: 
3. IKEA

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5 Simple Steps To Hosting A Swedish Midsummer

Tomorrow is Midsummer's Eve, one of the most important dates in the Swedish calendar and second only to Jul (Christmas). Up and down the country, our Nordic friends are flocking to Systembolaget (the state-owned off-licence) to pick up beer and schnapps before it closes for the holidays. Midsummer celebrations usually take place in the countryside so tomorrow the city streets will be deserted. Sadly, this year dancing like 'frogs' (long story) around a maypole on the village green won't be on the agenda. But this won't stop the revelry! Inte alls! Famous for experiencing all four seasons in one day, nothing yet nothing gets in the way of raising a glass (or two) to the summer solstice! Devoted to eating, drinking, dancing and other assorted pagan rituals, Swedish midsummer has been around since the 1500s. Why not channel the swedes and hold your own midsummer celebration? As with all things Scandinavian, its super simple and doesn't require a lot of effort. Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Midsommarkrans (Midsummer crown):  In my humble opinion, the most beautiful floral crowns  are handmade with whatever you have to hand from nearby meadows or hedgerows. Above, Elsa Billgren is in the process of creating a daisy crown on the island Gotland - and below are a few snaps of my daughters and I gathering wildflowers last year near our summer cottage. Wilted, bent and some very far from perfect, but oh so pretty all the same! Here's a simple tutorial on how to create a floral crown



 2. Set a simple table: the midsummer table is rustic and understated. Think wildflowers, candles for when the revelry continues well into the early hours and a spot for everyone - young and old and even furry friends - at the table.

It wouldn't be midsummer in Sweden without a down pour - so anoraks are a must! But if the weather really is THAT bad, it might be time to reluctantly move the festivities indoors, in which case, it's all about bringing the summer in! 

3: The drinks: Think refreshing ice cold water infused with elderflower, cucumber and lemon, Swedish craft beers and of course, a 'nubbe' of akvavit - taken with a nubbevisa (akvavit song). 

4. The midsummer feast! Dine on sill (pickled herring), boiled new potatoes with dill and a variety of salmon before tucking into some deliciously sweet, juicy summer strawberries (FYI the recipe for the layered strawberry cake can be found over at Honestly Yum). 

5. Single? According to Swedish tradition, pluck seven types of flowers and place them under your pillow. You'll dream of your future husband or wife! 

Wishing you a 'glad midsummer'!

See you Monday!

Niki

Photography:
1. Emily Slotte 2. Elsa Billgren 3-5 My Scandinavian Home 6, NĂ¥de studio, 7&8 Homespo, 9 Abby Mitchell Events, 10 Wedding Chicks  11 & 12 - Honestly Yum.

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6 Simple Foraged Floral Displays For Midsummer's Eve

Tomorrow it's one of my favourite days in the Swedish calendar: Midsummer. As with all big Swedish events, they celebrate the day before on 'midsommarafton' (midsummer's eve). Even if we've enjoyed sunshine for weeks on end, there's an inside joke that the temperature will plummet and the grey clouds will roll in just as the final flower is pinned to the maypole. But boy is it a pretty affair. Forget lavish displays and complicated recipes, the event is a perfectly understated party with pretty flowers plucked from nearby meadows and everyone bringing something to the table. And this year it looks like the weather gods are actually on our side too! Up and down the country this time tomorrow, our Nordic friends will be making floral crowns, dancing around maypoles, and eating pickled herrings, potatoes and strawberries, washed down with Schnapps (along with a ditty or two!), in perfect sunshine! Hurrah! In case you'd like to pay tribute to this beautiful day in your own country, here's a little floral inspiration to get you started! 

Forget lavish bouquets, midsummer is all about foraging for wild flowers and creating simple displays with the help of jam jars or simple glass vases. The picture below is from one of Frolic's private foraged flowers workshops

You might recognise the table setting below from Frida Edlund's beautiful Swedish country home which I featured a few weeks back (it's also available for short term holiday lets - how wonderful is that?! The recipe for the potato-pea salad with honey-mustard dressing can be found here


I hope this has given you a few pretty ideas!

See also 5 ways to celebrate midsummer like a Swede and a short and pretty guide to celebrating midsummer, Swedish style.

Wishing you all a wonderful Midsummer! See you Monday!

Niki

Photos: 1&6 Our Food Stories / Frida Edlund 2 Annie Gozard 3 Frolic  4 The Meledeos 5 Magnolia Rouge

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