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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, Nåde studio, 7&8 Homespo, 9 Abby Mitchell Events, 10 Wedding Chicks  11 & 12 - Honestly Yum.

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5 Ways to Celebrate Midsummer Like a Swede

Elle Decoration France
Midsummer is arguably the most celebrated day in the Swedish calendar - and my all time favourite! As with all Swedish festivities, the Swedes gather the day before on Midsommarafton (Midsummer Eve) for a beautifully rustic affair involving wild flowers, in-seasonal goodies and dancing around a maypole - no matter the weather! Even if you're not in residing in this Nordic land, why not channel the Swedes - wear flowers in your hair, eat, drink and be merry this weekend?! Here's my guide to five Midsummer musts!

1. Create a midsommarkrans - a crown made from wild flowers (or cheat a little and pick up some beautiful fresh blooms from your local florist!). There's a handy step by step guide in my Lagom book and online here!   

Anna Kubel



2. Dine alfresco - no matter the weather (in fact, midsummer weather in Sweden is known for being rainy and blowing a gale - but that never stops the revellry!).

Our Food Stories

3. Tuck into sill o potatis - pickled herring and new potatoes are a midsummer staple - but you could go wild and create an entire Swedish smågårsbord. Extra points if you down your fork once in a while and sing a ditty en masse!

Honestly Yum


4. Eat the largest, juiciest strawberries you can find -  alone, with fresh cream,  in a pie or even dipped in chocolate. As long as they're red and dotty, you're totally on point!

Julicious



5. Drink something on the strong side - preferably homemade Akvavit (schnapps). My father-in-law makes a mean Akvavit, but I still like mine tempered down a little with wild elderflower syrup (that'll be the Brit at the table then...!).


An then the evening is yours to sing, dance and chat under the midnight sun!

Oh and I don't suppose you have a Maypole handy? If you do, it's customary to hop round it like a frog. Yep. Refer to point number 5.

And finally, Swedish tradition dictates that if a single woman gathers seven different types of flowers and places them under her pillow on midsummer day, she'll dream of the man she's going to marry! Well worth a shot, don't you think? It might just be that tall, blonde Swede sitting opposite you at the midsummer table!

Glad Misommar allihoppa! Skål!

Niki

Due to the Swedish holiday I'll be back on Monday, I hope you have a great weekend!

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A short and pretty guide to celebrating Midsummer, Swedish style

Tomorrow is one of my favourite celebrations of the year - midsummer. Here's my round-up of beautiful inspiration for celebrating midsummer the Swedish way. 

Damernas Värld
Miss wallflower
Honestly YUM
Bea's cookbook
A Bryan Photo

And for a little know how:

How to make a ethereal midsummer crown, and a beautifully simple floral wreath for your home.

And the feast. Oh the feast! This post by Honestly YUM is the perfect inspiration to create your own midsummer banquet. A midsummer berry cake. Or why not keep it simple - I love the idea of threading wildstrawberries onto straw (as seen above). 

Your midsummer cocktail: Aquavit, sherry and elderflower liqueur.  And decorating ice cubes.

Single? Swedish folklore says that if you pick seven different sorts of flowers and put them under your pillow on midsummer night, you'll dream of your future love!

 'Glad midsommar!' May the flowers in your hair be fresh, and your maypole dancing stay strong!

See you Tuesday! 

*for those of you in the southern hemisphere,  I guess it's happy winter solstice! - any excuse to celebrate, right....? Skål

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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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Happy Midsummer! - and a mini guide on how to create your own

Friends and family in Sweden will be staying up to celebrate midsummer's eve today (here's a little pic of my crew on the same day last year). Sadly I'm thousands of miles away (on a photo shoot in Upstate New York), but that won't stop me from creating a small midsummer celebration of my own -  and raising a glass or two! I've put together a quick guide to creating your own midsummer's eve below...wild flowers at the ready!

Photo: Local Milk - check out all the other images in this beautiful series here

Why not throw a mini party this evening to celebrate the longest day of the year (in some parts of the world!).

Pick wildflowers and create your own midsummer crown (and a wreath for your door).

Serve a selection of pickled herrings in pretty jars and serve with new potatoes, boiled eggs and fresh dill. Enjoy with cool beer and ice cold schnapps (you'll need to warm up your singing voice!).

Bake a delicious cake decorated with hundreds of sweet strawberries.

Set up thousands of pretty light bulbs over the outdoor table.

Invite as many friends as you like - and if you don't have enough chairs, how about rugs instead?!I also love all these outdoor party ideas.

And dance the night away under the midnight sun!

Wishing you all a very happy midsummer's eve! Skål!

PS Feel free to add your own midsummer tips in the comment section below...

PPS I'll be back in action here on Tuesday since I have a bit of a tight schedule until then. I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

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'Glad Midsommar'

Studio Impressions / photographer Marcus Bell and team, Brisbane, Australia. Bali Wedding - Angie and Ben

“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,

Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.” 


Happy Midsummer! And a great weekend (for those of you in the Southern hemisphere!). See you Monday! x

PS - for midsummer floral hair garland inspiration see today's post by 79 ideas and this page on Pinterest. Beautiful alfresco table settings here and here.  And a Swedish garden you'd want to spend midsummer in. 

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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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A lovely Gothenburg apartment to kick off the week

I hope you all had a great midsummer weekend?! We had such a wonderful time at my brother-in-laws cottage (a little pic of my midsummer belles and man already to dance here)  and then we celebrated midsummer day with great friends in Malmö. I'm still recovering today! Phew! I definitely need something to brighten up my Monday morning. And the good news is I found this pearl of an apartment currently for sale in Linnéstad in Gothenburg. Light and airy, white floors /(in parts) and beautiful pared-back style. What a perfect Swedish home tour way to start the week with don't you think?









Stadshem
Such a lovely space. I could pad around here today how about you?!

Other lovely Swedish apartments to brighten up a Monday include this classic apartment, a cognac and blue themed space and a white and grey serene home.

I hope you have a wonderful start to the week!

PS Thank you so much to Anya who sent me the information so I could credit Friday's 'glad midsommar' post.

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An apartment with a penchant for all things Tom Dixon

One of the hottest light brands right now has to be Tom Dixon. And looking at this Swedish apartment it's not hard to see why. The space is pared back and simply decorated save for the fabulous Beat Light Tall, Fat and Wide over the dining table and the Copper Shade pendants in the sitting room. I also spy a Tom Dixon Etch Candle holder on the table too (I have one of these in on my coffee table and they let off such a warm glow). Another lovely touch to this space is all the fresh summer flowers which have been organised into a mix of different vases and placed on a light grey marble slat. Great table inspiration for anyone celebrating midsummer tomorrow, don't you think?!








Fastighetsbyrån via Planete Deco with thanks

I do love the Beat Lights I have to say! I wonder if there is anywhere in my home I could put them....hmmm. I've also got my eye on the London Candle to remind me of home!

I also spy  a mid-century credenza. There's a great post about credenza's over at one of my favourite blogs SF Girl By Bay. You can often find one up for auction here.

Tomorrow it's Midsummer's Eve and in Sweden that calls for a big celebration. My family and I will be heading to my brother-in-laws summer cottage (by the way, how idyllic was the summer cottage in yesterday's post?!) where we'll pick wild flowers for my little girls to wear in their hair and then they'll dance all afternoon around a maypole. Afterwards we'll tuck into a late traditional lunch of pickled herrings, locally produced new potatoes, boiled eggs and Västerbotten pie washed down with schnapps and beer. Followed by lots and lots of strawberries.....and cream. Yum!

Will you be celebrating Midsummer's Eve?


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A beautiful retreat on Ibiza

Hejsan, hejsan! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and great midsummer! Here it's been raining for three days, no exaggeration! In panic, I've been trawling the web for a spot of sunshine. In case you're still wondering where to go this summer I think I have the answer. This rental villa in Ibiza. Exposed brick, beautiful old wood beams, modern concrete and chandeliers and the ubiquitous mediterranean blue. The question is, could you tear yourself away from it at the end of the week? Eeeek!





Ibiza's secret villas via Etxekodeco
Seems a very far cry from the original Ibiza party scene. What do you reckon, could you relax here for a week? or make that a fortnight?!

What are you up to this summer? Any other tips?!

PS Just a little note to say that after my three day midsummer break I logged on only to be appalled by the ad showing on my Midsummer post. Eeeeek! Since I'm aware that you're a super intelligent and sophisticated bunch I've momentarily put a halt to the google adwords while I get my head round all the tech etc. Back to the drawing board!! :)

Hugs from a wet, rainy Sweden.

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