Berlin was the most interesting destination on my recent holiday, but Stockholm was by far the prettiest. It was just as well, too – it’s a bit on the expensive side, so we couldn’t afford lots of entertainment and attractions. Being able to stroll around and soak up the sights and the atmosphere made it much more enjoyable, and affordable. It also helped that breakfast every day was taken care of – our airbnb hosts offered Indian vegetarian breakfast included in the cost. I politely enquired about veganising it, and they certainly rose to the challenge, whipping up pancakes and breads and strawberry yoghurt for me.
Our hosts also offered to feed us dinner every evening, but we opted to spend a bit more and try some of the local restaurants. It makes sense to be cautious with money, but food is one of the best parts of travelling, so we had to treat ourselves a bit. On our first night we went to Kokyo, a very popular Japanese/Chinese restaurant with plenty of vegan options (all the vegetarian options are vegan-friendly too). We shared ten pieces of sushi, which were tasty but suffered in comparison to the amazing plate we’d had in Copenhagen a few days earlier. The dumplings, on the other hand, were pretty special. As part of the set menu they were preceded by a really fresh, zingy salad. Then onto the main event: there were three slightly different fillings, alas one of them pretty heavy on celery, but the other two were lovely. A simple ice cream was all I needed for dessert, and a nice way to celebrate the reappearance of the sunshine after the Copenhagen gloom.
Following the success of Vegegarden in Malmo, we were excited at the prospect of another 100% vegan buffet. Herman’s was one of the only two places we’d booked before the holiday (the other was Mio Matto in Berlin), and it was definitely worth it. It’s high up looking out over the water, so you can enjoy an actual panorama rather than the one they teased us with at Mio Matto. Again it was an all-you-can-eat affair, though it loses a mark for not having anything deep-fried. There were three main dishes: Indian lasagne, bean chilli and Thai curry, accompanied by rice, roasties, bread and a marvellous number of salads and dips. The chilli was my favourite – spiced just right, and really substantial.
The whole meal was very substantial and I was full almost to bursting point after two trips to the counter. But we’d spotted the dessert counter when we arrived and agreed that it would be ridiculous to miss out. Unfortunately the desserts are not included in the buffet price (though tea and coffee are, which is a very nice touch) – you pay for a slice of your choice. I let my fellow do the choosing, and he did rather well with this rich chocolate cake. The fruit was a nice addition, as was the extremely generous helping of whipped cream. We were very satisfied customers, and I had to stand outside enjoying the view for a while before I was able to start rolling home.
During our stay our lunches were always in picnic form, picked up from Ekobageriet, a very nice bakery in the picturesque old town. We got various pasties for picnics – one of them curried potato, one spinach and tofu, and the other one…we weren’t sure. The pastry a bit thick, making the pasty a little dry – no problem if you’re a fan of dry food, as I am. The spicy one was comfortably the best.
Of course, we had a couple of other treats too – a rather virtuous tasting fruit cake, and the best cinnamon roll of the trip.
Before we knew it, it was the last night of the holiday and time to prepare for the flight home. After the heartache of being denied a calzone on our first night in Berlin, it made sense to visit O Mamma Mia and right that wrong. Yes, I finally had the long awaited calzone! And it was good. It was filled with fake cheese, mushrooms and mock ham, and was really satisfying. The restaurant was pretty nice as well, with a very Italian look, and it was quiet enough on a Thursday night that service was very swift. They have an extensive vegan list, but we only had eyes for the calzone. With that, our holiday was complete!