Organic Food in the Middle of an Urban Garden: Rosendals Trädgård, Stockholm
Summers are meant for bare feet in the grass, cups of coffee consumed in the garden, bright flowers reaching to the sky. But what if you live in an apartment and have none of these things? You must find a place that does.
One of the aspects that I have always loved about Sweden is the amount of cafes that pop up in the summer in nurseries and gardens. Here, in a country that is dark and cold for so much of the year, the longer and warmer days are meant to be spent outside, and there is an appreciation for nature that’s hard to come by in other places. In a country where fika is essential, every place that has a lovely outdoor setting opens up to welcome you in for a cup of coffee, or even lunch.
That’s true even in urban environments. On Stockholm’s Djurgården you could spend an entire day at Rosendals Trädgård, sitting underneath the trees of the orchard, or walking around and inspecting all the plants for sale.
Open all year round, Rosendals Trädgård is part garden, part nursery, part cafe. The cafe is housed in one of the greenhouse buildings, with cakes spread out on a table in the middle, perfect for an afternoon fika. Food is organic, often biodynamic, and inspired by the seasons, as it should be. All the bread is baked fresh everyday in a stone oven. With a focus on quality, simple ingredients that are good for earth, this is the kind of place you would want to eat at everyday. And the kind of place that makes you wonder why so many other restaurants out there couldn’t be doing something similar. Good food doesn’t have to be complicated.
The place is such an institution, that my mother even has the Rosendals Trädgård cookbook that has been sitting on the bookshelf since the mid 1990s. I am excited to dive in next time I go home.
On a gray day in July, I went for a visit, treated to a polenta dish with vibrant sundried tomatoes. But the real winner of the day was the amazing twist on a classic Swedish chokladboll. One of my favorite fika treats, this chokladboll wasn’t made with any butter, sugar or oats. Instead it was a raw food ball, a tasty combination of (among other things) pumpkin seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, dates, apricots, maple syrup, and lemon zest, all rolled into a ball and then covered in colorful wildflower petals. This is something I am going to challenge myself to come up with a recipe for at home.
Just a short walk from downtown Stockholm, being here feels like escaping to the countryside; the kind of oasis you wish that every major city had within its city limits. Because everyone needs some time for coffee in a garden. It’s good for the soul. But not just good; it’s essential.
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