Garden Living (and Eating)

What better way to celebrate the release of Lykke Li’s new album Wounded Rhymes (available on Amazon or iTunes) than to talk Sweden? When perusing {frolic!} — a new discovery, to me — I was reminded of a lovely little find I discovered in Stockholm a couple years ago, thanks to some friends. We were taking advantage of a particularly beautiful April day, weather-wise, by wandering around Djurgården (which roughly translates to “game park”), and we ended up at Rosendals Trädgård (Rosendal’s Garden). We bought some drinks and treats at the café and spent at least an hour just sitting around and taking in the surroundings, which included a lot of young Swedish children. We didn’t actually spend much time exploring the garden itself, but I made a mental note that day that I had to return to Rosendals if ever I went back to Stockholm.

And return I did, in June of last year. I brought my parents and proudly “showed off” the garden. For some reason, even though a) I didn’t happen upon it myself and b) it’s well known, it always felt like a secret to me. If I lived full-time in Stockholm, I would bring all my friends along so that they could discover it, too. I’ve only been to Rosendals twice, but it became one of my favorite Stockholm places before our first time there had even come to an end. For lack of a better description, there’s just something about it.

In addition to flowers, vegetables, herbs, and other various plants, Rosendals boasts a lovely little café, where all the ingredients used are organically grown. (As the website says, you can also purchase much of what Rosendals grows at the Plant and Garden Shops located on the grounds.) The café itself is pricey (even for Stockholm standards), but it’s well worth a browse anyway. From the traditional Swedish kannelbulle (cinnamon bun) and mjuk kaka med kardemumma (soft cake with cardamom) to various soppor (soups) and smörgåsar (sandwiches), it’s hard to go wrong.

Clockwise from top left: the Plant Shop; various treats on display at the café; chocolate cake with whipped cream; soft cake with cardamom

I guess I should note that you probably can’t go wrong. There were, of course, so many options, but since there were only three of us, we had to pick and choose. I can’t remember what I had (can you believe it?!), but I can verify that the morotskaka (carrot cake) was, in addition to being beautifully decorated, quite yummy. And that’s coming from someone who isn’t all that crazy about carrot cake. We decided that the red pepper heart that came with my mom’s salad (see below) was an homage to the wedding of Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria to (Prince) Daniel Westling, which was happening that very day. Then again, it’s also possible that Rosendals just likes to put a smile on people’s faces.

Rosendals Trädgård is part of what makes Stockholm such a great city. It’s tucked away on one of the city’s many islands, and I get the feeling that, even if I were to go back ten more times, it would still feel special each time. I guess the Brooklyn Botanic Garden would come closest as New York’s answer to Rosendals. I haven’t been there in ages, though, so I either don’t know what I’m talking about or just gave myself an excuse to go there — for research, of course (not that an excuse is needed)!

Do you have any suggestions about stateside answers to Rosendals?

P.S. “Sadness is a Blessing” is my favorite Lykke Li song off her new album.

All photos taken by Taking of Toast in June 2010.

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2 thoughts on “Garden Living (and Eating)

    • Good question! Definitely Kaffekoppen in Gamla Stan, for the mochaccinos, and probably Stadshuset (City Hall), for the views.

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