Forget hygge: 2017, apparently, is all about lagom. That’s the Swedish word for ‘just the right amount’. Sweden is sometimes called ‘lilla landet lagom’ (‘little lagom land’) by us Swedes, and this is the way a lot of us live our lives: in gentle moderation. That’s even true in hectic London, which is home to more than 100,000 Swedes – it’s been called Sweden’s fifth biggest city.
While we do have a tendency to hang out with fellow Swedes, we love to share our culture with others – such as around Midsummer, the crayfish season in August, and at Christmas with beautiful Lucia concerts. My online community LondonSwedes helps 5,000 people a year find their inner Swedishness through our cross-cultural events in London, sharing our food culture, our party culture and most definitely our drinking culture: despite all that stuff about moderation, Swedes are never shy of a few shots of aquavit. Charlotte Ågren
Did you know? If you’re looking to find a Swede, head to Marylebone: that’s where you’ll find the Swedish Embassy, some great Scandi shops and the century-old Swedish Church.
Charlotte’s favourite Swedish spots in London
The tiny Bageriet in Covent Garden has some of the best cinnamon buns, semlor and princess cakes in London: ideal for a takeaway treat.
Originally founded in New York, Aquavit has recently opened a new all-day bar and restaurant in London, with authentic Swedish food and of course a huge range of aquavit: the snaps we can’t seem to live without.
When the football or ice hockey is on, head to Kosmopol on Fulham Road. Fredrik Olsson has been running this small but busy bar for 13 years, and it’s always a good spot to bump into Swedes.
Scandinavian Kitchen near Oxford Street sells everything from salty liquorice to open meatball sandwiches. It’s the go-to spot for homesick Scandinavians.
At LondonSwedes.com we cover everything Swedish in London on a weekly basis.
The best of Swedish London, according to you
‘The Totally Swedish shop in Marylebone/Baker Street is the perfect place to find Swedishness in London. A wide range of foods and beautiful things – heaven. Oh, and it’s close to the Swedish Church which is a meeting place for Swedes in London!’ Anders A via timeout.com
‘SugarSin in Covent Garden: an amazing Swedish pick ’n’ mix, including a whole aisle dedicated to liquorice in all its forms.’ Alexandra G via timeout.com
‘Rök Smokehouse serves amazing Scandi-inspired food and drinks.’ Moa L via timeout.com
‘Stockholm Deli serves all the Swedish classic dishes.’ Fredrik O via timeout.com
‘Summer With Monika in Hoxton is a great little cafe with a tiny shop section selling Swedish groceries.’ Emma E via timeout.com
‘Fabrique Bakery: the best cinnamon buns in town!’ Johan E via timeout.com
‘Blåbär in Putney is my favourite: the staff are lovely and the food and fika is amazing!’ Louise U via timeout.com
‘Absolutely love Swedercise with Friskis & Svettis London: a happy, energetic and uplifting cardio core strength workout.’ Charlene M via timeout.com
‘Hej Coffee in Bermondsey. It's so understated: just a casual small, Swedish café hidden in a square, with all the essential Swedish products on sale.’ Linda E via timeout.com
‘Garlic & Shots on Frith Street, and of course the Swedish Church if you want to meet Swedes. But I didn't move to London to hang with Swedes or live a Swedish kind of life: that I can do back home!’ Roger Ö via timeout.com
‘Nadia Jönning's salon at Goodge Place. She is Swedish herself and an expert on Scandinavian blonde hair.’ F K via timeout.com
‘Ikea, of course! The best place to cure homesickness – though it’s always upsetting seeing people eat chips with their meatballs.’ Cecilia S via timeout.com