Today it’s raining and I miss London. I miss those sunny days when the wind blows away all the clouds and the sky is blue, the sunset gorgeous, and the city looks more charming than ever. It was in a day like these that a friend of mine took me to the Swedish Bakery in Rose Street. The light was so clear that everything seemed to shine. London was already preparing for Christmas time, and some of the shop windows were already decorated. First we went to one of my favourite place in the whole city, Saint Katherine’s Dock, which reminds me a bit of Scandinavian towns with their small docks.
SAINT KATHERINE’S DOCK
When a city is build by the ocean, or crossed by a river, is usually more fascinating to me. Like Amsterdam. The buildings are reflected in the water, and the light plays with their reflections. At Saint Katherine’s Dock, near the Tower Bridge, light blue is the dominating colour. I realized it while taking pictures of the Thames, crossing the bridge towards the small marina. The boats, the brick houses, the cafés make the place a little, relaxing world. Natural Kitchen is the place where to stop for breakfast, lunch or just for a healthy snack. Eggs, pancakes, avocado toast, salmon burger and chocolate pudding are served along with vegan options. And the place reminds me of the cafés I went to in Copenhagen and Stockholm. There’s something very hygge about it.
THE SWEDISH BAKERY IN ROSE STREET
The place I mentioned, Bageriet or the Swedish Bakery, is in another part of the city, so we need to take the tube to continue our Nordic tour. Rose Street is next to Leicester Square, and it seems to have jumped out of a children’s book. The bakery is small, with few tables and trays of sweets on display. You can also buy cookies, bread and granola, all homemade, of course. Autumn leaves decorate the window, where buttery kanelbullar and apple brioches are ready to be ordered. We want to try everything – including oatmeal cookies, with a cup of strong tea.
People come in and go out with a smile on their face. I could spend hours in here, breathing in the delicious smell of the cinnamon buns and the Nordic atmosphere. I love places like this, so small and cozy, simple and familiar, especially in winter, when I need warmth and hygge.
THE BRITISH & THE NORDIC STYLE
Nearby there’s another place that is always worth a visit: Stansford (12-14 Long Acre, Covent Garden), a travel bookshop. Here you can find maps, atlases, illustrated books, journals, Christmas cards and also a coffee shop where to spend a relaxing afternoon. Here I’ve found a book about the British people’s attraction to the Danes and the Nordic style. Exactly what I was looking for. Scandinavian minimalism and British tradition seem to be two worlds with nothing in common. So I’m surprised and intrigued by the success of Nordic style in London. But that’s the special thing about this city, isn’t it? There’s room for everything.
NORDIC BAKERY IN GOLDEN SQUARE
Not far from Bageriet is another bakery that proves the existence of a new “Nordic wave” in London. Golden Square is a little square in the heart of Soho, and I’m bewitched by it. Framed by white and red brick houses, this green oasis is one of those hidden corners I’m mad about in London. And 14A, Golden Square is the address of Nordic Bakery,
The interior of this Scandinavian café is blue, minimal, peaceful. They serve rye sandwiches, cinnamon buns, and serve coffee and blueberry juice all day long. Their products are based on real Nordic recipes and made with fresh ingredients. With a Lingonberry bun and a cup of coffee, the afternoon turns into twilight, the street lamps turn on and it’s time to leave. But I can’t wait to find out more Nordic places in London.