Picture this: Your sipping on a hot, steamy unique tea blend, nibbling on the yummiest, bright pink macarons, whilst spending quality time with your nearest and dearest… with this view ^^^. I may have been the luckiest kit kat on the planet when it snowed in Stockholm on the day of my 24th birthday, but it made for the most purrrrfect lunch view at The Strand*.
The Radisson Blu Strand Hotel sits right on the harbour-front opposite Strandvagen, so if you’re big on tea-with-a-view, you will not be disappointed at The Strand Restaurant*. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of decor (honestly, everywhere in Sweden looks amazing so I knew it was going to be gorgeous), but it really did blow me away. If you’re more of a dark, luxury yet contemporary decor fan – The Strand* will 100% tick those boxes for you.
To start, we were shown to our table, which was perfect as it was right next to a window to gaze out into the blizzar (not exaggerating, it was so snowing out there). We started to defrost and cosy up on the plush blue velvet sofas when our waiter for the afternoon came over to offer us the drinks menu. We weren’t planning on actually having anything sparkling until the evening, but since it was my birthday, we both had a “What the hell!” moment!
I’m not at all a wine/fizz connoisseur, so we asked for a little help in the champagne department. The server had a lot of suggestions for us, and we went with the house champagne as it seemed like a good’un! A glass of champagne will set you back a between 100-185 krona depending on the selection, so it is a little bit of a treat like all alcohol in Sweden… I’m going to throw the “birthday” card out again here, it was totally worth it.
THE TEA SELECTION
I absolutely loves the cute-sy way the tea was presented, and it really set the mood for the entire experience. The little vials, filled to the brim with The Strand’s unique tea blends, were not just beautiful to look at but also really handy to identify which tea really suits your tastes.
We took each tea and un-corked the test tubes and had a sniff of each of the teas, which were identified with numbers and names so it was easy to keep track. They had everything from black tea, to green tea, to white tea… it was really hard to decide on just one, so we ended up sampling a few with our afternoon tea!
I decided on the Iconic Greta*, aptly named after the actress Greta Garbo, who frequently stayed at The Strand when in Stockholm! It’s a unique blend to the hotel itself, so obviously, I had a “when in Stockholm” moment. This black tea with blackcurrant and vanilla was also decorated with yellow and blue flowers, how could a blogger resist right? It was a fantastic choice, really robust and up my street, oh and fab with or without milk!
Alix decided on the Witty Cherries* which smelt ah-mazing, just like the fruit itself. This tea was a blend of white and green tea, with a cherry infusion and a touch of peachy-ness! We both came to the conclusion that this one was definitely better without milk, but it was very light and fruity just as you would imagine.
NIBBLES & CAKE
On to the main event, the food! I know that people are usually 50/50 in terms of whether the food or the tea takes centre stage at an Afternoon Tea… My head says tea, but my heart says scones! The Afternoon Tea looked absolutely delish from the get go, and Alix really did have to help me hold back from all the sweet treats so I’d eat it all in order. We always have a savoury before sweet rule, so the sandwiches were our starting point.
Obviously, the Smoked Salmon & Rye Bread Sandwiches* were as fab as they sound. Like I’ve said in my other Stockholm foodie posts, if you’re in Sweden, order fish! The filling was really fresh and full of flavour, and when in Sweden, you can’t go wrong with homemade rye bread – Delish! The Cream Cheese & Cucumber Sandwiches* were a little more on the plain side, but they’re an Afternoon Tea classic, right? They were actually served with these small pink sweet onion pieces that really made it work for me, I have no idea what they were but they were so good!
Next on the agenda? The Mini-scones* of course! These were just enough to satisfy the afternoon fika craving – wonderfully baked and a fantastic flavour. Not to mention the fact that the jam was homemade, which made it even yummier imo! However, if you’re used to a clotted cream with your cream tea like m’self, you might find a simple whipped cream a little strange at first.
Last but not least, the sweets! My favourite part, obviously… I honestly didn’t know where to begin because the presentation was perfection and I didn’t want to be the one to ruin it. Without a moments thought Alix dug in for me, and we both had a macaroon! Fun fact – Macaroons* are my faveeeee, and a pistachio macaroon is the creme-de-la-creme for me, personally.
The Lemon Meringue Tart* was by far my favourite cake, with the citrus zing really hitting the spot and complementing the teas that we were sipping on so well. As big cheesecake enthusiasts, we were v. bloomin’ happy to see the Vanilla Cheesecake with Raspberry Mousse* which looked so beautiful that it was a heartbreak to cut into! Well worth it though, as the tangy raspberry and smooth vanilla were a lovely duo on the palate. If you have a chocolatey sweet tooth, you’re in luck, the Chocolate Brownie with Caramel Fudge* is delish!
A massive thank you to Armin and the staff at The Strand who made the experience on my birthday such a special one. I couldn’t have wished for a better Afternoon Tea, all of the details were thought about and followed through. A brilliant selection of teas, wide variety of savoury and sweet treats, and such care in the presentation. I really hope to visit The Strand again when I’m next in Stockholm. Spoiler… but I’m already planning my next visit, hopefully when it’s a little warmer this time!
See you soon, The Strand*!
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*I was gifted this experience with The Strand, but my thoughts and opinions are my own*