Happy Midsummer’s Eve

Oh it is this time again for the biggest holiday in Sweden (after Christmas of course). If you happen to be in Sweden today…well do not be alarmed if all the main cities are empty and shops are closed. It is the time of the year when people leave to go to the country side or to the coast. The maypole will be raised, girls wear the flower-rings in their hair and the big table is set for the big meal. Herring, potato salads and to finish it all of with a strawberry cream cake. And do not forget the Schnapps, and lots of it.

This is the time when we gather with family and friends and it is also the kick off for our long holidays over the Summer. Most Swedes take four or five weeks off work. Almost all of July Sweden is closed down and people are in good holiday spirit.

Richard has still not experienced this holiday mainly because we normally do a longer holiday period in the end if the Summer but one year it will be his turn…he will not know what have hit him:) However we are off to a party tomorrow with lots of Swedes so he shall experience a little bit of it. I better crack on, I shall make some potato salad for tomorrow:-)

If you like to know more about how we Swedes celebrate Midsummer why not join us with the Scottish Swedish Society this Sunday at the grounds of Edinburgh Academy (in Stockbridge). Click HERE for more information.

Happy Midsummer

Charlotte x

Swedish Lucia Celebration…Bigger than ever!

According to the Guardian, in a article about Swedish Christmas celebrations, the hunger for Scandinavian Christmas traditions is on trend… as a small Scandinavian shop we can tell as well. Our Swedish and Danish candles and Christmas decorations are almost all gone and it is only early December.

Today is an excellent opportunity to take part in the Swedish traditional Lucia celebration at Wardie Parish Church, click here for more details. I know it will be a lovely ceremony and afterwards traditional “Lussekatter” Saffron buns and coffee.

So today since it is 1st of Advent and we will light up our Advent stars and candle-bridges and the first candle in my advent candle holder. My dad and his wife is over from Sweden, they brought gingerbread dough (I know you can buy some from IKEA but it is not the same, and making my own…hmmm time is running low) we will bake our snaps and have a glass of mulled wine. The smells and tastes will be the proper start for our Christmas and am excited to make the shop look more like Christmas as well. Richard’s parents are in town as well so I think it might be a little visit to the markets in town today as well.

Dad brought lots of yummy food with them for us. Now these days after opening up the shop we stay in Scotland for the holidays and have started to create our own traditions. I am not ready to give up any kind of Swedish celebrations and replace them with a UK one…no no! So on Christmas Eve, after we close the shop I head home and we have our Swedish Christmas, including the lovely Jansson’s temptation, herring (sill) and this year even lovely traditional Christmas Ham and dad brought “Vortbrod” a special Christmas bread. I felt true happiness when I saw what they had brought.  Amazing what food and memories can do:) Then on Christmas Day morning we head over to Glasgow this year and will celebrate with Richard’s family. So a turkey dinner is to expect which is great as well. But I am afraid to say it wont beat a Swedish Christmas Buffet table so called “julbord”.

Have a great 1st Advent, I am so pleased it is such a beautiful day.

Charlotte x

Evening Event…Do your Christmas shopping at Spektakulär

We have had quite a number of requests for some evening events during November and December. I have been to a few myself in Sweden way back and also a couple here in the UK and yes it is rather lovely to get your Christmas shopping done without the stress of doing it at lunch hour or sharpening the elbows at the department store. No it is much better to do the Christmas gift shopping with good friends, a glass of something and lovely nibbles after opening hours. We did a couple of trials last year, mostly with friends and family, which was lots of fun.

And the really good news is that this year we have teamed up with Bia Bistrot who will do some fabulous canapés for us. May we suggest to book a table at Bia Bistrot afterwards since it is just three doors down and their food (and drinks) is amazing.

So this is how it will work:

Bring a few friends (and friends friends) or family along after work, after the children have been fed and the husband have made it home.

We require a minimum of 6 people (maximum 15, the shop is full of Christmas gifts and it will be a bit of a squash and a squeeze if more than 15),  and with a minimum spending of £20 per person.

Find your gifts, and while we wrap them up in lovely Scandinavian style enjoy a glass of fizz and chat with your friends. Now does that not sound like a great couple of hours, perfect to catch up with friends before the hectic time of Christmas and the holidays.

A few dates are already been taken, so pop in to the shop or give us a ring at 0131 629 0941 or why not just email hello@spektakular.co.uk  and grab an evening you think will be perfect. Any time Monday – Saturday between 19.00 – 22.00 and Sunday between 18.00 – 21.00.

Happy Christmas shopping (and chatting)

Charlotte x

Olympic Flame 13 June

Am very very excited, on Wednesday 13th June around 18.00-18.30 the Olympic Flame will pass by our shop!!! I bought Swedish flags when I was home so when you see a bunch of people waving for dear life cheering on the flame, yeah it will be us! You can find the street by street  Olympic Torch Relay here.

As a Swede you get the love for the Olympic games quite early in life. It is something special and it is the top prestige medal you can get. Since Sweden is such a small country we are very proud of our athletes. So with London Olympics coming up I am getting ready to cheer on my fellow countrymen and women! Go Sweden!

Halloween

Well Halloween is not a Swedish tradition, but during the years it has started to become a more common sight in the shops and I know my nephew who is seven has a Halloween party. Traditions do change, but what we Swedes do at Halloween or the weekend during 31st of October – 6st of November, is the time when we remember our loved ones and we go to the graveyards and light up candles and it is a  spectacular sight when you walk or drive by at night and you see the graveyards all gloomy and it looks so beautiful.  We call it “Alla Helgons Dag” guess it would translate to All Saints Day. I must admit I am not that sure what the real meaning of the name is…

Image by Kjell Isberg

But since Halloween is getting closer I have managed to get a few lovely new taper candles by Ester & Erik. In black and orange of course! We have a few ghost sponges left as well as skull napkins and teatowels. And of course if you are off for a house party at Halloween I do have gifts and lots of them.

Have a lovely weekend

Charlotte x

Happy Birthday Stina!!!

Grattis på födelsedagen Stina!

Our gorgeous daughter is one year today Friday! Wow I think this must have been the fastest year of my life, it sure has been an amazing year!

We  have taken some time off from the shop this weekend, but fear not! Emma is in the shop every day this weekend  and will look after you! And don’t miss out on this weekend’s celebration offer at the shop, 10 % off on Stina’s favourites! All Teddykompaniets animal slippers, they are soooo cute and funky and all of course Färg & Forms lovely soft children’s blankets in 100% cotton!

Have a lovely weekend

Richard, Charlotte & Stina

New Pappelina order will be place 29th July

Yes it is time for a new order from Pappelina. The rugs are getting more and more attention and just like me, our customers are falling in love with them. Once you get one you are hooked ;)

Plastic rugs are something that I grew up with, (not realising then how great they were) as well as rugs made of old rags (which is another great idea I am looking into for the shop). Pappelina use a traditional weaving technique from the 40’s, with modern plastics, and new designs. They started in 1999 and from there it has kicked off and they re-introduced the so clever plastic rug in our homes.

Last time I visited my grandmother in Gothenburg I realised she had them in her kitchen, bathroom and in the hallway and she bought them in the 60’s and still looking fabulous! When I visited my other grandmother in Uddevalla she had one on the balcony and in the summer-house and even here at my mum’s, there is one on the balcony. They are absolutely spectacular, so easy to wash, just put them in the washing machine or put them in the shower or bathtub and hose them down, using a soft sponge on any particularly dirty bits . Or, as one of our customers told us, use babywipes! I sure have plenty of those lying around…

We have one in our kitchen, the lovely Lilo in azure blue, and a soft Svea is moving in with Stina as soon as she leaves our bedroom.

Please do checkout their website and come in and see us or give us a ring and we are happy to help with dimensions, designs and let you know the price. Next order will be placed Friday the 29th of July, so plenty of time to measure.  We try to place orders together so shipping costs are low and we can keep prices competitive.

Have a lovely browse

Charlotte x