We made it to Stockholm! After 2 days on the road we finally arrived to our new home in Sweden!
Okay, but like I mentioned in my last post, we still need to make the drive back to Belgium and then fly to Stockholm to finally be residents in our new city! At least the trip back we only have two small suitcases, so it’s safe to park our car. So for the drive back we’ll revisit Copenhagen and spend a few days there, then overnight in Hamburg, before ending in Antwerp. Exciting!
But before we can leave we wanted to try one of the restaurants in our neighborhood for brunch and were happy to find STHLM Brunch Club! I love all day brunch places and was excited to try it out before hitting the road. We were a bit nervous we’d have to wait (no reservations) but I think 10 on a weekday is not their busiest time 🙂 Brunch was fantastic, as was the bottomless coffee!
We’re moving to Stockholm!!! But it’s going to be a long process… After a lot of researching and planning we decided on driving to Stockholm with our essentials, then driving back to Antwerp, then flying back to Stockholm. A lot, I know – especially considering I accidentally let my driver’s license expire, so Koen will be doing the 18 hour drive twice while I keep him awake and happy 🙂
On the way to Stockholm means a car full of valuables, so we took two days, only overnighting in Copenhagen. So that means we woke up early drove through Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany, then drove onto a ferry and took the boat to Denmark, then the final two hour drive to Copenhagen. We arrived late and needed a good night’s rest. But before the final leg to Stockholm, we indulged in a delicious plant-based brunch at Plant Power Food in Nørrebro (Northern neighborhood in Copenhagen).
Continuing with vegetarian cooking, I decided to make the Turkish dish Imam Bayildi for dinner. Imam Bayildi contains my favorite veggies – oven roasted tomatoes and eggplant as well as caramelized onions. Yum!
The name Imam Bayildi literally translates into “the imam fainted”. There are a couple of stories behind the name:
1) A Turkish imam swooned with pleasure at the flavor when presented with this dish by his wife and he fainted upon hearing the cost of the ingredients or the amount of oil used to cook the dish.
2) An imam married the daughter of an olive oil merchant and her dowry consisted of twelve jars of the finest olive oil, with which she prepared each evening in an eggplant dish with tomatoes and onions. On the thirteenth day, there was no eggplant dish at the table. When informed that there was no more olive oil, the imam fainted.
After a long vacation I am always excited to get back in the kitchen! After so much meat and seafood I was ready for a few days of vegetarian dishes and headed to My New Roots in search of a delicious fall dish. The Pumpkin Miso Broth with Soba caught my eye and didn’t disappoint. So delicious! In her recipe she recommends dried seaweed, but in Belgium it’s so easy to find different types of fresh seaweed – including my favorite, samphire – so nice and juicy!
The Majestic Café dates back to 1921 and still exudes a Belle Epoque-era ornate interior featuring carved wood, mirrors & chandeliers. The Majestic was a recommendation by someone we know from Porto, an old, beautiful café with a lot of history. I particulary liked the idea that JK Rowling spent a lot of time here writing the first Harry Potter book!
I was really excited to learn that São Miguel is home to the oldest tea plantation in Europe – Gorreana. When we arrived I discovered that there is actually a second smaller tea plantation – Porto Formoso. The two are the only tea plantations in all of Europe! I was even happier to learn they both had free entrance and we could explore and sample the teas!
When looking up the best restaurants for seafood in Lisbon, you’ll find SEA ME – a Portuguese/Japanese fusion restaurant in Chiado. Because we love Japanese food, we really wanted to visit SEA ME! We discovered the restaurant a bit late in the trip, but luckily were able to secure a reservation our last night in Lisbon. I knew already a bit about the Portuguese-Japanese connection, because I watched a documentary about tempura in Japan, that it was introduced in the 16th century by the Portuguese living in Nagasaki.
Sunday we headed to the neighborhood of Alcântara to check out the LXFactory, a creative island in a factory setting with cool shops, restaurants, and galleries. Because it was Sunday, we were also able to see the weekly flea market. We loved walking around the photogenic LXFactory and enjoying all of the art.
View of the city of Azenhas do Mar – taken by our Tuk Tuk driver 🙂
Portugal is famous for its seafood and Sintra is no exception. So to conclude our day trip, after researching and asking friends, we decided on Azenhas do Mar. To our surprise this is the name of both the restaurant and the city! So when we asked our Tuk Tuk driver to take us here he looked at us very weirdly and said it’s two towns away. But luckily he lives closeby and we negotiated a price and off we went! He happily let us know that after dropping us off he could just go home and not work the evening shift.
After exploring Quinta da Regaleira, I was really craving a cup of coffee and sweets. Before heading to the Pena Palace, we decided to head back in town and try to find a cafe that wasn’t too crowded. We thought heading up hill was the best bet and spotted a cute yellow cafe with a huge line at the to-go counter but almost no one in the dining area. Perfect!