West Sweden in East London

October 24, 2012

On 23 October, I spent my lunch break in Sweden and I didn’t even need to leave London. That’s because I was invited to enjoy a West Sweden-inspired lunch at a pop-up red cottage in East London’s trendy Old Truman Brewery, set up as part of a Visit Sweden-led campaign to showcase some of the country’s mouth-watering cuisine. Red cottages are synonymous with Sweden, and what a unique sight it was to see one spring up in London!

I eagerly accepted the invitation because I knew I’d be in for a treat. As part of my work for our client, the West Sweden Tourist Board, I’ve been lucky enough to visit the region several times, with food played a starring role in every trip. There’s an incredible emphasis there on sourcing local ingredients – the west coast’s shellfish, game from the inland forests, and fine cheeses, as well as vast swathes of fertile agricultural land that’s ideal for growing grain and raising animals organically.

The red cottage event surpassed my expectations, with menu highlights including Toast Skagen – a Swedish speciality, traditionally made with prawns, mayonnaise and dill on toast – featuring crayfish from the famous Göta Canal.  Inside the cosy, candle-lit cottage, it genuinely felt like I had been transported to Sweden for an hour. It was lovely to chat to my fellow diners about the exquisite food and the various holidays to the region that are available with Sunvil Discovery, another client of ours. When it was time to leave, I half-expected to walk outside and be greeted with a view of the idyllic west-coast archipelago or Dalsland lake district.

Check out more photographs from the event here.

(Steph Reed)