Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old town, is a beautiful part of the city, steeped in history and culture. It is home to the Swedish Academy, the Royal Palace and many charming narrow streets. It is a real hotspot for tourists and is always full of people on guided walks, looking for the next photo opportunity. This means that there are, unfortunately, some spots on the island that are tourist traps: restaurants where you see tour groups funnelled in and out as quickly as possible, overpriced eateries and tourist shops that sell twee souvenirs.
Gamla Stan has many fantastic places, too, though, locations that deserve to be visited and appreciated. It has restaurants that are pushing boundaries and providing their customers with exciting and innovative dishes, at prices that are very fair when you consider the level of craft and consideration that is put into each plate.
Arguably the best example of the joys that Gamla Stan can offer is the Gastro Kvarter, a square right in the centre of the island that plays host to six different eateries, all working together to create one of the city’s most innovative dining spots.
The locations are overseen and managed by Leijontornet, a special restaurant that is only open 12 times a year, to just eight guests at a time. As those nights are rare, they manage the other five in the block when these nights are not on.
Alongside these three excellent restaurants, the gastro block also features The Burgundy, a bistro with one of the best wine cellars in the city, and Tweed, a relaxed and comfortable bar, which has a lovely terrace for use during the summer months.
These places all have a slightly different atmosphere, a unique focus and different ideas of what makes a great dining experience. However, they are united by the desire to provide the highest-quality service and produce to their customers.
Since its inception, the block has always been very popular. It has become a hotspot for Stockholmers with the most refined palates and the desire to try something special. The only issue, for many patrons, was that a visit to the block usually meant they could only try out one, or perhaps two, of the places.
This is where the idea of the walking dinner was born: a one-night experience that combined each of the places, giving you a taste for each location without your having to spend the whole night there.
The concept actually originated from the staff at the restaurants. Daniel Crespi, the restaurant manager who oversees all the locations, told me, ‘It’s the way we usually eat when we ourselves eat at our establishments.’ They decided that it would be fun to give the customers the same experience.
The walking dinner is run from Thursday to Saturday, with three different starting times: 5pm, 6pm and 7pm. It begins with a glass of wine at The Burgundy, before moving onto each of the restaurants in turn.
You get the opportunity to sample the signature dishes at each: first at Flickan’s kitchen counter, then at the kitchen table at Publogi and finally at Djuret food bar. The night is rounded off at Tweed, where you can relax in one of their comfortable armchairs while sampling a cocktail. It is the perfect way to have a night that is varied and exciting.
The walking dinner is always very popular, so make sure to book ahead.