About the Horse (that Mr. H ate)

Once the snow melted this year we noticed a new place had taken over a prime place in the town square. We kept seeing it full of people so one day in Spring we strolled over and read the menu. Immediately Mr. H wanted to eat there as they had horse steak on the menu. Mr. H loves to try new and slightly weird and crazy food, I swear I have not stopped hearing about the steak and kidney pie he had when we met up with Emma in June, so we decided when my family visited in June we would go.

Well the night they were to arrive we decided to have a drink there and make sure it would be a good place to take them.

Torget 1

It was super cute inside, and the owner was speaking a mix of English and French which just added to its charm.

Torget 2

With Torget thoroughly vetted we knew we would be back.

The night we finally decided to go with my family Mr. H ended up having to home early and study so he missed out. There are also no pictures from that meal for some reason but it was such a fun experience I knew Mr. H needed to eat there so we decided for my birthday.

Then he had to work over my whole birthday weekend so finally after months of wanting to try the horse we made it happen on the 2nd!

Horse Steak Torget

So Mr. H may be an adventurous eater but I tend to well not be but the steak looked normal as you can see so I was brave and tried it and guess what it was amazing! It tasted like a mix of lamb and elk, gamey but not overly so and had an almost melt in your mouth quality to it.

We did of course need to make some lame Mr. Ed style jokes but Mr. H was very happy to check horse of his list of foods tried and I was too!

If you are in Sundsvall, hahaha like that will happen, you should check it out or find horse near you and eat up!

Torget Brasserie de Charcuterie

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The Sights of Bristol

Bristol 1

By the time we got to Bristol on our trip I was pretty sick, honestly the first day all I could think about was being on my couch at home watching Netflix. We had come all that way though so I rallied and we were able to see some great sights.

Bristol Zoo Gardens

Mr. H and I love animal centric sights and out of the many we have visited Bristol Zoo Gardens is at the top of the list. The size was wonderful and it was very interactive making the experience really exciting.

Zoo Collage

All animals we saw were very active and in the Twilight World area we saw animals we had never seen or heard of before and the place was totally dark and creepy which was fun to scare each other in!

The only downside was the food was on the bland side from the restaurant but it seemed many people had brought picnics which seemed like a great idea. If you are in the area I would highly suggest a visit.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

After our trip to the zoo we headed over to see the Clifton Suspension Bridge. This link will tell you all the technical details of the bridge so I will not go into all if but I will tell you it was really exciting to walk across. Out of the five of us only three walked across, Mr. H, me, and my grandpa, and we took about half an hour looking at the views and reading the various plaques they had around.

Clifton Downs

While we were being adventurous on the bridge my grandma and aunt sat here on a bench enjoying the views, and apparently some amorous antics of a couple! When we joined them I was bummed I did not have a can of cider and a bag of crisps to enjoy the rest of the afternoon with.

Brunels SS

The last sight we visited was Brunel’s ss Great Britain which was amazing. Not only do you get to walk around the fully restored boat that had interactive exhibits, there is a museum complete with dress up chest and picture back drop, but the whole area is done up to make it feel like you are getting on the boat like the passengers would have. O yeah and we got to go into the library area and have grad students show us old slides which I loved and the guides were super friendly and informative.

ss great britain collage

We spent at least two hours exploring what was on offer and then sat in their little cafe having a cold drink and enjoying the view of the river. The only thing we found a bit tricky was getting there, we took the bus and it was not a great experience but we left via water taxi which was great and what I would recommend.

We really enjoyed the sights we saw in Bristol and they would make a great vacation for just about anybody!

The Sights of Oxford

Oxford

As part of our summer trip we spent two nights in Oxford which could have honestly been a week. We were all excited to see the city but had no idea we would all fall in love with it like we did.

The city was full of beautiful buildings, friendly people, and interesting sights and attractions.

The best sight we visited was Oxford Castle Unlocked, I did not come across it when I was researching for our trip but when we stumbled across it on our first day of exploring the city we knew we had to go back the next day.

oxford castle unlocked

The Oxford Castle Unlocked is a multi sensory experience that involves a tour through an ancient castle turned prison with a tour guide that is dressed up and playing a role of someone who was actually imprisoned.

You hear some very creepy stories as well as some great history, if you love an experience that really makes history come alive I highly suggest visiting.

At the end there is a museum with interactive attractions and dress up stations which is what Mr. H is doing up there!

Ashmolean

The second museum we visited was the Ashmolean. This museum had a little something for everyone, our group of 5 split up and when we reconvened for tea and cakes everyone had seen something different.

I really enjoyed the exhibit I am in above which was about money, they had unique coins as well as interactive exhibits like I am playing with. This is a game was really fun, a bit like shuffleboard, and I really wish I had one of my own.

One thing to note was that some rooms were temperature controlled for preservation but were quite warm and uncomfortable so wear layers when you visit!

walking and looking

The rest of our time in Oxford was spent either eating or just strolling around and appreciating the sights.

The city was just full of interesting little things like this hill which had a version of my name incorporated into it so we had to take a picture!

We also managed to do a bit of shopping which resulted in some really fun souvenirs: two sweaters and a notebook covered in Scrabble tiles!

We also found a street with the same name as Mr. H’s best friends nickname that had us laughing for ages!

If you are planning a trip to England or are close I highly suggest checking out Oxford as I for one cannot wait to get back!

Sunday Roast at The Builder’s Arms

Lamb Roast Builder's Arms

One thing that Mr. H really wanted to do while we were in England was go to a pub for Sunday Roast. I searched around an area that I was familiar with and found a really great place, The Builder’s Arms, on a quiet residential street in South Kensington.

pal and grandma at pub

It was great to get away from the busy hustle and bustle and relax with some drinks and soak up the scene.

We went for vodka tonics, bloody marys, wine, beer, and ciders! Our food took a bit but the drinks were generous and it was really a relaxed Sunday crowd so we did not mind.

Fredrik at pub

I was happy to have found a place that suited everyone and I swear I am still dreaming of those peas and yorkshire pudding!

If you are around London I highly suggest checking out this pub but since I am far away I will just have to try and recreate it!

family in front of Builders Arms

Going about Recapping

I have been sitting at the computer catching up on blogs and thinking how I want to recap our trip. It has got me thinking though on how I blog, everyone has their own style and way of doing things which can be hard to maintain.

I keep thinking how I could do the recaps and then think no that would not be me, but then again what is the me that recaps trips?

Do I do it like I did with Stockholm, but I got bored with that and never finished.

Do I do it in one giant post, that though seems like not giving the trip its due.

In order, the best things first, the food, ahhhhhhhhhhh!

I should do it like I do all my other posts though right?

I should post the things I loved, the ones that made me think, the ones that I will remember for ages even if they do not have a great picture to go along with it (in which I mean I think I look bad in it).

So that is what I am going to do, all this and that and the other in a random way because that is me.

They will also probably have crazy commentary and asides as my brain loves an aside!

O and !!!!! one cannot forget !!!!!!! in a post!

And pictures that are totally ridiculous like this….

blurry vacation picture in prison

Back Home!

back home from vacation

Hello!!!!!

Well we made it back from a wonderful vacation, sadly in addition to some wonderful souvenirs I also brought back the cold I caught last week.

I plan on getting back to blogging this week after having my wonderful guest bloggers last week though it is going to be hard!

Now I am going to watch Netflix on the couch with tea and chicken noodle soup though!

See you soon!!!

Stockholm- The Sights

When Mr. H and I go on weekend trips we like to pick one main sight to see whether that is a museum, famous monument or area of town and then set it to be seen on whichever day is our full day in the city. This way we get some structure but also lots of flexibility to walk down the street that looks cool or sit for hours in a fun coffee shop we find. It also helps us keep costs down as entry fees can be quite high and luckily for us if we visit somewhere in Europe and feel we need to see more we have the option to return in the future.

stockholm the sights

For our weekend in Stockholm we decided to visit the Vasa Museum. We chose this as our paid sight because the cost was low, 130 kr for me and 100 kr for Mr. H with his student ID which they checked, and because Mr. H had visited almost 10 years  ago exactly so we thought it would be fun to see what he thought now vs then.

Vasa Museum 1

When you initially walk in you are in a large open area with the recovered ship filling the main space and I will admit I was like ummm cool but where is all the other stuff we surely did not just pay to see the ship right! Even when I grabbed a map I was still a bit confused but eventually we got our bearings and spent about two hours exploring the museum. I am not sure if we saw every little bit of info but we were satisfied by what we saw and had fun taking pictures and reading all of the various plaques and displays they had.

One reason we left is because the lighting was dim to help preserve the ship which was making us tired and we were hungry and knew we could find cheaper food than was being served in their cafe.

Vasa Collage

I love taking silly pictures and I think that what I liked best about the Vasa Museum was they had all sorts of interactive things to take pictures with and made the experience of the boat sinking come to life that much more.

In the bottom middle picture Mr. H is trying to point to where we live on that map but it was hard to get close enough. In the bottom left picture I am in a diving bell, the picture I posted yesterday is Mr. H in it. He is also a foot taller than me and stood up in it but I was too scared!

If you are in Stockholm I would highly recommend visiting but I would say to either take the elevator the top or bottom and work your way in the opposite direction rather than starting in the middle like we did.

DSCN2373

Also of note is that the museum is walking distance to many other museums and located in this lovely green space along the water. If you are of the picnicing persuasion this would be a lovely place to, we just sat along the water for a bit and felt refreshed but were a bit jealous of the others that thought ahead and had snacks!

The Royal Palace

On Sunday our train did not leave till the afternoon so after we checked out of the hotel we stored our bag and went out on a walking exploration. Since we have both been to Stockholm before we did not have anything particular in mind and since it was such a nice day we just really set out towards the shops.

We walked a route from our hotel down to a small square that was having a market then down a street of shops and ended up at The Royal Palace. Now Stockholm is home to two palaces but I was excited to see this one since, from the outside only, as I have seen it on TV for the royal weddings. Also our last name translates to home castle so I thought it was apt for us to take some pictures out front because you know we obviously belong there! (Edit to add when Mr. H saw he said o it is The Royal Man at the Royal Palace!)

We then took the same path back, doing a coffee stop, and relaxed in the hotel lobby a bit before heading to the train station.

Stockholm Street Collage

Stockholm – The Drinking Part (or the best part)

stockholm the drinks

Now Mr. H and I had our food plan to be thrifty and one museum picked out that had a student discount (post coming soon) because we had a plan for our drinks and it was to visit two bars we had been dreaming about for a long time. Lest you think us Hemborg’s are drunks it is just that we really love beer, you know how some people love wine and that is ok but loving beer is still kinda taboo, ummm anyways in Stockholm there are two craft beer bars that we set out to try!

Brewdog Stockholm 1

Brewdog

First on our list was Brewdog which opened last year. We have tried many of their beers and have always been pleased and we knew they had many others on tap and in bottles that are hard or near impossible to find in Sweden.

We each started with their Jackhammer IPA, it was the first time having it on tap and it was quite tasty but for our next beer we wanted to order from their bottle selection.

Stone IPA Love

Mr. H decided to go for a Stone IPA which as you can see he was very happy about! I have oddly never blogged about it but last summer we visited the Stone Brewing facilities and had such a great time and we really miss getting their beers at a good price. We were happy that they had this beer and that it was the best price for Stone we have seen in Sweden.

Flying Dog in the Wildeman

I ordered a beer from a brewery in my top 5 which was the Flying Dog in de Wildeman Farmhouse IPA. Not only did I love the glass they served with it but the beer was heavenly. Also when I went up and ordered I had a fun little chat with the bartender about Flying Dog which I find sorta of rare in Swedish bars which had me pleased.

Overall we thought the bar had potential but we did not love it. The things we thought could be changed were the layout as to get to the bar after sitting you had to basically climb through the other people sitting and when we first walked in we could only see the beers on tap and not the three page bottle list which made us order a beer we might not have and at around 72 kr per beer you want to spend that money wisely. I also feel that since this type of craft beer movement is still small but growing in Sweden the other clientele were not acclimated to this style of bar and seemed to be looking for their old stand bys of Tuborg and Carlsberg.

Mikkeller Bar Stockholm

Mikkeller Stockholm

The second beer stop we made was to the new Mikkeller bar in Stockholm, and I mean new as it was ut two weeks old when we went!

Drinking at Mikkeller

At Mikkeller they had all the beers listed on a giant board so it was easy to see what was available and you order either a large or small glass which was great for testing different beers.

large glass at Mikkeller

Mikkeller beers can be hard to find and often very price prohibitive so we were excited to be able to try some from the source as it were and we I think we ended up trying four different Mikkellers and one other that was on tap.

We enjoyed all but one which we thought was not bad but that the keg was off. After a bit of talking with the bartender I was able to trade it in for a different beer which was nice. I however would have been even happier if the bartender would have been more knowledgeable about beer and would have known it was off when she tasted it as well and not just said maybe I did not like it. Mr. H and I had both tried it and then asked a gentleman sitting behind us that just so happened to be from the Stockholm Whisky and Beer Festival and we all thought it tasted like vinegar which this style of beer should never taste like at all.

chips at mikkeller bar stockholm

The star of our time at Mikkeller for me though were the chips! Not only were they tasty, reasonably priced for a bar snack in Sweden, but I loved how they put them in a basket so I did not have to stick my hand in a greasy bag which is a pet peeve of mine!

I think this bar also has great potential but a bit of a leg up on Brewdog since Mikkeller is a brewery from Denmark and seemed to understand what Swedes would like better. The location of the bar also seemed better since next door is an established bar and overall the area felt nicer.

Bishops Arms Stockholm

The last bar we visited was not on purpose but on Friday night we were not in the mood to venture too far from the hotel or where we had dinner reservations so we went into the Bishops Arms. They are chain in Sweden, they have this weird thing where they have to be a certain distance from an Elite hotel, and we actually have one in Sundsvall.

We went in because like I said in my food post it is always nice to go somewhere familiar and trustworthy.

Mr. H ended up having two beers and I had two beers and a cider which all were great and reasonably priced.

They also had friendly staff and comfy little booths that you felt in no need to vacate. This also happened to be the place where I hear the most English being spoken on our whole trip!

For 5o kr we were able to get a bag of chips as well as a cup of assorted nuts which kept us happy till our 8 PM dinner reservations.

If you are in Sweden and looking for a wide variety of beer and a cozy atmosphere Bishops Arms is always a safe bet.

____________

We also had a few beers in the hotel bar but I am saving that for the post on the hotel!

Stockholm – The Food Part

We made it back from our little weekend getaway to Stockholm and I am so excited to share our trip with you! I am having so many thoughts and not only on the regular we had so much fun ones but also on the I will never be able to stop thinking in terms of my American Studies degree and so therefore have so many thoughts in terms of social behavior, norms, and so forth!

To make things easier and more straightforward though I am going to divide the posts up into easy categories and therefore if you only want to read about food and not the hotel (or my crazy ideas on traveling differences in your home country vs a foreign one) you can easily!

stockholm the food

Eating out in Sweden is expensive so our plan was for taking advantage of the breakfast buffet in the hotel, low budget lunches, one special dinner, and one lower budget dinner. We were able to stick to this which was great and had some really good food too!

Stockholm Wagamama

Wagamama

Wagamama’s is one of our favorite restaurants to eat at when we are in the UK and were so excited to find out they had one in Stockholm. Now I know some people do not love chains but when I am in a new city and tired sometimes a chain is great because you know what to expect and will most likely leave full and happy and this was no exception!

I was very pleased that the servings were still huge even though it was Sweden and that the prices for the huge servings were very reasonable.

We both ordered the Katsu Curry (pictured in the top right) which was a large breaded and fried chicken breast, with a huge mound of rice, salad, and amazingly yummy curry sauce. It was 139 kr and considering I was so full I could not even finish my rice we were once again pleased with the value.

We also ordered a serving of the duck gyoza which we found a little on the pale side but the filling was good.

This was the only restaurant we planned in advance and therefore had made reservations online for 8 PM on Friday, however by 7:20 we were starving so we made our way over and after a very short wait were seated in a great little booth. The service was friendly and the restaurant had a great lively atmosphere.

I would highly recommend this if you are looking for large portions of great Asian food at a competitive price.

O and in terms of touristy feeling the nearest table to us were Finnish but as far as we could tell everyone else seemed to be speaking Swedish.

bamsekorv and potatismos

On Saturday we did some sightseeing and stopped for a cheap and typical Swedish lunch of bamsekorv (a large sausage) and potatismos (mashed potatoes) with mustard and ketchup.

All over Stockholm, and Sweden for that matter, you will find little stands selling a variety of sausages (korv) either on a bun (korvbröd), rolled up in a flatbread called tunnbröd (mainly in the north), inserted in a bun called a French hot dog, or with potatoes and toppings like fried onions, relish, mustard, ketchup and shrimp salad.

We enjoyed our easy on the go lunch and as silly as it sounds since I live in Sweden having this lunch on a little table in a park near the water in Stockholm really made me feel extra Swedish.

If you are visiting make sure to try one of this stands and be pleasantly surprised!

Giant Pizza

Ok so that picture is not the best but it shows how giant the pizza was we got on Saturday night!

On Saturday after we visited two different bars and were hungry we started wandering down random streets looking for dinner. That is usually not the best idea but we found our favorite restaurant ever that way once on vacation so we went for it. Along the way I mumbled that pizza sounded great so when I glanced down a residential side street and saw a sign saying pizzeria I headed towards it like a moth to a flame.

Buona Sera Pizzeria Stockholm

And that is how we found Pizzeria Buona Sera. When I got close and saw the tiny place packed I thought it was a good sign and I was very very right. We were seated and handed menus with pasta and the traditional long list of pizzas common in Sweden. Once we ordered; a capricciosa for Mr. H and one for me called the Al Pollo which had chicken, arugula, goat cheese, roasted paprika, red onion, pine nuts, mozzarella, and tomato sauce, we were handed a giant bowl of pizza salad. Now you might not be familiar with pizza salad but if you are you will know how amazing getting a giant bowl at your table is and to top it off it was fresh and delicious.

I did not manage to eat my whole pizza but Mr. H devoured his and both declared it the best pizza we have had in ages. What was also great is that this meal was so cheap! I believe our whole meal (pizza salad, pizzas, and sparkling water for two) came in under 200 kr!

Seriously if you are in Stockholm and want to experience Swedish pizza check this place out. What would be ideal is to order a variety and share with friends!

All of the other patrons seemed to live locally and were speaking Swedish, except for the couple next to us who were German but Mr. H said they were ordering things not on the menu (he also knows a good deal of German) so he thought they were local too.

Espresso House Stockholm

On Sunday before we took the train home we did a bit of on foot sightseeing and when we felt our energy starting to drain we decided to pop into an Espresso House we passed by. Now Espresso House is the Swedish equivalent to Starbucks which is why we went in since we were right on the edge of the super touristy old town area and we did not want to be charged super high prices for a small or subpar coffee.

Also in Sundsvall we do not currently have an Espresso House, they are to open in April where a McDonalds closed last year, so it was a treat to visit such a large and airy branch.

If you are in living in Sweden but not in Stockholm you will be surprised how nice their Espresso Houses are and if you are a visitor to Sweden they are a great stop for a mid afternoon pick me up as they sell traditional Swedish pastries as well as a variety of hot and cold beverages. This one also had free water and bathrooms which is never a bad thing!

Waynes Coffee is the other large Swedish chain of coffee shops but I prefer Espresso House but let me know which you like better!

Those were the main places we ate in Stockholm, we also had lunch at Burger King before we went to the train station Sunday but that it not so exciting to deserve pictures, and please let me know if you have questions on any of them!

Tomorrow I will blog about the places we had drinks!

Miniature Golf – A Fun Day Out

the boys with their clubs

One random day this summer my brother and his best friend and ever present confidante showed up at my grandparents begging us to go miniature golfing with them.

It turned out to be one of the best days of the whole summer!

score card

We took it fairly serious, keeping score but at times just giving me a random amount of strokes because it turns out I am not very good!

My brother and his friend though have taken golf lessons in the past though so they went from good to bad due to being 14 and getting distracted by birds, trees, and ummm just about anything around us!

Mr. H however got more than one hole in one, which surprised us (ok maybe just me) and he ended up being the winner.

video arcade

After our game we went into the arcade and honestly had even more fun than golfing. If you are looking for a fun and new date night I would highly recommend an arcade. We played skee ball, air hockey, and other random things and had so much fun collecting the tickets and getting silly prizes.

My brother and his friend go a lot and they had a system of finding lost coins so we ended up playing for free a ton but I do not recommend their technique of floor scrounging and would bring some cash instead!