It's officially time to shake off winter and what better way than with a spring holiday? To get the best recommendation, we asked none other than our founder and director (and certified globetrotter) Mats Klingberg. Below, he gives the lowdown on where to stay and (most importantly) where to eat in a few of his favourite pre-summer destinations. Passports ready!
Ett Hem, Stockholm
Ett Hem & Sturehof (Stockholm, Sweden)
Ett Hem (which is Swedish for ‘a home’) has been my favourite home away from home since it first opened in 2012. This year they’re celebrating their 10th anniversary by adding two extra buildings, so I'm very much looking forward to seeing what owner Jeanette Mix and interior designer Ilse Crawford have come up with. All seasons have their charm, but I particularly love spring when all the flowers and plants in the garden come to life.
Sturehof is my number one go to restaurant when in Stockholm. They serve great Swedish classics such as meatballs, herring and salmon. However, my favourite dish is cod with prawns, horseradish and lemon on top and fresh potatoes on the side. After a very long and dark winter Stockholm really comes to life in spring and everyone’s out to soak up the sun and the Sturehof terrace is a great place for this.
Santa Clara 1728, Lisbon
Santa Clara 1728 & Prado (Lisbon, Portugal)
Lisbon is so much further ahead with the seasons than if you live in central or northern Europe. Already in March the temperatures can go up to the mid twenties, so I love coming here in the spring. Santa Clara 1728 is a lovely little hotel (only 6 rooms!) in a lovely building with great views of the water and lovely interiors. It's worth a stay just for the bathroom and the bathtub!
Prado is a great restaurant that celebrates the best Portugal has to offer, from sea to land. All their dishes are inspired by and made with local, seasonal and fresh ingredients, so if it’s not in season it’s not on the menu.
The Chiltern Firehouse & The River Cafe, London
The Chiltern Firehouse & The River Cafe (London, UK)
The Chiltern Firehouse, which is conveniently located across from Trunk on Chiltern Street, is a lovely little oasis in the middle of town. If I'm not staying there I still love popping over for tea, lunch, drinks or dinner throughout the week. The rooms are great. Super cosy and comfortable and I particularly love the fireplaces.
'You just don’t want to leave, so Sunday lunch usually goes on for hours!'
The River Café has been my favourite spot for Sunday lunch in London for as long as I can remember. Or any meal at any time of the day and week for that matter. It's a bit out of town, but the trip is so worth it. A table outside in the sun in spring is particularly nice with the lawn and the trees turning into a bright lovely green. You just don’t want to leave, so Sunday lunch usually goes on for hours!
Chateau Voltaire & Le Voltaire, Paris
Chateau Voltaire + Le Voltaire (Paris, France)
Paris is lovely all year round, but with the days getting longer and the gardens starting to bloom it feels very special in spring. Chateau Voltaire is super central, just a couple of minutes walk from Rue Rivoli and the Tuileries Garden, but on a fairly quiet street, making it the perfect hotel. It has great interiors and super friendly staff. The hotel also has a lovely bar and restaurant.
In terms of where to eat, I love old-school proper restaurants with great service and delicious food, and Le Voltaire ticks all those boxes. Plus, there’s always a great crowd making it feel even more special.