What were we up to last week? On Wednesday morning my daughter and I caught a plane from Malta to Skavsta airport in Stockholm, then a bus and a train to reach our destination central Uppsala in Sweden to meet with my husband, who was there a week prior on a business trip. We missed him so much that we were all the more excited to visit the town where he was raised and lived for many years. I was enthusiastic to be attending Uppsala Fashion Weekend for the first time!
This was my second visit to Uppsala. The first time I was here was over 4 years ago, and it was in the very beginning of my relationship with the lovely man I am now married to. Being here brought back some memories of those butterflies and warm feelings I had that during that visit. This time, years later, I’m back with him and with our 3 year old daughter Luna who is half Swedish, half Maltese – and I just knew we were in for a pleasant time – as this place is truly magical. This blog is an overview of what we enjoyed in these four days, what we experienced. I will try to be brief and jam it into one long blog post, as this week I have to work hard and efficiently to prepare for another trip in just two days time!
Introduction to Uppsala, Sweden
Uppsala is one of Sweden’s oldest yet most vibrant cities, thanks in part to a student population hitting 40,000. Extremely peaceful during the day and active by night, the resulting youthful buzz manifests most strikingly in the sheer number of cafes and bars dotted everywhere as well as hundreds of bicycles on the streets. It is astounding how many people use bicycles here; it’s surreal to see so many of them zooming by and parked by the central stations, for locals to be able to commute by train to Stockholm.
The city’s charm also lies in its sheer picturesque significance, with the meandering River Fyris flowing through the centre, lined by pathways and more pretty cafes and eateries, little shops, hair salons, small supermarkets and small hotels.
History enthusiasts like me have plenty to soak up here, with Gamla (Old) Uppsala. This fascinating archaeological site was once a flourishing 6th-century religious centre where human sacrifices were made, as well as an ancient burial ground.
The city makes an easy day trip from Stockholm, though it’s worth lingering overnight to wander the streets and soak up the atmosphere.
Hotel We Stayed At in Uppsala Sweden
On this trip in Uppsala, we stayed at the Radisson Blu Uppsala ideally located right by the central train station and a few hundreds of metres away from all the shopping centres and the conference centre where the Uppsala Fashion Weekend was being held. We loved this hotel for its excellent location, its amenities, excellent breakfast, and very friendly staff who assist you with whatever you need with that “yes we can” attitude. My daughter loved the little play area in the lobby, and so did we because it allowed us to enjoy breakfast in peace while she played happily with the wooden trains and the puzzles. The Wifi is excellent so we could also work happily without the hassle of interruptions to the internet. Highly recommended hotel.
To book visit www.radissonblu.com/Uppsala
Enjoyed the Princess Cake at Guntherska Café
You know how much I am in love with cakes and desserts so when in Sweden, enjoying a relaxing day with Luna walking along the river and just embracing the beautiful views of the river and the good vibes, I had to go to one of the most highly recommended place for sweets – Guntherska Café for coffee and cake!
An 1870 grande dame of a cafe which enjoys an perfect position with terraced seating across from the river, and an elegant interior with regency-style wallpaper and chandeliers. The menu includes treats like hummus salad, and the sweet treats are in a league of their own, they look like designer sweets and I would have loved to taste one of each! However I went for a slice of the Princess Cake (known as Princesstarta in Swedish) while Luna had a fresh orange juice.
A princess cake is a traditional Swedish layer cake consisting of alternating layers of sponge cake, pastry cream, and a thick-domed layer of whipped cream. This is topped by marzipan, giving the cake a smooth rounded top. The marzipan overlay is usually green, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and often decorated with a pink marzipan rose. It is similar to the Sicilian Cassatella but this one is much lighter in texture. OMG! Delicious!
Visited the Uppsala Cathedral
The Gothic Domkyrka dominates the city and is Scandinavia’s largest church, with towers soaring an inspiring 119 metres. The interior is imposing, with the French Gothic ambulatory flanked by small chapels. Tombs here include those of St Erik, Gustav Vasa and the scientist Carl von Linné. Regular tours in English are conducted in July and August and at other times, by appointment. We went here together as a family to visit this beautiful church and to say a few prayers too while we were here. We lit a few candles and dedicated them to all our friends who need help. Perfect peaceful place to do so.
Uppsala Cathedral is the largest and tallest church in the Nordic countries and shouldn’t be missed when visiting Uppsala. Uppsala Cathedral was especially important for Swedish history during the Middle Ages. Several coronations of Swedish kings and queens took place here up until the 1700’s (when they were moved to Storkyrkan Cathedral in Stockholm.
There are many points of interest within the cathedral. For example you have several Swedish kings and queens buried here, including Gustav Vasa and his son Johan III. Other notable people buried here include Emmanuel Swedenborg and Carl Linnáeus. The relics of St Bridget (founder of the Bridgettine Order of nuns and one of the six patron saints of Europe) and St Erik (legendary king and patron saint of Stockholm) are found in the Finsta Chapel within the cathedral.
Best Shopping Malls and Entertainment for the little one
Uppsala is a lively shopping city. There is a nice mix of modern malls, specialty shops, cafés and restaurants I enjoyed some shopping here in particular their large shopping malls including Rådhuset, Forumgallerian, Gränbystaden, Gottsunda Centrum and S:T Per Gallerian. For entertainment I treated Luna and myself to a visit to Leo’s Lekland which is a huge playing centre for children. Oh my goodness. We had so much fun together climbing huge constructions and sliding down lots of slides. The areas are themed with animals and dinosaurs with toilets that made animal sounds when you opened the doors. We also had something to eat here in the restaurant area with snacks made with children in mind. A fab few hours were had here. If you watched our Instagram Stories, you saw it and heard it too as we screamed with glee on the way down the slides haha!
Visit https://www.leoslekland.se/ for more information
Our Favourite Restaurant – Stationen
We dined twice at this place called Stationen. Why? Because the food here is just so tasty and fresh and the place offers a great atmosphere both during the day when we ate al fresco and at night when we dressed up on Friday night and enjoyed its vibrant hang-out atmosphere. Even our daughter enjoyed it here. I had this mouth-watering fresh fish chowder while Marco had this prawn and avocado salad. Fantastic food and atmosphere. A must visit when in town. It is located a few hundred metres from the main train station, hence the name “Stationen”.
The old station, a charming, historical building that could easily be confused with a small palace, was shamefully going to be left unused, until restaurateur Svensson Krogar envisioned it as the perfect venue for a new restaurant in Uppsala. Stationen, the name chosen for the restaurant, now ranks among the locals’ favorite spots not simply as a place to dine, but also to meet with friends and while some time away. Featuring an interesting concept and design, Stationen comprises a brasserie inspired by Paris‘s original restaurants of this kind, a bar styled on the example of London‘s classic pubs, and a cafe resembling the Italian cafes of Rome.
Stationen, Olof Palmes plats 6, Uppsala, Sweden, +46 18 15 35 00
Last but not least, Uppsala Fashion Weekend. Held in the Uppala Konsert & Kongres Centre between the 14th and the 17th in Uppsala City was a great event to be at. I wore a Mina Rubinacci twin set with River Island jeans and heels and some pretty accessories from Palazzo Parisio’s La Boutique and went to Fashion Week on Thursday 14th September to watch all the shows I was invited to. The event kicked off with a reception for all attendees including free-flowing drinks and canapes with a local band playing with local designer brands exhibiting their work prior to the fashion shows.
The brand that caught my attention the most and in fact I really emphasized it on both Facebook and Instagram Stories was the brand COATALLY. Coatally is a brand new design in smart fashion. Perfect for all occasions and seasons, with changeable collars, sleeves and add-on details – just one coat is all you need.
Fashionable meets multi-functional. Start with one coat and your favourite details, then purchase additional sleeves, collars and more from our range – so you can be ready for anything. The black coats have clean contemporary lines and are made to fit ladies of all shapes and sizes. I had the honour of meeting the designer Charlotte in person and trying one of the coats with a glamorous trim – and I told her that her design is going places – and I meant it. Good luck with this new brand! Love the concept and the quality. Guys check it out here >> coatally.com
For Uppsala Fashion Week, we collaborated with Make Up Store Uppsala and Make Up by Basta who took care of my make up look and shared their latest looks with me and some products to take home to Malta.
The fashion shows were interesting, generally based on casual and urban styling in the Scandinavian market. We saw lots of warm sweaters and long coats in neutral colours for both men and women styled with thick boots. Lots of red touches and coloured patterns mixed with eachother. Here in Sweden it is very cold in winter so there was also an emphasis on different thick tights combined with the outfits, not something we see in Malta Fashion Week for instance. I got inspired which is a great thing. Thank you so much for inviting me to attend. Here’s a video to emphasize my gratitude for the lovely event.
All in all this trip was lovely – a blend of family time and fashion time, so I came back to Malta on Saturday night feeling great. Another trip ticked on my bucket list and now this week I have to prepare for the next one with a fellow blogger and it is to Milan Fashion Week! Yes it’s happening!
Blogger at www.graziellecamilleri.com