We are Nodes Resblogg drivs av systrarna Yasmin och Sheida Tilles och blev utvald till "Newcomer of the Year" på Nordic Travel Blog Event 2016. Vi påbörjade vårt resande tillsammans för tio år sedan när vi flyttade till Barcelona för jobb, och sedan dess har vi bott i bott i bl.a. Cannes, Madrid, Paris, Tilburg, London. Följ vår reseblogg för mängder av tips, guider, recensioner och inspiration!
This trip was made in collaboration with Hamburg Tourism and NordicTB.
With a couple of hours left until my flight back to Stockholm, I (Sheida) decided to go for a walk along the Alster Lake, followed by a traditional Afternoon Tea at the renowned Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten. Join us as we try their award-winning Afternoon Tea with one of Hamburg's most well-read tea masters!
A Grand Luxery Hotel in the Heart of Hamburg
Seeing it was Sunday, freezing, and most of the shops were closed, an afternoon spent in front of an open fire with a warming cup of tea felt like a good idea. During the walking tour the previous day (read our full Hamburg guide here), our guide Tomas Kaiser told us a lot about the coffee and tea export in Hamburg, so I was inspired to go for a tea- tasting or doing some sort of activity involving tea.
After some research, my choice finally fell on a proper English Afternoon Tea at Fairmont Vier Jahreszeiten on Neuer Jungfernstieg 9-14. The Wohnhalle, where the Afternoon Tea is served daily between 2.00 pm-6.00 pm, has been awarded with the “Golden Teacup” twice for best regional tea culture amongst high-class gastronomic establishments. Surely, they must know their tea.
During the holiday season Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten will impress you with their stunning Christmas decorations.
Enter Fairmont Vier Jahreszeiten
If you’ve been to a Fairmont Hotel before, you already know that they are breathtaking, but during Christmas time the atmosphere is magical - and Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Hamburg was by no means an exception!
Since I was a bit early, the friendly staff where kind enough to give me a little private tour of the hotel while waiting for the clock to strike tea time. I was led through a common area into a beautiful hall where the staff were in the midst of preparing the final touches for the annual children's Teddy Bear Tea, that was about to start later the same afternoon. Every Sunday starting from November 27th to December 19th (2.00 pm- 6 pm), Fairmont Vier Jahreszeiten hosts a "Afternoon Tea" for the children where they can enjoy a buffet, participate in various crafting activities, play with all the toys and expect a visit from Santa.
I must admit, I wouldn't mind staying there longer... just look at the beautiful floor to ceiling windows with the blue shimmering lights!
Afternoon Tea - Christmas Edition
At two o' clock I was back in the Wohnhalle; comfortably seated in my armchair and ready for some tea. While overlooking the beautiful view of Inner Alster Lake, and listening to the pleasant sparkles from the fireplace closeby, I was already enjoying my visit. I had the pleasure to be served by a really service-minded, friendly and, above all, knowledgeable tea-master, who was a big reason for why my visit became so memorable and why I so warmly can recommend it to others.
I decided to go for the traditional Queen Victoria Afternoon Tea (59 euro) which included scones with clotted cream, a variation of savouries, such as roast beef with truffle remoulade, salmon with horseradish, egg salad with cress, cucumber with cream cheese, cakes and biscuits created by created by Christoph Rüffers, head of Haerlin Restaurant and of course lots and lots of tea.
The beautiful tea-menu. I was recommended to try the Golden Assam tea.To make the tea perfectly steeped the tea master uses a tea sand-timer. 3 minutes for black tea, and 2 minutes for green tea. Scones with clotted cream and jam.
The pastries are created by Christoph Rüffers, head of Haerlin Restaurant which is also located in the hotel (one of Germany’s leading gourmet restaurants and bearer of 2 Michelin stars). Opera-slice, poppy-fig-slice, blood orange mousse & chestnut biscuit and almond & cranberry cake.And last but not least; the savouries! The salmon with horseradish and egg salad with cress were my favorites!
More that's going on at Fairmont Vier Jahreszeiten
- Gourmet Restaurant Haerlin has 2 Michelin Stars and has been awarded with several awards such as "German Restaurant of the Year", "Hamburg's Best Chef" and "Chef of the Year".
- In the autumn 2016, the hotel also opened the new design restaurant NIKKEI NINEthat offers innovative Japanese cuisine with Peruvian elements.
Reservations for Afternoon Tea at the Wohnhalle:
Open Hours: Monday - Sunday from 2 pm - 6 pm.
Price: 59 euro or 73 euro with a glass of champagne.Reservations for Children's Teddy Bear Tea:
T: +49 (0)40 34 94 3302
Hours: (only in December) 2 pm-6 pm
Price: Children over the age of three 50 eur, adults 65 euro, children under the age of three are free of charge.
If you have any questions, or want to share your Fairmont-experiences, please drop us a comment! And don't forget to check out our Hamburg video where Fairmont Vier Jahreszeiten is featured!#christmasinhamburg#holyhamburg
Blog using your mobile phone -
One of the best blogging apps on the market -
The blog series about wonderful Lisbon continues! Read the other blog posts of how we activated Zen-mode on a rooftop bar and where in the city we found some good vibes. Next up was discovering the best places to eat in Portugal's magical capital. Here are three of our favourite restaurants!
SeaMe, Chiado - Trendy fish and seafood restaurant in Barrio Alto
By accident (or perhaps because of the good energies we had collected), we stumbled across SeaMe when we strolled around in the city. Although the sign on the door said "Closed", we gently knocked on the door and were let in by a smiling waitress. With the energies on our side, we were offered the last free table for the evening. It turned out to be a good decision.We arrive at 10 PM, typical Portuguese dinner hour. The trendy and popular restaurant which specializes in fish and seafood is a great place to begin a night out. Typically, a visit begins with a tour of the restaurant’s fresh fish market from where you choose your dinner ingredients. We handed the decision to our waiter, and were later treated with a plate of lobster, crayfish and scallops with side orders, lemon and sauces.
Time Out Mercado Lisbon - Perfect stop for a wine lunch
The best market hall I’ve ever visited! Our initial thought when stepping into Time Out Mercado Da Riberia was ‘how are we going to be able to decide what to eat?’. The market hall is filled with small restaurant, so we had to take a long and thorough inspection around the hall. Our mouths watered at the sight of the delicious (and incredibly affordable) dishes. After many ifs and buts, we ordered food from Alexandre Silva. I went for seared tuna with sweet potatoes and Linnéa ate a fresh salmon dish with coriander – along with a large glass of refreshing wine of course.The market hall gets a big plus for plenty of seating opportunities, good logistics with devices that inform you when your food is ready and last but not least; the incredibly high quality of the food.
As Zebras Do Combro - A priceworthy “Hole in the wall”-restaurant with delicious food
We had ‘Eat at a Hole in the wall-restaurant’ on our Lisbon bucket list, and we couldn’t have found a better one. As Zebras Do Combro was MINDBLOWING! When we got our 21 euro-bill, we looked confused at each other and went; "There has to be something wrong with the bill, it can't be this cheap”. We shared a pot of amazing octopus and rice with coriander, a small bottle of Vinho Verde, smoked olives and bread.The staff was unbelievably nice and service minded and the food was both delicious and priceworthy, this gem was just to die for when you want a steady meal that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
In recent years, we have developed a familytradition of taking our little brother on a fishing weekend somewhere in the Stockholm Archipelago. It started a couple of years ago, as a birthday present to our little brother who is a true fishing enthusiast, and we quickly agreed to keep the tradition alive. A mini getaway is the perfect way to soft-start the autumn – and in just 30 minutes from Stockholm by car, you arrive to a completely different world, full of tranquillity.
Location: The Sea Cottage, Värmdö
The Stockholm Archipelago consists of over 30,000 islands and Värmdö (or Värmdön) is a municipality in Stockholm’s inner archipelago which is entirely made of islands. Some of the well known and popular islands that belong to Värmdö is Sandhamn, Grinda and Möja, but this time our choice fell on a charming red cottage in Myttinge.
Judging by the pictures (and the Elle magazine cover), it appeared to be the perfect weekend escape; offering both fishing, sauna and barbecue opportunities. So with a car fully equipped with food, fishing rods and board games, we hit the roads, eager to get away from a hectic Stockholm.
An interesting arrival
Although we had received detailed directions and been told that the cottage was quite secluded, we probably weren’t prepared for how secluded or difficult it would be to find the cottage in pitch darkness, with no road signs or street lights. After driving the wrong way one or two times, we finally found the "big red barn" where we had to park our car and walk the last bit (through a forest!). While we navigated our way through the forest, using our mobile flashlights as our only source of light, it was impossible not to let the mind wander to various horror films.
The cottage in daylight.
After a five minute walk, we arrived at the cottage and immediately began making the usual Friday taco. After dinner, we played cards, drank tea and talked for a couple of hours until it was time to hit the bed.
'The early morning has gold in its mouth'
The next morning, we woke up with the sun. We opened up the doors that overlooked the ocean to soak in the view and breathe in the fresh island air. With the ocean as our backdrop, we made a big weekend breakfast with lit candles and some relaxing acoustic background music. Unquestionably the best way to start the day!
The rest of Saturday was spent outside in the fresh air where we went fishing, barbecued and enjoyed the sun. Unfortunately, we didn’t catch a big pike (this time), but apparently Zlatan who also was fishing somewhere in the archipelago had better luck.
Our evening plans? Sauna bathing and watching horror films.
Yasmin, the BBQ master.
And on Sunday, after another long breakfast and a bit of fishing, we packed our bags and said goodbye to the archipelago for this time. It really is amazing what a little bit of vitamin sea and fresh air can do for the soul. Until next time!
Book a cottage in the Stockholm Archipelago There are many websites where you can rent houses/cottages for a week or a few days. We booked our cottage here (but fritiden.se is another website with more options) and paid 2400 SEK for two nights. A week costs 8000 sek.
The cottage was equipped with: - Double bed - Extra bed - 2 hotplates - Refrigerator - Microwave - Shower - Sauna - Rowboat - TV
What is your favorite island in the Stockholm archipelago or do you have any recommendations on where we should go next time? Leave a comment!
Want to know more about what to do and see in Stockholm? We have gathered all our previous blog posts about our beloved hometown. Read our Stockholm guide »
It's July and the rain is pouring down. As usual, our umbrellas are left at home, so when we get off the bus stop at Järva Krog, we run the short distance to The Winery Hotel as fast as we can. Nearly out of breath, we step into a huge lobby, designed in industrial style with a raw warehouse feeling and magnificent ceiling height. The lobby with tables made of old wine barrels, stands out from all the hotels we have visited before. We are Nodes have been invited to The Winery Hotel to get a private tour by the hotel’s very own Jan Söder, Design and Concept Manager, and Moa Söder, Marketing Coordinator. Our guides for the day welcome us with big smiles.
The Winery Hotel felt like an exciting topic to write about for several reasons. The increasing curiosity and engagement around wine has created new ways to network and socialize through, for instance, dinners, wine tastings, wine tours and trips to different wineries. The Winery Hotel is therefore very timely. Wineries, a property where wine is produced, in combination with accommodation, food and drinks is already popular in big cities like New York and London. Now, the owner families of Winery Hotel (Söder and Ruhne) hope that the Swedes will jump on the trend too.
Jan Söder has been the concept manager from day one. Together with Lina Östlund,he got the responsibility to create a design concept for the building inspired by the heart of the hotel; the winery. With inspiration from wineries and renowned concept hotels in New York, Jan began to formulate a vision for the hotel (some of his biggest source of inspirations was the New York City Winery, Red Hook Winery, Ace Hoteland Wythe Hotel). Jan and Lina also travelled to Tuscany and visited many different type of vineyards to get additional inspiration.
The urban winery/boutique hotel is located close to the bus stop Järva Krog in Solna, a suburb approximately 10 minutes from Stockholm. The location is strategic from several perspectives. Since the highway (E18/E4) where the airport shuttles stop is only a stone's throw away, the Winery Hotel indirectly becomes an airport hotel. Rental rates are naturally lower than in the city center. Another reason for the location choice is the growth and development of Solna. The city was recently elected Super Municipality of Stockholm and is growing every day. Jan nods when we ask if the fast growth of Solna has something to do with the location choice:
"We probably would not have chosen this location if we had not known everything that was planned for the area. Friends Arena was already built and we knew that Mall of Scandinavia and several big companies would move their headquarters to Solna. The hotel has now become a destination, you come here to take part of a whole experience."
Moa Söder agrees:
" The hotel packages that include guided tours, wine tastings and three-course dinners are very popular. Our impression is that people who come here really want to experience the whole concept."
Working with concepts is Jan's area of expertise. He created the concept for Nordic Light Hotel and Nordic C Hotel with the well-known ice bar. From experience, he knows that it takes about 1-2 years for a concept to “break through”. It took nearly five years for Nordic Light Hotel to be known as Stockholm's first design hotel. Therefore, he is aware that it requires time and a great deal of patience before the word of Winery Hotel’s unique concept will reach a majority of the public. Despite their expected time frame, the hotel already has received a lot of attention and press coverage, both locally and internationally.
Jan and Moa show the way to the restaurant and it is noticeable how proud they both are of the venue. The same warehouse atmosphere that stroke usin the entrance is also apparent in the restaurant.
The restaurant can fit up to 140 guests. Additionally, there is a chambre séparée which is primarily used for wine tastings. The buffet table, where the breakfast is usually served, is the same place where the popular “Winemaker's Dinners” are held.
"Instead of people saying that they are going to AG, they will start saying that they are going to WK”, Jan smiles and continues the tour.
The hotel rooms
Next stop on our tour is the hotel rooms. Our first thought when entering the room (a standard room of 20 m2) is the striking contrast between the industrial interior with colours from the nature and the heavily trafficked highway outside the building. We can see treetops and greenery emerge somewhere far behind the rushing cars. The window itself is framed by a New York-inspired brick wall. Urban meets Tuscany in its purest form. "It feels a bit surreal, right?" Jan says when he notices our reaction. "Like being on the countryside but with a city feeling."
We curiously look around in the hotel room. The bathroom has white tile and fashionable gold taps. The closet in the hallway does not have any doors, a result of Winery’s own design in order to preserve their distinguishing interior style. Jan points at the mini-bar: "It is located at a good height. Usually mini-bars are hidden and placed very low, but ours are more visible which has been really profitable - we have increased sales a lot!” Jan does not seem bothered from sharing the best practices of the hotel, an entrepreneurial and modern attitude that we really like.
"The industrial table-, floor- and bedside lamps are from a French company called Lamp Gras. There is an incredibly wide range of industrial lamps today, but these are of very high quality, which was important for us", says Jan.
It’s all about the details
As we walk towards the meeting rooms, we point out how beautiful and carefully thought-out all the details in the hotel are, something even an untrained designer eye easily can notice. Jan lights up: "It's not the first time we've been told that."
He explains how the designer team spent hours on finishing the graphic profile and how time-consuming it has been to apply it to the entire hotel – as far as to material, color selection and fonts on the Do Not Disturb-sign. Jan talks about his passion for design in a joyful tone and claims he could talk about areas like radiators for ages. Speaking of heaters, Jan persistently opposed the radiators that were ordered to the hotel by Faberge. "They asked me if I could for once be happy with something they had chosen," Jan laughs.
However, it did not take us long to understand that Jan is not the type of person who backs down in a discussion about something he believes is important for the hotel experience. It is the same will power that, for instance, has made sure that the notebooks in the meeting rooms have printed wine stains on them as an extension of the hotel’s soul.
We are excited to check out the meeting rooms, especially since Yasmin has a background in event planning and production. The Winery Hotel has chosen shutters instead of the classic blackout drapes and brick walls instead of the typical discreet light colors.
"The chairs are from a brand called Offecct that I did not really like because their design is so ‘corporate’. They have tried to sell their products to me for more than 10 years, but when I saw this chair I really got fond of it," explains Jan when we test sit the chairs.
The Winery – The heart of the hotel
"Are you driving? No? Then you can have a glass of Winery Red!”, Jan proclaims as we are done with inspecting the meeting rooms. Our host and hostess leads us back to the winery. The hotel's heart and pride. The same spot where the hotel's wine is produced and where the popular 20-minute guided tours are arranged. The guided tours are always finished with a tasting of the hotel's own wine; Winery Red. The really wine interested can add an in-depth wine tasting to their visits. At some occasions, the hotel fly in renowned winemakers from Italy to host their own ¨Winemaker’s Dinner¨ in the restaurant.
We are Nodes' Yasmin Tilles & Sheida Tilles.
Visitors can also purchase an electronic card that can be topped off with the amount of their choice. The cards are later used to try different wines from the hotel’s ‘Vinotek, located on the ground floor. Guests can choose between a small sample, half or a whole glass.
The hotel's own Winery Red is sold as assortment order at Systembolaget for 179 SEK per bottle. The main grape in Tuscany is Sangiovese and it constitutes 80% of Winery Red. The remaining 20 percent consists of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grape. "I think it's pretty damn good," says Jan with a smile and pours up two glasses for us.
Travel Q & A with Jan and Moa:
What is your favorite weekend destination? Jan: New York, the city has everything when it comes to the areas I like; interior, design and atmosphere. Moa: I will go for Copenhagen, although it might be a boring answer. It is located on a convenient distance from Stockholm, but has a nicer and more relaxed atmosphere. Plus, many great restaurants!
Where do you prefer to go on holiday in the sun? Moa: I recently discovered a new destination in India called Varkala, it is a surf town with nice and calm vibes. Those who previously traveled to Bali to surf and find it's too much tourists there now are going to Varkala. Jan: I am absolutely crazy about Mallorca and a hotel called Esplendido in Puerto de Soller, 5-6 (Swedish) miles from Palma. (Read our Palma guide here.)
The Winery Hotel Adress: Rosenborgsgatan 20, 169 74 Solna Website: http://www.thewineryhotel.se Phone number: +46 (0) 8-14 60 00 Booking: email@example.com
Have you been to The Winery Hotel or do you have any questions? Drop us a comment! We'd love to hear your thoughts!
Want to know more about what to do and see in Stockholm? We have gathered all our previous blog posts about our beloved hometown. Read our Stockholm guide »