Forget meatballs, Abba and flat packed furniture, Stockholm isn’t just about clichés and tacky 70s music. Quite the opposite, the Scandinavian town is a temple of design and innovative concepts. Chic and sophisticated, yet always understated. With the long summer nights approaching and the sheer amount of choice from French brasseries, Japanese dining clubs and international nightclubs with VIP rooms, going out in style has never been easier.
Feel like dancing all night long in an exclusive club? Bergmans is the place to go. Getting past the door is the hardest part. The club is small and exclusive. Only 250 lucky few will get in, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Once inside, the pumping music and sparkling Krug champagne bottles set the scene. Forgotten are those pale skies at 2 am that keep you awake in bed on a Stockholm summer’s night. The party is at full throttle. The atmosphere is wild and fun but always elegant thanks to the classical architecture and VIP guest list.
CLARION HOTEL SIGN, HOTEL
Everything at Clarion Hotel Sign screams design. The impressive glass and granite building, designed by architect Gert Wingårdh, is perfectly thought out to reflect the weather and capture the essence of the street and park outside. Just imagine how bright it is during those long and languorous summer nights. Every floor pays homage to iconic designers such as Alvar Aalto and Poul Wolther. Walk past the Arne Jacobsen chairs in the lobby and up to the roof terrace and heated pool. That’s where it’s all happening. The views over Kungsholmen are majestic. There’s nothing more satisfying than sipping a cocktail while bathing under the Swedish sun late into the evening.
VAU DE VILLE, RESTAURANT
A hint of France has surfaced in Ostermalm with the restaurant Vau de Ville. This neo-brasserie oozes French style. It’s all there: wooden and marble tables, a zinc bar, flowers on every table, a heated terrace for those cooler summer evenings… Chef Ragnar Palacios isn’t French, but he’s certainly mastered the delights of French cuisine. Boeuf bourguignon, mussels cooked marinière-style with white wine and shallots, and delectable grilled steaks with béarnaise sauce are just some of the traditional dishes he serves up with an expert touch. The cocktail list is impressive too. The champagne-based Saint-Germain is particularly intriguing. At Vau de Ville, you could just as well be in the heart of Paris. In Saint-Germain, of course.
At Fou, it’s all about the decor: "bistro" chairs, pedestal tables with cast iron legs, and walls covered with pages from the newspaper Le Monde and white tile - the ones you find in the Paris metro! You would almost believe you had traveled all the way to the continent just for the evening. Except you're in one of Stockholm's hippest night spots. Head to the night club to let loose on the dance floor or the terrace to share a bottle of Imperial Brut Moët & Chandon champagne with friends while soaking up the last rays of sun. The most difficult task will be choosing the size of the bottle, from jeroboam (3 L), methuselah (6 L) to nebuchadnezzar (15 L). Choices, choices!
Kasai is one of those places with a strong, carefully crafted concept. The whole venue is inspired by Japanese Ochaya, a kind of dining club. In Japan, an Ochaya is an establishment where visitors come to eat and drink while being entertained by geishas. In Swedish terms, the entertainment comes from dancers, live music and DJ’s, while enjoying inventive Japanese fusion cuisine and delicious cocktails. Under the supervision of chef Danny Elmaleh, Kasai has rapidly become one of Stockholm’s hottest restaurants, so it’s best to book early.
V***** @ STURECOMPAGNIET, NIGHTCLUB
Some clubs come and go. Others just continue getting better and better even after several decades. Stockholm’s Sturecompagniet can definitely count itself part of the latter category. The club has been welcoming partygoers for almost three decades, making it a landmark in Stockholm’s nightlife. Head up to the building’s top floor, where you’ll find the exclusive V***** room. It’s a club within a club for 250 select few. Once inside, seek out V Cocktail, the room’s secret cocktail bar. The subdued environment leaves room for the creative cocktails to take center stage.