Before we left for Japan, I read that Kaiseki dinners are the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine – of course I was hooked!
The best place to experience this special type of dinner is to stay in a Ryokan in Kyoto. Ryokans are traditional Japanese guesthouses, where the rooms have a tatami flooring and sliding doors. We chose to stay at a charming Ryokan called Gion Hatanka – a calm and friendly place where we stayed for two nights.
So a Kaiseki dinner is a multi-course Japanese feast. You can say it is the counterpart to Western haute cuisine.
Traditionally it was a vegetarian meal served during tea ceremony. Nowadays it also includes fresh local meat and fish. The single dishes are beautifully presented and garnished and resemble shapes found in nature. The decoration of the food also plays with flowers and leaves. Both the ingredients used for the dinner as well as the tableware change according to the season.
I had three fantastic days in Stockholm: three days of sunshine, good food and my two sisters!
We arrived quite early on friday and spent the morning just strolling the streets of this beautiful city. We had fantastic weather and so we could really enjoy the positive vibes around. The streets were full of people soaking up the sun sitting outside of cafés and restaurants.
Our first food stop around lunch time was Saluhallen, an historic market hall in the Östermalm district, where we could satisfy our cravings for gravad lax (cured salmon). Oh, I do love gravad lax.
The Saluhallen in Östermalm is a beautiful old brick building with market stalls selling everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to cheese or seafood. It is worth while exploring the different vendors and the large variety of delicacies. Östermalm is a fancy and rather pricey district with lots of restaurants and fashion boutiques.
We spent the afternoon chilling in canvas chairs on Skeppsholmen, one of the islands of Stockholm. It truly is a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city. You feel like you are on an island far outside of Stockholm but it is actually a short walk or ferry ride just outside the city center. There is one beautiful hotel on the island with a nice restaurant. We spent some laid-back hours with coffee and sunshine.