Tag Archive | Sweden

Dining at the Savoy Grill in Malmö with Martin Beck

The Savoy Grill at breakfast time showing laid tables

Found in the Savoy Hotel in Malmo, Sweden, the restaurant is well known. In the 1960s it was internationally famous for the quality of the food. It’s still going today and is popular with guests and locals alike.

Famous visitors to the Savoy

The Savoy Hotel has seen many well known people pass through its doors. The roll of honour in the lobby lists visitors from Lenin to Bridget Bardot. Plus lots of visits by the Swedish royal family of course.

The roll of honour at the Savoy

Literature at the Savoy

When I read the Martin Beck series of novels I enjoyed one featuring the Savoy Grill. The murder of the title occurs in the restaurant but don’t let that put you off visiting! There’s a wall panel commemorating the novel in the restaurant.

The Martin Beck panel with me sat beside it
Sat by the Martin Beck panel at breakfast in 2016

Food at the Savoy

But is the food good now? Yes it is I’m pleased to say and if I’m visiting Malmö I try to stay at the Savoy because the breakfast is very impressive. The rooms are nice and large too.

More of Malmö

A visit to Malmö at any time of year is recommended. It’s a vibrant modern city with historic roots and has lots to offer visitors.

Malmö landmark – The Turning Torso

A visit to Elsinore and the Danish Technology Museum

A 1965 Lego set submitted for patent

Last month I stayed in the Hamlet Hotel in Elsinore which had character and a very helpful owner. I was working at the Danish Museum of Technology so had little time to explore. This meant most of my time in the town was at night.

Elsinore church and a full moon at night
Elsinore church and full moon at night

There was a full moon which made exploring very atmospheric. Seeing the town lights almost outshone by the moon visibility was good. The late medieval and early modern town was charming to walk around. The church had a fien gothic look under the moonlight but seeing the castle in the distance was even better!

Photo of Elsinore Castle from the town with a ship in the foreground
Elsinore Castle at night from the town

At the Technology Museum

At the Technology Museum, based in the the learning room, I did get a tour of the museum. It is a very traditional museum with an emphasis on transport. From childhood visits to the London Science Museum and steam fairs this felt familiar to me.

A fire engine outside the recreated fire station
Fire engine outside the recreated fire station at the Technology Museum

I really enjoyed the fine collection of fire engines. I put this interest in fire engines down to watching the firefighters at the fire station opposite my father’s print shop in childhood. Going inside the recreated fire station felt like a real treat! In the patents gallery seeing the 1965 Lego set submitted for patent was another echo of childhood.

Inside the recreated fire station showing the dining table
Inside the fire station

More to see in Elsinore

Lack of time meant catching the ferry to Sweden. So I missed seeing the castle and going in the church. There was more of the town to explore too. I’ll just have to go back another time!

Part of the frieze at Elsinore ferry port
Part of the frieze at Elsinore ferry port

How museums get new objects

New artefacts for old?

Something I’m regularly asked when people find I work in a museum is “how do museums get new objects”?. The answer probably is that it varies. Where there’s a collecting policy the process is transparent but otherwise an enigma inside a mystery.

On visiting the National Army Museum in Stockholm in early September 2017 I saw their exhibition dedicated to explaining this mystery.

How museums get new objects – the exhibition

The Army Museum’s exhibition was in their temporary exhibition space on the ground floor. I liked the focus on objects for visitors to reflect on and practical examples. Also the emphasis on who made decisions.

Exhibition sign saying who made decisions

A key part of the exhibition was an infographic showing the path an object follows to join the collection. Unfortunately this was in a shadow so whilst legible in the museum didn’t photograph well. This was supported by another display explaining who makes the decisions.

Flow chart of accessioning object

This display was very honest about the influence of individuals and groups on collecting policy. It stated that in the museum’s early days former soldiers were making the decisions but now it’s mainly highly educated middle class people.

Display showing who makes decisions

An object that didn’t get in

An example of new objects was based around items used by an officer in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Most items were conserved ready to go into the collection. One item was not and this was the shipping crate the officer had lived in. Why was it rejected? Because it wasn’t the actual container the officer used but one the shipping company sent. So a good example of an object being rejected because of a lack of direct association with the museum’s purpose and lacking heritage authenticity.

Finding fika in Sweden

Fika what?

Anyone planning a trip to Sweden will read about fika. It’s simply the Swedish version of tea and cake – or is it?

Well, traditionally it’s coffee and a cinnamon bun but we managed to vary it without being arrested by the culture police. Fika is perhaps best described as a coffee break and apparently some employers allow time for it in the working day. A fine idea I think!


fika in   Caroli shopping centre, Malmo

fika in Caroli shopping centre, Malmo

In winter you’ll find candles on tables. This was the case from small cafes to a cafe in a very modern shopping centre. This really brightens up a winter day. 

Coffee is taken seriously in Sweden and well made, good quality filter coffee is widely available. it is strong but not to the point of making your eyes cross. Several places I visited free filter top ups were available, even if you actually got an espresso in the first place.

Talking of espresso everywhere we went in and around Malmo from patisserie to station coffee bar provided well made coffee of excellent to good quality.

Some favourite coffee shops

In Malmo the Hollandia is a splendid traditional Konditori – patisserie and coffee house. The cardamom buns were excellent as was the coffee. Friendly service and a very impressive chaise lounge to perch on. Nice and central too with just being up from the main square.


Fika at Hollandia

Fika at Hollandia

Lund is a university town and did not disappoint on the fika front. We found a small friendly roastery and coffee shop called Love Coffee. Really good coffee that was a treat in a cup. It seemed a gathering place for local dads out with their toddlers which added to the friendly relaxed atmosphere.

Fika in Lund

We also visited lots of small places and the Espresso House chain. Not a duff cup consumed!



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