Bring Your Baby to the Movies!

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Image courtesy of SFBio.

I’ve always enjoyed watching movies at a theatre. I used to go a lot, pre-baby, and when I was back home – since movies in Sweden are pricey. I love watching movies from the comfort of my home too, but going out to the theatre is always a treat. Now that it’s the post-baby chapter of my life and I am enjoying Mammaledig (maternity leave), I wondered if it was possible to bring your little one to the movies.

After searching, I found that in Sweden this DOES exist and the theatre is right in the centre of town. Note: It also exists in Canada, but theatres that offer this seem to be mostly outside the centre of the city.

Walking to the movies on a beautiful winter day

I took my daughter to a Barnvagnsbio or ‘Stroller movie’ of the film, “Hidden Figures”, on International Women’s Day. She was very well behaved compared to a few other babies who cried. She was watching at the beginning of the movie and after a change, I rocked her to sleep and she slept soundly until the very end of the film 🙂

One ticket for me and one for baby

At a “Stroller movie”, you can feed them, the volume is quieter, and the lights are just dimmed so you can see the stairs if you need to step out. They also add a short intermission, if needed (they ask before the movie starts). It was funny watching a movie and hearing babies crying or making cooing noises. While I was standing, one baby was staring and talking to us. His mom turned around and saw us and realized he was just trying to chat with us haha. Too cute!

If you’re on mammaledig or pappaledig (parental leave), and your bundle of joy isn’t too fussy, why not check out a movie? Nice to take advantage of this activity while your little one isn’t walking around yet 🙂

Popcorn is already pre-boxed here. Not as fresh as theatres back home?

Tips for going to the movies with your baby:

  • Come early so you have some space to park your stroller and change your baby if needed. There was only 1 change table in the main bathroom, the other bathroom that was labelled with skötbord (change table) didn’t have a change table in it anymore – guess they were renovating it.

“Drink is best at the movies” but you can bring your own milk for baby of course 😉

  • The movies change each week, check if it’s in English, otherwise the subtitles will only be in Swedish and that’s hard if you aren’t fluent in Swedish yet.
  • If you baby is eating snacks already, bring some for them.
  • Choose an aisle seat so you can get up easily.
  • Invite other friends to join!
  • Don’t forget to get a ticket for your baby – which doesn’t cost anything and is just for safety so they know how many people are in the theatre.

In Göteborg, there are 2 movie theatres that offer Barnvagnsbio or ‘stroller movie’. One is the Biopalaset right in the centre of town and the other is the Bio Roy on Avenyn.
Check out the theatre websites for more information on cost and movie times

BarnvagnsBio at Biopalaset
BabyBio at BioRoy

“Movie together with your baby”. Image courtesy of SFBio.

Enjoy your movie!

Weekend Brunch in Sweden – UPDATED

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Är du hungrig? (Are you hungry?)

Summer might be over, but brunch dates don’t have to end. Here in Göteborg, Sweden, Weekend brunch can mean an extravagant buffet offering delicious Swedish fare or just a quaint little spot in one of the cafes of Old town with some coffee and Swedish pastries.

Since moving here, my co-pilot and I have made it a habit to treat ourselves to brunch every once in a while. When it was warm and sunny, we would sit on the patio and catch up from the week’s events. Now that it’s winter, sitting indoors with a hot drink is my preferred choice, but if you’re a Swede and it’s cold but sunny then sit outdoors on the patio with a warm blanket!

And whenever have guests, it’s a must to take them for a nice brunch as a welcome to the city. Some brunch buffets are only offered on Sundays and start at noon, while other brunch places around the city end at noon. Check before you go. Swedes are very plan-y so if you want to try a brunch place, I would recommend booking a table ahead of time or going early.

We have been to a few really nice brunch places here in Göteborg. Here are some of our favorites.

Park Avenyn Cafe

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For a fancier brunch place, I’d recommend Park Avenyn Cafe. We discovered this place a year or so ago and it was unfortunately on break during the summer! Brunch buffet features some delicious typical Swedish dishes such as warm and cold smoked salmon, pickled herring, Swedish Kaviar and even thin European style pancakes. With a good selection of cakes and pastries, the dessert is a plus. Coffee and tea is included and the ambience is nice. Only indoor seating available.

Ritz Hotel

20150816_123123The Ritz offers dagens lunch(daily lunch) but on weekends they offer more smoked salmon, many different types of herring and traditional shrimp salads. They also have a hot food section with the usual breakfast items like scrambled eggs and sausage, but they also have roast veggies, bbq chicken and pannkakor. The buffet includes a large salad selection with many different potato and veggie salads. For dessert, they have some really good brownies with shredded coconut on top(I remove the coconut), apple
crumble. and fresh fruit. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but well worth a visit. Outdoor seating is available.

We have also tried the Casino Cosmopol brunch that offers an American style brunch.Of course, it’s Sweden so it’s Swedish American style. They had a few good dishes like the smoked salmon with cream cheese and they offered American Style pancakes (althought they kept running out).

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Smaller brunch places

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Most of the cafes in old town, ‘Haga’, offer a frukostbuffe (Breakfast buffet). They give you a plate that usually includes Yogurt (sometimes Turkish) and maybe a protein and you add muesli, nuts, fruit and scones, croissants, hard boiled egg, and whatever else they have that morning. Coffee is an additional cost. Frukostbuffe is usually served until 12pm and then they switch over to Lunch which is soup and various salads (Salad bar with lunch is common here).

Kafferosten

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Le Petit Cafe

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Haga and the surrounding area is a great location for brunch because afterwards you can wander over to the city park for a walk or the botanical garden and it’s a lively area already.

Eva’s Paley

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Cafe Kringlan

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Around here it seems like mostly couples or groups of girls go for brunch, but I think it’s perfectly fine to go for brunch with guy friends and/or alone. Why not treat yourself if you feel like it?

We are so lucky to be surrounded by so many awesome choices for brunch 🙂

Note: If you are a new parent (like me!) – you can still do brunch. Check out my Parent Tips below.

Happy eating!

Park Avenyn Cafe
Kungsportsavenyn 36-38 • 411 36 Göteborg
website
Parent tip: Make a reservation and mention that you need space for a stroller.

Ritz
Bastionsplatsen 2, 411 08 Göteborg
website
Parent tip: Make a reservation and mention that you need space for a stroller. They are pretty accommodating.

Casino Cosmopol
Packhusplatsen 7 411 13 Göteborg
website
Bring Swedish ID or your passport as they check before you enter the casino.
Parent tip: Sadly, no babies or kids allowed at the casino even if it’s just to the restaurant.

Le Petit Cafe
website
They have a few locations around the city. The Haga location is a bit smaller so if you want more table room visit the Linné location which also includes a patio. Their brunch includes Turkish yogurt and now includes a hot drink, a smoothie, and unlimited scones/bread.
Parent tip: The Linné location is much better for strollers as the other location is cramped.

Kafferosten
Linnégatan 62 413 08 Gothenburg
This place remains our favorite frukostbuffe with it’s unlimited freshly baked croissants and a choice of salami and brie, Turkey or Ham. The breakfast is available all day, but if you get there before 13:00 they have everything out so you can assemble the plate yourself. On a nice sunny day, it’s nice to sit out on their patio!
Parent tip: It’s a small cafe so strollers must be parked outside. If you have a smaller baby, try to sit in the couches so you can bring the cot or bassinet in and put it on the floor.

Eva’s Paley
Kungsportsavenyen 39, 411 36 Göteborg
website
This cafe offers brunch on both Saturday and Sunday. You get a small hot drink of your choice, but you can upgrade it to a large for an additional cost. It also comes with a smoothie, All-you-can-eat flavored yogurt (Mango or raspberry), hard-boiled eggs, bread and cheese. They make delicious bread and sometimes they even have shrimp salad (called skagenröra in Swedish). Get there before 12:00 as they clean everything up promptly at 12:00.

*Pro-tip* It is a pretty popular cafe so get there early to avoid missing the brunch. One time we were waiting in line and it was 10 min to 12:00 when we finally got to the cashier and they almost told us it was too late..but we complained we were in the long line for at least 10 minutes..
Parent tip: Strollers can be brought it, but there are a few steps to get to the main eating area. There are also 2 small tables on the same floor as the Cashier so they are perfect if it’s just you and your baby.

Cafe Kringlan
Haga Nygata 13, 413 01 Göteborg
Göteborg Tourist website
Recently, we tried this Cafe in Haga and it included Pannkakor, or thin Swedish pancakes, and Eggs in a bun (similar to ‘Toad in the hole’). It also included a hot drink of your choice and a smoothie.
Parent tip: It’s a small cafe so strollers must be parked outside

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‘Toad in the hole’

How Swedes Celebrate Fat Tuesday

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It’s that time of year again, when the Swedes celebrate Fettisdagen (The Fat Tuesday) or should I say, when Swedes stuff their faces with whip cream buns called ‘Semla’! They always make sure to have a bunch of Semla at work on Fat Tuesday and then everyone tries hard not to fall asleep right after Hahaha..

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“Celebrate Fat Tuesday with us! Order already now!” Beautiful window displays of Semlor all over the city!

Semla or Semlor (plural) are available at one of the many bakeries or konditori around town, at grocery store where they are usually sold in packages of two or even at the
7-Eleven, which has some really nice desserts btw. Nothing like the 7-Elevens back home.

My first couple of years in Sweden, I always made sure to have one (or 2)… but I have since learned my lesson. Those buns can be quite filling!

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They come in different sizes from mini to huge and they are all pretty delicious (and fatty lol)

Aside from the delicious whip cream, semla also have some vanilla and almond paste. The bun itself, of course, uses the spice, cardamom. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Swedish pastries…most of them use cardamom..which I and a few other expats decided we aren’t so fond of , now that we’ve realized how much Swedes like it in everything 😉

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“Cream with love” Coffee and Semla only 30sek (which is about $4.50)

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An evening view of the Göteborg canal on Fettisdagen

Happy Eating!
(Hope you enjoyed Fat Tuesday and celebrated with whatever food your heart desired!)

The Beautiful Swedish Archipelago

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One of my favorite things about living in Sweden is being so close to Gothenburg’s southern archipelago. Here’s my first blog about visiting the archipelago when we first moved to Sweden.

The islands are easily accessible by ferry from Saltholmen (which from the city centre is a tram ride away). The ferry operates under the same transportation company as the trams so you can use the same ticket. In under 30 minutes, you can be on an island of your choice.

20150927_133636 There’s Styrsö and Donsö, the most developed islands which are connected by a bridge.

IMG_6583IMG_6597Vrangö, the island furthest south that has a great little cafe with crayfish(when in season) and nice rocky beaches.

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Then there’s Brännö with some really nice beach areas as well and Gälterö which is where the sheep are left to graze. Gälterö is connected to Brännö by a foot bridge.

20140621_175728 20140621_190956There are also smaller islands that are mainly residential. We once got off on a smaller island and the ferry staff asked us if we knew where we were going! The majority of people only get off on that island if they live there haha.

Except for maybe an island van, all of the islands in the southern archipelago are car free and residents get around by biking, walking or using these island vehicles.
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We decided to take advantage of probably the last somewhat warm and sunny day a few weeks ago and visited Brännö and Gälterö.

We had a great lunch at one of the 2 cafes on Brännö, which was actually closing up for the season that day so everything was discounted.
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The smoked mackarel was delicious!

20150927_143747 20150927_144445This was a summer comedy theatre production. The Swedish guy with us said that translated to “Good Screws in the Archipelago” Hahaha

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While exploring the island, we found ourselves at this ‘Bad’ or bathing spot. We climbed up a rocky hill to get this fantastic view of the beach!

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It was a sunny day, but had previously rained and Galtero’s hiking path was pretty muddy. I think everyone left with wet shoes that day.

Visiting the an archipelago is on the must/do list if you are visiting Gothenburg or even another town in Sweden. Stockholm, Sweden’s capital, has it’s own archipelago as well. It’s hard to believe how close Gothenburg’s southern archipelago is to the city. Once you are there, it’s like you have been transported to a completely different place, a remote quiet island town.

It’s busiest in the summer of course, when there are many Swedes living in their summer houses and tourists visiting for the day. Which island you choose is entirely up to you, but they are all similar so you don’t have to visit each one. With traditional Swedish style houses, quaint little cafes, beautiful landscapes, lots of nature, and even swans, whenever we have out of town visitors, we make sure to recommend a visit to the beautiful Archipelago.

More information about the islands of the Archipelago can be found here.

Note: There is also a Northern Archipelago with it’s own islands. To get there from the city, one must drive or take a bus and then a car ferry across to the islands. We have visited the Northern Archipelago once and the islands we went to were much larger and more developed with cars and a bigger town centre. However, there are also some little islands near them too.

There’s Always Room For Dessert!

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20150704_135102One of my favorite desserts when I want to treat myself is self-serve frozen yogurt. And it has to be self-serve, so I can put what I want in it and get as much yogurt as I please. Aside from froyo though, I love gelato!

Living in Europe has it’s advantages like being able to fly on the cheap to a completely different country and having the chance to try some really great food and dessert. During one of our summer adventures, we visited Rome and discovered an amazing Gelato place, called Giolitti. Recommended to me by my cousin and a place we go to every time we are in Rome.

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The nutella was so rich and creamy and the pistachio was just amazing.

A new Gelato place opened up in my neighbourhood and it was hard not to notice how popular it was. Swedes love ice cream, even if it’s cold out! A few weeks ago, we decided to try the gelato and it reminded us of Giolitti gelato in Rome!!

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One scoop of Dark chocolate please!

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This was the cup for 3 scoops, and those were some generous scoops. Mmmm deelish!!

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Still not sure what’s with the upside down sign, but it definitely stands out!

The flavors we tried were, dark chocolate, cookie and pistachio. We also got a tasting of the strawberry sorbet made from Swedish strawberries. The sorbet was really good and I’m not a huge fan of sorbet.

It’s always nice to support local neighbourhood places. We are really lucky that this gelato place opened up right in our area! It has to be the best gelato we have had outside of Italy. A must try if you love ice cream and judging by the usual queue at the place, people have already discovered just how delicious it is. The gelato shop is open until 10pm everyday so it’s perfect for a late night gelato craving.

Gelato da Luca
(Gothenburg, Sweden)
Check out their Facebook page here

Giolitti 
(Rome, Italy)
Check out their website here

The Snowy City of Göteborg

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Photo from Jan 24, 2015 although it looks like it could be from the 1800s lol

(Catching up on some old posts)

I’d say we’ve been pretty lucky to have some mild winters in Sweden. Everyone has always warned us of the crazy temperatures of -20 below, but somehow it’s only ever been between -5 to -10 at the lowest for us.

It is nice to get some proper snow this winter and not have it washed away with the rain the next day (which is typical weather back home).

Here are some photos from snowy Göteborg:

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Snow kitty!

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There must have been a Trekkie around (me hahaha)

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Snow can be beautiful, but I’m ready for spring! Just this weekend we had more wet snow and windy conditions…when spring will arrive remains to be seen. At least it is getting brighter with the sun setting around 5:30-6pm now 🙂

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Rainy days call for a movie night!

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The 38th annual Göteborg Film Festival(GIFF) has once again descended upon the city of Goteborg. This year, in addition to continuing to promote Nordic film, the festival will offer a number of Japanese selections including the Studio Ghibli documentary “The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness” in the ‘Japan in Focus’ category.

I was pretty impressed with the lineup of the festival last year (which was my first year attending the film festival). So far, it looks like GIFF continues to show a great selection of international and Nordic films.

Visitors to GIFF can take advantage of seeing movies in some beautiful venues around the city.

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Draken theatre is one of the main theatres for the festival!

The Göteborg Film Festival offers more than just movies, with workshops, music and more. It’s nice to have a festival in town in the winter. It brings some life into the sleepy town and it’s just perfect to duck into a movie on a chilly day.

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Snowy weekend as GIFF begins

GIFF takes place Jan 23rd-Feb 2nd. For tickets, check out their website:

http://www.giff.se/
http://filmweb01.filmfestival.org/filmfestival/info/en/festivalprogram/filmer

If you are in Göteborg during the festival, be sure to check it out!