Where to celebrate Swedish Midsummer in London

Jun 16, 2017 by

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Celebrate this traditional festival of the Solstice at one of the capital’s top Scandinavian spots

Intro is from an article in THE WEEK 

Midsummer is regarded as the most important event in the Scandi calendar. Traditionally it commemorates the longest day of the year and, for many Swedes, it signals the start of their five (yes, five) week holiday. Midsummer Eve, which always takes place on a Friday in mid-June, sees thousands of people flock to the countryside with friends and family in tow, leaving the cities eerily deserted.

Like many European festivals, the roots of Midsummer lie in pagan traditions. While many of these quaint customs are still adhered to – namely crafting floral headbands, or krans, and performing whimsical dances around a maypole – the event is largely an excuse to come together to celebrate nature while consuming as much potato salad and ice-cold vodka as possible. For a country known for its conservatism, Midsummer Eve is the one night of the year that guarantees revelry. And for Britain’s Nordic community, and those who enjoy the Scandi lifestyle, there’s plenty of opportunities to join in the summer celebrations without having to leave the country.

LondonSwedes’ Midsummer House 2017

(written by The Week http://www.theweek.co.uk/85604/northern-lights-where-to-mark-swedish-midsummer)

“For a truly authentic Midsummer experience, join online expat collective LondonSwedes – the largest website dedicated to Britain’s Scandi community – for their popular annual Midsummer event.

On Saturday 24 June from 5:30 pm until late, the Loft Studios in Kensal Green will be transformed into a Scandinavian wonderland complete with authentic Swedish midsummer food from SMAKA, flower arches, and even real grass has been bought to create a space for a traditional midsummer picnic.

There will be a Maypole, a flower wreath and makeup parlor, fairytale lighting and two stages with entertainment with an amazing line-up (Max Milner, OMYO, Tannergaard, Longy and more). Last but not least – there’s a prosecco bar, a hot dog van and late-night DJ set by SEBJAK .

Oh, did we say there’s a one-hour free drinks reception at the start courtesy of main sponsor Absolut Vodka

Thanks to The Week for this lovely piece, come join us this Saturday!

Type of event: Food, mini-festival, party, live music.

24th June from 5:30 PM – 3 AM
Tickets cost £25 per person, all information can be found here: A Midsummer Night at Loft Studios

 

Midsommar at The Harcourt

This modern Scandinavian-inspired restaurant, which opened in a Grade-II listed townhouse in Marylebone Village last year, is throwing a week-long summer solstice celebration this June. Finnish head chef Kimmo Makkonen has devised a limited-edition three-course menu that showcases the best traditional Midsummer dishes such as home-cured gravadlax and Swedish meatballs made from a secret family recipe. The Harcourt is renowned for its handcrafted cocktails mixed with authentic Scandi spirits, and Midsummer is the perfect excuse to introduce some seasonal new additions along with a selection of Akvavit tailored to each dish.

 

Type of event: Food

The Midsommar menu will run from 19-25 June and is priced at £35 per head; theharcourt.com

 

Midsummer celebrations at Aquavit London

Another relative newcomer on the London-Scandi scene is Aquavit, the UK outpost of the two-Michelin-starred New York institution of the same name. This sleek, Swedish-themed restaurant is housed in the refurbished St James’s Market development in central London. As well as introducing new ‘Midsommar tallriken’ (Midsummer dishes) to the all-day dining menu, including no less than four types of herring and a classic västerbotten pie, Aquavit London has also devised a special Midsummer set menu available for private parties. Midsummer’s Eve (Friday 23 June) will be a full-on summer celebration complete with live music, a pop-up bar and food stand and even a traditional maypole erected in the restaurant entrance.

Type of event: Food

Midsummer celebrations take place throughout June and July, the Midsummer Eve event runs from 5-10pm on 23 June; aquavitrestaurants.com/london

 

Blåbär

Ok, it’s sold out, sorry guys. It’s also one of our favorites cafés in Putney. It’s small but hey, let us just wish them lucky ticket holders a FAB midsummer!
Welcome to the Nordic Midsummer Party at Blåbär!

It´s time to come together with friends and family and celebrate the longest & the lightest day of the year. The Midsummer is a big holiday for Nordics, after long and dark winter we finally get light all day & night.

Blåbär is following the tradition of the success of our Midsummer event last year, and it’s one night only.

Date: Saturday 24th June
Time: 19.00 – 23.00
Address: 3a Lacy Road, Putney, SW15 1NH

 

Type of event: Food & Party

Unfortunately Sold out but check them out anyway: https://www.facebook.com/events/619076268288762

 

Young Professionals of the Swedish Chamber

If one asks a Swede what the essence of a Beautifully Swedish Midsummer is, the passionate response will certainly involve references to nature and the outdoors, flower picking for crowns in one´s hair and the taste of herring, new potatoes and dill. Memories will be shared of dancing around the midsummer pole to traditional folk music, while celebrating the arrival of summer together with friends and family, to laughter, ice-cold cider and snaps.

The Young Professionals (sponsored by Rekorderlig Cider) is bringing you exactly this, on Midsummer Eve, and together will create a true Swedish Celebration by the River Thames and the yacht Battersea Barge in Vauxhall.

Join them straight after work for a Swedish Midsummer buffet, flower crown binding, live folk music, a Midsummer pole and cider flavored for summer – everything included in the price. You’ll get all this for only £29 (or even £19 if you are a member). 

With two floors the boat will feature an outdoor deck to soak up the setting sun in the summer breeze, followed by a live band to take you into the night. 

If it wasn’t for the fact that we at LondonSwedes are hosting an epic party on Saturday we would have been there. But we’re not 20 anymore. Can’t do schnapps two days in a row – but don’t miss their event!

 

Type of event: Food & party

Friday 23rd June from 6pm – midnight. Get your tickets here: http://www.scc.org.uk/young-professionals/yp-events/list/beautifully-midsummer/

 

 

Bubbles & Brunch – Midsummer edition

Kasai owner (if you are a Stockholmer you should know about Kasai, and also Bubbles & Brunch) Paulo is hosting his third Bubbles & Brunch in London, on the Saturday 24th June. From 4pm – 9pm it’s a full blown party – Midsummer style. It’s not really competing with us because it ends at 9 pm and you should probably join them all and come over to us as SEBJAK (our headline DJ ) will be chilling at Bubbles & Brunch beforehand.

Type of event: Party 

24th June 4 pm- 9pm. Bubbles and Brunch is an exclusive brunch concept, invite only or table bookings. Give it a try at: https://www.facebook.com/bubblesandbrunchsthlm/

 

 

Sveaskolan

Just forwarding their message ( a very small event for families so make sure let them know you are attending, if you are)

“Hej alla föräldrar

Lördagen den 24 juni kommer vi som vanligt att fira midsommar i Highgate Wood. Tidsplaneringen är följande:

Kl 10:30 Samling på gräsmattan framför caféet för att klä midsommarstången
Kl 11:00 Sång och dans kring midsommarstången

Följd av picknick (medtag egen matsäck) och lekar.

Hela familjen är välkommen!

Observera att alla föräldrar har ansvar för sitt/sina egna barn.

Med vänliga hälsningar
Cecilia och Elin”

Type of event: Traditional Midsummer celebration (families)

24 juni från 10:30 https://www.facebook.com/Sveaskolan-London-535212059949934/

 

Lisa’s Portobello Road

 

Lisa’s on Portobello Road in Notting Hill is always a perfect place to celebrate any Swedish traditions. We hosted two VERY FUN crayfish parties here a few years ago when we only hosted 75 people. It’s a small restaurant but for big groups wanting to celebrate in private, this is the perfect place to do so! We have even made a video about Lisa’s on Youtube, Check out our video Swedish places in London!

Type of event: Food

23rd – 24th June from £32 per person Lisa’s Portobello 305 Portobello Rd, London W10 5TD

 

We found this lovely poster in our Facebook Forum and thought that it’s worth  mentioning for all you West London peeps!

These are the words from Linda in our Forum (google translate if you’re not Swedish)

“Midsommar På The Phene i Chelsea!??
Joina oss på Fredag för midsommarfirande i The Phenes Underbara Summer Garden!
Prova våra midsommar bites och glöm för tusan inte att smaka på vår hemkryddade snaps ?!!
No bookings needed, bara att poppa in. Ses där! http://www.thephene.com/

Type of event: food 

9 Phene St, Chelsea, London SW3 5NY

 

HYDE PARK

So, what is ACTUALLY happening in Hyde Park? Like we mentioned before, it is a word of mouth event that has been growing over the years ( social media to blame ). On Midsummer’s Day for over 10 years Swede’s have been gathering in the park to celebrate together. We have been meeting with the Met police and park officers a few weeks ago and they have a clear message to the Swedes in the park. People leave garbage behind and people are using the park as a toilet. Last year the Swedish Midsummer gathering in Hyde Park cost taxpayers 5k in cleaning up fees.

 

We at LondonSwedes have been discussing this matter since 2016 with other Swedish organizations. We are working on trying to organize something, but it didn’t happen last year and unfortunately not this year again but we’re on it still. For now, enjoy the celebrations at one of the listed events with your friends. People will still, of course, gather in the park but bear in mind that you can’t put up gazebos or speakers and there is a chance of being fined on the spot for littering or using the park as a toilet. Enjoy the day, but show respect for the park and other people!

Type of event: Unofficial gathering, food, drinking, picnic in the park

We are not allowed to put a date, location and time here as we don’t want to be seen as any kind of organizers of this gathering. We will be at our Midsummer House just 18 min from the park, see top event – LondonSwedes at Loft Studios.

 

The Hungover bunch for Midsummer Brunch/Sunday

Some of London’s best promoters have gathered the posh Swedish crowd for a Midsummer brunch on Sunday 25th. There can never be enough of celebrations, right? And it’s OK to come with a hangover!

 

25th June from 2pm Contact the restaurant for bookings
 264 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW3 2AS

 

 

Host your own party

 

If you want to host your own party – Scandinavian Kitchen has amazing Scandi Midsummer picnic baskets you can preorder for your celebrations.

You should probably also read their guide to the Nordic Midsummer

 

 

Here’s a video we made with Swedes challenging some Brits! SKÅL!