Yellow flowers

First Midsommar

The 19th June was our first Swedish Midsummer! We were very lucky because our neighbours invited us to their Summer cabin for socially distanced outdoor celebrations with some of their family. This post is a mixture of phone and digital photos, although I wish I’d taken more of the latter.

Midsummer weather usually takes a turn for the worst but this year was stonking hot — the hottest in 50 years for several parts of the country. We put Summer clothes on, packed two bowls of Swedish strawberries and a few bottles of booze. I forgot to make a flower crown but there’s always next year for that.

Bowl of strawberries
Jordgubbar / strawberries

Being out out felt odd after spending so many weeks indoors or a stones throw from home but it was exactly what we needed. The city was pretty deserted and it seemed many people had already travelled to where they were needed to be. Anyone left in the city was loaded up with supplies and bags that went “clunk” and “slosh”.

The village was a little slice of paradise. Wooden houses on fields covered in wild flowers or tuckled in pockets of forest. Grazing horses (some of which were Icelandic) and quiet roads lined with lupins.

Pink lupin flowers
Wooden house in field
More lupins

People from the village usually get together for dancing and singing but that was cancelled this year due to the pandemic. Food and drink was still a big part of the day though (my favourite part of most celebrations to be honest).

Garden flowers in jug
Midsommar blommor / Midsummer flowers
Glass of rose wine
Vin / Wine

Look at the colour of this rosé! I wanted to dive into it and have a cold swim. Lunch was a traditional pickled herring and potatoes. I was nervous about trying pickled herring but also determined to embrace Midsummer the Swedish way.

Pickled herring with egg
Sill med ägg och lök / herring with egg and onion

Egg and chopped onion was served with the fish. I can’t remember the names of each type of pickled herring but the yellow sauce was mustard, the white sauce was onion and the plain pink herring with sweetly picked. I expected the texture to be crunchy but it was quite soft. I really enjoyed it!

Plate of fish and meat
Midsommar lunch

Table of food and drink

Glass of snapps
Kall schnapps / cold schnapps

The meal did a great job of soaking up all the wine, schnapps and beer. Schnapps was swigged after each song; we didn’t know the words or melody but we drank anyway. Pudding was Swedish strawberries, cream and sugar.

Plate of cheese
Bröd och ost / bread and cheese

We had a tour of the village and garden before settling back into our chairs for bread with cheese, Aperol spritz, wine and more strawberries. Then finished the day with another walk and garden tour. Rural Sweden is so beautiful and wild.

Purple flowers

It’s a bit late now but… glad Midsommar och skål (happy Midsummer and cheers)!

P.S. Don’t let the film Midsommar put you off visiting Sweden to celebrate this time of year. People are very friendly and no-one was stitched into a bear. Hah.

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