Reader voices: Where to find the best of British culture in Sweden




In a new series, The Local is looking into the best places to find food, events, and cultural associations from different cultures, to help our readers who are feeling homesick or just looking to try something different.


With plenty of help from our British readers and members of the Facebook group Brits Living in Sweden, we’ve gathered together the top suggestions of where to find a piece of the UK in the Scandinavian country. Did we miss something? You can always get in touch to let us know, and we’ll add to our guide.


Groceries 


Swedish food culture is not all that different from British, and in recent years it’s increasingly possible to buy food and drinks from major UK brands at ICA, Coop, and other Swedish supermarket chains. But some items often lacking include British sausages, golden syrup and baking products, Cadbury’s chocolate, and Yorkshire tea.


The English Shop has long supplied expats with hard-to-find items in the three major cities and online, but this week announced it was sadly closing its stores.


But there are still options for a quick Brit fix. Discount stores like Netto and Normal can be surprisingly good for things like Easter eggs and other niche sweet treats, condiments and even cosmetics. In Stockholm, the Little Britain shop in Gamla Stan sells many foodie essentials as well as gifts.


The Cheddar cheese sold at Swedish supermarkets is generally disappointing, so it’s worth making a trek to your local Lidl to stock up on its Valley Spire cheddar, which is more or less what you would buy in the UK. The discount supermarket often offers other British style food, including bacon.


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In Stockholm, Taylors and Jones is a British butchers for all your carnivore needs and much more besides. Many Brits swear by the shop for sausages and pies (which are also stocked in several Ica supermarkets across the country), and the Kungsholmen store also sells plenty of British sauces, condiments, and other groceries. Gothenburg readers have the option of Korv United for a wide range of sausages.


Down in Skåne, one Brit Living in Sweden Facebook group member recommended Mandelmanns trädgårdar in Österlen for watercress and Lundasparris for asparagus, to prepare for your summer kitchen.


Failing that, you can always try joining a Facebook group for expats in your area, and keep an eye out for anyone travelling to the UK soon who might offer to bring back some favourite foodstuffs.

LIVING IN SWEDEN ESSENTIALS:


Restaurants and pubs


One popular recommendation for British-style fish and chips is Stockholm’s Milners food truck, which has also opened a pop-up stall outside the Nordic Museum on Djurgården for the summer. They also offer catering. 


For an English breakfast, try the Greasy Spoon in Stockholm, with two locations near Odenplan and Medborgarplatsen. There’s often a waiting time of around an hour on weekend morning, but breakfast is served all day, while Yorkshire Tea is on offer. And while not a restaurant, in Malmö the Brekkieklubben project offers British/Australian-style breakfasts and a friendly atmosphere.


Although not strictly British, several Brits told us that NZ Craft Pies were the best pies to be found in Sweden. Based in Katrineholm, these pies are also stocked across the country, including at Stockholm’s Cykel Cafe. And the company also manufactures sausage rolls.


When it comes to pubs, there are plenty that may claim to be ‘British-style’ in Sweden. The Tudor Arms in central Stockholm offers British food, beers, and often shows British football matches as well as offering a regular Monday pub quiz. Elsewhere in the city, Oliver Twist is a cosy Södermalm spot for food, drinks, and good British ales.


In Uppsala, the Churchill Arms was recommended for fish and chips or a burger in a cosy atmosphere. And a little bit outside Uppsala, the Flying Pig in Örbyhus was named a hidden gem.


Down in Malmö. the Pickwick Pub offers darts and Wednesday nights quizzes, while Sir Tobys is a British-style alternative regularly ranked as one of the Skåne city’s best sports bars.


One reader recommended the Bishops Arms chain for something quite close to home, and these pubs can be found all across the country, while another suggested the Pitchers chain, especially for watching sports. Sleepless in Sweden blogger Jon Franklin said: “The Bishops Arms pub at The Elite Savoy Hotel in Malmö is actually more British in its decor and interior than an authentic British pub.”


And The Folka Red Fox in Långsås is a British-run pub with a wide selection of beers and a menu featuring pie and sticky toffee pudding.


One criticism from several people was that, while there’s a growing offering of typical English food, Scottish and Welsh people are less well catered for, with no traditional butchers, bakers or pubs.


Sports


Missing home isn’t always about the food, of course. Some of the sports clubs that might appeal to Brits are the Stockholm Netball Club, a plethora of cricket clubs including Stockholm International Cricket Club, Malmö Cricket Club, and Gothenburg Cricket Club, as well as plenty of football clubs and opportunities to try out rowing on Sweden’s waterways.


In terms of more sedentary pursuits, the English Bookshop in Stockholm and Uppsala is a great spot for finding the latest titles from your favourite British and English-language authors, while you might be surprised at the number of British TV shows, from crime dramas to the Great British Bake-off, that are available on public broadcaster SVT.


Events and organizations


Brits are at an advantage compared to many other internationals in Sweden in that their native language is widely spoken here, so English-language events and groups are usually not too hard to find, including English-language movies in most cinemas and so on.


But British cultural associations do exist, including the Swedish British Society, which hosts society evenings with British food in its pop-up pub, the Swe-Brit Arms, as well as events such as film nights and excursions. In Gothenburg (sometimes known as Lilla London or ‘Little London’ in Sweden), the British Club offers social evenings and other events, 


There are also two useful Facebook groups: Brits Living in Sweden for all things related to life here, and British in Sweden which is Brexit-related.


And if you’re just missing British streetscapes, one Brits Living in Sweden member recommended a walk around the Stockholm streets around Engelbrektskyrkan, between Ostermalm and Vasastan.





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