Homemade Vegetable Soup & Soda bread (serves 8) (Lusk)

1 large onion
1 leek
1 large carrot
3 florets of brocolli including the thick part of the brocolli chopped small
A handful chopped cabbage
1 green pepper
1/2  courgette
3 sticks celery
4 asparagus  (optional)
3 tsp fresh parsley
3 tsp fresh thyme leaves
A good 1/2 tsp curry powder
2  Bay leaves
1 knob irish butter
1 organic veg stock cube
1 chicken stock pot
Good pinch ground black pepper
1tbs oil for frying

  1. In a heavy based pot add oil and saute off chopped onion and leek for a few mins.
  2. Add carrot and celery and saute for a further 5 mins.
  3. Add the rest of the veg  butter and seasonings.
  4. Cover the veg with boiling water from kettle.  (Approx 1 1/2 pints).
  5. Bring to boil. Reduce to a low heat and simmer for 20 mins.
  6. Blitz till smooth or leave a few chunky veg for more of a bite
  7. I find adding a knob of butter gives a silky quality to the soup.
  8. Serve with the bread and a bit of real irish butter (no spreads)

Soda Bread


70zs sieved Neills soda bread flour
Good pinch pink rock salt
200mls butter milk approx

  1. Sieve flour into bowl. Add good pinch rock salt and combine.
  2. Make a small well in centre of flour.
  3. Add butter milk slowly and combine into a soft dough.
  4. Turn onto floured board and knead slightly.
  5. With a floured rolling pin shape into a 1/2 inch round.
  6. Flour a heavy based pan and put pan on a medium heat.
  7. Gently add your bread to pan and leave for 10 mins till it has a  nice golden crust or thick skin.
  8. Shake pan now and then so dough wont stick.
  9. Lower heat if you feel its  cooking too quick.
  10. Flip over to other side and cook again for 10 mins.
  11. Turn onto wire rack to cool.
  12. Split with knife when cool into portions spread with real irish butter (no spreads or low low alternatives!!!)


download here:

Catherine’s Food Tour

Food Tour Guide Gunilla Blixt takes Catherine to food hall – Hötorgshallen and Bakery & Spice at St:Eriksplan.  She will taste the following foods –

  1. Pickled herring, Sherry wine herring, Gravlax with mustard sauce and an aquavit at a seafood stall.
  2. Reindeer, brown bear and moose sausage at a game and venison store.
  3. Fish soup, Toast Skagen (an open-faced shrimp sandwich), ’Stekt strömming på knäckebröd’ Fried fresh herring on crispbread,
  4. Cinnamon roll

Contact Person: Fredrik Linse 

Phone No: +46704951130

Address: Högalidsgatan 36B, 117 30 Stockholm

Email: fredrik@foodtoursstockholm.se

Website: http://www.foodtoursstockholm.se/sv/



1 kg salmon fillet with skin
1 bunch dill, stems and panicles
½ dl salt
1 dl granulated sugar
1 tablespoon coarse crushed white peppercorns
Mustard sauce for gravlax:
1 dl Swedish sweet mustard
1 ¼ dl sugar
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch of ground white pepper
1 tablespoon HP sauce
2 ½ dl neutral oil
2 dl dill, chopped

Pull off all the bones out of salmon fillet, wipe the surface and divide the piece in two.

Roughly chop the dill. Mix together the salt, sugar, pepper and dill. Rub the fish’s flesh sides with the mixture.

Place them with flesh sides together in a plastic bag.

Place the plastic bag with the salmon on a plate, put something heavy on top and place in the fridge for 2 days and nights.Turn the other side up halfway through.

Mustard sauce: Mix together mustard, sugar and vinegar. Stir in salt, pepper and HP sauce. Beat the oil down slowly until it becomes a thick, glossy sauce. Stir in half of the dill just before serving and put the rest on top.

To serve – Cut salmon into thin slices. Serve with mustard sauce.



Pickled herring  http://gunillablixt.se/receptarkiv/pickled-herring/

8 herring fillets, watered out
1-2-3 brine:
1 dl vinegar essence, 12%
2 dl sugar
3 dl water
12 cloves
2 bay leafs
2 yellow onions
1 carrot

If you buy salt herring from a barrel, fillet fillets must first be filtered and then watered out. A comfortable solution is the canister inlet, which is already watered out.
Brine: Mix together vinegar, sugar and water in a saucepan. Add bayleafs and spices. Boil, lower the heat and wisk until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool.
Cut the herring fillets into 1 cm wide pieces. Peel and onion and carrot. Cut the onion into strips and slice the carrot. Put the herring fillets in a glas jar with onion and carrot. Pour over the cold brine and make sure everything is covered. Allow it to marinate for at least 1 day. The herringis best after 2-7 days.
Serving: Garnish with sliced ​​red onions, possibly a little more freshly squashed spices or some dill twigs.


Sherry wine herring  http://gunillablixt.se/receptarkiv/sherry-wine-herring/

4 large fillets of matjes herring
½ finely chopped red onions
1 tablespoon chopped dill


1 tablespoon of vinegar essence
2 tablespoons cooking oil
5 dl tomato juice
½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
1 dl sherry wine

Cut the fillet fillets into 2 centimeters wide pieces. Wrap them with red onion and dill in a bowl.

Stir all ingredients for the sauce. Pour it over the herring and lift it with a fork so that the layer divides between the pieces. Rest 1 day before serving.

Serving: Decorate with dill and red onion.


Game meat plate with cold smoked sausage of moose, reindeer mousse and warm smoked bear steak.

Reindeer mousse  (x 6 persons)  http://gunillablixt.se/receptarkiv/reindeer-mousse/ ‎

Reindeer mousse is one of the favorite samples at walking food tour Nordic Experience, which I do with Food Tours Stockhom. The mousse we taste at shop Hellbergs’ in Hotorgshallen has naturally got a secret recipe, but this mix is similar to the taste. This recipe comes from famous chef Leif Mannerström.

200 g smoked reindeer steak
1 tablespoon finely chopped yellow onion
1 dl cottage cheese, Philadelphia cream cheese type
1 dl sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon horseradish
½ teaspoon salt
½ pinch ground white pepper

Shred the meat very finely. Place it in a bowl with onion, cream cheese, sour cream, Dijon mustard and horseradish. Add salt and pepper. Stir together into a homogeneous mix, and store cool to serving


Fish soup  http://gunillablixt.se/receptarkiv/fish-soup-like-kajsas/

Kajsas’s Fish in a fish restaurant, dating back to the 30’s, and located in Hötorgshallen, Stockholm. Today, my dear friend Clara runs the business together with her mother Maria in true Stockholm tradition, which means that fish restaurants are inherited by the women in the family. The most famous dish served at Kajsa’s is the fish soup. They serve over 200 liters it of each day. Of course the recipe is a secret, but If you cook a soup after the recipe below, you get a soup that is very similar to the one served by Kajsa’s.

Fish stock:
2 kg fish hull (4 ½ lbs)
1 leek
120 g celeriac (4 oz)
1 parsnip
8-10 white peppercorns
1 table spoon fennel seeds
2 ½ liters water (9 cups)

You also need:



400 g fish fillet
1 onion
1 fennel
400 g crushed tomatoes ( 14 oz)
1 liter fishstock (3 ½ cups)
1 ½ dl white wine (½ cup)
1 pinch ground saffron
1 table spoon chopped parsley
2 tea spoon chopped chervil
Aioli (garlic mayonnaise):
1 ½ dl mayonnaise (½ cup)
1 garlic clove
1 pinch ground cayennepepper
½ tea spoon salt

  1. Fish stock: Cut the gills from the fish head. Rinse the hull to remove any blood. Rinse and leek, celeriac and parsnip. Cut the leek into smaller pieces. Peel the celery and the parsnip and cut them into pieces.
  2. Put the fish hull in a stockpot. Pour on water to cover and boil. Release the foam.
  3. Add the vegetables, peppercorns and fennel seeds. Boil, lower the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Then pull off the saucepan from the plate and let the broth rest for 30-60 minutes.
  4. Pour the broth through a sieve into a clean saucepan. Boil, lower the heat to low and simmer until half of the stock remains. It takes about 1 hour.
  5. Aioli: Put the mayonnaise in a bowl. Peel the garlic clove and squeeze it down. Add cayenne pepper and salt, and mix. Set cool for serving.
  6. Soup: If you use frozen fish, defrost it to half. Then cut the fish into cubes. Peel and chop the onion. Anse fennel and cut it into small pieces.
  7. Heat the butter in a pot and fry the onion on low heat. It shall be soft and translucent, but not browned. Put the fennel in the pot and stir.
  8. Pour in the tomatoes, wine and broth. Add the saffron, parsley and the chervil. Boil, lower the heat to low and simmer the soup 5 minutes.
  9. Serving: Raise the heat again, put the fish in and allow the soup to boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer the fish in the soup. (Wery quick with fresh fish, only a few minutes. Frozen fish cubes take between 5 and 10 minutes depending on how big cubes you cut. When the fish is cooked straight through it is white and falls apart easily.)
  10. Pour the soup into hot bowls and serve with aioli.


Toast Skagen http://gunillablixt.se/receptarkiv/toast-skagen/

Don’t ask for a toast Skagen if you visit the Danish fishing village of Skagen. This toast is a Swedish invention. The original recipe of Skagen-mix, made up by famous chef Tore Wretman, contains only shrimps, mayonnaise and pepper. Over time the recipe has changed and ingredients have been added by different cold buffet chefs. Nowadays you almost never find Skagen-mix without dill, for example.   

4 servings

4 tablespoons butter
4 slices of white bread
500 g Swedish prawns
½ dl mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 pinch of white pepper
To serve:
4 lemon wedges
4 sprigs of dill
4 teaspoons whitefish caviar

Melt the butter in a fryingpan and fry the breadslices into golden brown. Take the bread out, let them cool and cut the crusts of.

Peel the prawns and cut the biggest ones into pieces. Put them in a bowl. Add mayonnaise, dill and pepper, and mix.

Put the mix on top of the breadslices and garnish with lemon, dill and caviar.


‘Stekt strömming på knäckebröd’ Fried fresh herring on crispbread http://gunillablixt.se/receptarkiv/fresh-fried-herring-crisp-bread/

4 servings

600 g of fresh herring fillets
1 dl coarse rye flour
3 teaspoon salt
½ buch of parsley
1 pinch ground white pepper
butter for frying
For serving:
4 pieces of Swedish crisp bread, knäckebröd

You also need:

baking paper

Rinse the fish in cold water and remove any fins. Pick the parsley prigs. Sprinkle some of the rye flour and salt on the baking paper.

Place half of the fish fillets on the butter paper with the skin side up. Divide the parsley and put the other fillets on top with the skin side up.

Mix the rest of the rye flour and salt with the pepper. Dip the fish into the mixture. Put them on a cutting board to dry a little.

Heat plenty of butter in a cast iron pan and fry the fish on low-heat for 2 – 3 minutes on each side. The surface shall be golden brown and crispy.

Put the fish on top of crisp bread spread with butter.


Cinnamon buns

Cinnamon buns or cinnamon rolls might look in slightly different ways. Most famous is probably the traditional shell shape. Putting the buns in paper cases is important, or some of the filling might go on the baking tray. Did you know that the cinnamon bun has got its own special day in Sweden? It is celebrated on the 4th of October.

150 grams butter
1 egg
5 dl milk
50 grams fresh yeast
½ teaspoon salt
1dl white sugar
1-2 teaspoons ground cardamom
14-15 dl plain white flour
75 grams butter, softened
5 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 egg
coarse sugar (“pärlsocker”)
chopped nuts or flaked almonds

You also need:

50 paper muffin cases or 2 baking sheet
baking rack
baking towel

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the milk and heat to 37°C. Measure the flour into a jug and add salt, sugar and cardamom.

Use a little of the melted buttermilk to dissolve the yeast in a large bowl. Add the rest of the buttermilk, and the flour to it little by little by stiring.

Stir until a dough forms and knead the dough until soft and pliable. Coat and let rise until doubled in bulk, 50–60 minutes. Set up the bakingcases on two baking trays. (Or cover baking trays with baking sheet.)

Knead dough thouroughly on a floured surface until pliable and divide into two equal parts. Roll out each section to a rectangle about 25 x 45 cm in size. Spread each with softened butter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Roll loosely from the long side, ending with the seem facing down and cut each roll into 25 buns. Place the buns in the muffin cases. Let rise another 20 minutes, while heating the oven. (Oven temperature: 225°C/400°F, Gas mark 7.)

Whisk the egg in a cup. Brush the top of the buns with a little egg and sprinkle over sugar, chopped nuts or flaked almonds. Bake in the oven for 5–8 minutes.

Let cool down on a rack under a baking towel.As soon as the buns have cooled down you can freeze the ones you are not using up that day. Reheat in the microwave for a few minutes, or warm them up for 5–10 minutes in oven, 150°C.



All Swedish Food Recipes provided by Gunilla Blixt.

Irish Smorgasbord (Serves 4) (Stockholm, Sweden)

Irish Smorgasbord w/ Smoked Salmon, Prawn Toast, Beetroot Apple Salad & Pickled Veg.

For the Smoked Salmon:

200g of smoked salmon, preferably organic
For the smoked salmon and gin dressing:
2 tbsp runny honey
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp gin
2 tbsp fresh dill, roughly chopped

To prepare the dressing:

Combine the honey, mustard, white wine vinegar, gin and dill and season. Pour in a jar, shake and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

For the beetroot apple salad:

500g cooked beetroot, finely cut into matchsticks
1 green apple peeled, cored and finely diced
2 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp roughly chopped dill
Salt and freshly ground pepper

To prepare the beetroot salad:

Combine the beetroot, apple, sour cream, lemon juice, mayonnaise and dill in a bowl and season. Set aside in the fridge until ready to serve.

For the sweet and sour vegetables:

200g carrots, peeled and quartered lengthways blanched
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and very finely sliced
200g radishes, very finely sliced
300ml white wine vinegar
80g caster sugar
½ tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 tsp allspice berries
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp whole cloves

To prepare the sweet and sour:

Place all the ingredients for the sweet and sour liquid in a saucepan with 300ml water and bring to the boil remove from the heat and leave to infuse. Place the vegetables in a large mason jar with a tight-fitting lid and pour over the hot sweet and sour liquid. Leave to cool and place this in the fridge for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.

For the prawns:

200g prawns, cooked and shelled
60ml mayonnaise
60ml soured cream
½ tsp brandy or cognac
Pinch of salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped dill
4 slices of white bread, preferably sourdough
25g butter
40g salmon or trout roe
4 lemon wedges
4 dill sprigs, for garnish

To prepare the prawns:

Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, chopped dill, salt and freshly ground white pepper. Keep the mixture cold until required.

Just before serving melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the bread slices and fry until golden brown on both sides. Then add some sauce to the prawns until you have a nice consistency

Serve the prawn mixture piled on top of the fried bread and garnish with a dollop of salmon roe, a sprig of dill and a lemon wedge.


Rye bread mixed salad leaves, cherry tomatoes, fresh radishes, cucumber, edible flowers dill and lemon slices.

To serve:

spread the salmon, prawn toast, rye bread, salad,  sweet and sour vegetables, beetroot salad and sauce out on a large wooden board. Garnish with salad leaves, radishes, cherry tomatoes, dill sprigs and lemon wedges.

Download link:

Swedish Meatballs (Serves 4) (Kerry)

Swedish Meatballs with a Potato Puree, Pickled Cucumbers, Brown Sauce, Lingonberry Jelly Served with Jansson’s Temptation.


6-10 anchovies (save some of the liquid)
4-5 mid-size potatoes (350-400gr)
1-2 yellow onions or leek
2-4 tbsp butter
200-300ml whipping or double cream

  1. Clean and fillet the anchovy.
  2. Peel and thinly slice the onion.
  3. Sauté the onion lightly and leave to cool.
  4. Peel the potatoes and slice into battens, slightly thicker than match sticks.
  5. Butter an oven proof dish.
  6. Layer potatoes, onion and anchovy filets in the dish, starting and finishing with potato.
  7. Dollop the rest of the butter on top and pour over some of the anchovy liquid.
  8. Place dish into a medium hot oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  9. After the 10 minutes, carefully pour in the cream into the dish.
  10. Keep cooking for 45-60 minutes.
  11. Make sure potatoes are cooked through before removing the dish from the oven.

This dish can be served immediately as a starter or as part of a larger buffet.

Meatballs with brown sauce & potato purée – Serves 4


600 gr beef mince 50 ml bread crumbs
200 ml whipping cream 1 small yellow onion
1 tbsp butter 1 medium egg
1.5 tsp salt 2 pinches white pepper
butter for frying

Meatballs – Method:

  1. Place the bread crumbs in the cream and leave to soak.
  2. Peal and finely chop the onion. Fry it gently until lightly golden. Leave to cool.
  3. Mix the minced beef with the onion, bread crumb mixture and egg. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Fry a small tester if you wish, to make sure seasoning is correct.
  5. Shape small balls of the mixture and fry, in the butter, on a medium-high temperature. Lower the temperature and fry for another 3-5 minutes.

Potato purée: Serves 4

450g potatoes
1kg celeriac
150ml milk, or as needed
2oz butter
salt & white pepper to season

Potato purée – Method:

  1. Peal the potatoes and celeriac. Cut the celeriac into potato sized pieces for even cooking.
  2. Boil potatoes and celeriac in lightly salted water, until cooked through.
  3. Press the potatoes and celeriac, mix in the butter and milk.
  4. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Serve with brown sauce and lingon berry jam.

Brown sauce –  4 portions

25g butter
25g flour
100ml milk
2 tbsp cream
500ml beef stock
juice from meatballs
salt & white pepper to season


  1. Melt the butter in a pan. Leave to start browning slightly.
  2. Take off the heat and add in the flour. Mix well.
  3. Bring back to the heat again. Keep stirring the whole time.
  4. The mixture should have a slightly dark golden colour.
  5. Add in the stock, milk and cream and whisk until it is smooth and starting to thicken.

This will take approx. 10 minutes.

Pickled Cucumber:

Serves 4


1 cucumber
3 pinches salt
2 tbsp vinegar (12%)
2 tbsp sugar
0.5 pinch white pepper
2 tbsp chopped parsley
100ml water


  1. Slice the cucumber thinly, with a knife or cheese slicer (peel first).
  2. Place in a wide bowl & sprinkle over the salt.
  3. Put a bowl or plate on top to press down the cucumber and leave for 30 minutes.
  4. Pour off the liquid.
  5. Mix vinegar, water, sugar, white pepper and chopped parsley.
  6. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  7. Place the cucumber in a jar and pour over the liquid.
  8. Leave for an hour or so before serving.

Download here

Season 3 Episode 2 – Contestant Info

Our contributors are husband and wife – Jason & Marie Walsh, and Marie’s Father Anders Lilja who lives in Stockholm. Marie has been living in Ireland for over 9 years now.

Jason has worked 25 years teaching sailing both in Ireland and abroad.  10 of those years in French speaking countries for luxury resorts. His exposure to a variety of cultures and their foods has made him a confident cook. He runs a business, which is directly involved in food production. Marie is Swedish. Marie is a trained Swedish Chef and massage therapist but now runs Jason’s business in typical Swedish efficiency. Jason now does most of their cooking due to his wife’s influence as well a step fact she is heavily pregnant with their first children as they are expecting twins.

Anders, Marie’s Dad is a keen golfer and travels regularly with friends to resorts to enjoy different courses and cultures. He loves his Summer house and enjoys his Mum, Kerstin Lilja-Stridh’s cooking at least once a week. He visits his son, Jon, in Oslo where he is a marine electrician. Jon was also in the Swedish Navy.

Anders loves American cars and worked for many years importing them for Swedish customers, making them road legal for Sweden. Anders often visits, Jason and Marie in Ireland. He loves Ireland very much.

In this episode, we first travel to Stockholm to meet Anders and his Mother Kerstin to find out who is the family member living away from home.

Later Anders rustles up the dish that reminds Marie of home in Stockholm, Meatballs with boiled spuds, brown sauce, lingonberry jelly and pickled cucumbers.

Catherine then travels back to Ireland, to the Gap of Dunloe in hope to replicate Ander’s dish and bring a taste like home over to Marie.


Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous city in the Nordic countries; 952,058 people live in the municipality, approximately 1.5 million in the urban area and 2.3 million in the metropolitan area.

The city stretches across fourteen islands where Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea.  Just outside the city and along the coast is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago.

Stockholm is the cultural, media, political, and economic centre of Sweden. The Stockholm region alone accounts for over a third of the country’s GDP and is among the top 10 regions in Europe by GDP per capita.  It is an important global city and the main centre for corporate headquarters in the Nordic region.

Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) is one of the most famous Stockholmers of all time. The prize that bears his name is known worldwide. His spirit of curiosity, creativity and entrepreneurship lives on, especially in Stockholm during an intensive week at the end of each year. The city is home to some of Europe’s top ranking universities, such as the Stockholm School of Economics, Karolinska Institute and Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). It hosts the annual Nobel Prize ceremonies and banquet at the Stockholm Concert Hall and Stockholm City Hall. One of the city’s most prized museums, the Vasa Museum, is the most visited non-art museum in Scandinavia.

The city was the host of the 1912 Summer Olympics, and hosted the equestrian portion of the 1956 Summer Olympics otherwise held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Stockholm is the seat of the Swedish government and most of its agencies such as the official residencies of the Swedish monarch and the Prime Minister. The government has its seat in the Rosenbad building, the Riksdag (Swedish parliament) is seated in the Parliament House, and the Prime Minister’s residence is adjacent at the Sager House.

Stockholm is the second most prolific tech and start up hub in the world, second only to Silicon Valley. This means Swedes are rather smart, but more importantly it means Stockholm attracts the most innovative people from all corners of the world. What meets them is a capital known for its beauty and closeness to nature. You are likely to see people both riding horses and stand up paddling while you wander the streets of Stockholm.

Crisp bread (knäckebröd) is the other favorite among Stockholmers. Swedes have been baking crisp bread since the Middle Ages, and it is on the table at breakfast, lunch, and dinner as a matter of course, served with toppings such as hard cheese, ham, or leverpastej, which is a spreadfriendly liver pâté. In fact, crisp bread is what Swedes living abroad miss the most.

Fika – a common word in Stockholm, but what does it mean? Simply put, it is the Swedish word for coffee break. Together with friends, family or colleagues, we drink a cup of coffee and eat sweet baked goods, called fikabröd. Fika is a social institution in Stockholm; it’s a way of socializing.

To understand Stockholm’s coffee break culture, there are two primary guidelines to keep in mind. A cup of coffee isn’t enough. The trimmings are the most important part, and the most common fika sweet is the cinnamon bun. Sweden even celebrates “Cinnamon Bun Day” on October 4 each year.

Fika culture is strongly embedded in society, and in many workplaces, particularly in the healthcare and service industries, it is practically on the schedule. For fifteen minutes in the morning at 10 a.m. and for fifteen minutes in the afternoon at 3 p.m., crowds gather around the coffee pot at offices, colleges and universities in Stockholm.

Swedish business economists have even concluded that a coffee break together is important at workplaces. During the fika break, all forms of hierarchy break down; people drink coffee together regardless of power or position. This is when informal decisions are made and where an information exchange takes place among colleagues from various departments.

On this episode we visit a plane that has today been converted to a Hotel, The Jumbo Stay Hotel, we learn about the History at the Vasa Museum, the world’s only preserved 17th century ship and the most visited museum in Scandinavia, we take a tour on the Ocean Bus, a unique tour that takes you across both land and water, we learn about the history of Stockholm’s subway station’s art exhibit by visiting Kungsträdgården Subway Station and T Centrale Subway Station, we get a panoramic view of the City by taking a ride on the Skyview gondola and we taste some of the best local cuisine by taking a food tour with Food Tours Stockholm.


Boeing Airplane Hotel

Welcome to one of the world’s coolest stays! Here you can spend the night onboard a real jumbo jet – on the ground! Our different room categories can accommodate one to three adults in comfort as well as a quad dormitory bed option. Located next door to the airport guests can spend the night in a real, converted jumbo jet – on the ground! This is the perfect way to start your trip abroad. The plane is a used out jumbo jet model 747-212B from 1976.

Oscar Diös  was getting ready to expand my hostel business in 2006 when I heard about an old wreck of an aircraft for sale at Arlanda. Since I had for a long time wanted to establish my business at Arlanda I didn’t hesitate for a second when this opportunity struck, Oscar explains.

The airplane, a decommissioned model 747-200 jumbo jet built in 1976, was last operated by Transjet, a Swedish airline that went bankrupt in 2002. It was originally built for Singapore Airlines and later served with legendary Pan Am.

In December 2007, Sigtuna authorities granted a building permit for establishing Jumbo Stay at the entrance to Arlanda airport. In January 2008, the aircraft was moved to a construction site parking where the first phase of the conversion has begun with the dismantling of the old interior, new paint and new decorations for the rooms. 450 seats are taken out and the plane is sanitized in its entirety. The hostel is built like any house, subjected to the same demands on climate control and isolation. It adheres to all common energy standards. Heating is achieved with an air-air inverter.

Summer 2008 the plane was towed to its final destination at the entrance to Arlanda where it was placed on a concrete foundation with the landing gear secured in two steel cradles. Here, Jumbo Stay are a spectacular landmark as a portal to Arlanda offering a view of the landing strip. No visitor to Arlanda will miss the new place to stay.

Brief facts about Jumbo Stay

Airplane type: Boeing 747-212B

Year of manufacture: 1976

Name: Liv (after owner’s daughter)

Number of rooms: 33

Number of beds in total: 76

Number of beds per room: 1-4 beds

Room size: Circa 6 square meters, 3 meters to ceiling

Phone No: +46 8-593 604 00

Address: Jumbo Stay | Jumbovägen 4 | 190 47 Stockholm Arlanda

Email: booking@jumbostay.com

Website: https://www.jumbostay.com/


Vasa Museum

Vasa Museum contains the entire Vasa warship which capsized and sank in Stockholm 1628. After 333 years on the sea bed the mighty warship was salvaged and the voyage could continue. Today Vasa is the World’s only preserved 17th century ship and the most visited museum in Scandinavia.

The Vasa Dynasty: Gustav II Adolf (1594-1632) was the son of King Karl IX and Kristina of Holstein-Gottorp. His grandfather was Gustav I, or Gustav Vasa as he is often called today, the first of the Vasa dynasty. Gustav Adolf and his wife Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg were the parents of Queen Kristina, the last of the Vasa dynasty to sit on the Swedish throne.

The Vasa family originally had a bundle of sticks, called a fascine in English and vase in Swedish, as their heraldic symbol, and it is from this that the ship gets her name. By the 17th century, the vase looked more like a sheaf of wheat, and Vasa’s stern carries a gilded sheaf between two cherubs on the stern as the ship’s name board. The stern also carries the king’s initials, GARS, for Gustavus Adolphus Rex Sveciae (Latin for Gustav Adolf King of Sweden).

What started with church services and a festive atmosphere ended in a watery grave. It was the 10th of August 1628, when Vasa, the most powerful warship in the Baltic, foundered in Stockholm harbour before the eyes of a large audience, scant minutes after setting sail for the first time.

It was mid-afternoon when at last it was time. After many delays, frustrations with the supply of guns, and a change of captain, the newly fitted out Vasa was anchored below the castle, with its cannon finally on board and the crew manning their stations. The quay was packed with people and the water teemed with small craft carrying people who wanted to watch the mighty war machine slip its moorings and sail from Stockholm.

The crew had been allowed to bring their families, as it was the ship’s maiden voyage. The guests, including women and children, would disembark at the fortress of Vaxholm before the ship continued to the summer fleet base on the island of Älvsnabben in the Stockholm archipelago. There it would be the flagship of the reserve squadron, awaiting further orders as to whether to reinforce the blockade of Gdańsk in the stalemated, bloody war against Poland-Lithuania or to join the Swedish squadron protecting the German port of Stralsund. Only then would the ship’s complement of marines, two companies of soldiers totalling 300 men and officers, come aboard. But the soldiers were never to set foot on the Vasa.

10 August 1628 was a Sunday, and many of the Vasa’s crew had received communion earlier in the day. Hopes were high as people bid farewell or followed the ship from the key, but some aboard the ship were worried.

Vasa cast off from the palace between four and five o’clock because the wind was from the south, the ship had to be warped, towed by cables taken to the shore, along the waterfront to the other end of the city island, to the place now called Slussen. Here, she could pick up the current that would take her down the harbour. As the ship found the current, the last warp was cast off, Vasa was freed from the land, four of the ten sails were set, and a salute was fired.

There was little wind under the bluffs of Södermalm, not even enough to pull the sheets of the sails taught, and Vasa drifted on the current, not answering her helm. A small gust filled the sails, and the ship heeled to port, but slowly, agonizingly recovered. As the ship passed the gap in the bluffs at Tegelviken, a much stronger gust pushed the ship so far over on its port side that water poured in through the open gunports on the lower gundeck. Vasa began to sink.

Pandemonium reigned on deck. The captain ordered the sheets cast off to spill the wind from the sails and the gunports closed. Vice Admiral Erik Jönsson ran below to make sure the cannon had not broken loose. Many threw themselves into the water, while those below decks struggled to make their way up wildly tilting ladders. Within minutes, the ship was on the sea bed at a depth of 32 metres. The masts stuck up above the surface, and many grabbed hold of them. Others were picked up by the small craft that had followed the Vasa’s shaky journey at close quarters. Some swam the 120 metres to the shore of Beckholmen.


The quick and the dead

All but 30 of the crew and guests survived when Vasa sank. Most of the dead were trapped inside the ship. We only know the names of a few people on board, mostly those who survived the catastrophe. The captain, Söfring Hansson, abandoned Vasa late, almost too late, as he was dragged under by the sinking ship and only barely reached the surface in his heavy, sodden clothes.

Erik Jönsson also survived, but his escape was even closer. Below decks checking the guns when the ship began to sink, the ladder on which was climbing collapsed and he was struck by a hatch cover. He was pulled from the water and lay near death for some time.

Among the dead was Captain Hans Jonsson. He had been named as Vasa’s original captain before being replaced by Söfring Hansson. He was still on board, as it was common to take a second experienced captain on the first cruise of a new ship. There was mourning in Stockholm for those lost, and relief among those who survived. There was anger among those who had built the ship, but the overriding emotion was astonishment: how could such a thing have happened?


Catherine’s Tour

English Speaking Tour Guide, Eva Wiebe, tell’s Catherine all about the History of the Ship and showed her to a few of the nicest parts of the ship, for example the beautiful stern covered with sculptures.

The Vasa Museum has become a natural part of Stockholm’s skyline. Its masts rising high above Djurgården have become a beacon guiding curious tourists and Stockholmers alike. Vasa has not always been housed in such splendour. From her salvaging in 1961 until 1988 Vasa’s home was a 27-year long temporary one at the Wasavarvet Museum.  In 1981 a pan-Nordic competition to select the architect for the permanent  Vasa   Museum was held and 384 designs were submitted.  The winners were the Swedish architects Marianne  Dahlbäck and Göran Månsson with their design “Ask”. Construction began on 2 November 1987 when Prince Bertil inaugurated the building and laid the foundation stone in a dry dock from 1878.

Opening hours: 1 September – 31 May: Daily 10:00-17:00 / Wednesdays 10:00-20:00

Admission Adults: SEK 130  Students: SEK 110 18 years and under: Free

Contact Person: Martina Siegrist Larsson

Phone No: +46 (0)8 519 548 45

Address: Galärvarvsvägen 14, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden

Email: martina.siegrist.larsson@maritima.se

Website: https://www.vasamuseet.se


Ocean Bus

Welcome aboard the Ocean Bus – Sightseeing with a Twist as you can experience Stockholm from both land and water in one single vehicle – an amphibious bus! You will get see many of City´s most known attractions whilst our guide tells fun and interesting stories along the way.  Experience the thrill when we drive a 10-ton bus into the water. The tour start on land at Stromgatan – close to the Royal Opera. When the bus did it’s first test  drives, some people reportedly called the emergency number 112 and notified the rescue services of a bus that had fallen into the water. Now the Stockholmers have become accustomed to the new vehicle. The tour takes 75 minutes, starts at the Djurgårdsbron (the bridge entering the island of Djurgården) and is guided in English. On the tour you will get to see ten of the top Stockholm highlights.

Contact Person: Max Ekwall

Phone No: +46 708 879 854

Address: Strömgatan 3, 111 52 Stockholm

Email: max@oceanbus.se

Website: https://oceanbus.se/en/


Art in the Subway

The Stockholm subway system is said to be the world’s longest art exhibit – 110 kilometers long.

Traveling by subway is like traveling through an exciting story that extends from the artistic pioneers of the 1950s to the art experiments of today. Over 90 of the 100 subway stations in Stockholm have been decorated with sculptures, mosaics, paintings, installations, engravings, and reliefs by over 150 artists.


Kungsträdgården Subway Station

One of Stockholm’s most stunning stations is unsurprisingly also one of its most photographed:

Kungsträdgården. Located in the middle of downtown Stockholm, it’s the terminus of the blue line, or at least until its southward extension opens in 2025.

Kungsträdgården is one of Stockholm’s oldest public parks. The name, roughly meaning “The King’s  Garden”, is derived from the area’s royal history. Between 1643 and 1825 it was the site of the majestic Makalös Palace, and a beautiful French garden was  built. After Makalös burned down, the site was used for military exercises. Finally, in 1875, the park landed in the care of the Stockholm City Council, which in turn opened it for the public. Almost everything on the station tells the story of the site above ground.

The color scheme – red, white and green – is a reference to the old French formal garden and statues around the station are actually replicas of Makalös Palace’s exterior art. Another unique feature of Kungsträdgården is its unique fauna. The station is the only place in Northern Europe where the cave-dwelling Lessertia dentichelis-spider can be found.


Metro Tour Guide Eva Palmqvist tells Catherine all about the History of the Art in the Subway

Station’s + Kungsträdgården Subway Station.

Contact Person: Sannia Ali (MTR Tunnelbanan AB – Stockholm Metro)

Phone No: +46 (0) 76 641 1320

Address: 111 47 Stockholm, Sweden

Email: Sannia.Ali@mtr.se

Website: https://www.visitstockholm.com/see–do/attractions/art-in-the-subway


T Centralen Subway Station
T-Centralen, the main hub of Stockholm’s subway, opened up for traffic in 1957 and was the first station to feature artwork. The blue line-platform, quite literally “the blue platform” is hands down one of the public transport system’s most recognizable places. But it didn’t open until 1975 when the blue line to Hjulsta was completed.

Painting a platform on the subway’s blue line almost entirely in, well… blue might seem a little on the nose. One of the Art guide’s at the station theorizes that the artist Per Olof Ultvedt not only chose the blue shades based on their aesthetic values but also their relaxing effect – I think Per Olof Ultvedt wanted to create a calming atmosphere because this is a station where people are in a hurry. They are changing trains to another metro line or another commuter train. So I think that his idea was that the blue color together with the simple motifs – stylized flowers and leaf creepers – gives passengers pause and a chance to clear their mind.

Metro Tour Guide Eva Palmqvist tells Catherine all about the History of T Centralen Subway Station.

Contact Person: Sannia Ali (MTR Tunnelbanan AB – Stockholm Metro)

Phone No: +46 (0) 76 641 1320

Address: 111 20 Stockholm, Sweden

Email: Sannia.Ali@mtr.se

Website: https://www.visitstockholm.com/see–do/attractions/art-in-the-subway

Address: 37 Customhouse Quay, Wellington Email: tay@mojo.coffee   

Website: http://www.mojocoffee.co.nz/


Sky View

SkyView is the world-class attraction that takes you to the top of the world’s largest spherical building, Ericsson Globe, a Stockholm landmark. From the apex 130 meters (425 feet) above sea level, you’ll get a fantastic view encompassing all of Stockholm.

The two SkyView gondolas depart every 10 minutes, and the entire visit takes about 20 minutes.

Restaurant, café and souvenir shop are adjacent to SkyView.

SkyView was inagurated in 2010. The roof construction of Ericsson Globe was reinforced with 42 tons of steel and then mounted a further 70 tonnes of rails on the arena’s facade. The specially designed glass gondolas were built by ski lift manufacturers in Östersund and there is no similar attraction anywhere in the world.

Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 10.00-18:00 / Saturday-Sunday: 10:00-16:00 (Last departure is 10 minutes before closing time.)

Contact Person: Gunilla Wallin

Phone No: +46 77 181 10 00

Address: Globen, Globentorget 2, 121 77 Stockholm.

Email: gunilla.wallin@stockholmlive.com

Website: https://www.stockholmlive.com/




Gamla Stan (Old Town)

Gamla Stan, the Old Town, is one of the largest and best preserved medieval city centers in Europe, and one of the foremost attractions in Stockholm. This is where Stockholm was founded in 1252.

All of Gamla Stan and the adjacent island of Riddarholmen are like a living pedestrian-friendly museum full of sights, attractions, restaurants, cafés, bars, and places to shop. Gamla Stan is also popular with aficionados of handicrafts, curious, and souvenirs. The narrow winding cobblestone streets, with their buildings in so many different shades of gold, give Gamla Stan its unique character. Even now cellar vaults and frescoes from the Middle Ages can be found behind the visible facades, and on snowy winter days, the district feels like something from a storybook.

There are several beautiful churches and museums in Gamla Stan, including Sweden’s national cathedral Stockholm Cathedral and the Nobel Museum. The largest of the attractions in the district is the Royal Palace, one of the largest palaces in the world with over 600 rooms. In addition to the reception rooms, there are several interesting museums in the Palace, including the Royal Armory, with royal costumes and armor. Don’t miss the parade of soldiers and the daily changing of the guard.

Västerlånggatan and Österlånggatan are the district’s main streets. The city wall that once surrounded the city ran inside these streets along what is now Prästgatan. In the middle of Gamla Stan is Stortorget, the  oldest square in Stockholm. Stortorget is the central point from which runs Köpmangatan, the oldest street in Stockholm, which was mentioned as early as the fourteenth century. Mårten Trotzigs gränd (Mårten Trotzigs alley) is hard to find. It’s the narrowest alley in Gamla Stan, only 90 centimeters wide at its narrowest point. Make sure not to miss Riddarholmen and the Riddarholmen Church. The church is a royal burial church, and was built as a Franciscan monastery for the so-called Grey Brother monks in the thirteenth century.

Visit Stockholm (Tourism Board)

Contact Person: Birgitta Palmér (Press Officer)

Phone No: +46 (0) 8 508 285 05, +46 (0) 73 097 8531

Email: birgitta.palmer@stockholm.se

Website: www.visitstockholm.com


Food Tours Stockholm

A “food walk” or “food tour” with us at Food Tours Stockholm is a guided culinary promenade between carefully selected restaurants, bars, cafes and / or specialty stores. At the stops included for the day, we sample delicious food and enjoy stories from enthusiastic bakers and chefs with a true passion for flavours and high quality ingredients. We season the walk with anecdotes from some of the exciting places we pass.

We want to offer you a unique way of experiencing Stockholm through its food. We believe that sharing good food can bring pure happiness and that one of the best ways to understand another culture is to eat its food.

Fredrik Linse – Founder and food guide

Since I can remember, I have always had a passion for good and well-prepared food. When travelling, both in Sweden and abroad, local food experiences have been the most memorable highlights of my trips. My mission is to show the quality, diversity and the inventiveness of the Stockholm food scene.

Favorite food: Swedish traditional food (husmanskost) is very close to my heart but I also have a soft spot for much of what the different Asian cuisines have to offer. Generally, I love genuine, well cooked food that tastes good!

Background: I have been running businesses within experience and service sectors for over 20 years. I was born and raised in Stockholm. I started Food Tours Stockholm in 2013, something that I’ve dreamed about since I experienced a food tour in Bangkok more than 10 years ago.

Gunilla Blixt   – Food guide and recipe reviewer

All the knowledge I have acquired about food during my professional career is great to have as a foundation when guiding Food Tour guests. My special interest is Swedish and Nordic food.

Favorite food – As a child I got to help my grandmother frying freshly caught Baltic herring on the iron stove. This was when I first gained my interest in fresh and seasonal produce. I prefer to eat according to the season, because I love to long for food cooked from ingredients when they are at their best.

Background – Food and service has been my livelihood throughout my professional career and I have been a food writer for over 20 years. I am specialized in Swedish and Nordic food and also devote myself to scrutinize recipes for magazines, recipe databases, and book publishers. I have been guiding food walks since 2014, and Food Tours since 2015.

The Gap of Dunloe is a narrow mountain pass forged between the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Purple Mountain by glacial flows. The river running through the gap is the river Loe from where the Gap gets it’s name. The Gap begins at Kate Kearney’s Cottage. The road, narrow in many places, winds through the pass and descends into The Black Valley passing five lakes, Coosaun Lough, Black Lake, Cushnavally Lake, Auger Lake and Black Lough. Within easy walking distance from Kate Kearney’s cottage is a picturesque old bridge known as the ‘Wishing Bridge’. It is said that wishes made here really do come true!

The Gap is approximately 11 km from north to south. You can hire a jaunting car (horse drawn wagon) to travel through the Pass and take a boat back to Killarney from Lord Brandon’s cottage at the other end. It makes a good challenging day’s exercise by bicycle. You could travel the opposite direction by taking a boat ride from Ross Castle in Killarney with your bike to Lord Brandon’s Cottage and cycle back through the Gap to Kate Kearney’s cottage.


Killarney National Park

South and west of the town of Killarney in Co. Kerry is an expanse of rugged mountainous country. This includes the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland which rise to a height of over 1000 metres. At the foot of these mountains nestles the world famous Lakes of Killarney. Here where the mountains sweep down to the lakeshores, their lower slopes covered in woodlands, lies the 10,236 hectare (26,000 acres), Killarney National Park. The distinctive combination of mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls under ever changing skies gives the area a special scenic beauty.

The nucleus of the National Park is the 4,300 hectare Bourn Vincent Memorial Park which was presented to the Irish State in 1932 by Senator Arthur Vincent and his parents-in-law, Mr and Mrs William Bowers Bourn in memory of Senator Vincent’s late wife Maud.

The focal point of the National Park for visitors is Muckross House and Gardens. The house which is presented as a late 19 th century mansion featuring all the necessary furnishings and artifacts of the period is a major visitor attraction is jointly managed by the Park Authorities and the Trustees of Muckross House.

The former Kenmare Desmene close to Killarney Town is also part of the National Park and features Killarney House and Gardens and Knockreer House, which is the education centre of the park.

Killarney National Park contains many features of national and international importance such as the native oakwoods and yew woods together with an abundance of evergreen trees and shrubs and a profusion of bryophytes and lichens, which thrive in the mild Killarney climate. The native red deer are unique in Ireland with a presence in the country since the last Ice Age.

Killarney National Park was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1981 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), part of a world network of natural areas, which have conservation, research, education and training as major objectives.

Contact Person: Kathryn Freeman

Email: Kathryn.Freeman@chg.gov.ie

Website: http://www.killarneynationalpark.ie/


Heather Restaurant

For half a century the Moriarty family have been welcoming tourists to ‘Moriarty’s’, one of the finest gift stores in Ireland. Located at the foothills of the McGillycuddy Reeks, just 10 minutes drive from Killarney town centre. A new edition to our offering at ‘The Gap’ is Heather, an artisan restaurant set on the River Loe with stunning views of the iconic Gap of Dunloe.

Heather Restaurant is a bright and spacious table service restaurant which opens onto 5 acres of kitchen gardens and ornamental landscaping. Our vision is to produce fresh, simply prepared, seasonal food at this vibrant new venue.

As well as produce from our own garden and poly tunnels, we take advantage of the wealth of local artisan food producers, organic farmers and wild Atlantic seafood that the South West of Ireland has to offer. Heather is set on 5 acres of multi-level gardens with breathtaking views of the McGillycuddy Reeks.

Follow the walks and paths that surround Heather to learn more about this stunning, rugged landscape.

Families who are looking for an interactive and friendly dining location without compromising on quality or value are always welcome. We look forward to welcoming you to ‘The Gap’.

Contact Person: Denis Pio Moriarty 

Website: http://moriartys.ie/heather/

Season 3 Episode 1 – Contestant Info

Our contributors are Mother and Son, Liz and James. James has been living in Wellington, New Zealand  for 14 years now and lives with his wife Ani and daughter.

Mum Liz was born in Meath and is a retired deputy principal in a Deis school in Loughlinstown. She has also written a book called Taking Flight -The Caged Bird.  Liz developed a keen interest in India – it’s way of life incl yoga, it’s culture, it’s people and it’s cuisine, it was on one of these trips that Liz was taught how to cook the authentic Indian food that James are up on and now misses so much, Liz also met her husband, Francis who is from Kerala on the southwestern, coast of India.  It was the favours of these dishes that helped to expand James’ horizons and gave him the desire to travel and to visit and taste the food of other cultures which eventually led him to New Zealand.

Liz rustles up the dish that reminds James of home in Cabinteely, the Fish Molee a Kerlan Fish curry with lemon rice. Catherine then travels to Wellington to hopefully faithfully replicate Liz’s dish and bring a taste like home over to James.   

On Tastes Like Home Catherine Fulvio visits the town of Martinborough, home to some of the country’s finest winemakers, she stops by Nicola Balsam in Stonecutter Estates for wine tips and tricks, she visits ‘C’est Cheese’ one of the best local cheese shops in NZ  followed by tasting some local cuisine made by Michelin Star Chef, Adam Newell from the Union Square Bar + Bistro.  She travels onto Wellington to tour of The Museum of New Zealand “Te Papa Tongarewa” to learn about Maori culture and she visits Karaka Café to learn about Maori food and cooking techniques especially their smoked food “hangi”.  Catherine & James visit some of the local sights like Wildlife Sanctuary Zealandia where she finds out the culinary uses of some of the native plants. The people of Wellington love their coffee so Catherine visits Mojo Coffee Bar & roasters to find out what make’s New Zealand’s coffee so unique, as well as a visit to the NZ Parliament Buildings to meet top Kiwi Chef Shaun Clouston to taste one of his signature dishes, as well as a signature dish from Maori chef Rex Morgan in Boulcott Street Bistro before finally meeting fellow Irish man Shane Harmon who is CEO of Westpac Stadium in Wellington who introduces her to the “haka”.  Catherine then must recreates Liz’s  Fish Molee – Kerala Fish Curry with & Lemon and Turmeric Rice as well as her own recipes which sums up her taste of New Zealand Mini Pavlovas with a Passion Fruit Curd.

James has been living in Wellington for 14 years now. He works as a Sports Scientist. Health and Fitness are his main hobbies mainly trail running these days but he used to play rugby and rugby league but he says the body isn’t too keen on the hits any more and the head has said a definite no!!

Many dishes remind him of home but the one that stands out the most though are his Mums curries. She learned them on one of her trips to India.

One of the things he most loves about Wellington is the Food. He says Wellington is an epicurean’s dream.  He says they are also lucky enough to have immensely varied landscapes within walking distance of each other, from densely urban landscapes to native bush to rugged coastlines Wellington has endless vistas.

Catherine’s Tour

Tour Guide Des Smith talks to Catherine about the culinary uses of some of the plants. Des is a very experienced guide with lots of botanical knowledge and has been involved in environmental and civil rights causes over many years.

Kawa kawa (piper excelsum).  The fruit, bark and leaves all have medicinal properties. It is related to the pepper (Piper nigrum) that we use as a condiment.  It is used in modern medicine for creams to help ease the discomfort of rashes and stomach problems. Maori used the leaves to flavour their cooking in their hangi (a method of cooking using hot stones in the ground) The fruit maybe added to salad dressings and muffins to give a pleasant peppery tasre .

Harakeke (Phormium tenax)  also known as flax and probably the most versatile of our native plants. The fibre was used for baskets ,clothing , fishing lines  etc. Flowers in early summer and are full of nectar and pollen. Pollen can be shaken out and collected and used as a sweet flavouring. The gum the base of the leaves is alkaline. It is excellent in reducing inflammation in wounds, burns etc. A decoction of the root is effective against constipation.

Mamaku (cythia medullaris), the tallest of our tree ferns grows up to 20m high. It was the six most important food source for Maori.  The bottom 500mm of frond were cooked and the pith eaten. The koru, or new frond, has become a symbol of new life. At the base there is mucous gel used  in facecreams proven to reinforce, stimulate and regenerate the skin.

Contact Person: Cameron Hayes / Kate Miller

Address: 53 Waiapu Road, Karori, Wellington

Email: Cameron.Hayes@visitzealandia.com / kate.miller@visitzealandia.com

Website: https://www.visitzealandia.com

Phone No: +64 4 922 1137 | +64 22 012 6527


Mojo Coffee

Founded as a boutique roastery café in Wellington by Steve and Julie Gianoutsos in 2003, Mojo Coffee is now one of New Zealand’s most experienced independent coffee roasters and café operators. Starting from humble beginnings on Wakefield Street, we’ve grown like a family, working with passionate individuals along the way.  Excellent coffee is never a rational thing; it’s a drink imbued with inspiration, freedom, celebration, history, dreams. It’s about experience as much as refreshment. It’s about personal space, about the pursuit of perfection, about the meeting of minds, about escape and reward. That’s the Mojo and it’s to treasure.



Catherine’s Visit

Each morning, coffee is freshly roasted by Clare Kearney, Mojo Coffee Head Roaster. Clare, with her expertise in creating balanced blends, roast our signature blend coffee and other speciality grade single origin coffees. Our roaster talked Catherine through the whole roasting process from sourcing green coffee from farms to creating the perfect cup. Kiwis are very proud to claim the inception of the flat white; a delicious espresso based coffee topped with velvety and creamy milk. Catherine was able to try a flat white made with Mojo Coffee’s signature blend, Dr Mojo Medicine, across the street at the Mojo Coffee café.

Contact Person: Tay-Lann Mark, Head of Marketing

Email: tay@mojo.coffee   

Website: http://www.mojocoffee.co.nz/

Address: 37 Customhouse Quay, Wellington


Karaka Café 

Recently listed as one of the top 10 best outdoor places to be in Wellington. Karaka Café also boasts some of the best Aotearoa (Maori name for NZ) cuisine and dishes known. From the classic and ever-so-popular Hāngi dish (Hāngi is a traditional New Zealand Māori method of cooking food using heated rocks buried in a pit oven) to the Pacific Eggs Benedict with corned beef, these are tastes, which are in fact hard to find in Wellington.

Karaka Café is proud to be home to the Tohu range.  Tohu is the world’s first Māori-owned wine company. Karaka Café stocks most of the Tohu selection, from the Tohu Pinot Gris to the Tohu Merlot, Tohu Pinot Noir and Tohu Gisbourne Chardonnay to the Aronui Rose.


Catherine tasted

1) Tītī plate – NZ Mutton bird served with rewena bread.

2) Hāngi – our café version of ground cooked hāngi, fry bread (Oven smoked version).

3) Ikā or te rā – Fish of the day with pāua cream and pikopiko.

4) Hanawiti Kai Moana – Whitebait or mussel sandwich, watercress, kawakawa aioli –

Contact: Keri Retimanu, Conference & Venue Manager, The Wellington Functions Team (they manage Karaka Café)

Address: 2 Taranaki Street, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand

Email: keri@manaakitanga.co.nz

Website: https://karakacafe.co.nz/


Boulcott Street Bistro

Boulcott Street Bistro opened in 1991, and has since become an icon in Wellington’s dining scene serving innovative, modern fare alongside classic bistro dishes, great wines and warm hospitality—earning the reputation as a Wellington institution. Boulcott Street Bistro is a Wellington restaurant set in Plimmer House, a Victorian cottage named after John Plimmer, the notable Wellingtonian who was officially bestowed the title ‘Father of Wellington’. This charming inner-city Gothic cottage was originally built as a wedding gift by a local groom for his bride-to-be in the late 1870s and came into the possession of the Plimmer family in 1911.

Head Chef / Partner Rex Morgan – somewhere between being a New Zealand Beef & Lamb Ambassador, culinary judge, TV personality internationally recognized and multiple award-winning chef Rex Morgan finds the time to create and deliver one of Wellington’s favourite menus: a combination of classic and innovative dishes which highlight the freshest and very best local produce available.

Karengo smoked Ora king salmon, tempura kawakawa leaves, river cress dressing.

Unique ingredients – Karengo – seaweed, Kawakawa – pepper/basil flavoured leaf & tip, River cress is watercress

Horopito seasoned beef & hangi style vegetables. (Manuka smoked kumara, beetroot, potato mash)

Unique ingredients – Horopito – Bush pepper, Manuka is the native tea tree used for smoking.

Address: 99 Boulcott Street, Wellington, New Zealand

Opening Hours:  Lunch – Sun to Fri from 12pm–2.30pm; Dinner – Mon to Sun from 5.30pm; Winebar – Sun to Fri from 12pm (Sat from 5.30pm)

Email: info@boulcottstreetbistro.co.nz

Website: http://boulcottstreetbistro.co.nz/about/


Bellamy’s by Logan Brown, NZ Parliament Buildings

Logan Brown’s new restaurant in the Beehive in Wellington combines New Zealand Parliament’s rich history with the legacy of Logan Brown restaurant. Previously for exclusive use by parliamentarians, Bellamys is now open to anyone wishing to experience the buzz, spirit of hospitality and amazing food our country has to offer. The restaurant is located on the third floor of Parliament or what New Zealanders affectionately call “the Beehive”. At Bellamy’s by Logan Brown, Diners can expect to enjoy a creative, tantalizing menu that showcases the best of New Zealand cuisine, cooked to perfection and delivered with that signature Logan Brown style.

Logan Brown co-owners Steve Logan and Shaun Clouston are proud to share all that they love about New Zealand hospitality and cuisine with our nation’s leaders and those visiting parliament.

The original Bellamys was opened in New Zealand in 1867 for exclusive use by parliamentarians. Following Britain’s example, it took its name from John Bellamy who set up his parliamentary refreshment room in the House of Commons in London 1773.

In the mid-1970s, Bellamys moved to its current location in the Beehive. It underwent a further change in the 1990s when it was opened to all parliamentary staff as well as members of parliament.

Now you have the opportunity to experience this historic dining room as Bellamys by Logan Brown.

KIWI Chef Shaun Clouston served the following to Catherine + James

Local Belmont lamb sourced less than 20kilometres from Parliament. Purple dawn kumara, pickled leek, lacto fermented carrot, lamb tongue, puffed red quinoa and black garlic. All locally sourced.

Address: Level 3, The Beehive,Molesworth St., Pipitea, Wellington

Website: www.bellamysbyloganbrown.co.nz

Opening hours: Lunch – Tuesday to Friday 12pm – 2pm; Dinner – Tuesday to Friday 5.30pm – 8.30pm.


Westpac Regional Stadium – Wellington Regional Stadium

Wellington Regional Stadium (known as Westpac Stadium through naming rights) is a major sporting venue in Wellington, New Zealand. The stadium’s bowl site size is 48,000 sq m. The stadium was built in 1999 by Fletcher Construction and is situated close to major transport facilities.

It was built to replace Athletic Park, which was no longer considered adequate for international events due to its location and state of disrepair. The stadium was also built to provide a larger-capacity venue for One Day International cricket matches. The stadium also serves as a large-capacity venue for concerts.

The stadium is a multi-purpose facility, though used mainly for sporting events. It is the home of the Wellington Lions Mitre 10 Cup rugby team and the Hurricanes Super Rugby team. The stadium also hosts the Wellington Sevens, one of the events in the annual World Rugby Sevens Series for national rugby sevens teams. Westpac Stadium regularly serves as a home venue for All Blacks rugby matches.

Westpac Stadium is also the home venue for A-League football (soccer) team Wellington Phoenix FC, the stadium often referred to as “The Ring of Fire” by Phoenix supporters.[4] It also serves as a major home venue for the New Zealand national football team (the All Whites), notably hosting the home leg of their 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Bahrain.

During the summer the stadium generally hosts international and occasionally domestic limited overs cricket, with the home team being the New Zealand Black Caps for the international contests and Wellington Firebirds for the domestic competition.

The stadium has also been used for rugby league matches, including national team fixtures and New Zealand Warriors away fixtures. The St Kilda Football Club, an Australian rules football club in the Australian Football League (AFL), played home games on Anzac Day at the venue from 2013-15.

Off-field facilities built into the stadium also included the New Zealand Institute of Sport, and a campus for the Wellington School of Cricket, run by the Wellington Cricket Association.

Catherine chats to the Chief Executive of Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealan, who is Irish man Shane Harmon about life in NZ + Westpac Stadium. Shane has over 20 years experience working in sports in Australia and New Zealand and he is a veteran of two Rugby World Cups; RWC 2003 in Australia where I was Head of Marketing, and RWC 2011 in New Zealand where I was General Manager, Marketing and Communications for Rugby New Zealand 2011, the Local Organising Committee.

Contact Person: Clare Elcome, Sales + Marketing Manager

Phone No: 021 08 333 080 (M)

Address: 105 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington

Email: celcome@stadiumtrust.org.nz

Website: https://westpacstadium.co.nz/


The haka

Catherine also  meets Karanama Peita  who teaches her about the Haka who competes on a National level with the kapa haka, which is the term for Māori performing arts and literally means to form a line (kapa) and dance (haka). Kapa haka is an avenue for Maori people to express and showcase their heritage and cultural Polynesian identity through song and dance.

The haka is a type of ancient Māori war dance traditionally used on the battlefield, as well as when groups came together in peace. Haka are a fierce display of a tribe’s pride, strength and unity. Actions include violent foot-stamping, tongue protrusions and rhythmic body slapping to accompany a loud chant. The words of a haka often poetically describe ancestors and events in the tribe’s history.

Today, haka are still used during Māori ceremonies and celebrations to honour guests and show the importance of the occasion. This includes family events, like birthdays and weddings.

Haka are also used to challenge opponents on the sports field. New Zealand’s All Blacks practice of performing a haka before their international matches has made the haka more widely known around the world. This tradition began with the 1888–89 New Zealand Native football team tour and has been carried on  by the New Zealand rugby union team (“All Blacks”) since 1905.This is considered by many Maori to be a form of cultural appropriation

According to its creation story, the sun god, Tama-nui-te-rā, had two wives, the Summer Maid, Hine-raumati, and the Winter Maid, Hine-takurua. Haka originated in the coming of Hine-raumati, whose presence on still, hot days was revealed in a quivering appearance in the air. This was the haka of Tāne-rore, the son of Hine-raumati and Tama-nui-te-rā.


Destination Wairarapa

Wairarapa is a region of big skies, wide valleys and small characterful towns. Just an hour’s drive or train ride from Wellington it is a popular escape destination, renowned for its premium wines, gourmet food and boutique accommodation. As one of New Zealand’s premium wine regions Wairarapa produces Pinot Noir and is home to Martinborough wine village. The region is at the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail.

and is famous for its 20-odd vineyards, most within walking or cycling distance of the village square. It’s packed with colonial charm, and criss-crossed with walking and cycle tracks to explore.

Destination Wairarapa is the region’s tourism organisation which includes Martinborough & Featherstone  areas.

In Featherstone we visit C’est Cheese one of the best cheese shops in NZ.

In Martinborough, home to some of the country’s finest winemakers we visit Stonecutter  Estates for wine tips and tricks from Nicola Belsham, and taste some local cuisine made by Michelin Star Chef, Adam Newell from the Union Square Bar + Bistro.

Contact Person: Katie Farman, Media Communications 

Email: katie@wairarapanz.com


C’est Cheese – Artisan Cheese & Deli 

One of the best cheese shops in New Zealand is found in Featherston. C’est Cheese is located in a super cute colonial building on the left hand side as you enter town is an artisan deli in specialising in terrific New Zealand-made cheeses. Owner Paul Broughton offers something for every set of tastebuds: from cumin-flecked gouda to French-style blues. Among the dozens of delicious wedges on offer you’ll find Kingsmeade Artisan Cheese from Masterton, the Drunken Nanny goat cheeses from nearby Martinborough and soon, Paul’s own cheese Remutaka Pass Creamery. Paul also stocks New Zealand salamis and local olive oils.




Catherine tasted Remutaka Pass Creamery Cheeses:

1) Summit Blue (tall wheel)

2) Kaitoke Creamy Blue (shorter wheel)

3) Abbots Creek Washed Rind (wheel with hole in the middle & Catherine’s favourite of the bunch)

Contact Person: Owner & Cheesemaker Paul Broughton

Phone No: 029 494 2289

Address: 19 Fitzherbert Street, Featherston 5710

Website: https://m.facebook.com/Cest-Cheese-178075662286199/


Wine Tips & Tricks at Stonecutter Estates

Stonecutter Estate is one of Martinborough’s vineyards with around seven acres planted in Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Merlot. There are also small quantities of Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Albariño vines. Originally planted in 1995, StoneCutter is situated on the ancient Martinborough River Terrace, whose free-draining gravels provide the foundation for incredible wine. The lofty Rimutaka and Tararua Ranges to the west keep the region dry, while long, hot summers, cool nights and frosty winters heat and cool the ground, releasing minerals into the soil.


Wine Tips & Tricks at Stonecutter

Visitors to StoneCutter have a unique chance to enjoy a hosted wine tour called Wine Tips & Tricks with the knowledgeable and effervescent Nicola Belsham. The tour is designed to empower people with practical skills and background knowledge, so as to more greatly relish the wines of Martinborough and beyond. This fantastic experience for both novice and aficionado is based in the vineyard itself and includes behind-the-scenes insights on grape growing and wine making in Martinborough. With lots of practical information on how best to engage the senses, tour guests sample three wines along the way, assembling the knowledge and appreciation for the greater enjoyment of their own preferred wine styles.

Contact Person: Nicola Belsham

Phone No: 027 5440525

Address: 139 Todds Road, Martinborough

Email: nicola@stonecutter.co.nz

Website: www.stonecutter.co.nz


Union Square Bar + Bistro

Located in the colonial Martinborough Hotel – an absolute landmark in Martinborough. Owners are Michelin Star Chef Adam, his wife Nicola Newell together with chef Paul Dicken, they opened Union Square in May 2018. Featuring modern NZ cuisine with a French influence.

Catherine tasted – Wairarapa Beef, smoked bacon & Pinot noir arancini, crispy kale and Opaki black truffle.

Contact Person: Adam Newell

Phone No: 06 306 8350

Address: Martinborough Hotel, Memorial Square, Martinborough 5711

Email: info@unionsquare.co.nz

Website: http://www.unionsquare.co.nz/

Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, sits near the North Island’s southernmost point on the Cook Strait. A compact city, it encompasses a waterfront promenade, sandy beaches, a working harbour and colourful timber houses on surrounding hills. From Lambton Quay, the iconic red Wellington Cable Car heads to the Wellington Botanic Gardens. Strong winds through the Cook Strait give it the nickname “Windy Wellington” with an average wind speed of over 26 km/h (16 mph), Wellington features a temperate maritime climate

Tourism is a major contributor to the city’s economy, injecting approximately NZ$1.3 billion into the region annually and accounting for 9% of total FTE employment.

Wellington was well placed for trade. In 1839 it was chosen as the first major planned settlement for British immigrants coming to New Zealand. The settlement was named in honour of Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington and victor of the Battle of Waterloo.

As the nation’s capital since 1865, the New Zealand Government and Parliament, Supreme Court and most of the civil service are based in the city. Architectural sights include the Government Building—one of the largest wooden buildings in the world—as well as the iconic Beehive. Despite being much smaller than Auckland, Wellington is also referred to as New Zealand’s cultural capital. The city is home to the National Archives, the National Library, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, numerous theatres, and two universities. Wellington plays host to many artistic and cultural organisations, including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Royal New Zealand Ballet, it is ranked as one of the world’s most liveable cities.


Wellington is one of New Zealand’s chief seaports and serves both domestic and international shipping. The city is served by Wellington International Airport, the third busiest airport in the country.  Wellington’s transport network includes train and bus lines, which reach as far as the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa, and ferries connect the city to the South Island. The Cable Car is a Wellington icon. It runs from Lambton Quay up to Kelburn, where at the top there’s a lookout, the Cable Car Museum, and Space Place at Carter Observatory.

In the Māori language, Wellington has three names. Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara refers to Wellington Harbour and means “the great harbour of Tara”;[9][10] Pōneke is a transliteration of Port Nick, short for Port Nicholson (the city’s central marae, the community supporting it and its kapa haka have the pseudo-tribal name of Ngāti Pōneke);[11] Te Upoko-o-te-Ika-a-Māui, meaning ‘The Head of the Fish of Māui’ (often shortened to Te Upoko-o-te-Ika), a traditional name for the southernmost part of the North Island, deriving from the legend of the fishing up of the island by the demi-god Māui.


Some stats:

  • The average temperature in Wellington is 15-20 degrees,
  • 750+ restaurants and cafes
  • 363 Km of mountain biking and walking tracks
  • 55+ galleries and museums
  • 130+ Kiwis live in Zealandia Nature Reserve
  • 2 Premium wine growing areas – Marlborough and Wairarapa


In wellington we pay a visit to The Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa and Wildlife Sanctuary, Zealandia where we find out the culinary uses of some of the plants.  The people of Wellington love their coffee so Catherine visits Mojo Coffee Bar to find out what make’s New Zealand’s coffee so unique, she learns about Maori foods at Karaka Café and from Maori Chef Rex Morgan at his Boulcott Sreet Bistro, she pays a visit to the NZ Parliament Buildings to meet top Kiwi Chef Shaun Clouston to taste one of his signature dishes + meets fellow Irish man Shane Harmon, CEO of Westpac Stadium in Wellington where Catherine also get’s taught how to perform the haka!


Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa


Te Papa Tongarewa

The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is New Zealand’s National Museum, located in Wellington. Known as Te Papa, or “Our Place”, it opened in 1998 after the merging of the National Museum and the National Art Gallery.

Catherine was given a tour of the Museum from Tour Guide Shaun Pallett –  and her tour consisted of the following areas:

Location 1The Canoe

The Tangata o le Moana exhibition tells the story of the Pacific people in New Zealand.

Hull of the vaka (outrigger canoe) Tauhunu from Manihiki in the northern Cook Islands is one of only three such vaka that survive in museums worldwide.

Location 2Pacific Women Exhibition

Pacific Sisters: Fashion Activists. One of the opening exhibitions in Te Papa’s new spectacular art gallery – Toi Art.  A retrospective of the Auckland artist collective works over the last 26 years in giving voice and visibility to Māori and Pacific peoples in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Location 3The Red Wall Portrait Gallery

The portrait wall is part of Te Papa’s new art gallery Toi Art.  Toi Arts showcases iconic works from the national art collection, alongside new art created especially for the gallery.

Location 4Gallipoli exterior sign and the food area

Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War. The internationally award–wining exhibition created by Te Papa with Weta Workshop (the special effects and design masterminds behind The Lord of the Rings trilogy amongst other movie blockbusters) The eight-month Gallipoli campaign is told through the eyes and words of eight ordinary New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Each is captured frozen in a moment of time on a monumental scale – 2.4 times human size

Location 5Lobby area (round window and red maori carving)

The level 2 foyer of the museum which also displays the Waharoa / Māori gateway carved from a huge slab of tōtara wood.


Contact Person: Andrea Tandy

Address: 55 Cable St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

Email: andrea.Tandy@tepapa.govt.nz

Website: http://www.tepapa.govt.nz/

Opening Hours: Open every day 10am–6pm (except Christmas Day)

Address: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 55 Cable Street, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand

Phone: +64 (04) 381 7000


Zealandia (Wildlife Sanctuary)

ZEALANDIA is the world’s first fully fenced urban eco sanctuary, with an extraordinary 500-year vision to restore a Wellington valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-human state. ZEALANDIA is the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary, with an extraordinary 500-year vision to restore a Wellington valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-human state. The 225 hectare ecosanctuary is a groundbreaking conservation project that has reintroduced 18 species of native wildlife back into the area, 6 of which were previously absent from mainland New Zealand for over 100 years.

Prior to the arrival of humans, Aotearoa (New Zealand) was isolated and unique. Without any mammalian predators an ecosystem of remarkable flora and fauna had evolved – the likes of which could be found nowhere else in the world. Sadly, over the last 700 years, that paradise was almost destroyed by humans and the mammals they introduced with them.

Introduced predators decimated New Zealand’s native and endemic species, who had evolved without needing defence from mammals for millions of years. Since human arrival, at least 51 bird species, three frog species, three lizard species, one freshwater fish species, one bat species, four plant species, and a number of invertebrate species have become extinct.

ZEALANDIA has a vision to restore this valley to the way it was before the arrival of humans. With its 8.6km fence keeping out introduced mammallian predators, birds such as the tūī, kākā and kererū, once extremely rare in the region, are all now common sights around central Wellington. Other vulnerable native species such as tīeke, hihi, little spotted kiwi, and tuatara remain thriving safely in the sanctuary.

New Zealand’s flora and fauna differs from every other large land-mass on earth due to its long isolation and uniqueness as a (near) mammal-free environment. The isolated species living here were affected dramatically around 800 years ago, when humans from Polynesia settled in New Zealand. Not long afterwards the first Europeans arrived and both, with the help of introduced pests, began to deplete species around them and clear vast tracts of land. They brought with them a multitude of mammalian pests. Still chewing the life out of our New Zealand bush, these pests are bringing about a grim ending to an almost inconceivably long history of unique and beautiful life.

This trend continued into the early 1990’s, when Wellington was in a biologically poor state with native flora and fauna in danger of local extinction and very little happening on the ground other than small-scale planting schemes. Drastic measures needed to be taken to ensure the survival of our species.