Golf Asia - - ESCAPE SWEDEN -

Break­fast in Style

Opened in 1874, Stock­holm's Grand Hô­tel has a long and fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory, and for decades has been ev­ery­body's favourite place to spend the night, from No­bel Prize win­ners to movie stars. Even if you don't have a room booked, en­joy­ing a leisurely ‘Break­fast at the Grand', some­thing that is dear to the hearts of both dis­cern­ing Stock­holmers and vis­i­tors alike. In­side the el­e­gant and stylish Grand Ve­randa, the break­fast buf­fet bulges with an as­sort­ment of mouth-wa­ter­ing foods; or­ganic cheeses, fresh juices, ex­otic fruits, grain-topped rolls, breads and smoked salmon. www. grand­ho­

Cruise the Ar­chi­pel­ago

Stock­holm it­self is built on 14 is­lands, at the point where the fresh­wa­ter Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea. The ferry ter­mi­nal in front of Stock­holm's Grand Hô­tel is a launch pad for boat trips to a gal­axy of is­lands, 24,000 of them scat­tered across the wa­ter for 70kms in the di­rec­tion of Fin­land. www. wax­holms­bo­

Visit the Vasa Mu­seum

The Royal War­ship Vasa lay at the bot­tom of the sea for well over 300 years af­ter it sank on its maiden voy­age in 1628. It was fi­nally dis­cov­ered and sal­vaged in the 1960's with vir­tu­ally all its trea­sures in­tact, in­clud­ing sailor's pants, car­pen­ter's tools, and nearly a thou­sand orig­i­nal wooden sculp­tures. Af­ter a care­ful restora­tion process, the ship, now the old­est iden­ti­fied and com­plete ship in the world is the crown­ing glory of the Vasa Mu­seum. Along with sev­eral ex­hi­bi­tions, there's a fas­ci­nat­ing film of the restora­tion and a guided tour avail­able.

Ex­plore the Old Town

Me­dieval Gamla Stan (the Old Town) is the old­est part of Stock­holm and a trea­sure-trove of Swedish ar­chi­tec­tural art from the 17th cen­tury. Take time to wan­der the net­work of pic­turesque streets, nar­row lanes, among squares, his­toric build­ings and churches. The area has Stock­holm's big­gest ranges of restau­rants, bars, tourist shops, stu­dios and mu­se­ums.

Cock­tails With A View

One of the best bars in Stock­holm, Gon­dolen has a set­ting that stuns even the most jaded of lo­cals. Sit­u­ated some 33-me­tres above street level in the cen­tre of the land­mark lift struc­ture at Slussen, this glass-walled bar has un­par­al­leled views of the Old Town and Lake Mälaren. With over 150 cock­tails on of­fer, Gon­dolen is a great place to meet, see and be seen.

Tra­di­tional Swedish Cook­ing

The his­toric and at­mo­spheric Den Gyldene Fre­den (The Golden Peace), is a top-end restau­rant right in the heart of Gamla Stan that has been open con­tin­u­ously since 1722. A se­lec­tion of imag­i­na­tive modern dishes is blended with tra­di­tional Swedish cook­ing (hus­man­skost), in­clud­ing such clas­sics as husets sill (as­sorted her­ring of the house) and viltköt­bu­lar med gräddsås och lin­gon (meat­balls of game with cream sauce and lin­gon). www.gyldene­fre­

Ice Cool Drink­ing

For one of the coolest places in town head for the Ice Bar in the lobby of the Nordic C Ho­tel. Dressed in the pro­vided cloth­ing of boots, mit­tens and a warm sil­ver fur-lined pon­cho you feel like an ex­tra in a Star Wars movie en­ter­ing a frozen world of -5 de­grees Cel­sius. The en­tire in­te­rior is con­structed of ice from the frozen waters of the Torne River in La­p­land: walls, bar counter, ta­bles, works of art and even the glasses that the vod­kas are served in are made of ice. www.hotelc­stock­

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