When I’m tipped off that Tiger Of Sweden is opening a store on Ossington Avenue, Toronto’s hipster enclave, it’s the last straw. Forget the Parisians, the Russians, the Japanese. There is no style tribe I want to emulate more than the Swedes. So away I go.
After a nine-hour flight, I check in at the contemporary but luxurious Nobis Hotel. Acne‘s flagship is only a few blocks away—boasting a denim bar along with a gaggle of über-stylish salespeople. But let’s be real, everyone in Stockholm is stylish. At Riche, a resto-bar that is the epitome of Swedish cool, a Danish designer in residence tells me the Swedish aesthetic “smacks you in the face every day.” I quickly realize what she means. The Swedes are equal parts stripped down and excessive, much like designer Carin Rodebjer‘s sweet, sophisticated eponymous collection and the luxe-serene flagship of fragrance label Byredo.
While Ikea is undoubtedly Sweden’s biggest design export, I’m now longing for a Svenskt Tenn outpost. The high-end interiors store is filled to the brim with whimsical prints and designer tchotckes.
Famished, I head to the warm and warmly lit Saluhallen food hall for a smorgasbord of Swedish meat and cheese. Across the square is the newly opened Dayspa. Here, rather than pay per service, one pays by time. A pedicure and hour-long massage cost about $120. (Enterprising types: Canada needs one of these!)
At night, eating out and going out blur into one. Nosh and Chow offers a worldly menu, but I stick to local fare: venison and braised cabbage, plus a side of premium people-watching. I spy BLK DNM designer Johan Lindeberg and actress Alicia Vikander. Then it’s off to Riche again, this time for meatballs and espressotinis.