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Stockholm Calling!

After a very sleepy flight from NYC to Stockholm via Oslo, I landed to realize that I had forgotten my glasses and only had a few pairs of contacts which needed to be saved.  Without glasses or contacts I’m as blind as a bat, so my journey from Arlanda airport to Stockholm’s central station involved a lot of squinting and feeling my way round!  I arrived in Stockholm at about 11am and thankfully I was staying in the Radisson hotel just around the corner from the central station so it wasn’t to hard to find!  I was greeted by Michael from Tourism Ireland who had been planning the St. Patricks day event for months, and despite giving him heart failure when I told him there was a possibility we might not make it because of the Today Show, he was glad to see me!

Despite having very little sleep for some strange reason I was full of energy so I got suited and booted and ready for event.  There was a few different aspects to the evening, an awards ceremony for all the journalists who had written about Ireland over the year, live music, and of course the greening of the Hotorget buildings.

Though of course my favorite part of the night was a tasting of some wonderful Irish produce.  I had the lucky job of introducing the food and speaking a little about Irish food in general.  Compared to Sweden where there is quite a strong supermarket culture, I thought it was interesting to note that we have such easy access to fantastic meat and fish and so many passionate artisan food producers.  Though I think I was preaching to the converted, as I chatted to some of people in the room, it was amazing to hear the love they have for our country.  Those who had visited already were planning to come back and those who hadn’t were already planning their trip!

There was a wonderful showcase of Irish produce on offer with air dried lamb (I hadn’t tried this before, so tasty and quite unique in flavour and texture), my personal favorite Burren Smoked Salmon, Connemara Hill lamb, Glebe brethen cheese, and Sheridans Irish crackers, to name just a few!  It really was a great night and a superb celebration of being Irish!