Swedish Summer Dreams…

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I feel like I'm playing serious catch up after an incredibly busy few months, lots of photos to edit and unfortunately blogging always seems to get pushed down the list of things to do.  When I arrived in Italy a few weeks ago my brain was still whirling with things I had yet to do, but despite 18 busy days filming, my mind has adjusted to the slower Italian lifestyle.  Which in turn has given me a chance to get on top of all the photos I took this summer. 

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Our Swedish summer holiday seems like a distant memory now but in mid July myself and Sofie took a mini break in Sweden to visit her folks and soak up the Scandinavian summer. 

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When I first arrived in Sweden almost 8 years ago in the dark depths of a cold Swedish winter, people told me I had to come back and visit in the summer as the countryside was at its most beautiful.  They were right, the woods fill with blueberries, mushrooms, fields become lush and green and the lakes and sea become a haven for swimmers to cool off on long bright evenings. 

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When we visit, we stay just outside Göteborg on the west coast of Sweden.  Sofie shovels as many family members and friends into the short time we visit as she can, so as a result our visits are always busy.  Despite this we always manage to squeeze in visits to some our favourite places, Gunnebo Tradgard Cafe, a great lunchtime stop set in the grounds of an organic fruit, vegetable and herb garden and of course the sweet and picturesque island of Mastrand. 

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This time in preparation for the two cookbooks we were planning to shoot, we were on the hunt for vintage kitchenalia, plates and fabrics for food photography and by the end of the week our bags were literally teeming with over 55kg of loppis (flea market) finds! 

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Strawberry and Elderflower Cake_3In between the loppis hunts we had two birthday parties, many BBQ's and spent a whole lot of time doing my favourite summer past time, swimming in the lakes and sea.  It's true that the Swedes do summer well, and with dark and cold months ever looming, they savour the best of it with celebrations like Midsummer and the famous Crayfish parties which run late into the bright nights. 

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The highlight for me was a midnight, moonlit dip after a day spent out at sea- truly magical. As the light slips away from a beautiful summer those are the memories I have stored for the darkest days of Winter.

Continue to the recipe for Strawberry and Elderflower Cake…

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