Can you imagine sampling some of the best organic Nordic dishes in historic botanical gardens against a background of orchards, flowers, vintage greenhouses and fruit tree fields? That’s the perfect description of this favourite recommendation from Green Kitchen Stories for Stockholm!

Rosendals Tradgard are public gardens created to bring organic, biodynamic horticulture closer to the people of the city in a fun way, and they have lots of ideas to get people involved. They are located in Djurgarden Ostermalm, one of the many islands in the Swedish capital. In fact, it’s one of the greenest, most peaceful and prettiest in the city. It’s only a short trip away by bike from the centre of the city.

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Star product: garden salad
Suitable for: vegans, vegetarians, celiacs
Average Price: 20 €
Contact: Rosendalsterrassen 12, 115 21 Stockholm, Suecia
Tel.: (+46) 8 545 812 70
Open from February to December.

The origins of the garden go back to the 18th century, when the Swedish royal family decided to convert the fields in the area into botanical gardens to grow and preserve the maximum number of species possible. It expanded year after year and a large wooden villa was built there. In 1861 the Swedish Horticultural Society was put in charge of the gardens and it trained some 700 gardeners for over 50 years, growing plants, vegetables and flowers. What’s more, it did so for free so that everyone could discover horticulture. More than 1,000 different plant varieties were cultivated. After several highs and lows, the gardens became more prominent after the 60s, and now it’s an independent, self-managed foundation which is still up and running thanks to a lot of diversification.

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At the moment the gardens contain fruit tree orchards with hundred of trees –especially apple trees; some more than 150 years old–, the wine garden with all kinds of native vines, the rose garden with more than 100 ancestral varieties, and the gardens and greenhouses full of different fruits and aromatic plants. Everything is open to the public. The commercial side of things is dealt with the gardening shop with all kinds of plants, flowers and things for the garden; the fruit and veg shop with fresh produce from the gardens; the bakery, where its famous breads and pastries with biodynamic flours are baked in wood-burning ovens; Finally, there is a café-restaurant.

The latter offers a menu that changes every day according to the produce from the gardens and the chef’s inspiration. There are always vegetarian options and others that contain animal protein. They also have a good selection of wines, juices and local beers; you’ll definitely be tempted! However, if you just want to have a small bite to eat, they have a wide, very attractive selection of open sandwiches, small rolls, pastries and cakes. Everything is homemade and cooked in their stone and wood-burning oven. It’s a canteen-style affair and you can even go to one of the pretty vintage greenhouses to eat, or one of the many tables around the gardens.

We were hungry after getting lost in the infinite nooks and crannies of the gardens. We had a spectacular lunch there: we started off with the salad with salmon, the new potato salad with goat’s cheese and tea with a slice of blueberry cake. We also had some delicious homemade bread and apple juice made from fruit in the gardens. The dishes are simple, but the produce is of exceptional quality and it’s all very fresh; you can definitely tell the difference. The special surroundings just make the experience so much more memorable.

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But that’s not everything; just as the locals do, you could also go for a picnic in one of the pretty fruit tree orchards or go to one of the many courses, talks or concerts that are often held here.

The gardens are open year round, except January. In summer they are open every day from 11 in the morning to 5 in the evening, and you can go there to eat whenever you want.

If you would like to spend a day in a Nordic fairy-tale setting, surrounded by nature, eating freshly-harvested native produce, you need to go to Rosendals Tradgard for a relaxed, unrushed trip.

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Pau Sabater y Clara Balmaña
Pau Sabater y Clara Balmaña