I’ve always fancied a Swedish summer… I love the idea of lazy, long days spent lakeside with meatballs, salmon tartar and copious amounts of lingonberries eaten outside in the midnight sun. But in lieu of the archipelego, I decided to bring a Scandi tradition to my tiny London deck and hold my own Midsommar party at home.
Midsommar celebrates the longest day of the year, with wreath-making and white dresses being something of a tradition for those in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. I needed an excuse to re-do our outside space after a winter of hibernation and so invited a few friends from the blogosphere round to drink, eat and make in honour of the longest day. I kitted my garden (optimistic word for our space but hey) out with a new chair and table set and quilted throws from Swoon Editions (well worth checking out if you need some new furniture at really reasonably prices), cushions from H&M and of course some much-needed greenery from Clifton Nurseries.
I did my best Nigella and dished up chips and dip (and strawberries and salted chocolate brownies but forgot to take a picture), made jugs of mint and cucumber Cointreau Fizz for everyone and prayed for sun. The lovely ladies at florist Grace & Thorn came along to teach us how to make the flower head garlands, which turns out are much harder to make than I thought. I was transported back to art lessons at school where what was in my head never quite ended up being realised on paper, but thankfully this particular craft project was grade-free… We squeezed into my tiny backyard, wired flowers round our heads and I refilled the cocktail jugs more times than I can remember. You’ll probably already know the girls I had round but if not, we’ve got Alex, Anneli, Anna and Monica, all of whom I hadn’t seen in ages thanks to different schedules and lots of travelling.
Once finished, we decided to stretch our legs and took ourselves to Lisa’s (the best Swedish restaurant on Portobello Road) for a fish supper and pink wine. It might be downhill from here in terms of the days getting shorter but I’ve vowed to give my little bit of outside more TLC in the future… The best things come in small packages after all.