With 21st-century functionality and old-world elegance, the Swedish capital makes business a pleasure

Words: Damien Gabet 

International destination focus Stockholm - rutabaga

EAT

Stockholm won’t snatch Copenhagen’s crown for cutting-edge-cuisine anytime soon (the Danish capital has six more Michelin stars), but Nordic cuisine continues to evolve here. Michelin-level food in Sweden is relatively affordable compared to Paris, London or Copenhagen – at Mathias Dahlgren's airy, informal Matbaren brasserie on the waterfront, you can pick up a starred lunch for £24. Though Dahlgren’s new haute vegetarian restaurant next door, Rutabaga, boasts the most impressive tables in town right now, with private dining in the wine cellar for 10.

Tak, meanwhile, unites the talents of an acclaimed chef, an award-winning bartender, a Norwegian hotelier and a sake sommelier in a split-level hotspot with the city’s largest outdoor terrace. Culinary director Frida Ronge is renowned for melding Swedish ingredients with Japanese influences, so make a detour to the Raw Bar for shucked oysters and sashimi before hitting the restaurant upstairs.

International destination focus Stockholm - ABBA The Museum

MEET

Stockholm Globe Arenas are the top-dogs for conventions across Sweden, and their most iconic structure is the Ericsson Globe. It’s the largest hemispherical building in the world and will host up to 16,000 people for conventions and expos. Squeeze in a culture fix before getting down to business at the Moderna Museet on the central island of Skeppsholmen. It accommodates groups in a range of spaces including a 90-seater cinema, a 300-seater auditorium, or a paint-spattered ‘creative’ meeting room for 25 people.

Alternatively, you could take the formality down a notch by hosting an event at the ABBA Museum Hall of Fame where there’s space for 80 guests. For a more intimate event, the historic salon at China Teatern remains Stockholm’s most attractive theatre, or you could host a bash beneath a 17th-century ship at the Vasa Museum.

International destination focus Stockholm - berns hotel

STAY

Berns Hotel – a regular haunt for Stockholm’s high society since 1863 – is a chandelier-draped grand dame with a legendary bar, restaurant and concert hall. A favourite of the finance crowd, Berns manages to be both cosy and grandiose, and is well located on the corner of Berzeli Park, moments from the harbour. By comparison, Miss Clara is the stylish, young millennial favoured by techies and forward-thinking start-ups. This sleek 92-room Nobis hotel is housed in the former Ateneum Girls School, and the original art nouveau decor has been paired with herringbone parquet flooring, swirly bentwood bedheads and arched windows overlooking Sveavägen boulevard.

All of the buzz this year however, has been about Hotel At Six. It’s an unapologetically business-first hotel that’s breathed new life into a brutalist block, with 343 carefully-designed guest rooms. This includes 41 suites, the jewel of which is The Masterpiece Suite, which covers 85sq m and comes with its own private rooftop terrace.

International destination focus Stockholm - hornstulls market

PLAY

Stockholm’s 14 connected islands combine fairytale good-looks with the modern functionality of a Scandi metropolis. Your group can make the most of all this by taking to the streets with Stockholm Vespa Tours, a GPS-led jaunt around town on a bright yellow scooter. Groups can casually wind their way through the cobblestoned old town of Gamla Stan, or perhaps the hip Södermalm district to chase cult food trucks like Vietnamese BunBun Truck.

During the summer some 20-odd streetfood vendors gather at Hornstulls Market on the river. In winter you can track down the best of them by visiting stockholmfoodtrucks.nu. But you haven’t been to Stockholm until you’ve taken to the water. Get a break from the city by taking the Waxholmsbolaget ferry out to the idyllic harbour town of Vaxholm for a group lunch at the Hotel Waxholm.

HELPING HAND

Norwegian Airlines fly a daily year-round direct service between London Gatwick and Stockholm. Fares start from £39.90 one way. Flights are operated by a fleet of brand new Boeing 737-800 aircraft offering passengers free wi-fi connectivity. Book online or call 0330 8280854 (option one). Visit Stockholm offers advice and venue-finding tools for event planners.


Photos: Åke E son Lindman for ABBA The Museum