Sunday Tea in Umeå – Stora Hotellet

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Linn and I finally made it to Sunday tea at Umeå’s Stora Hotellet. This hotel is definitely something to check out even if you’re not lucky enough to stay there. They recently remodeled and have this great nautical theme going on with squids abound. They even had their own floor tiles designed with squids on them.

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They have a fancy restaurant (I have not yet tried) but they also have a cafe where they serve tea on Sundays. It’s located in a corner of the indoor (but outdoor feeling with a glass ceiling) square attached to the library. I do so love feeling like I’m outside without actually having to be outside. To make a long complaint short, the wind and I do not get along.

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You’re  given the choice between tea or tea and champagne. We went tea and vegetarian with our sandwiches.

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I heard that they had their own china printed. It was all very pretty.

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And they had two home made marmalades. One was orange and one was blueberry. If you visit Sweden, you’ll find a great abundance of blueberry going around. If it’s blue, it’s likely blueberry in flavor.

We started with the scones. Two different kinds, both yummy.

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Then we moved on to the sandwiches. I think we started with the artichoke, then the white asparagus and then the cheese. We decided to do the cheese one last because, well, cheese is pretty much always good.

 

The only downside to this entire visit was that we didn’t get out own pot of tea. The waitresses were really good about coming around to refill cups but I don’t think they were at all prepared for the amount of tea Linn can drink in one sitting. She was pretty much flagging them down between each bite until the waitresses would just smile and come over to check her cup.

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Desserts! The best part of anything. We had quite a conversation in deciding where to start and end with these. If I remember correctly we did the mini croissant first, because sometimes those can be terribly dry and we wanted to end with the best. And then we went for the chocolate macaroon because, despite their popularity, they just aren’t that good. Yes, I did just say that. This one wasn’t bad, it just, like all macaroons, was not amazing.

The mini cinnamon bun was third. I thought it was pretty classic to have a cinnamon bun in some form on the plate since this is Sweden after all. And that beautiful little lemon custard bit on the crunchy wafer was last. It was pretty great.

tea20150517_131248This was a really great experience and I would definitely take people here in the future or suggest it to anyone visiting Umeå. It wasn’t very pricey at all, but it is a Sunday thing so check the times if you’re going.

You got to choose between black, green or red tea and we switched somewhere in the middle from black to green I think.

Great experience and super cozy location on a calm Sunday.

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New Umeå Library

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When we were visiting family in Umeå for Christmas Linn showed me around the new library and I’m more than a little jealous.

library2It’s a whole new building by the river in the center of town and it has an entrance in this courtyard where a cafe, restaurant, and delicacy food store share a space with a high glass ceiling, giving it an outdoor feeling without actually being outdoors. What I thought was really neat about this is that you could, literally, wander into this library. It also had an escalator that goes straight up to the second floor where the kids section is, which I thought was pretty well thought out since I’ve seen more than a few toddlers enamored with escalators.

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The walls are all these great windows and there’s even an outdoor patio area on the second floor that had a great view of the river and I imagine might be a great spot in the summer.

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Book returns are entirely automatic, as they have been for a while, but what’s neat is that you get to watch them go down the conveyor belt and, depending on what floor they belong on, onto the elevators.

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And the kids area has a whole room of enlarged pages from a Mumin book where you can put your face in the holes! It was not easy to get a picture of this without a bunch of kids in it.

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Linn also showed me where they put all of the old books in these great glass cases in these electronic shelves that slide sideways to open up and save space.

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Not only are there the usual private study rooms, but there’s a movie theater! And a few art galleries tucked between the book sections, study areas, and computers. This whole place seemed really well planned and I wish I could spend chunks of my every day there!

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And there was a whole section for craft books and diy books with a few large tables and bowls of yarn! I admit that I was skeptical when they said they were going to build a new building and move the library, but I love it! One day, when we move back to Umeå, I might live in this place.

 

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Nya Konditoriet – Umeå- Best Cocoa!

NKdownstairsNya Konditoriet was the first cafe Phong took me to when I came to visit Umeå in 2008. They have since remodeled the bottom floor but the cakes have always been this pretty. The bottom floor is a bakery, now with some seating areas too, but the cafe is upstairs. There is no elevator.

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The cake below was a marshmallow and raspberry mousse creation and the one on the right was chocolate.

nk2Upstairs is another case of pastries and sandwhiches. It’s one of my favorite cafes and right in the middle of town but it is often crowded and when I say crowded, I mean it. All the times I’ve been there when it’s full, I get this feeling like I need to hurry. Whereas I tend to sit long at other cafes and chat.

As mentioned, NK has my favorite hot cocoa in town.

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Mat och Prat – Umeå

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Mat och Prat is a cafe in the galleria Up2. They are not a bakery but they do serve hot lunch dishes and some very sugary coffees. It’s a nice cafe with great windows overlooking the main street in centrum.

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As you can see, I don’t seem to go to cafes for lunch. MatOPrat

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They have iced coffees as well as hot ones and usually come up with the more interesting ones. I heard that they had a gingerbread latte over christmas but we never managed to get there while I was in town.

As with other cafes inside of malls, they don’t have their own bathrooms and, in case you’re not from Sweden, the bathrooms will cost money to use. A good reason to keep some change on you at all times.

 

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Kafe Station – Umeå – Best Carrot Cake

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Kafe Station is a cafe down by the movie theatre. It is surprisingly large. It kind of just keeps going, so if you’re looking for a table, keep walking and you might find one.

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They have my favorite carrot cake in town. Be warned, the pieces are huge!

They also have a very clever set up in summer where you can take your coffee and treats in a basket with a blanket outside to sit in the park across the street.

This is a very popular family cafe in town and can get pretty loud.

Oh! And they have an icecream bar too. I’ve never tried it but I’ve been tempted on occassion. Unfortunately, icecream never wins over cookies and cake as far as I’m concerned.

You might have noticed by now that I also have a thing for lattes. They always have flavoring or sugar. I drink coffee as a dessert. I also love cocoa and will say that Kafe Station has a pretty good one.

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