My friend Anna and I went to Marylebone yesterday (where the Swedish community is) and visited the Swedish Church in London‘s Christmas fair. The place was packed with people so it was impossible to take any photos, but I can tell you about it at least. 🙂
The fair was on the ground floor of the church and they had lots of Christmassy things for sale; Swedish candles, old-fashioned Christmas tree decorations, white moss (to decorate your Advent candles with), Christmas tree lights and of course groceries. There was plenty of sweets, both the famous cars (they have them at IKEA), Marabou chocolate and other things. The bread stall was the most popular one, with proper dark rye breads (I heard a few girls getting excited about it), soft flatbread and of course lots and lots of gingerbread.
Another food stall sold all the things that are difficult or impossible to find in English supermarkets, like Swedish syrup, Heinz chilli sauce, fresh yeast, pickled herring, swedish crisps and plenty of other things.
The things I just had to buy were: Dumle toffee that are incredible in rocky road together with chocolate, cashews, pistachios and marshmallows. Fresh yeast, which is a lot quicker and nicer than dried. Soft flatbread that I love, especially with some prawn cheese spread (weird I know, everyone in the office have told me that), Swedish syrup so my gingerbread can taste like my mother’s, anchovies for Jansson’s temptation (a common Swedish Christmas dish with potatoes and anchovies) and a tin of gingerbread for work.
After some food shopping we were ready to try out the caffée. It is the actual church room they have made into a caffé and you sit at communal tables with long benches. They had a good selection of sandwiches (Christmas ham with mustard; prawns and egg; meatballs with beetroot salad; smoked salmon) as well as sweet cakes and cookie. They had the typical princess cake with green marzipan, daim cake, saffron buns, cinnamon buns and lots of cookies and shortbread. We had a sandwich each and a niiice homemade cinnamon bun. Lovely!
You could also buy glögg (Swedish version of mulled wine served with almonds and raisins in the glass) and proper Swedish hotdogs. The whole place seems surreal since everyone around you are Swedish and speak Swedish in the middle of London. It is just weird hearing someone say ‘£4.50’ in Swedish… 😉
The only downside with this celebration is that everything is fairly expensive. But it is worth it. I carry over lots of food every time I visit Sweden and you just can’t carry everything you want to bring back. So it is great to be able to buy groceries here or in the Swedish food shops even if it is a bit more expensive.