I’m not a big fan of bars unless they are really nice. I get humoured on this, so the one bar we found ourselves visiting in Stockholm was at The Grand Hotel. We’ve been talking about going there for days, but in the end it was a chance encounter in the street that got us there:
‘Excuse me’ said a nice young blonde chap as we were walking past him. ‘You live in Geneva, right?’
‘Yes’ we said uncertain where this was leading.
‘And you go to Les Bergues, don’t you?’.
Indeed we do. Part of my being humoured. A cocktail costs about $35-$40 in Les Bergues, the bar of The Four Seasons and our local. I’d so much rather go to this lovely place and have one drink than go to one of the gadzillion places around where you can buy 2 or 3 drinks for the same price whilst standing up and shouting at each other over bad music. Or even sit and shout at each other. I’d rather stay home and have nothing. Shouting is something you do after you fall overboard and need saving. The idea that it is part of having a good time is incomprehensible to me.
It transpired that this young man – I recognised him by now – had worked at Les Bergues. Clearly he had one of those excellent memories that famously go with the best staff as he hadn’t been there for 18 months, but could spot us on the street in a strange city. Maybe also clearly, we spend too much time in the bar there 🙂 Not that we drink cocktails except as a real treat, but we do frequently go down for a pot of tea, books in hand.
Back to the story. He was Swedish and had decided to go back home where he worked at the bar at The Grand. Of course, hearing this prompted us to get there.
So, how does it stack up against our benchmark standard of Les Bergues? Nice view of the water from the room which is next to the window and from some parts of the main room. Larger. I imagine if it were crowded I’d want to be somewhere else. Les Bergues can’t get crowded. It is small with reasonably spaced tables. Cheaper. We got a cocktail and tea for the same money as a cocktail at Les Bergues and the cocktail we both went for was very nice, featuring rhubarb. Unfortunately they don’t have an online cocktail menu and the details escape me. The nibbles were inferior, but they have a nice bar menu with usual enormous Swedish helpings. We ordered nothing much, just olives as we were coming back the next day to try the smorgasbord lunch and were consequently on a diet. You can see why it’s handy coming to Stockholm from Geneva, there’s none of that ‘OMG it’s so expensive’! Our bill came to the equivalent of 75CHF and we thought we’d shopped well.