Ulriksdals Wärdshus – Solna, Svealand, Sweden

The Local Speciality as Art

Famous throughout the country for its unrivaled smörgåsbord, Sweden’s great culinary art form, there could be no lovelier setting than this country inn within its own royal park, built in 1868 upon request of the Swedish Crown.

Most other restaurants serve smörgåsbords only during summer months and again at Christmas (when it’s called a Yule Table or Julbord), but guests come to Ulriksdals Wärdshus at all times of the year (the present-day king and queen have been known to appear) to tuck into the groaning table of more than seventy-five different offerings.

According to unofficial smörgåsbord etiquette, one visits the food-laden table five times, the first for her­ring (there are twenty variations), the last for desserts. In between are a panoply of Nordic specialties such as smoked eel, sweet Baltic shrimp, reindeer, those famous Swedish meatballs, pork chops with the ubiquitous lingonberry sauce, and the much-loved national specialty, Jansson Temptation – a delectable quiche of anchovies, potatoes, onions, and heavy cream – that no self-respecting smörgås­bord or Swede goes without.

The typical drink to accompany such indulgence is Swedish aquavit with a beer chaser or schnapps. But the inn also has one of the finest wine cellars in the country, and all except the most expensive are available by the glass. If you’re still lucid at sunset (which is not until 9 P.M. in July), the country’s blue and yellow flag is ceremonially lowered out on the lawn, and everyone stands to sing the national anthem, one of the inn’s more delightful traditions.

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