Lo and behold! 'tis Midsummer! I am not really quite sure how it happened that the rainiest March, April and probably May too, but I've been too busy keeping dry to check the news, has now led to this most gorgeous of Swedish celebrations. Yes, yes, it's celebrated throughout the world, but we are, after all, TotallySwedish and we claim this holiday as our own. Because nobody does it better.
Let's get the party started! We have been kindly invited attend the celebrations at the Swedish Seaman's Church in Southwark Park, Rotherhithe, on Midsummer's Day, Saturday June 23rd from 3 pm. The festivities start with the raising of the Midsummer- or May Pole, which has been lovingly covered with greenery and flowers, and then there's dancing around it. Yes, around it. Singing songs that are mainly about choosing a mate or having fun. And the one about the frogs. Just go with it. There will be sing along, Swedish party games for kids and adults and a tombola. There will be hotdogs, strawberry cake, coffee and cordials for sale. The party ends at 6pm, so you'll have time to get home, get out of those grass stained clothes and continue the partying on your own until the sun comes up, just like in Ye Olde Country. Dresscode. If this was my house, I'd insist that everybody - at least the children - wear white because we always did, and you need a flower wreath. If making one of those is more than your schedule, dexterity or wallet allows, we have the sweetest ones from poppydaisy for a mere £3.50. A steal, I tell you (who bought them at the Downloads Festival for £5 a pop.)
Bring your hamper filled with goodies, something to sit on, possibly rain gear and your best singing voice and dancing feet and pray to whatever deity seems appropriate that the day will be warm and sunny.
Southwark Park is in Rotherhithe, and we will be close to the Swedish Seaman's Church on 120 Lowr Road, SE16 2UB. Nearest tube is Canada Water and nearest Overground Station is Surrey Quays.
Are you planning to host your own Midsummer celebrations? You need food. We can help. We have the most amazing smoked salmon from Äspets Rökeri in Århus in four lovely flavours: Lemon pepper, lemon pepper and dill, lime and basil and honey/lime and chili, and also sill from the same source. Gorgeous. I dare to say, that we have everything you could possibly need, or the means to help you produce them yourself. Matjsesill tart, for example. Dreamy. Want to make a strawberry cake? Got what you want. Want to make a classic potato salad? Got what you need. Want to treat your gluten intolerant aunt to a really nice dessert? Got Fria. There's also schnaps. Lots of schnaps. This is good.
Now, hopefully Midsummer is by no means the pinnacle of the party season, but the beginning of a long line of glowing pearls of parties with nears and dears. String up your fairy lights (solar cell powered, of course) and set the table with pretty runners and napkins, tea lights and flowers. Serve up the chilled schnaps in gorgeous shot glasses from Färg och Form, sing along with the help of cocktail napkins with drinking songs printed on them, scoff Swedish chocolates and dance until dawn. Worried about taking the wrong glass after you've showed off your moves on the dance floor? There are those handily little dangly things to help you identify your glass... very pretty, and helpful to remember which one was yours. They also look pretty hung in a centrepiece of dog roses and other pretty weeds. Hand out umbrellas and enjoy!
If you are planning on staying in London for the summers, you'll be happy to know we'll be here all summer long. However, The Crawford Street shop will be closed on Sundays from the 1st of July and in Barnes on Sundays and Mondays the same dates.
....May the sun shine warm upon your face...
We wish you a fantastic summer!