April 11, 2014 6:42 pm

Five of the best: Stockholm bars

From caraway akvavit to an oyster-garnished Rockefeller, the bar scene in the Swedish capital has diverse offerings
©Niklas Alexandersson

Riche

Gold Bar

The interior of Gold Bar is like a hollow in a giant pyrite crystal, an effect created by the unusual angles of the shimmering gold ceiling and the backlit solid amber bar. Place yourself in the capable hands of Robert Radovic and his team, and order a Dubonnet cocktail, Picon punch or Queens Park Swizzle. Drink in the bar or head through to the atrium lounge with its 28m ceiling and chandelier. The term “Stockholm Syndrome” took its name from the bank heist that occurred here in 1973.

Nobis Hotel, Norrmalmstorg 2-4, SE-111 86 Stockholm, +46 8 614 10 00, nobishotel.se

Metropol Palais

Metropol’s upstairs bar has been open less than two months but has the feel of a room sealed away in the roaring ’20s. Black lace, antique lamps and deep sofas are set around the centrepiece bar. Once a balcony/projection area for a theatre, all its original details remain intact. The cocktail list is extensive, French-themed and exquisite. Start with its French 75, Blonde Française or Bijou.

Sveavagen 77, 113 50 Stockholm, +46 10 442 78 60, metropolpalais.se

Riche

Open since 1893, Riche’s restaurant was renovated in 1930 and still attracts crowds of Stockholmers for lunch, dinner and drinks. The last can be had in the main bar or in the new Teaterbaren – cleverly set in the old coatcheck. Also adjoined is Lilla Baren, a young, edgy black-and-white bar with DJs. Despite the expert bartenders, we never made it past the delicious house caraway akvavit, served in ice-filled tumblers.

Birger Jarlsgatan 4, 114 34 Stockholm, +46 8 545 035 60, riche.se

The Grand Hotel

The floor-to-ceiling glass wall lends an exhibitionist feel to this hotel’s modern front lounge. A block-long row of oversized coffee tables, deep chairs and sofas draw in a mix of hotel guests, businesspeople and celebrities. The inner bar, with its dark wood, polished brass and soaring ceiling, provides a striking contrast. Excellent Bloody Marys and dirty martinis.

Södra Blasieholmshamnen 8, 111 48 Stockholm, + 46 8 679 35 85, grandhotel.se

Gondolen

Protruding from the top of an office building next to the harbour, this bar looks like someone bolted a few shipping containers end to end. Inside, despite the Art Deco design, herringbone hardwood floors and cosy window tables, the breathtaking views distract from all else. Try the Rockefeller, a classic martini cocktail garnished with a freshly shucked oyster. Head to the rooftop bar for the full alfresco, weather permitting.

Stadsgarden 6, 104 65 Stockholm, +46 8 641 70 90, eriks.se

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