Julbord at Fjäderholmarnas Krog

by on 29/10/18 at 3:00 pm

Christmas is around the corner and one of the biggest Swedish Christmas traditions is eating “julbord” during the weeks leading up to the main holiday. Julbord is basically the famed Swedish smörgåsbord, which we usually eat on Midsummer and Easter, with some traditional Christmas dishes added. Many restaurants serve julbord in the 4-6 weeks before Christmas. While Swedes love julbord, we are pretty tired of it by the time December 24th rolls around after all the office parties, family dinners and nights out with friends during this time. If you are visiting this time of the year, this is a great way to try just about every traditional Swedish dish in one fell swoop… plus experience a Swedish holiday tradition.

Snowy path to the restaurant

There are good julbords and others that are best avoided, so it is important to choose correctly. One of the best places to eat julbord is Fjäderholmarnas Krog, both for the high quality of food and the wonderful atmosphere, and I try to make a visit every December. The restaurant, located on an island in Stockholm harbor, is one of my favorite summer restaurants and I recently wrote a blog article about my last visit. It is this island location which really adds to the wonderful atmosphere… especially if it is snowing. The pictures in this article are from my visit there last year.

Herring and salmon dishes

Eating julbord correctly is a fine art! There is a lot of food and you don’t want to fill up too quickly. Proper etiquette says that you should make 7 trips up to the julbord to get food. After a glass of glögg (spiced hot wine), which is usually served when you arrive, you go up to get your pickled herring with sides. Then you go for your salmon and other fish: smoked, cooked and cured. Cold meats, like Christmas ham, sausages and patés, make up the third round and then it is on to the warm dishes… Swedish meatballs, prince sausages, “Jansson’s temptation”, venison, cabbage, omeletes and more.

First plate/trip!

Finally you have the last three servings… cheeses, dessert and coffee & candy. To be honest, I usually have a little trouble walking comfortably at this point and tend to combine all three of these servings in one. As I said, a lot of food! I didn’t even mention all the sides, suaces, potatoes, eggs and salads. “Professor of Gastronomy”, Gert Klötzke, is the chef behind Fjäderholmarnas Krog’s julbord and he really raises the bar. One thing that I especially like with their version is that much of the warm dishes are laid out on small plates so it doesn’t get messy as other ones.

Coldcuts and sausages

The reason I am writing about this in the end of October? Well… the first day is November 22nd (last day is December 21st) and it is very popular and a good idea to book in advance! They offer three seatings: 12pm, 4pm and 8pm and you can book your table on their website or, if you are staying at the Hotel Rival, contact me directly for help. To get there from the hotel, you need to take 25 minute ferry from Strandvägen in the downtown area. Boats depart 30 minutes ahead of each seating (11:30am, 3:30pm and 7:30pm) and you have a choice of returning around 2 or 3 hours after your seating time. More information.

Christmas candies to end with
Boat dock at Strandvägen