It’s fair to say Scandi style is having a moment. Scroll through Pinterest and you’ll see photos of white walls and minimalist decor, Scandi noir crime dramas have taken the world by storm, and it seem that every week there’s a new survey claiming Scandinavian countries have the happiest people, not to mention the best work/life balance, in the world. The fascination has trickled into all areas of Scandanivan lifestyle, most recently, its cuisine.
Soderberg in Edinburgh’s stylish Quartermile development has carved out a little corner of Sweden in Scotland’s capital. Its floor to ceiling windows, open, airy space and furniture imported from Swedish furniture store Norrgavel in Stockholm, reflect the clean chic Scandi aesthetic.
Established by a partnership between Swedish businessman Peter Ljungquift and famous Swedish baker Jan Hedh, Soderberg joins sisters establishments Peter’s Yard cafe and Soderberg shop, also in the Quartermile, along with a Peter’s Yard cafe in Stockbridge and Soderberg bakery shop in the West End, all of which aim to bring traditional Swedish baking methods and recipes to Edinburgh.
Soderberg in Edinburgh
“Quality bakeries are very much part of Swedish culture,” Clare Stiles, Soderberg’s Business Development Manager, said. “Every town in Sweden has a bakery.”
“All things we make in Soderberg in Edinburgh we make at home,” says Johanna Andersson, Soderberg’s barista, who hails from Gislaved in southern Sweden. “My mum makes all of the things we serve on the menu.”
Soderberg’s menu features pizzas with the Swedish style thin crispy base as well as traditional Swedish bread and cakes, all created in the on site bakery, overseen by Jan Hedh.
Imported Swedish produce is used alongside local independent suppliers.
Scottish and Swedish suppliers
“The pizzas have Swedish influenced toppings such as salmon and dill,” Clare said, “creme fraiche is used instead of tomato sauce.”
“Our coffee is from Johan & Nystrom, a Swedish cafe which has won many awards for being the best cafe in the world, our wood fire oven is from a company called Rute Stenugnsbageri, and our furniture is from Norrgavel. We mix this up with local suppliers such as Cuddybridge apple juice in Peebles, Affogato ice cream from Edinburgh, and Mull of Kintyre cheddar.”
The Scottish/Swedish fusion is reflected in Soderberg’s unique take on that most British of traditions: afternoon tea.
Scandi afternoon tea
Their “Scandi afternoon tea” is served in a basked filled with Swedish crispbread, breadrolls, sweet scones, and mini chocolate muffins, all made in the in house bakery, and served with Isle of Mull cheddar and charcuterie.
“Our afternoon tea is the best of Swedish and British, with the mix of the Swedish crispbread and cakes and the British scones with clotted cream and jam,” Clare said.
“It’s must more rustic than most afternoon teas you find elsewhere. All the bread and cakes are made in our inhouse bakery and instead of being presented with sandwiches you make your own using the bread, charcuterie and cheddar.”
“It’s much more about the produce and quality rather than a fluffy delicate afternoon tea.”
Another uniquely Swedish tradition Soderberg is introducing to Edinburgh is the concept of Fika.
Fika roughly mean having a coffee and a cake. Swedes do it several times a day, during the working weekday and weekend. But Fika is much more than a coffee break; it is a important part of Swedish life which involves stopping what you are doing, savouring the moment, and connecting with your friends, family and colleagues (although you can also do Fika on your own).
“All workplaces have a Fika break, one between breakfast and lunch and one between lunch and dinner, even if it is just ten minutes,” Johanna said.
“There is a massive coffee culture in Sweden. Sweden has the biggest coffee consumption in the world after Finland. We need strong coffee to get us through those dark winter months.”
“It’s more than just a coffee and cake. It’s sitting down with friends and family, taking ten minutes out of your day to enjoy a piece of cake and good chat.”
“It’s about taking a break and looking after yourself.”
£5 for a selected cake/pastry on Fika menu + coffee or tea (Mon -Fri)
£14.50 for a pizza on the evening menu + a glass of wine or a bottled beer (Fri-Sat)
£20 – 2 person offer – Scandi afternoon tea for 2 menu + a glass of Prosecco (Sat)
All offers at Soderberg in Edinburgh on 5pm Dining.