Our tireless effort to go around the world to test the places, where you could end up eating your dinner, and the dishes, that might be served for you, this time brought us to the beautiful town hall of Stockholm, Sweden. The town hall is perhaps best known for hosting the annual banquet for the Nobel laureates in its famous Blue Hall. Since we do not appreciate crowds, we chose to test the food and the venue at a smaller occasion than the +1000 persons Nobel banquet. So Thursday evening some weeks ago your representative walked through the courtyard of the Town Hall into the central Blue Hall with about 500 other participants at this small event.
Seated at round tables, enjoying the extraordinary light from the top panel of windows all around the hall, the dinner started with a lovely Gravad Lax, which in correct Swedish tradition was served with beer and schnapps. The service is impressive. An army of waiters enter the room in perfect file from two points in the Hall, position themselves around the tables, and only on the signal from the headwaiter do they start serving or removing plates. Considering the dinner was for around 500 persons the quality of the food impressive – and the food was still warm when you received it.
The main dish was grilled filet of beef with vegetables, of impressively tender quality. The spring vegetables of Sweden are of very good quality and were prepared just al dente. The dessert was more for show than for taste. In strictly coordinated manner the waiters descended by the main staircase, each carrying one cake of ice cream, with a sparkler lit at just the right time, to ensure that when all the waiters had positioned themselves in the Hall, where the lights had been dimmed, the sparklers would still all be lit. The ice cream was nothing special, but refreshing after the main dish.
After dinner – and entertainment – the guest could ascend by the grand staircase to the Golden Hall. A smaller hall beautifully decorated in mosaics from floor to ceiling, showing scenes from Swedish history. In the Golden Hall the bar and live music ended an evening which can only confirm that the Stockholm Townhall is worthy of hosting a dinner such as the Nobel banquet.
If you want to eat in the Town Hall, but do not have invitation for a banquet, the Stadhuskällaren is accessible for a normal dinner. The Stadhuskällaren is the provider of the food for the banquets in the Halls and the entry is on the outside of the Town Hall, on the corner facing Gamla Stan.