GOTHENBURG: I don’t know who Miss Sophie was, but she must have been one heck of a lady. Her paintings and fabulous items of clothing adorn the walls of this dimly lit room, casting their traces of personality across the magnificently quaint tables. We are welcomed by the barman as our entire party gazes up and down the walls in a collective smile, completely ignoring the kind girl standing in a little booth trying to collect our coats. Miss Sophie, a centrally located Gothenburg gem, has us enchanted.
“The décor inspiration for Miss Sophie came from last century’s old, English hunting castles,” explains Executive Manager Richard Hunter. “The English library feel has been mixed with a colonial style for the terrace, and all décor decisions have been finished off with a twist. We hope that the combination of all factors invites guests into a relaxing atmosphere.”
Indeed. From the moment we sit down at our round table under a floral chandelier reflected by a line-up of antique wall mirrors, the atmosphere achieves the very difficult task of making itself known without being in the way. Calmness, elegance and creativity pierce every carpet, tablemat and vase, inviting guests into what could well be a 100-year-old living room. All this without making any fuss.
Seamlessness and professionalism manifest themselves as key depictions of the restaurant when the exquisitely presented meals are served. Our table attendant is knowledgeable and laid-back, sharing in on a joke or two while carefully explaining what processes make the Pata Negra meat on our plates taste so gratifyingly good.
“Our leading terms are ‘straight-forward’ and ‘honest’. We try to find interesting meat cuttings from outside the patterns normally used in Sweden, and pair these with wines to suit both the food and our guests,” says Hunter.
Hours later, and scraping the last bits of vanilla parfait off our plates, we reluctantly make our way to the doors. We have eaten well, laughed together with our fantastically service minded and gracious table attendant, had a lovely few glasses of wine and enjoyed each other’s company in a setting taken from Downton Abbey. After taking a final look at Miss Sophie’s pink coat hung off a peg by the door, I remember to collect my own.
Miss Sophie, you must have been one heck of a lady.
This is Gothenburg, Sweden
Second largest city in Sweden, situated on the west coast. Goteborg is the local name of the city.
Gothenburg has a vibrant arts scene and revamping of its former shipbuilding district. Impressing numbers of museums and galleries. Konstmuseet has works by Van Gogh, Picasso and Rembrandt, and one floor dedicated to Nordic art.
Goteborg Opera House, a stunning example of how the area has been revitalised. Opened in 1994.
Sockerbruket area is a beautiful collection of red brick buildings that used to house a sugar refinery. It is now home to arts and crafts studios, design studios and even a small performance space.
Get there by air: LandvetterAirport is the main airport, located 25km east of the city. About 30 airlines fly here, e.g. SAS, Lufthansa, British Airways and Finnair.
By train: High-speed trains connect with Stockholm. International trains to Copenhagen and Oslo, Norway.
Get around: By trams, busses and ferries. Inside the central area, transport is fairy rapid.
Avoid: Don’t get in the way of cyclists, here the bicycle is king. Forget late night shopping, most places are closed by 6pm.