Cajsa Holgersson illustrated London’s Larder for us. Hailing from Sweden originally, she brings some Scandi-cool to her travel tips in London where she’s now based, as well as further afield.
Would you tell us three of your favourite places where you live?
I am pretty sure that my anglophilia is rooted in some serious Enid Blyton abuse during the dark Swedish winters of my childhood and I am equally certain that the same author is to blame for bread being the food I could never ever give up. The detailed carbo-licious descriptions of midnight feasts at St. Claire and packed lunches on Kirrin Island still makes me drool so when it comes down to choosing an eatery in London it’s basically, where can you eat non-stop carbs like you’re just about to have the most exciting adventure of your life with your best pals? Simple: Afternoon tea at Sketch. As many sandwiches as you can eat, followed by a trolley of assorted cakes and to wash it all down, some pink champers. I don’t even have to get into the amazing interior of pink velour, patterned marble and chrome accompanied by David Shrigley’s drawings.
That annual occurrence of feeling the need to whip your wardrobe into order tends to happen around the shift of the seasons but it can also coincide with the release of a new issue of The Fantastic Man or after an airing of a documentary featuring a female aged over 55. You suddenly get the urge to scale your dress code down to the quality basics; single coloured flannel shirts, merino balloon sweaters, Japanese denim and all that jazz. When you hear that calling it is time to head down to Arket. Alongside all the fashion staples you could ever wish for it has a great selection of homeware, books and a neat cafe. It’s basically a Dover Street Market for the freelance wallet. Throw that Marie Kondo book in the bin already!
Up until last week I would have had you all maxing out your oyster cards for a trip to visit The Horniman, but there’s a new kid in town and it went straight to the top of my ‘things to do in London’ list. The Postal Museum is in general one of the best museum experiences I’ve ever had, but specifically it was the Mail Rail that brought home the trophy. You get to travel on a very cool miniature train through an underground railway system that until 2003 was used to transport post across town, whilst experiencing wartime power cuts and you learn all about how the system worked from projections on the tunnel walls and through the voice of one of the old Mail Rail-sters. Once you’re done WAH-ing and Instagram-ing you can send cryptic letters through pneumatic pipes, LARP as a Victorian postie and design your own stamp in the museum collection across the road.
And three places anywhere in the world?
When it comes to pleasuring the tastebuds it’s hard to imagine that anything would beat truffle season in Italy, but having already revealed that bread is my thing I’m following the trail of crumbs and steering my belly towards the home of smørrebrød (and my fave foodie destination, Copenhagen). As much as I like a slice of Danish rye with spread, it’s not the national dish being served at Fætter Fætter, it’s… TOAST! And wine! Win win, chin chin and soon you’ll forget all about the Danish krone exchange rate!
Being a lifelong lit-lover and a fan of Emma Straub, I’m dying to visit her newly opened bookshop in Brooklyn. Since there’s an ocean between me and Books Are Magic, I’m stalking the shelves via Instagram and can’t wait to spend a quarter on their poetry gumball machine. Until then I’m visiting every indie bookshop that I see and so far it’s never been a bad idea. My bank might disagree though…
My favourite thing to do is also my favourite way to explore unknown places, be it a metropolis, wine country or a mountain top: running through it, in it or over it. The first thing I do in a new place is to get hold of a map (if I haven’t got a Herb Lester one already of course…), put my trainers on and go for an adventure by foot.
Where is your favourite place to visit?
All places, everywhere, endlessly.
What’s your best travel item?
My best travel item, maps and trainers aside, is a pair of good headphones. Sometimes new surroundings can be overwhelming and having a familiar voice or soundtrack in your ears (some podcasts and a solid Spotify playlist), can make you feel braver to explore more. It’s also the best way to shut out any unwanted crying babies, snoring neighbours and lottery ticket announcements whilst being up in the air.