Tiger

Last month, I had an appointment in Cambridge and decided to head to a shop I loved in Copenhagen which has recently hit our shores – Tiger!

If you aren’t aware of Tiger, it is, well, a little hard to explain. There isn’t really a British shop which can be compared directly with these shops. They sell stationery, homewares, greeting cards, cleaning products, toys, sweets, arts and craft supplies, Danish juice, candles… in quirky designs and at clear, affordable prices. Of course this shop was a breath of fresh air on travels in Scandinavia (where you are braced for everything to be expensive) and it was a lot of fun to browse around in Cambridge too.

A few of my finds:

Jolly whale bathroom hooks

Hooks in the shape of whales in blue, pink and green for £1 each

Every kitchen needs a carrot sharpener:Carrot sharpener, a giant orange sharpener for your vegetables

Want to send secret messages to your spy friends? For only £1 you can get a handy UV secret message pen:Spy pen, pen with UV light, £1 each

There was also some stylish stationery:Bluen and white polka dot notebooks with orange and green spines in a variety of sizes

We enjoyed shopping in Tiger so much we went round twice in case we missed anything! There was a huge array of products in store at really reasonable prices. It’s a great place to go for some gifts or interesting home decor and many products have a Nordic edge and sense of humour to the design. The Danish packaging also adds to the ‘looking round a supermarket when on holiday’ vibes, and it’s fun to recognise a few words too after many years of Nordic culture-watching and Swedish lessons. Can’t wait to pop in and see what they have next time I’m in the area!

Do you live near a Tiger store? Have you been in and found some interesting products?

Tiger online: http://www.tigerstores.co.uk/

More Scandi stores in the UK: https://nordicinfluence.wordpress.com/nordic-directory/

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Searching for Sugar Man

Fancy watching a Swedish Oscar-winner tonight?

As part of the Storyville season, BBC Four will show Searching for Sugar Man tonight at 9pm. This has been a hit worldwide and was awarded the 2013 Oscar for Best documentary – Sweden’s first Oscar since Fanny and Alexander in 1984. It also won a BAFTA and a Guldbagge.

The film has gained more publicity for tragic reasons recently due to filmmaker Malik  Bendjelloul’s death -http://bigstory.ap.org/article/searching-sugarman-director-dies-36. So sad that so much more attention had to come from such tragic events and we won’t get to watch any more films from this young director.

Enjoy the film tonight and appreciate Bendelloul’s work, and the amazing story of Rodriguez.

Full details of the BBC Four showings and clips aplenty here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b044z275


Free on Saturday night?

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Check out @ScaredToDance’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/ScaredToDance/status/471296155633336320

Why not head out and dance to some Scandi tunes? A Swedish special by Scared to Dance in London. I love Time Out’s Swedish music picks – Jens Lekman is my favourite!


How to bake the perfect cinnamon buns

The Guardian has been making Scandi treats this week and searching for the perfect cinnamon bun recipe: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2014/may/22/how-to-bake-perfect-cinnamon-buns

I haven’t tried this version yet – but it is a little different from how I would bake a batch. I have never, ever, had good results with fast action yeast sachets (what am I doing wrong?!) and I would make rather smaller buns – one cake of seven seems a slightly US take on these, they must be huge! Have you tried this ‘perfect’ recipe?

My favourite recipe is the one in Sju Sorters Sommarkakor by Cecilia Vikhblad (the Swedish Mary Berry, she even judges the Swedish version of Bake Off).

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But if I want to read a recipe in English I use the one by the awesome Scandinavian Kitchen:  http://scandikitchen.typepad.com/scandikitchen/2011/05/by-popular-demand-swedish-cinnamon-buns-recipe-kanelbullar.html  I have always had success with these recipes and made lovely soft kanelbullar. Scandinavian Kitchen also sells all the ingredients you could need to create your bullar.

If you are a little too far from London to do your Scandinavian grocery shopping there, do not fear as you can buy/improvise almost everything:

– Ground cardamom for the dough – yes it is a little difficult to find. As well as grinding some cardamom pods with your pestle and mortar/ rolling pin and chopping board/ blender/ hammer and chisel, you can also buy ready ground cardamom at some health food shops or international groceries (I found it on a local market stall which sold vegan products, herbs and spices, and it was only about 65p!).

– Pearl sugar – you could just swap out this (for me, essential) topping for regular sugar (or miss it out altogether I suppose) but I’ve found a handful of crushed up sugar pearls http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/gb/groceries/decorations/sainsburys-cake-decorations–white-sugar-pearls-80g looks the part and they add a satisfying crunch. Apparently jam sugar can also work.

– Fresh yeast – available at most local bakeries, it can also be found in the in-store bakeries at Sainsbury’s and Tesco. As mentioned before, I just can’t get fast-action to work!

Do you have any tips on Scandinavian baking at home? Or tips for the perfect kanelbullar?


Kurt’s back!

Kurt Wallander (Krister Henriksson) in a boat

Kurt Wallander is back on British TV screens tonight as BBC Four begins airing series three of the Swedish Wallander films.

Episode one is The Troubled Man (Den orolige mannen). From the synopsis, Kurt has become a granddad and is on the hunt for daughter Linda’s missing father-in-law.

I have to say Krister Henriksson is my favourite Wallander, though he is sometimes overshadowed in these series by the canine acting talents of Jussi – what a star!

Wallander might be the archetypal Nordic Noir detective, this video explores his role in the genre:

Timeshift: Who is Kurt Wallander?

Will you be watching tonight? Who’s your favourte Wallander? Krister? Rolf? Kenneth?

Wallander begins tonight on BBC Four at 9pm.


Wonderful Copenhagen with Pilou Asbaek

Enjoy this tour of Copenhagen with Pilou Asbaek..apologies for posting this a week late!

I really enjoyed the cheeky Danish humour at this year’s Eurovision, the interval Eurovision museum and douze points songs had me chuckling away. I’m missing Pilou, Nikolaj and Lise already.

Has Eurovision inspired you to visit Denmark? Or book a Pilou guided tour?