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Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Article: Hotel Review Elite Hotel Carolina Tower

My first thought was: - A hospital hotel? Why would that be interesting? 
However I was wrong, this hotel provides modern interior design with a fantastic skyfloor view were a quite small gym and "spa" overlooking the Stockholm skyline. They also have a skybar (not opened yet), however unable to review. 
The restaurant is a Italian terrazzo with simple dishes such as pizza, selection of cold cuts and from the grill.

The rooms are designed with a modern interior and very contemporary. We enjoyed the soft beds and the baths that had a great size. All standards were imbedded in the room such as slippers, bathrobes etc.

As usual cleaning is an issue. Even though this is a new hotel you still can se dust in the corners and sometimes under the curtains. Something cleaning management should overlook.

Food and Beverage (Haga Bottega):
The restaurant is at good standard and we like the hospitality. The staff is very friendly and can provide extra changes in the menu if children gets a bit picky. The wine selection is good and we enjoyed their Barbera d'Alba.
Breakfast is ok, however we feel that this hotel should provide more fresh ingredients such as more fruit variety and there was no waffles or pancakes. Also an egg station is in order, all modern and new hotels in Stockholm have today an egg station were you can order your personal omelet.

Other amnesties:
The gym is way too small and could be made to something ells or changed to a spa facility. The view is amazing and you can see all over the city. This should be their selling point however the skybar is limited to conference bookings only and the "spa" is only a sauna with a view. Much better commercial use could be implemented here.

All in all we enjoyed this hotel and we loved the staff in the restaurant. The hotel staff is also very professional and we liked the design of the rooms. What could be improved is a better use of the skybar and skyfloor. Also a much more focus on the breakfast could be implemented such as a bubbly alternative for breakfast during Saturdays or Sundays. It cost almost nothing for the restaurant but it is a very good touch for the loyal guests that stays during the weekend.

Final Grade: 3 out of 5

Written and reviewed by Alexander Yü and Sofie Yü

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Article: The Semla from Vetekatten

This amazing traditional pastry that we try each year with a new bakery is just getting better and better. The rich and perfect cream, puffy and perfection in texture of bread and finally the almond icing that is made to superb balance is not only goooooood to eat all together but a historic pastry that have lived through the Swedish culture and history for hundreds of years.

We at Western Taste loves the Semla and this year we have chosen to try it from the famous and historical cafe house of Vetekatten in Stockholm.

Vetekatten dates back all the way to 1928 and was founded by a woman calls Ester Nordhammar. Back in those days women had just received the right to vote in Sweden and very few business owners was run by women. Ester was 42 years of age and had a long background as a baker. She had a vision to start a bakery that was simple enough for everyone to enjoy and was decorated as a traditional minister home. She also had a goal to only hire young women, in fact no men worked at Vetekatten until 1961, the year Ester passed away. She wrote in her will that the bakery should continue to its 4 partners.

When you enter this fantastic bakery you can feel the historical ambiance. There are two sections in this coffee house/ bakery; one that is kept as the original bakery intended to be, the other one is modern although still honoring the tradition.

The pastry; Semla is judged in 4 categories; Looks, Bread, Cream, Almond Icing and "All in All".

The tasting panel consist of 10 different people.

Looks: 4
Comment: the roof was cut perfectly and the size of the pastry was superb, however the bun was a bit too large compared with the roof.

Bread: 4,5
Superb taste and perfect texture.

Cream: 5
Amazing cream with a perfect sweetness balance.

Almond Icing: 5
Absolutely perfection with a superb mixture of sweet and consistency.

Final Grade: 4.5  

Written by: Alexander Yü