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Friday 25 January 2019

Restaurant Review: PM & Vänner Bistro

Where is Småland, what is Växjö and wtf is PM? This is a question that many international guests askes themselves when they try to find their favorite local bistro with probably the best wine list in Scandinavia. It is not a list, it is more of a book when it comes to wine selection.

Here you can find all the big 5 Grand Cru houses represented and a lot of interesting wines on the menu. We love the story behind the boldness of PM and its effort to become the best wine destination in Sweden, and I must say it certainly have become.

During our evening we went for Champagne, white selection, red selection and we are pleased.

Thank you PM for great service, food delivery and fantastic ambiance in this little town in the middle of the forest somewhere in the middle of south Sweden.

In the family of PM you can find a hotel, Bistro restaurant, Fine Dining Restaurant that holds 1 Michelin Star, roof top bar and restaurant and a spa with swiming pool. 

Grade is only made on wine selection, delivery, service and surrounding.

5 out of 5

Final Grade written by Alexander Yü

Friday 4 January 2019

Hotel Reveiw: Haymarket by Scandic, Stockholm, Sweden

This is our first overnight experience at Haymarket by Scandic in Stockholm. We have visited the bars and restaurants before however never stayed a night over. This time we did it with the whole family to rate it from a family perspective. We booked a suite on top floor so we could have a good view over Stockholm scenery. The main reason for this was because we stayed over New Year’s Eve for a celebration and experience.

Hotel and design:
The hotel is a beautiful hotel on the exterior. A classic Stockholm 1900 high level building that extracts luxury and power. It is made with classic stone construction which gives the surrounding a much higher and luxurious feeling. It suits the concert hall that is opposite however the cinema and the rest of the buildings are strangely made together.
The inside is a stunning 20-30 art deco design with fantastic feelings from Jazz, Greta Garbo and the amazing time of glamour of the jazz age. We love the details in the lobby, restaurants and the rooms. Our suite was on the top floor with a very nice open layout. One sleeping area, one living room area and one dining area (with dining table and minibar). The room was nice and the design delivered. However the view was not that good. It was quite hard to see the fireworks and since we specifically asked and called both the lobby, twice, before and the booking it was not delivered or thought upon.

Service of the hotel was average. The problem with Scandic is that they have a central booking that you are connected to when you want special requirements. This gives many, what ifs, and could be a problem when it comes to internal communication. We tried to call the hotel lobby many times a few days before to make sure our room was in order however the lobby did not answer at all. We tried later with the restaurant, also without results. This forced us to call central and all they could do was to take a note upon check in, which it was too late.
After several phone calls we finally got reach to the lobby and they could help us. They said that check in was 15.00 and we asked for earlier check in possibility, the lobby said it was no problem however when we arrived at 13:30 the room was not ready. When we asked for earlier check in the girl in the lobby said it will cost you an extra 150 sek. After a few debates they took it back and we got an early check in not until 14.30.
When we came to the room we asked for an ice bucket to chill our Champagne. The lobby said that we should go downstairs and pick it up ourselves. If this was a standard Scandic Hotel or some 3 star hotel than we could do it but this is marketed as one of Scandic Hotels absolutely most amazing hotels and to have an international standard people expect you to bring extra towels, slippers, ice buckets or other needs without question. Especially considering the price.

Food and beverage:
The food was stunning before however this time we could not rate this hotels dinner food. The reason is that they only offered tasting menu and since we came with two children that was out of the question. This was strange to me since they had another restaurant/cafe that they could offer a la carte menu but both the lobby and restaurant said it was not opened for dinner service, however when we came we saw that they offered simple dishes for dinner. Again, bad internal communication makes it confusing for guests. Fortunately I am a good friend with the owner of Grodan in Stockholm and we had a fantastic New Year’s Dinner in the ABBA Room with terrific service.
The cocktails was a very plus in this hotel. I loved the details and the extent that the bar tenders delivered. The outfits on the bartenders were perfectly dressed for the occasion and the hotel design. I hope their dresscode is not only for New Years because it was a big plus for the mood and surrounding.

The location is great. It is in the city center and close to everything. The only thing is not that much happening in the evening surrounding the hotel except the hotel. But walking distance to most of things is not that far.

Other amnesties:
The gym is a very small and not at all good. It feels like they did not know what to do with this amazing open space in the middle so they placed a small gym instead. There were some balcony on top floor however closed during New Year’s which was rather odd. This could be opened for the floor guests to enjoy.

Overall we loved the hotel, the design, cocktails, feeling and party vibes with class. However service needs to improve in lobby and when guests calls in. Internal communication is a big problem when it comes to all Scandic Hotels and when it comes to a high end hotel like Haymarket the guests expects more.

Final Grade: 3 out of 5

Written and experienced by Alexander Yü