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My Neighbourhood: Stockholm, Sweden

EQ3 creative director Thom Fougere shares his favourite Nordic spots.

It’s not really surprising that Winnipeg-based furniture company EQ3 sells pieces with such a Scandinavian vibe—creative director (and Designers of the Year judge) Thom Fougere makes an annual pilgrimage to Stockholm to scope out the furniture fairs that take place in the design-friendly city. But it’s not just the showroom floor that provides Fougere with inspiration: the Swedish capital is packed with a tantalizing mix of modern innovation and historical charm.

Visits to Modernity always involve a history lesson and heaps of inspiration.

The Modernity showroom is filled with a circulating collection of rare mid-century furniture, lighting and art pieces from Scandinavia.

Acne Studios’ flagship store is located within an old bank building just off the famous Norrmalmstorg square, where the term “Stockholm syndrome” was coined.

Stop by the top-floor restaurant of Fotografiska for afternoon fika (a Swedish tradition of coffee, cake and togetherness). (Photo: Christian Holmér.)

Fotografiska is a well-curated photography museum located along the river. The exhibition rooms are much darker than a typical set gallery, which allows the environment to disappear and the photography to appear as if it’s floating.

(Photo: Emily Chen.)

I always end up visiting Café Valand for a morning coffee and pastry. Supposedly, the interior hasn’t changed much since the 1950s—and that’s a good thing.

(Photo: Tobi Wei.)

One of my favourite restaurants to visit is Pelikan. The interior is candlelit and outfitted with tropical plants, patterned floors, dark wood furniture and hand-painted murals. These old, distinctly Swedish details add a level of authenticity to Pelikan (it’s been open for over 100 years). You can’t go wrong with the baked rainbow trout and the meatballs with cream sauce and lingonberries.

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