My annual December break away to Sweden is this year, was in great contrast to last year when Stockholm was damp and rainy. As you can see from the photo there is snow, the air is crisp and it is decidedly cold, real winter weather. I think I am becoming a softened Italian! Last weekend we made the pilgrimage to the Royal Palace of Drottningholm, it is spectacularly beautiful bathed in the short winter light.My good friend Anne was participating in a Christmas market at the palace, and I had agreed to tag along. Drottningholm is a place that for ages I have simply needed to visit. My reason? A wallpaper inside the 18th century court slottsteatre which by good fortune was open last weekend. Several years ago whilst living in England we had hand made silk wallpaper hung, the design (according to our designer) was based on the tree of life design in the prima donna’s room of the court theatre. And indeed it was. I had a near private tour round the theatre, joined part way through by a charming Italian couple from Rome, none of us speaking Swedish, so a tour in English with me acting as Italian translator, and amongst other wonders we were shown the original seventeenth century paper, unfortunately no photos inside the theatre are allowed, but the design we commissioned was true to the original.
Then back to Stockholm, and a whirl round the bars and clubs, or perhaps they whirled round me. My hotel, the Skeppsholmen was situated on the island of the same name, as can be seen from the next photo taken from my bedroom window a hop skip and a jump from Gamla Stan and downtown Stockholm. A chic designer hotel that was a former home to lots of sailors having been a naval barracks ……….
This week a visit to a spa for a relaxing massage and sauna, then a chance for shopping, those nordic designs so cute and unusual for Christmas and New Year back in Umbria at Bellaugello Gay Guest House.