We did not know what to expect of an Irish pub in Stockholm and when I saw Pickwick’s walnut stained interior, long bar trimmed with brass, felt green tinted accents, I wondered if Sam Malone was going to pull me a pint and whether the bar would yell out “Norm!”*
Built in an old tavern house, Pickwick was filled with locals and the soft din of conversation and conviviality. This was a pleasant surprise to me since I had expected the quiet of polite reticence and of lagom, traits I remembered of Stockholmers from my first visit. (This is the country with designated quiet cars on trains where talking is prohibited.)
The food at Pickwick’s was simple and very good. I had the hash (eggs, potatoes, and beet roots) and my wife and two friends the Swedish meatballs. I tried the meatballs and was ready to declare them the best I had eaten in Sweden. We drained a few pale ales from the Gotlands Bryggeri.
Pickwick’s will never get a Michelin star but I suspect they would never want one. It does what it promises to do very well: offer simple Swedish standards in a lively environment at reasonable prices and with a good beer to help make it all go down very well.
*For younger readers unfamiliar with the references to Sam Malone and Norm and a certain American sitcom set in an Irish bar where everyone knew your name, may I suggest Google. Although I have to dispute the entry which suggests that the show first aired thirty years ago. (Thirty years ago?!!)