Hot on the Highstreet Week 252: Shopping in Stockholm

This was my second trip to Sweden’s capital city, a place which is dominated by design. We visited for just two days and my mum and I were on a mission to discover the top Swedish designers, produce and crafts. Here are a few of our favourite shops on the Scandinavian highstreet.

Grandpa – This quirky shop sells scandinavian and international fashion, interior, vintage, books and gifts. It is a good place to pick up a local souvenir or gift.

Stutterheim – These brightly coloured handmade raincoats are the ultimate Stockholm accessory. Striking and trendy they will make you crave the wet weather like never before.

Hasbeens – These wonderfully made wooden soled shoes have become so popular that they are now found in shops worldwide. Based on the clog styles from the 70s Swedish Hasbeens creates traditional handmade shoes that will always be in fashion and will last forever.

Nitty GrittyThis chic shop started out in 1991 in Stockholm as a counter reaction to all the mainline clothing department stores dominating the market in the early 90’s. Beautifully curated and thoughtful the shop is a great place to browse through interesting Swedish designers and unique products.

Byredo – This is one of the few Swedish independent perfume brands and produces lovely pure scents. The fragrances are made with only five core ingredients, and smell fresh and vibrant. I fell in love with Mister Marvelous, a unisex scent which has won several awards.

Palmgrens – Established in 1896 by saddlemaker Johannes Palmgren this beautiful and luxurious leather designer is a Swedish institution. I loved the iconic leather-trimmed rattan tote, but there are many more styles and accessories to choose from. Sadly the beautifully craftsmanship comes with a hefty pricetag.

Svenskt Tenn – I wish my home could look like the inside of this shop. This famous Swedish design company has stunning fabrics and designs that would add character to any room. The flagship store also serves a Swedish afternoon tea in the salon upstairs.

Nividas – The word Nividas is Esperanto for ‘we see’. This new brand was founded on the idea that our eyewear should be adaptable to our lifestyle, for various occasions and different moods. The stylish glasses and sunglasses are very wearable and affordable.

Hope – If you want to leave Stockholm looking like a chic Scandinavian head to Hope and pick out a monochrome outfit. Founded in 2001 by designers Ann Ringstrand and Stefan Soderberg Hope has a lovely selection of masculine garments for men and women that were originally based on men’s utility-wear.

Hot on the Highstreet Week 246 – Shopping in Brussels

I’ve just spent a lovely weekend in Belgium, here are my favourite shops in Brussels for fancy food and fabulous fashion… and a little stationery store that I can’t resist mentioning!

Maison Dandoy – we stumbled across this charming little biscuit shop, also recommended by knowledgeable blogger Jess on Thames. A sweet institution established in 1829, Dandoy produces irresistable oven-fresh biscuits. Coincidentally the original shop is found in Brussels on rue au Beurre (Butter street).

L’Antichambre – an unmissable boutique on the Brussels shopping scene. Owner Anne Pascale has created a sensual shop with the highest quality scents from Grasse, and will work with clients to create their very own bespoke fragrance. I was lucky enough to make my own, which I named Resolument Moderne including Chocolate, Spicy Pepper and Fig ingredients. L’Antichambre also produce a range of beautiful scented candles, try the unique flavour Le tomate verte.

Mary – this pretty feminine shop has packaging that is just as lovely as the chocolates. There are now a few branches of this artisan brand, all stocking the signature illustrated boxes filled with seriously delicious treats. My favourite chocolate shop in Brussels, a box of Mary chocolates would be a memorable gift for someone special.

Hunting and Collecting – this spacious, cleanly arranged shop stocks a range of labels, which are rotated regularly, so you are bound to find a new gem every time you visit. The basement hosts art exhibitions whilst upstairs you can browse the tailored clothes, and lust after the design objects and striking accessories.

Pierre Marcolini – when you ask the locals in Belgium for the best chocolate, most will point towards the haute chocolatier, Pierre Marcolini. The shop is more like a museum with immaculately presented chocolates everywhere you look. I loved the coloured heart collection, which are almost too pretty to demolish!

La Fabrika – Opened by Kelly Claessens in 2010 this design haven stocks a beautifully curated collection of classic furniture, unusual books and chic accessories that would complement any home. La Fabrika is a trendsetter in Brussels and is popular with the stylish Bohemian locals.

Le Typographe – I have been excited about my trip to this stationery emporium for months, so entering the doors of the perfectly ordered shop was a joy. Alongside the carefully hand-picked pens, pencils and other writing paraphernalia Le Typographe stock their own brand, often neon, cards, envelopes and notebooks. An atelier of the finest stationery, I wanted it all.

Hot on the Highstreet Week 244

Fragonard is one of France’s most famous perfumery houses, located in Grasse in the south of France, an area known for its perfume making history. Fragonard makes its products in its own factory, which is one of the most interesting sights in the town of Grasse. Whilst in Provence this weekend I visited the wonderful historic museum and shop, a fragrant homage to the brand.

The house was founded by Eugene Fuchs in 1926 in Grasse. He named the company in honour of the French rococo painter Jean-Honore Fragonard who lived ion the town. Over time there have been hundreds of scents from this old perfume house. The earliest edition was created in 1928 and the newest is from 2015. The nose who worked on the fragrances most recently belongs to Jean Guichard, a true expert in the field.

The Museum offers free entry to all visitors, and is a lovely place to learn about this special company. With magnificent views over the Cote D’Azur and nearby cafes for lunch, Grasse is the perfect Provencal town to spend the day.

You can now buy a range of the Fragonard products at Marks & Spencer, one of the most familiar chains on the British highstreet. I particularly loved the Brioche-scented candle, which would make your home smell like a French bakery!

More information on Fragonard here, and buy the products from M&S here.