Miss Clara sits on Sveavägen, a main street in Stockholm – lined with grand art nouveau buildings, shops and restaurants – a 20-minute walk from the city’s old town Gamla Stan and a 15-minute taxi ride from museum-filled Djurgården island.
Arlanda International Airport (www.swedavia.se/arlanda), a 40-minute drive away, is closest to the hotel. There are direct flights from major European cities; flights from the US connect via Oslo or Sheremetyevo International; and flights across the Pacific arrive via Beijing, or Abu Dhabi and Berlin. Taxis charge a fixed rate of SEK520.
From the airport, the Arlanda Express train takes just 20 minutes to arrive in central Stockholm. When you reach subway stop Hötorget, take the staircase to Olof Palmes street; the hotel’s a 100-metre walk from there.
For a short city break, it’s unlikely you’ll need a car – most landmarks are within walking distance, and Stockholm is best explored on foot. However, if you’re staying longer four wheels will come in handy for exploring the islands and countryside beyond the city limits. There’s a waiting zone outside the hotel on Sveavägen street, where you can drop off your luggage, and valet parking is SEK495 a day.
Worth getting out of bed for
At one end of Sveavägen lies Sergel’s Square, a public space with a unique mosaic floor, at the other, Haga Park, a popular socialising spot with a butterfly house and a small museum – and in between are some of the city’s hippest shops, bars and eateries. Pick up some Nordic style essentials in designer-shop-thronged malls NK at Hamngatan, and MOOD Stockholm at Regeringsgatan. Afterwards, stroll down to the Old Town, the city’s mediaeval quarter, a 20-minute walk from Miss Clara. Tour the lavishly gilded reception rooms of the official residence of Sweden’s monarchy, the grand 18th-century Stockholm Palace, then explore the antique taverns and begging-to-be-explored historic alleyways nearby. Just south of the palace is tribute to formidable yet inspiring achievements, the Nobel Museum. The awards ceremony is held on 10 December, so keep your eyes peeled for famed geniuses if visiting then. Alternatively, the perky pop songs and scandalously tight costumery of ABBA The Museum – in the Södermalm district – are fun guilty pleasures. Head to the Vasa Museum on Djurgården island, to see a remarkably well-preserved, sculpture-clad, 17th-century warship. Open-air museum and zoo Skansen is close by, where more than 150 historic houses – from turf abodes to mansions – have been recreated; wolverines, bears and moose strut about its zoo, too. If you have a day to spare, visit 17th-century Drottningholm Palace – a Unesco World Heritage Site with magnificent gardens and a theatre. Or see the city by Stromma Hop-on – Hop-Off Boat tours.
At Smak, a five-minute walk from the hotel – you order a selection of flavours rather than a starter, main course and dessert: ‘Tea’ is infused into duck with hazelnut and pumpkin, and ‘Cardamom’ is sprinkled over French toast. Each dish has an ideal wine pairing too. If you like to see the machinations behind your meal, there’s a very open kitchen at Rolf’s Kök – a 10-minute walk from the hotel. The French and Spanish-influenced menu will undoubtedly satisfy, but the chefs welcome any recipe-tweaking suggestions. Grill, on Drottninggatan, is delightfully absurd – shark sculptures swim over the bar, palm trees sprout through the floor and diners sit at opera-box-style tables.
Music is the main attraction at Glen Miller Café, with three performances each night, but the food doesn’t play second fiddle; the Francophile-pleasing menu has moules-frites, lobster and charcuterie platters. With its exposed brickwork, large windows and pops of bright colour, Café Pascal is an immensely stylish spot for a fika (coffee and cake) stop.
The punnily named Gold Bar at Nobis Hotel – Miss Clara’s sister property – does indeed have a touch of Midas about it; however clean minimalist lines and a strictly black and gold palette save it from an overdose of bling. Its list of classic cocktails comes served up in jam jars, teacups and such, and the crowd’s formed of sleekly dressed Swedes. A little less sleek, but no less fun is Pub Anchor, Stockholm’s oldest and most-beloved live-rock venue. In addition to gigs seven days a week, this pseudo-divey, dimly-lit bar offers more than 70 different kinds of bottled beer.