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Pontus Björkman’s guide to Stockholm

The Head of brand development at global fashion house Acne Studios, Pontus Björkman moved from Malmö to Stockholm in 1996 and by the following year became the first employee to join the company.

Words Nick Rice

— I love our different seasons here in Stockholm, I love the freshness and the clean air, I love the brisk breeze from the water, I love the people… and that most of my friends live here too. And I love the food scene and many other things, the list could go on and on.

— My favourite season in the city is spring…. it’s like all of a sudden Stockholm has a load of new inhabitants. It’s not only nature that has been hiding during winter, but also the people. And when spring arrives everything and everyone starts to bloom in the most fantastic colours.

Even though Stockholm, like most cities, faces some challenges, I like to think that it’s an inclusive city. Due to this we have a fantastic, vibrant and amazing mix of people, food and religions that opens things up for new clubs and new restaurants among many other things.

— A great place for a business lunch, for example, is Operabaren, and also Bakfickan, which is right next door. A fun and very special food treasure is Punk Royale at Folkungagatan 128. Go there with an open mind and just enjoy the ride!

— Anywhere in the city is great for walking, especially if you stay close to the water, which is awesome. For shopping, I love furniture, so I would totally go spending money in the amazing vintage art and furniture stores we have, such as Modernity and Jacksons.

— For a getaway, I love Artipelag. It’s a fantastic art gallery located next to the ocean, about 20 minutes-drive from the city centre. Sometimes I just go there to sit on the cliffs and watch seabirds, the sunset or boats… and just breathe.

— For other kinds of treats for the mind, there is a cute little café called Café Koloni in Saltsjö-Duvnäs where the painter Olle Nyman’s studio was located. It’s a treat for mind, soul and stomach.

— An ideal day in Stockholm for me would begin with breakfast at Il Caffé with my kids before we go to Skansen (the world’s first open-air museum and zoo, founded in 1891 and located on the island of Djurgården) and look at the animals. Followed by a stroll down to Oaxen Slip where some friends join us for a lunch in the sun. Then we take a boat to the small bay of Nybroviken and have a quick look in the Swedish interior design store Svenskt Tenn before we enjoy a Goldy martini at Teaterbaren. After the drinks, all of us would go home to my place to start preparing for dinner in the kitchen, talking and listening to music.


Björkman’s Stockholm

Operabaren, Jakobs torg 12,
Bakfickan, Jakobs torg 12,
Punk Royale, Folkungagatan 128,
Modernity, Sibyllegatan 6,
Jacksons, Sibyllegatan 53,
Artipelag, Artipelagstigen 1,
Café Koloni, Strömparterren 5,
Il Caffé, Södermannagatan 23,
Oaxen Slip, Beckholmsbron 26,

Photographed in his home in Saltsjöbaden by Tobias Regell