A recent unexpected addition to Glasgow’s Royal Exchange Square, filling the gap left by Bruschetta, is Swedish Affär – I’d heard that this was Glasgow’s first Swedish coffee house but surely that accolade belongs to the Ikea cafe at Braehead*?!
*technically just outside of Glasgow I know…
My first ever trip to a non-English speaking country was to Sweden, and so I have fond memories of expensive coffee, cakes and beer but how does Swedish Affär compare?
It’s small and the decor is spare and it wouldn’t surprise me if all the furniture came from the scratch ‘n’ dent section of Ikea!
It’s take-away or sit-in with counter service, I ordered a sandwich (well a roll) and coffee from the well-spoken girl behind the till but resisted thanking her with “tack så mycke” in case she was from Govan but upon taking my seat I could hear some form of Scandinavian lilt between the two employees.
The gravadlax roll was pretty good with tasty salmon, fresh dill and a tangy mustard sauce, but it cost £4.95 so I almost thought I was back in Stockholm again. It was also a cold wet day but my server opened the front door fully letting the cold air in – I guess as much as we complain about the weather we must still be slightly warmer than Sweden in winter.
The coffee certainly tasted like coffee and was better than a lot of others I’ve had recently but was perhaps a wee bit watery by my tastes (considering the sandwich board outside emphasizes that STRONG coffee is available).
For those who yearn for some Nordic “Fika” café culture but don’t want to make the trip to Ikea or simply can’t resist filling those big blue bags with unnecessary tea-lights then Swedish Affär may be for you! For purveyors of Swedish chocolates and ice-creams – they sell vacuum cleaner cake, Plopps but no Noggers!
Find out more here.