Sweden has always been on my visiting hit list, but it remains a country my heavy heart has not yet made it to. However, it is my good fortune that I live in Edinburgh, which has been the receptacle of a Scandi takeover for some years now.
The culprit behind Scandi-gate? Swede Anna Christophersen and her husband Mike, who together run Akva, Sofi’s, Joseph Pearce’s, Boda and Victoria. I love all of these places individually, but today’s blog post is about one I hadn’t visited until very recently…. The glorious Hemma.
Hemma – meaning ‘home’ in Swedish, is the perfect marriage of name and concept. Located at the bottom of Holyrood Road, this gorgeous venue is spread out over two spacious floors. On the bottom floor, you’ll find various cosy little corners with mismatched furniture, and huge windows the length of one side. The spiral staircase in the centre of the floor leads up to shelves filled with books, antique lights, lots of plants and vintage-style decor.
While I always appreciate a well thought-out aesthetic, myself and fellow blogger (and honourary Swede) KK, had a much more urgent mission: to see what the new brunch menu was all about.
There are quite a few options, so we sought the advice of our lovely waitress, and together decided on three things: Eggs Brando, the full vegetarian breakfast and a sweet potato and lentil salad.
Let me tell you a thing or two about each.
Veggie haggis, poached eggs, veggie sausage, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms and hasselback potatoes and toast
Although I’m not a veggie, I’m not a humongous meat eater either and quite often choose veggie options because they look the most appealing to me.
Hemma’s veggie breakfast did not disappoint: everything tasted amazing and the veggie haggis in particular was beautiful. Traditional breakfast food can sometimes be dry and tasteless, but this was all TYdelicious and the textures worked together really well (after my second sausage, perhaps slightly too well…)
Sweet potato scone with scrambled eggs, feta, chilli and honey
This dish was something I can only describe as a palatable epiphany. Oh my God. Seriously. One of the best brunch dishes I’ve had the fortune to consume.
A hardy Scottish food, the tattie scone normally takes on the role of the accompaniment. Kind of like the best friend in a movie, tattie scones are often only there to complement its other breakfast plate pals. So to experience it stepping up to the plate (hoho) and taking that leading role for itself was something of a revelation to me – and ooooft did it perform well.
I’d never think of mixing this particular combination of things together (though I’m not a hugely adventurous cook so this is probably not overly surprising) but it worked together like an absolute dream. I can say fairly certainly it’s the dish that will feature heavily in any of my future brunch visits to Hemma. Srsly. Go try it.
Slow roast tomato, sweet potato and lentil salad
With asparagus, toasted pine nuts, feta, chorizo, rocket and basil dressing
This is the perfect salad for any time of the day, and for any season. The sweet potato and lentil bulk it up so it doesn’t leave you feeling unsatisfied (nothing worse than salad sadness, amirite). The pine nuts and feta are a winning combo, and the chorizo gave it that added spice so it wasn’t at risk of any blandness. Fab. Yoo. Luss.
And of course it wouldn’t be an indulgent brunch without a splash of alcohol… assume your positions, Bloody Bodas.
Made with the same base ingredients as a traditional Bloody Mary (tomato juice, Worcester sauce, tobasco, salt and pepper) – the Bloody Boda has a Swedish twist. Instead of vodka, the drink is made with Aquavit, Sweden’s national spirit. Although I’d been warned Aquavit is somewhat of an ‘acquired’ taste, the Bloody Boda tasted absolutely delicious, proving itself as the perfect accompaniment for our brunch medley.
Want to experience the brunch of dreams for yourselves?
Find them at 73 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh.
Follow them on Instagram at @hemmabar or check out their website.