Dalarna University has some digital ambassadors who blog in English about their studies and their experiences as international students in the middle of Sweden. Last year I was one of them. With my fellow bloggers and our coordinator we would meet once a month to discuss any sort of blogging-related issues or brainstorm and inspire each other, but truly the greatest outcome of every meeting was learning the art of fika and socialization. Business meetings the Swedish way.
It was on one of those blogger meetings that I was taken for the first time to Torsångs Café, the oldest café in Dalarna. It lays not too far from Borlänge, one of the twin cities where Dalarna University is located (the other one being Falun, where I live). I fell in love deeply with that place from the moment I stepped inside and felt like being thrown back in time. If I had ever had a dreamy idea of a Swedish happy place, I swear it looked pretty much like that café there.
If the interior is not beautiful enough, a look at the view outside on a sunny day will just melt your heart. On our latest visit we ate outside, just by the river. Some customers arrived by boat, docked by the riverbank and just jumped ashore on the grass in front of the café. We also happened to be visited by a re-enactment Viking party, longship and bearded dudes included.
The café serves hot and cold drinks, ice cream, home-baked pastry and dishes such as savoury pies and a selection of Swedish open sandwiches, smörgåsar. My favourite option is the Tacopaj, a slice of meat pie served with salad and nachos. This one contains ground beef and corn, but they also make a savoury pie with horse sausage and feta. They’re both delicious. My friend went for something more Swedish and ordered a smörgås with meatballs, hardboiled egg and beetroot salad. For dessert we had a cinnamon bun and a piece of carrot cake.
We like to take our guests there and eat outside on a sunny day because this café pretty much sums up everything we love about this country: beautiful setting, laid-back atmosphere, home-made food. A little Swedish happy place for real.