Scandi crush - Food and Travel Issue 196

As a result of their famously bitter winters, Scandinavians celebrate spring like nowhere else. This travel round-up feature looks at the celebrations in six cities, balancing evocative prose with plenty of practical tips for how readers can make the most of their trip and immerse themselves in local customs. Check out the full story on Food and Travel or get a sense of it from the excerpts below.

'The 20 islands of the Gothenburg archipelago shrug off winter’s dark mantle with wildflowers blooming and seal pups being born. Sweden is the world leader for gender equality and Gothenburg’s many courtyard cafés buzz with latte-pappor (latte dads) nursing babies and cinnamon buns.'
'The food scene revolves around bounty plucked from the North Sea. Indeed, locals treat their seafood with an almost religious fervour, which is appropriate given that the fish market is housed in what looks like a church with a pitched roof and neo-gothic windows.'
' The poster girl for Nordic cool, Copenhagen is particularly alluring at this time of year, when the windows of the apricot-painted houses on Amagergade are thrown open and boats bob on the three lakes that punctuate the city centre. Locals jump at the chance to shed overcoats that have swathed them all winter and to show off their renowned sense of style.'
'The Finnish summer is short and the spring is even shorter, typically lasting just eight precious weeks. A blanket of snow deadens southern Finland from December to April, so it makes sense that the sight of the first butter yellow coltsfoot flowers is enough to make locals ditch their trademark reserve and divehead-first into picnics, street parties and festivals. '
Banner photo: Daniel Hogberg/