The world's gone Scandi mad in past years, spearheaded by the "hygge" movement that well, let's face it, people still don't really know the meaning of - let alone the pronunciation! So when Swedish car brand Volvo invited me on a weekend away to explore "lagom" in 3 workshops led by Bronte Aurell (the founder of ScandiKitchen) - how could I say no?!
I know I know, I can hear it now, what does Volvo have to do with lagom? Well, read on and find out! I've also put together a short YT vid so you can see what we got upto!
To note, while the weekend away was provided by Volvo, I was not paid to attend and my views and opinions are purely my own.
So what is lagom? It essentially means "just the right amount". Thought to originate from the Viking days where they would pass a horn of mead around and only sip, it can apply to everything from: staying over at a friend's house (take your own sheets because it's only polite innit); decorating only one feature wall in your house; or in the case of cars, buying a car that's practical and not ostentatious.
So on one level it's about finding the right level that's appropriate for yourself, but on another, it's about finding that appropriate level in wider society. Pretty neat huh?
So would it surprise you to know that Swedes eat the equivalent of 316 cinnamon buns per year each? Doesn't sound very "lagom" now does it? But in reality, it's more than just eating sweet buns for the taste of it. Cinnamon buns and by extension "fika" (the act of having coffee, often with pastries), is intrinsically wrapped up with catching up with friends, seeing family, and taking the time to relax and have a break.
Maybe one bun a day isn't quite enough then...
We had a pretty intense chat over a picnic lunch about lagom in the London food scene (and not the BBQ meat joint which is simply fantastic). Moderation, environmentalism and ethical sourcing is becoming ever more prevalent and the focus of restaurants, and it's heartening to see that as people become more aware of the food they eat and the true cost of plating it up in front of you.
And finally - what better way to demonstrate lagom than with cocktails? Focussed purely on aquavit, we ran through a number of short cocktails that were pure spirits, but perfect to drink. With the right approach and careful mixing, spirits which had people wincing at the smell of suddenly became all too drinkable!
Pic taken by Frank PR
So, all in all, a pretty great in depth look at what lagom really means, and how we can apply it in a number of areas. As a food blogger I'm always conscious of making sure I eat in moderation, and there's been a few takeaways from this weekend that will stay with me for some time yet.
So hopefully this has got you guys thinking about what lagom means for you, and how it can help you think about things in a different way. It's not meant to stop you from doing or eating the things you love, but about trying to find way to enjoy them in a way that works for you and others around you. Smart stuff I say!
Thanks to Bronte Aurell for leading us through some great sessions exploring lagom, and thanks to Volvo for giving us the opportunity to explore this in a wonderful setting and to work with their new, lagom inspired XC40 model!
Pic taken by Frank PR