Waffles and Coffee at the Chinese Pavilion Cafe at Drottningholm Palace

A peaceful stroll through the grounds of Drottningholm Palace in Stockholm brought us to the scenic lakes, parks and gardens influenced by the lifestyle of Louis XV in his Versaille. What counts as a private residence of the royal Swedish family has been largely turned over to the public as a gorgeous little park in which to walk, go running, play frisbee or feed the leagues of Canadian geese that have set up camp there. Further into the estate you will find the Orient-inspired Chinese Pavilion, built in the mid-18th century and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The pavilion was a surprise birthday gift from King Adolf Frederick to Queen Lovisa Ulrika, presented to her by a 7-year-old Prince Gustav dressed as a Chinese mandarin.

Buried in the gardens surrounding the pavilion is a small cafe with a lovely outdoor terrace and a dark, sort of medieval-looking interior. My aunt surprised us by ordering coffees and waffles, arranging them on a table outside. Later, caught in the rain, we went inside and continued our mid-day feast in a setting reminiscent of Jon Snow’s Winterfell.

The specialty of the house and the perfect pairing to toasty-warm, free-refill coffee are the waffles. These are nice and crunchy outside and fluffy inside, slightly chewy in the center. They come topped with a bright raspberry jam and fluffy whipped cream.

We also tried a kardemummabullar, which is a fluffy cardamom roll sprinkled with sugar and often paired with coffee during a Swedish fika (coffee break with pastries). This one was a bit doughy for my taste but I imagine it makes for a wonderful breakfast, especially when smeared with some delicious Scandinavian butter.

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