King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden have three children: Crown Princess Victoria, who tied the knot in 2010, Princess Madeleine, who got married in 2013, and Prince Carl Philip, who became a married man just last weekend. Here I am with the happy couple:
Why am I mapping out the Swedish royal family tree? Because I was in Sweden for all three weddings!
The first time was pure coincidence. When Madeleine got engaged, my Swedish friends Katherine and Peter urged me to come visit during that time, and I did. This time around, Peter just sent me a link to Carl Philip’s engagement announcement, and I started looking for flights.
We’ve thrown a fancy plated dinner party the night of each wedding and watched the live coverage on TV. (“We” is a overstatement, as Katherine does most of the heavy lifting.) I didn’t start this blog until three months after Victoria’s big day, but I did chronicle the party we had in honor of Madeleine two years ago (check out the food porn pics here).
Madeleine’s feast was a four-course meal, so of course Katherine decided to up the ante and make this one five courses. We read in a magazine that the royal couple had hired five renowned Swedish chefs to feed the guests at the palace, so Katherine researched each chef and our menu was comprised of dishes that they make at their restaurants. I kept busy all afternoon as Katherine’s assistant, and cooking five courses for ten people ended up taking most of the day! (Full disclosure: three of those ten were 5 or younger, but still.)
Before we get to the food, a few words about the new princess. Carl Philip married Sofia Hellqvist, and their relationship has garnered plenty of attention in the Swedish press. Sofia is best known for being in the Swedish version of the reality show “Paradise Hotel” about 10 years ago, where beautiful people pretty much get locked in a hotel, and they have to pair off and stay in hotel rooms together or risk getting booted off the show. She also did some modeling, including a racy Maxim-esque spread in a Swedish men’s magazine, where she was topless except for a huge snake wrapped around her shoulders.
Now she does charity work to benefit Africa and I’m sure her new Princess title means she’ll have to spend a lot of time waving and talking to awe-struck little girls. I kinda like her – she’s my favorite of all the royal spouses.
On to the food!
FIRST COURSE: Hand-held appetizers while we watched the ceremony.
SECOND COURSE: A plated appetizer while we watched Carl Philip and Sofia parade around Stockholm in a horse-drawn carriage, greeting the common people.
THIRD COURSE: Fish course. Eaten at the table during the cocktail hour at the royal wedding.
FOURTH COURSE: Meat Course. I think the cocktail hour was still going on?
FIFTH COURSE: Dessert!
Peter also had a very thoughtful wine pairing for each course, and, for the first time in about three months, I drank. It was probably the first time I got drunk since Madeleine’s wedding. I don’t say this to brag – after all, I’m not a 20-year-old frat boy. I’m only saying it because I gave up alcohol when I started losing weight – it was an easy way for me to cut calories – and now I reserve it as a treat for very special occasions, a few times a year.
Everything was wonderful. Amazing. Outrageous. I could rave for days. I had a blast. The thing with fine dining is that the fancier the meal, the smaller the portions tend to be, so even though I ate stuff I wouldn’t eat on a day-to-day basis, I didn’t eat much of it. Plus, I loaded up on those lettuce veggie cups, because raw vegetables. Duh. And I had gone on a 5k run that morning.
So let’s raise a glass to the prince and his new princess, and say “Skål”! That’s the Swedish equivalent of “cheers” (pronounced ‘skoal’, like the chewing tobacco brand).
Our wedding party ended with debauchery. One attendee ended up shirtless… my little god-son Stellan!
There’s one more Sweden post coming… and it’s about my favorite workout while I was there.
Keep It Up, David!