Monday, August 19, 2013

A change of seasons...and chocolate shops.

On Saturday Mountain Man and I made some big decisions.  We've been in Sweden for almost a year now and...well, it hasn't been easy.  Of course, as my Grandad would often remind me, if it was easy everyone would be doing it!  Despite that nugget of wisdom and truth, or perhaps because of it, we have decided to shake things up a bit and cram more fun into our lives.

Malmö is a great place to live in many ways - it's close to Copenhagen, right by the sea and has wonderful cycle tracks and parks.  It's seriously lacking on the restaurant and foodie end of things though and we both miss that.  For that and lots of other reasons, we have decided to move from our beautiful apartment in Malmö to the University city of Lund.  Mountain Man will cycle to work every day, I will meet him for lunch and every now and then,  pop into St. Jakobs Bageri for a cuppa, mosey in the Saluhallen for fresh fish, meat and cheese and maybe, once in a blue moon treat myself to some divine chocolates from Hovby No.9 Chocolaterie.

As we walked around Lund on Saturday, luxuriating in the buzz, the smells of fresh food from the Saluhallen and the joyfully autumnal flowers at countless market stalls in Mårtenstorget, we stumbled across a sign for Hovby No.9 Chocolaterie.  Mountain Man remembered someone telling him it is the best chocolate in Sweden, so what could we do but follow our noses?  The signs and smells directed us through a little courtyard and down a set of steps into a surprisingly warm, tiny chocolaterie.

An hour later, we resurfaced, having learned the story of Hovby No. 9, of the warm and funny owner Inger and her many careers and of course, with a box of very special chocolates in tow.

Inger opened the chocolaterie 13 years ago, having spent 12 years in Switzerland and some time in Paris learning the art of chocolate making.  She grew up on a farm and chose to name her chocolaterie after the place and people she loves.  She was preaching to the converted when she told us 'I would rather have nothing if I can't have good quality.  No, I just do without until I can afford the best quality'.  Over the years, in different guises, working with the best quality has been her raison d'etre and she has brought this deep respect for quality to her latest venture, which she tells us proudly, she began at the ripe old age of 55.

I loved standing at Inger's counter, she was so warm and generous, listening to our story as she weaved hers around us.  She told us, with such passion, about an ingredient she had discovered and insisted we try a chocolate she had made with it.  When she learned we wanted to move to Lund, she laughed and said '...the best thing about Malmö is that it is close to Copenhagen!'  She insisted on sharing her email with us and taking mine, in case she heard of anything becoming available.

Mountain Man and I grinned at each other as we basked in the simple act of chatting with a stranger...oh how we have missed that!  Inger may not have realised it, but her kindness & openness gave us the final nudge we needed to make the decision to move.  Lund here we come!

1 comment:

  1. How exciting! Will skype during the week. xxx