Living in the capital of the country certainly has its perks. In addition to fantastic restaurants, historical sites and political events, we are also exposed to important developments in the international arena. Case in point: In 2022, it was announced that the presidency of the Council of the EU was awarded to the country of Sweden from January to June 2023.
On January 19, D.C.’s Embassy of Sweden hosted a festive soirée called the Enchanted Winter Wonderland to commemorate the honor, and your friends at District Fray were tapped as the media partner for the historic event.
The evening highlighted the best of Swedish culture, from food to music to drinks featuring the famous Swedish Absolut vodka. The festivities took place on multiple levels inside the House of Sweden, which occupies a spectacular spot on the banks of the Potomac in Georgetown.
Each level was themed: one decorated like an enchanted forest with an elaborate table at the center piled high with meats and veggies. Another offered a glacier theme, with a live ice queen and delightful international snacks including mini pupusas, Afghan flatbread, spanakopita and adorable savory cones stuffed with various fillings like truffled black beans.
The rooftop offered an arctic vibe, with a norsegroni — a Swedish twist on a traditional negroni made with Lingonberry-infused Åhus akvavit, Italian bitters and vermouth — and gorgeous views of the city, and the outdoor patio on the lower level had a seaside theme with freshly shucked oysters. All elaborate food displays were the conception of chef Frida Johansson, the Embassy’s executive chef.
Additional cocktail offerings on each level included an Absolut coffee martini with spruce shoot syrup; a birch and berry cosmo, with Absolut, blueberry and birch sap; and the Northstar fizz, with sea buckthorn, cloudberry, chamomile soda and Absolut. The drinks were as unique and delightful as they sound; the martini had just the right kick, the berry cosmo was bright and slightly sweet and the Northstar fizz was a whirlwind of flavor.
After guests arrived at the celebration and had a chance to sample drinks and bites, Swedish Ambassador Karin Ulrika Olofsdotter made a speech thanking guests for attending and noting what an honor it is for Sweden to hold the EU presidency spot for the third time. Following the speech, there was a musical performance by Sámi joik artist Ola Stinnerbom, titled “A Year of Hope.” From there, guests continued to mingle, imbibe and enjoy the food, which included mini chocolate and pistachio ice cream bars passed to guests at the end.
Sound delightful? You too can enjoy events at the House of Sweden. The Embassy hosts several events throughout the year that are open to the public. Upcoming events are published here, and people can also subscribe to their newsletter here to receive information and updates about events.
You can also visit the House of Sweden on weekends to see their art exhibits, which currently include one charting the history of Sweden’s efforts to strengthen gender equality through progressive policies and legal reforms, highlighting the important role of the women’s movement in advancing women’s rights. Another features photography and video art, and shows how American culture and society have been depicted by prominent Swedish artists.
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