Last Tuesday I skipped off my flight from Stockholm, came home, got changed and an hour later was sat at a restaurant that felt oddly…familiar. This is Hemma, a lovely Swedish restaurant in Holyrood that I frequent fairly often. Hemma literally means ‘home’ in Swedish and is exactly what the name entails:
— at home
1: relaxed and comfortable : at ease
2: in harmony with the surroundings
3: on familiar ground : knowledgeable
So…what exactly was I doing at a Swedish restaurant after just having gotten off a flight from Sweden? Well, turns out that Hemma has a new brunch menu and since myself and fellow Edinburgh blogger Charlotte are Brunch’s biggest fans we couldn’t help but try it out.
Hemma is owned by the chain Boda, which own six different restaurants and bars, all of which have the same cozy Swedish interior and feel. There’s Boda (the original), Hemma, Akva, Victoria, Sofi’s and Joseph Pearce, all of which are scattered around Edinburgh.
Hemma is the kind of spot that works for everyone- it’s great for families as there are lots of toys and books, someone who’s there for a quick coffee, a glass of wine (which I sometimes do after walking up Arthur’s Seat as a treat), for a bigger meal and now for a leisurely or hungover brunch. It’s even got an upstairs bit that is available to rent for events or functions. The whole place oozes of home comfort- think comfortable colourful armchairs and sofas, big windows for lots of light, books and games on shelves and lots of plants. It’s basically like sitting in someone’s living room, if that living room was in the Swedish countryside in a big red wooden house.
But now, enough talking. Let me show you the food!
We started off our brunch with some coffees…much-needed for me since I had only had about 4 hours of sleep the night before. Hemma offers Swedish coffee by Johan & Nyström, which I actually know of since I went to one of their cafes in Helsinki a few years ago! That obviously made me very happy!
The brunch menu is pretty big and it might be hard to know what to order. We asked for advice on what to get and ended up ordering three things off the new menu. First up was…
Sweet tattie scone topped with scrambled egga, feta, chilli and honey
Okay…let me start off by saying I don’t eat eggs often. Not that I don’t like eggs, it’s just something that doesn’t interest me too much. BUT GUYS- THESE EGGS THO. I think it’s the combination of the honey with the feta that does it. And the scone. Everything, then. If there’s one thing you should get for brunch at Hemma, it’s this.
Secondly off the brunch menu we tried the…
Veggie haggis, poached eggs, veggie sausage roasted tomatoes, mushrooms and hasselback potatoes with beans and toast
It might look a little like a a plate of beige but let me tell you, it’s a plate of beigey goodness. Sometimes veg options can be a bit bland in my opinion, but not this! The haggis tastes like actual haggis, the sausages were flavourful and nothing felt dry. I’m thinking this is a great hangover cure 😉 And also it’s a LOT of food so you won’t go hungry.
Finally, we ordered one last thing off the menu that wasn’t in the brunch section but under salads, only because we were told it was amazing.
Slow roast tomato, sweet potato and lentil salad
Served with asparagus, toasted pine nuts, feta, chorizo, rocket and basil dressing
You know when you’ve eaten a lot of food and think that there’s literally no more room for anything else? That is, until dessert arrives? Well, this is a little like that. Our bellies were mega full of brunchy goodness already but as soon as we tried this our stomachs magically made room for more food. The chorizo and feta is optional but I would definitely recommend adding them in- they work really well with the sweet potato!
To wash all this gorgeous food down we needed something special. Enter Hemma’s version of a Bloody Mary…
Aquavit (a type of Swedish spirit), tomato juice, Worcester sauce, tobassco and all the trimmings and as spicy as you like it.
Now, if you’re ever craving a Bloody Mary, you know where to go. This stuff is faaaancy. Not some boring tomato juice and vodka mixture. It’s tasty, spicy and even looks sexy. It’s made with Aquavit, a type of Swedish spirit that I’ve tried with Swedish fermented herring (not my thing but each to their own). I’d never had it in a cocktail before and it worked really well! 10/10.
We really enjoyed our time at Hemma and so much so that we’ll be going to Joseph Pearce’s for one of their infamous Kräftskivas (crayfish party) soon! This excites me hugely since my Instagram feed is quickly filling up with photos of all my friends at different crayfish parties and I’m turning greener and greener with envy by the second. They might have some tickets left so have a look here if you are interested.
Thanks for putting me into a massive food coma, Hemma! ❤️ I’ll be back!