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Swedish Inspired Midsummer Picnic

Swedish Inspired Midsummer Picnic:  Enjoy drinks, smorgasbord, and dessert all inspired by a traditional Swedish Midsummer party menu.  Easy to create at home, and so delicious!

Swedish Inspired Midsummer Picnic:  Enjoy drinks, smorgasbord, and dessert all inspired by a traditional Swedish Midsummer party.

We’re celebrating Swedish midsummer eve with a traditional picnic and some Swedish foods all enjoyed outside for a picnic with friends and family.

I’m so excited to share my Swedish Picnic with you! We’ve been creating picnics inspired by different international cuisine this summer. Our first one was a British Inspired Picnic -check it out here.  And today, we’re sharing our picnic inspired by Sweden and their traditional midsummer picnics.  

What is Swedish Midsummer?

Midsummer celebrates Equinox, or the longest day of the year, and in Sweden it usually involves a Midsummer party in the form of an outdoor picnic, flower crowns, and a great menu of traditional Swedish foods.  This usually takes place around the end of June.  It is often considered a magical time, and is celebrated to welcome the beginning of the summer from pagan times, and the season of fertility.  Young women would often wear wreaths of flowers in their hair.  Midsummer is one of Sweden’s most popular holidays and big celebration of the summer solstice in most parts of Sweden.

Swedish Inspired Midsummer backyard picnicInternational Inspired Picnics

This midsummer meal was really pretty simple to put together.  A few months ago, I asked my Facebook readers “what keeps you from entertaining more?” The most popular answer was “my house”.  Some felt overwhelmed by getting the house looking company ready, some didn’t have enough space to entertain, and others felt they needed some major renos or redecorating before entertaining.  Those answers inspired this series of picnics.  The perfect solution to not entertaining at home is to go on a picnic with friends.

Swedish Midsummer PartyThe Setting and Decor

As is Swedish tradition, we set up this picnic in our backyard -which might work for someone who doesn’t have enough space inside but has some outdoor space.  But you could also pack it all up and serve it at your local park too.  MIdsummer celebrations are usually outside.

Swedish Midsummer Party menu

I decided to go with a black and white theme for our midsummer table.  It’s a real favourite of mine lately, but seemed perfect for the Scandinavian vibe.  I shopped my house for the pillows, and they really do make the chairs so comfy and perfect for lingering around our midsummer dinner.

black and white outdoor bench

We kept the table setting pretty and simple, with just a side plate, napkins, black cutlery, and a stemless wine glass for each guest.

black and white backyard Picnic

For flowers for our Swedish midsommar table, I picked some Queen Anne’s lace and used some little glass bottles to add some around our smorgasbord. So pretty and summery.

Swedish Midsummer Party

Swedish Inspired Midsummer PicnicSwedish Inspired Midsummer Picnic Menu

The midsummer’s eve menu was a lot of fun to put together to celebrate the arrival of summer, and something a bit different as we came up with our own version of a Swedish traditional menu.  I’ve never been to a Swedish picnic before -here or in Sweden, but after my research I knew I would like to!

Swedish Midsummer Party

To make things easy, we headed to Ikea for a lot of the picnic food since they have a great selection of Swedish cuisine. I did a little research on-line ahead of time, I had a good idea of the standard picnic fare for a Midsummer Swedish Picnic.  I learned all about smorgasbord.  

A smorgasbord is traditional Swedish fare, and always includes brown bread, butter, and a cheese board.  They usually include fish, like pickled herring, or fresh salmon, which we skipped.  We did include salmon.  Smorgasbords have come to include both hot and cold dishes and in North America are now usually referred to as buffets, and can be quite extravagant.

how to throw a Swedish Midsummer partyI was guided by the traditional smorgasbord for a Midsummer picnic, and also what was easily available here in Canada.  I did find lots of great additions on my trip to Ikea.  Here’s what we picked up at Ikea, to make this picnic a little easier.

Swedish midsummer party food from Ikea

Drinks

  • Sparkling Pear and Sparkling Apple and Lingonberry Juice (Ikea)
  • lingonberry Syrup and Blueberry Syrup concentrate (Ikea)

Smorgasbord

  • Leek and Cheese Pie (Ikea)
  • Light Rye Bread
  • Dark Rye Bread
  • Crisp Bread Rye Crackers (Ikea)
  • Sliced Roast Beef
  • Cured Smoked Salmon (Ikea)
  • Jarlsberg Cheese
  • Havarti Cheese
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Sliced Cucumbers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Honey Mustard Sauce
  • Mustard Dill Sauce (Ikea)
  • Pickled Gherkins (Ikea)
  • Butter
  • Cucumber Salad
  • Boiled New Potatoes
  • Potato Chips -Plain and Sour Cream (Ikea)

Desserts

  • Daim Cake (Ikea)
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Daim Chocolate Bar (Ikea)
  • Cookies with Raspberry Filling (Ikea)

what to serve at a Swedish Inspired Midsummer Picnic

New Potatoes

The only things I had to actually cook were the new potatoes -which were boiled and then I added butter and fresh dill to, and the cucumber salad.  The new potatoes were served hot and they were delicious.  Potato salad would be a great option too.

Swedish Inspired picnic food

Cucumber Salad

For the cucumber salad I sliced a cucumber very thinly and then made a dressing of 1/4 cup of white vinegar, and 3 tbsp sugar, and some fresh dill.  This cucumber salad was like a quick pickle and delicious with everything else we enjoyed for our midsummer day feast.  The main course was delicious and really easy to assemble with all the traditional foods we were able to find.

Swedish Inspired Picnic Menu

Swedish Inspired Midsummer party Picnic menu ideas

Cheese

I wasn’t able to find authentic Swedish cheeses here, but found on line that a Jarlsberg or something similar and a soft cheese like Havarti were great substitutes.

Swedish Inspired Midsummer Picnic

I’ve never really cooked much with dill, but it seemed like a really prevalent addition for Swedish food.  I added it to the potatoes and the cucumber salad and we all really enjoyed it.

Swedish Inspired Midsummer Picnic menu

The glass bottle was picked up at Ikea too, and it’s perfect for cold water.  Guest could have plain water or add in the blueberry or lingonberry syrup.  Stemless wine glasses were perfect for water, the juice mixture, or the sparkling juice.

Swedish Inspired Picnic drinksDessert

I also found on-line that sweet strawberries are a must for a midsummer picnic, either in a dessert like strawberry cake or on their own.  We loved our dessert tray, and just kept nibbling on the chocolate, strawberries, and cookies as we talked the night away at our own little Swedish midsummer celebration.

Swedish picnic dessert ideas

Swedish Midsummer Picnic DessertsThis theme was so fun to put together and it was fun trying to find some of the traditional food and celebrate the beginning of summer together.  I loved that it was little bit different, but there was still something for everyone -even the kids, to really enjoy.

Swedish Inspired Midsummer Picnic:  Enjoy drinks, smorgasbord, and dessert all inspired by a traditional Swedish Midsummer menu.  Easy to create at home, and so delicious!It was great creating a true smorgasbord for our Swedish Midsummer party so everyone could help themselves.  And it was a real hit with the guests.  Such easy entertaining, where everyone lingers at the table and keeps going back for a little bit more, or try another combination.

Swedish Inspired Midsummer Picnic:  Enjoy drinks, smorgasbord, and dessert all inspired by a traditional Swedish Midsummer menu.  Easy to create at home, and so delicious!Swedish Inspired Midsummer Picnic

how to throw a Swedish Inspired Midsummer Picnic

garden picnicWith a Swedish Inspired Midsummer Picnic, life really is a party!

More Inspiration

You might also like our French Inspired Picnic here.

Also check out our Midsummer Night’s Dream Picnic here.

Midsummer Night's Dream Picnic: An individual boxed picnic to enjoy Shakespeare in the park, whimsical flower masks, and perfect boho picnic decor.You might also enjoy our Pink and Yellow Picnic here.

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