Around the world one finds a lot of public buildings that are open for visitors. You have parliaments and castles and presidential dwellings. Very few regal private properties are open to the public, Solliden is one of them.
Don’t get me wrong, the whole property isn’t open to the public since it is essence private. The garden founded by the present kings’ great grandmother is open and it is spectacular. The walk even takes you literally a stones throw from the castle. One always wonders is the king in. That can be seen by looking at which flag is flown. If the royal ensign is flown, either the king or royal princess are in attendance. I luckily it was not a windy day, but the guide of the tour group slowing us down, speculated that yes, the king was in based on the tips of the sagging flag. Since we are not avid readers of royal news, we really had no clue who was vacationing and where. We did however get a glimpse of three royal kids coming to the palace, since one of them kindly stopped to wave at the gawking public. Who or whose, your guess is as good as mine.
Back to the main attraction. The park. It’s beautiful and very well kept. What is small or big is a matter of opinion. If you’ve walked the almost two kilometres from Caserta Palace to the English garden you might think this is small and quaint, but the actual gardens are quite similar. I imagine even with such beauty, one could get tired of the same surroundings for evening strolls. I’ll take this park over the one where I walk the dogs any day of the year.
I can also say that I’ve had afternoon tea in the royal gardens. I had to pay for it myself though. On entering the grounds you have a small area with a restaurant, ice cream and crepe booths. And there’s a small one right next to the actual park entrance. I imagine it can be some queuing on a very busy day, but it looked to work very well. Even with a larger tour coming in for lunch. Like at Borgholm, I think this has been done very nicely. With small kids in mind as well. A family affair. With the added flair, that the restaurant serves the products from the royal gardens that are not needed at the palace.
Like I said, we follow Swedish royals everywhere and know who’s who and where all the time. And we are suckers for all marketing tricks. Most of all, we always try to support local farmers and entrepreneurs when we are in the archipelago. That is why before leaving we had to visit the little shop and buy honey and marmalade made locally from the products in the royal gardens. So now we have royal honey on board.