Very beautiful people drink very beautiful drinks at Stockholm, a very beautiful place. Customers are served by very beautiful staff who have the silken words to match the look. Laughing, however, seems to be very painful to these paragons of style and sophistication.<

Stockholm, located in Rotterdam’s vibrant Oude Haven area, is that kind of place. It’s a place where, at around ten in the evening last Friday, a clutch of students was hovering outside the establishment. After some consultation, the girls, dressed to kill in Ma’s lipstick, pulled their pimpled boyfriends inside. All set for a wild night.

Sleek and stylish

The interior is stylish and sleek. The bottles embedded in the walls seem to be floating. Large mirrors at the far end optically double Stockholm’s size without diluting the agreeable intimacy of its embrace.

Your reviewer occupied a stool at the bar and ordered two cocktails, the other one being for his companion. We watched as the cocktail shaker was put into action right in front of us. That ‘You can see exactly what’s going into what you’ll be drinking’ kind of transparency was nice, even honourable, but there was a nagging question: would the bartender rather be any place but here? The grimace on his face spoke volumes. Although the cocktails tasted good, they were exceptionally strong. Should we perhaps leave?

Shirts, ties and gelled hair

Stockholm is all about outward appearance. Staff look groomed to an extent that would please any emperor and his court; the shirts, the ties and the gelled hair, lest any strand of stray or dissenting hair should cause offence to notions of perfection. The only waitress in the place had clearly been hired for her looks. As my companion observed, her voluminous mammary glands were rather difficult to miss. My companion was delighted later that evening when he suspected that she had undone another button of her shirt. His smile did not thaw the queen of ice.

Stochholm 3
Image credit: Sanne van der Most

And then there are the customers, most of them young. The one is more dressed up than the other and many men’s shirts are that bit too open. In fairness, there were exceptions. Your reviewer saw at least one guy who let his girlfriend pay the bill.

Stockholm is not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s a warm place only because of the sweltering heat.

Eric-Kroegrecensie 1-uitsnede