The Swedes know how to do summer. From the land of lakes and serious foodie picnicking, Hemma is a small Scandinavian mecca on Holyrood Road.
Hemma – meaning “home” – is a sister to the city’s Boda Bar, Sofi’s and Joseph Pearce’s, owned by Anna Christopherson, right, and husband Mike. I popped in with colleagues and while the limited menu includes substantial salads (£7.50), kofte kebabs (£8.50) and the ubiquitous pub burger (£9), it was the platters that caught our attention.
The Scottish Cheeseboard (£14.50) was your usual fare, though the homemade red pepper jam did jump out. But it was the Hemma Smorgasboard (£12.50) and the Greek Style Mezze Platter (£12.50) that really beckoned us.
The former, made of fantastic Belhaven Smokehouse smoked trout, cured ham and smoked cheese, was served with pickles and was a real taste of Sweden. The Greek platter could have done with larger servings of the peppers stuffed with feta and vegetables, though the grilled lemony and garlic aubergines were a treat and the halloumi welcome. Finished off with tzatziki, olives and fresh bread with balsamic and oil, there wasn’t a scrap left. The platters are delicious but not enormous, so order a few rather than one for three.
The cocktail list at Hemma is worth a visit alone. Starting at just £3.50, expect unusual flavour combinations and a few surprising treats – we devoured a fair few “dessert” cocktails in lieu of pudding. Staff here lay down fake grass outside when the sun shines on vitamin-D deficient Edinburgers, and this sums up the place in a nutshell. Relaxed, fun, with a family vibe during the day and a cocktail list as long as the lines for an Ikea sale, it’s a great shout for a summer’s day.