As an IKEA Family Card holder I received an invitation to 'A taste of Sweden' at their Gateshead store.
The event was part of the annual Ideas Festival held in IKEA branches throughout the UK and possibly the world. Our group learned a little about the history of Swedish decorative style and fare then the chef prepared food and offered samples for us to taste.
Did you know Gravadlax means salmon from the grave and refers to the days when the fish was stored deep in the sand...or that Scottish architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a large influence on Swedish interiors? I did not.
Mocktails were mixed for us, I intend to recreate the 'Cosmo' with fresh orange juice, a dash of lignonberry syrup and half a lemon squeezed into each glass full.
Each participant took home a gift bag of 'things for the table' and the workshops were free of charge for IKEA's family card members.
Later this week they will host their Crayfish Festival in many UK branches... another good and tasty reason to join their loyalty scheme. I was surprised to learn that there were still tickets available for my local store at Gateshead. They can be bought from the restaurant and Swedish food shop within IKEA.
Later I trawled the sales floor and saw a beetle cushion to accompany our SIB22-M beetle stencil.
If I wanted to wander around clutching a cushion it may have complemented a skirt that my friend Betty made for me with fabric that we bought from IKEA last year.
There was a children' workshop to encourage young gardeners to grow food and another one to introduce them to cooking. I think IKEA might approve of my mother's planter of ornamental and edible plants that I visited on my way home..
IKEA had given Family Card members a £10 voucher to spend at the Ideas Festival; mine helped towards the cost of buying both real and fake plants for my window and some power tools.
We have a tour around our stencilled house next month so I must repair things!
I was just about to leave IKEA after having spent an entertaining, informative and tasty morning when I checked my receipt. 'Scan me' it read; so I took it to the Family Card scanner and found that I had won a table lamp...which I shall collect when I go to the Crayfish Festival.
Thank you IKEA. I enjoyed being part of the family.