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The city’s best bits, explored by us.

A Swedish Affär


A Swedish Affär

Oh the bitter winds are coming in, And I’m already missing the summer. Stockholm’s cold but I’ve been told I was born to endure this kind of weather. - Emmylou by First Aid Kit

I fell in love with this beautiful song Emmylou by First Aid Kit the first moment I heard it drift in and out of Glasgow cafes like a soft summer wind. It reminded me of home, and family harmonies, a sweet Scandinavian – Americana with a melancholy nostalgia most Scottish people live and breathe. When I found out it was Swedish I think I loved it even more.


citizenJerry says: and I fell in love with Swedish Affär, Glasgow’s first Swedish Cafe the moment I walked through the door. Another cold Northern enclave with a romantic musical soul, and a hint of Cowboys and America like so many Scottish childhoods. My grandparents lived on Palermo St, the gentle Wild West, where America met Glasgow, Little Cagneys and John Wayne, and people sang lullabies in the snow and the rain.

A fairy tale confection of vanilla white Scandinavian elegance,  warm cinnamon and simplicity. Emmylou was drifting through the air like honey and a handsome young man in a perfect white Chef’s jacket was on his knees with a spray gun, furiously polishing an immaculate white floor, as an endless flow of locals and Scandinavians bustled curiously in. The cowboy with the gun, it turned out, was the Scottish owner Jonathan Goslan ; artist, sculptor, self taught artisan-baker. Perfectionist.


Utterly charming and infectious, he threw away his cloth, and threw himself into a tale of hard work, love and romance, and a master class in the art of the beloved Swedish Semla { a cinnamon bun filled with vanilla & marzipan cream } in their artisan bakery downstairs, handing me a pestle and mortar to grind the secret ingredient, cardamon, before rolling it into the warm freshly baked dough and perfect little round buns ready for the oven. I was completely smitten. Completely self taught, he had only learned to bake in the last six months, a theme I discovered, which runs through everything he does.


Jonathan, previously a successful gallery owner in London, and a noted sculptor with pieces on show in Scotland from the Saatchi Gallery, opened Swedish Affär in January, along with his multi-talented Swedish born wife Theresia Jansson Lynch, artist, model, photographer and already a highly successful novelist in Sweden.They moved back from Sweden with their young son to bring a little piece of Scandinavian heaven to Glasgow.

From the owners to the cakes, an alchemy of Swedish style and simplicity right down to the beautiful interior with its single chandelier glittering over iconic white and cream Philippe Starck Ghost Chairs broken only by hints of green in the perfect miniature Scandinavian topiary. In the sunshine the elegance moves Europeanly outdoors, and glistens under the gaze of the beautiful sandstone pillars of the Museum of Modern Art on one of Glasgow’s most beautiful cafe lined plazas, Royal Exchange Square.

citizenJerry says: everything about Swedish Affär is romantic.

The food most importantly is exquisite and romantic too and already adored by Scandinavians in Glasgow. Authentic Swedish produce is stylishly mounted on display to buy and a range of beautiful vegan, gluten and lactose free salads and pastries are available too.


Like the scent of warm cinnamon Jonathan and Theresia’s enthusiasm and perfectionism infuses everything, from the choice of music to design, to baking and Jonathan’s painstakingly creating the beautiful font for the name. Everything is done with the same exacting creativity and love.

As Juliette Binoche whispers in the film Chocolat,  ” I sell dreams, small comforts, sweet harmless temptations to bring down a multitude of saints crashing among the hazels and nougatines ”

There will be saints crashing among the hazels and nougatines in Swedish Affär where Jonathan and Theresia sell dreams, and exquisite small comforts and temptations to bring down a city.

Swedish Affär

6 Royal Exchange Square
G1 3AB Glasgow

Image by Jerry Burns

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