IKEA’s Afternoon Tea Menu Is Not Only Delicious, But Very Affordable
If I could live inside an IKEA, I absolutely would – and now that I’m aware of the IKEA Swedish FIKA afternoon tea event taking place at a very specific IKEA location in May, I absolutely double that position. Offered as part of the IKEA Family programme, Sweden’s FIKA event introduces store customers to the concept of fika by guiding you through the event. It sounds both delicious and entertaining… except there’s a catch: it’s only happening in one place that I know of. You have to be near IKEA in Manchester, UK to experience it.
(BRB, move to Manchester and reside inside IKEA there.)
“Fika” doesn’t really translate directly into English; the closest we have is the “coffee break”, but the concept is much more than that. The SwedishFood.com website calls it “a concept, a mindset, an attitude and an important part of Swedish culture”; Considered by many to be an essential daily event, it is a social event or ritual where you specifically set aside time in your day to share a cup of coffee or tea and a snack with your friends or colleagues. “All Swedes consider it important to take time to stop and socialize: to take a break,” writes SwedishFood.com. “It refreshes the brain and strengthens relationships. And that makes business sense: companies have better teams and are more productive where fika is institutionalized. You absolutely cannot fika (which, yes, can also be used as a verb) by yourself; it’s just having a coffee. The social aspect is necessary for fika to be…well, fika.
IKEA Family, meanwhile, was launched in 1984 as the retailer’s rewards program – although unlike many loyalty/rewards programs, you don’t earn points or anything when you shop at IKEA. Instead, being an IKEA Family member gets special discounts, coffee perks like free tea and coffee and BOGO frozen yogurt, and access to special events (of which Sweden’s FIKA is one). ). According to IKEA’s official calendar, IKEA Family currently operates in 16 countries, covering 167 stores and has around 15 million members – and membership is completely free.
I have no idea how I managed to last this long without knowing this program existed. I love Ikea. I spent more time in his stores or browsing his catalog than any human really should. And yet, I honestly didn’t know it was even a thing until today.
Sometimes I think I’m too obtuse for my own good.
Anyway, knowing IKEA Family in advance wouldn’t have improved my lot when it comes to the Swedish FIKA event anyway, as I don’t live in Manchester. As such, I am currently experiencing severe FOMO as this event seems well worth the £5 it costs: the menu includes your choice of canapes, prawns and eggs or the vegetarian option of pearls and eggs from algae; either an open meatball sandwich or an open cheese sandwich; “Krustader” (which IKEA’s grocery section tells me is basically crostini) with herring or cheese and pickle; Daim cake, which The Kitchn describes as “the love child of an almond cake and a Daim candy” (Daim being a kind of Heath bar-shaped candy); Cinnamon brioches; cookies and cookies from IKEA’s Kafferprep line; and (of course) tea or coffee.
But the event is not limited to the food itself; you will also have a “knowledgeable [member] from IKEA FOOD” at your disposal to “tell you about each section of FIKA” and explain “how it became a Swedish tradition”. Then you will prepare some canapes yourself – and when you leave you will leave with your own FIKA cookbook.
Yes to all that.
The event is only open to people 18 or older; you can make a reservation for two people per reservation, with each IKEA Family member entitled to bring one guest. The £5 fee is per person, so if you bring a friend with you it will cost £10 for the two of you.
Of course, you’ll probably also live FOMO right now even if you do live in Manchester, because guess what? The event is very, very exhausted. There were originally six sessions available – three on May 28 and three on May 29, each session lasting 45 minutes and starting on the hour, each hour starting at 2 p.m. – but according to the event detail page , all sessions are currently booked.
But hey, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own Swedish FIKA whenever you have a spare moment. Instead of gulping down coffee at your desk, step away for a minute and grab a friend or two who are also available at the time. Enjoy your drink, savor your snack and enjoy the company. As Quartz notes, this could be the key to creating a pleasant work environment for yourself – or at least one aspect of your professional life that you can adjust to give yourself a happier environment overall. Skal!