Tucked in behind its neighbour, Norway, Sweden is, for most people, a bit vague and anonymous. "It's where the au pairs come from, isn't it?" said one person I asked as an experiment. Others, with slightly greater accuracy, referred to Vikings and blondes, but it took a more than usually erudite friend to talk about Vasa and Gustavus Adolphus.

If you are among those who are uncertain about Sweden, you would be well advised to listen to Dawn Jones describing the delights of Stockholm, the capital city.