Ahoy! Half studio, half café, all boat – Malmö's hidden treasure surfaces.

By: Kai Teo

Photos: Studio Tintin

Where: Studio Tintin – Norra Neptunigatan 25
What: Photography studio, café, boat 
Opening hours: Tue–Sat, 1130–1800
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

As kids, we always had our own secret hideouts. That termite infested tree house that was built with rusty nails hammered into rotting planks, that secluded stairwell that you would bring your first girlfriend to smoke your badly rolled joint, or that special rooftop that you would never let anyone else discover.

Well, we recently stumbled upon our own little gem, right here in Malmö. And it all happened one Saturday afternoon a few weeks back.

It was one of those days you woke up not knowing whether you were hung-over or still drunk. And we somehow figured that a breakfast somewhere not in Möllan would be a good idea.

A few beers later, we were stumbling about the harbour near the Malmö Högskola. We forgot our hunger, our hangovers and the humdrum of the city’s hipster brunch scene.

In our semi-drunkenness, we looked up and stared into the cloudless, bright blue sky and watched the noonday sun’s rays filter through the towering peach-coloured chimneys of the quiet flourmill. During the weekends, this place is deader than dead. Even the birds don’t come here. Now that’s some peaceful, serene shit.

Except the fact that our remaining beers were quickly getting warm, it was the perfect afternoon.

Then it caught our eye. Gleaming like a giant sugar cube, the majestic white boat stood tall and proud in the testicle-eating fish-infested water. Flags adorn the mast with bright, rainbow colours, gently fluttering in the summer breeze. It looked too quiet, too lonely.

And so we had to bring our party there.

Painted on the front of the boat were the big, black, Helvetica (maybe) letters TINTIN. Ok, so you’re telling me this is Tintin’s boat? That dude with the little white dog?

And that was when a real white dog came running towards us excitedly, wagging its tail and shit. It looked absolutely stupid, and absolutely adorable. We patted its furry head and step aboard. We were expecting to see at least some Tintin lookalike.

Nope. Instead, what greeted us was a lot hotter than Tintin himself.

It was a gorgeous lady clad in severely torn jeans and a simple black tank top. She had enormous light blue eyes that, yes, stared straight into my soul as she greeted us with a half-smile half-smirk, which gave a slight hint of a possible half-badass half-sweetie pie character. Her gait was far from anything you would call graceful. She walked with a laid-back swagger that remotely resembled a hybrid of the movement dynamics of “The Dude” and Willy Wonka. Kids these days would call it fucking “swag”, but to me, that was pure class. I could dedicate a whole blog to this angelic waitress, but we should get back to the review.

I figured that “Where have you been all my life?” wouldn’t make a very good first impression. So I ordered the 60 kr double-heavenly-cheese-sandwich lunch instead.

I tried making small talk at the counter, but everything just came out fucking stupid.

“Erm, that’s a cool card machine you have there.”

What the fuck dude. Best pickup line ever. “Ooo, he likes my card machine. This guy must be interesting.”

Ok but before you judge me on that line, the card machine was really fucking revolutionary. It was like some small futuristic device with sleek contours and a sophisticated shiny black exterior. I wouldn’t call it a rectangle, it was more than that. It was the shape of the next century. And what’s more, you could actually have your receipt emailed to you. YES. Technology.

We didn’t quite have an intense conversation on that topic. She merely served me my coffee and left me to my own devices.

The coffee beans here are bought fresh daily from the Kafferosteriet factory just next to the boat. Carefully grounded and brewed, it was one of those coffees that you could see a slow trail of smoke rising up from. You know, like TV commercial shit. One sip could make you sit for hours and think about the beauty of life.

We reveled in the coffee while soaking in the sun on the deck. It was painted with fresh, cheerful colours and came complete with a giant parasol, a hammock (uh-huh, I know right), pastel-coloured furniture, a little cane couch, a big swimming float and yes, the dog. It doubled as a diving platform into the cool, inviting water and we couldn’t resist the temptation to jump straight into the canal. Fuck my testicles, I needed a swim.

This was heaven. We were at this secluded spot away from busy Malmö, drinking good coffees and stuffing delicious sandwiches in our faces, and we could even swim.

While we were frolicking in the water, the boat captain emerged from the basement and said hi to us. Ok, he too, was disappointingly, not Tintin. But it’s ok, I would rather him be fictional.

Captain Hammock, also known as Linus, gave us a brief introduction and tour of the boat after setting up a makeshift shower specially for us to wash off any flesh-eating bacteria.

The concept started as a photography studio, where people could pick costumes from the extensive in-boat wardrobe to dress up and have portraits of themselves taken. It then kinda expanded into a café for the clients, and eventually evolved into what it is today.

Dozens of stark, powerful photographs, taken by the captain himself, hung all over the walls in exquisite frames. The boat’s interior was embellished with tons of antique toys that you could secretly play with when none of the staff are watching.

I guess the most impressive thing about the café was the impeccable service. First, the parasol that was specially set up upon our kind request, then it was the shower, followed by free sunglasses that you could borrow if you forgot yours…

Little shit like that goes a long way.

Hidden from the rest of Malmö, the only people who really ventured to this area were lost bikers trying to find a quiet corner, the canal-tour boat passengers whom you’re obliged to wave to every time they go past, rich boat owners that would sip champagne and show-off their state-of-the-art boat GPS, and us. It’s a peaceful haven.

And you could even request for songs. Especially anything by The Doors.

Anyone that doesn’t have ADHD wouldn’t have any problems just lazing here for an entire afternoon. It kinda makes you feel like you’re on a private holiday cruise with your BFFs if you ignore the giant chimneys and ugly factories around. You know, just binging on the sandwiches, pies, juices, light beers and the legendary coffee.

Looks like we’ve found our new hangout. And we were really hesitant to write a review at first, it was a secret we didn’t want to reveal to anyone. It was our hideout where we could really sing “I’m on a boat” at the top of our lungs.

But good things should always be shared. So here you go, Studio Tintin.

And of course, if you’re there, do say hi to the most alluring waitress in the entire fucking network of multiple universes, Alexandra.