Scandinavian and Nordic cuisine: where to eat in the UK and London
Sample the delights of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland
As Scandinavian and Nordic style continues to influence the design world, food from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland is firmly taking hold in the culinary field.
Here we pick out some of the best restaurants, cafes and shops to visit in London and across the UK.
Restaurant Hjem, Northumberland
Tucked away within a popular pub, The Hadrian at Wall, Restaurant Hjem (pronounced “yem”) brings the flavours and style of Scandinavia to the Tyne Valley with an ambitious tasting menu. All produce is sourced from surrounding farms and gardens in Northumberland and the tasting menu is between 15-18 servings.
The Hadrian Hotel, Wall, Hexham, Northumberland NE46 4EE; restauranthjem.co.uk
Nordic Bakery, London
Much attention has been paid to the minimalist interior of Nordic Bakery in London’s Soho, and this simple and pleasingly uncomplicated approach extends to its food. The compact menu is centered on its open sandwiches served on a dark rye. You’d be remiss to leave without a boxful of its famous cinnamon buns, or one of its delicious loaves, cordials and jams.
14a Golden Square, Soho London W1F 9JG; nordicbakery.com
ScandiKitchen was born out of the desires of founders Bronte and Jonas to bring a taste of their homelands’ cuisine - Denmark and Sweden respectively - to the UK. It has since grown into one of the country’s leading authorities on Scandinavian and Finnish food, with a cookbook to its name, as well as an extensive online store selling a plethora of groceries and store-cupboard staples from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. The best way to get an immediate fix, however, is to head to its original bricks-and-mortar cafe in central London, where you’ll find a tempting array of open sandwiches and freshly baked goods.
61 Great Titchfield Street, London W1W 7PP; scandikitchen.co.uk
The Salt Bar, Macclesfield
This cafe/bistro in the Cheshire market town of Macclesfield focuses on homely Scandi classics, done well. Start with its signature smorgasbord, an assortment of toppings served on a large knackebrod (crispbread) designed for sharing. Or maybe opt for prawn skagen, a refined take on prawns on toast, served on fried sourdough with dill, leek and horseradish mayonnaise. Moving onto the mains, you’ll find comforting and familiar dishes of traditional Scandinavian meatballs with pickled cucumber and cranberry sauce or Nordic Cod and spinach pasta.
23b Church Street, Macclesfield, SK11 6LB; thesaltbarmacclesfield.com
Snaps + Rye, London
Hygge - the Danish concept of cosiness, whether that be cuddling up with a good cup of coffee or sharing a plate of hot cinnamon buns with friends - was one of the buzzwords of 2016. But few do it better than Snaps + Rye, where husband-and-wife team Kell and Jacqueline Skott have established a tranquil slice of Copenhagen on Golborne Road in west London. Open from 10am to 4pm Wednesday to Sunday, it prioritises sustainable and seasonal produce. A selection of Danish delicacies can also be taken away from its deli and shop.
93 Golborne Road, London, W10 5NL; snapsandrye.com
Fancy trying the best Yorkshire ingredients prepared with Scandinavian inspiration? Then you must pay a visit to Baltzersen’s in Harrogate. Items on the menu include dishes adapted from a family recipe book that is almost 100 years old. Cakes and pastries are baked on site and it’s recommended that you try a Sultanaboller. It’s described as having the “softness of a teacake with a slightly ‘cakey’ texture resembling a scone”.
22 Oxford Street, Harrogate, HG1 1PU; baltzersens.co.uk
Two-Michelin-starred New York restaurant Aquavit brought its unique take on Swedish cuisine to London’s St James’s Market at the end of 2016. The contemporary dishes take their cue from the abundance of natural ingredients found across the Scandinavian landscape. Sample a smorgasbord of small sharing plates, where you can expect plenty of classic fish and seafood, including shrimp skagen (the Swedish equivalent of a prawn cocktail), gravlax and Vendace roe, while hearty mains of meatballs and lamb are pared with tangy flavours of pickled blueberries and lingonberries. The restaurant will reopen for dine-in customers on 24 August.
St James’s Market, 1 Carlton Street, London, SW1Y 4QQ; aquavitrestaurants.com