A taste of Sweden in London
14 June 2018
Xenia Klerk Kurpatow & Emma Söderberg
Take a walk through London with the SCC as we highlight our favourite Scandinavian food and fika spots!
Rök is a Scandinavian-inspired London restaurant group that now has two locations under their belt, one in Shoreditch and one in Islington. Much focus is put on incorporating traditional Nordic preservation techniques such as pickling, fermenting and smoking into their menu.
Trying to find a common ground between the UK and Sweden? Look no further than the Harcourt, a classic British pub with a Scandinavian twist. Located just a stone’s throw away from the SCC offices in the heart of Marylebone village and Little Sweden, this classic Swedish hangout offers delicacies such as meatballs, gravad lax and Nordic reindeer.
Feeling homesick or just looking for some new Scandinavian food to try? ScandiKitchen in central London stocks over 1,200 different brands from all over Scandinavia on its website, runs a café and the founder has written six books on Scandinavian cooking and culture. The most popular products for the Scandinavians visiting ScandiKitchen are dill crisps and chocolate meanwhile the British foodies go for Kalles Kaviar and Leksands crispbread.
The classic New York establishment opened the doors to their London branch in late 2016 and Aquavit still seems to be on everyone’s lips. Bridging traditional “husmanskost” with fine dining, Aquavit’s offerings beautifully showcase the best of the Swedish culinary heritage. Everything from the interior to the lighting has Scandinavia in mind and boy does it make us homesick! Want to impress a friend with the Swedish culture outside of just fika? Aquavit should be your obvious choice!
Nordic Bakery is not only selling Swedish pastries and food in their four shops in central London but rather a mixture of food from the Nordic countries as the name suggests. If you are in the mood for some fika, they will provide you with a wide range of yummy sweets including their bestseller cinnamon roll, but also mud cake (kladdkaka), tosca cake and raspberry cream bun which is a mini version of a “semla”.
Do you also find it disheartening how Brits don’t seem to value the weekly Swedish ritual of chatting with a few friends over coffee and a cinnamon bun? The LINK understands your frustration and therefore suggests you head over to Bageriet in Soho. Pro tip: order one of their beautiful Princess Cakes for your next celebration!
The Church of Sweden
Swedish fika can also be found at the Church of Sweden in London’s café in Marylebone where you can eat home-baked cinnamon buns, drink some Swedish Fairtrade certified coffee and browse some Swedish magazines.
If you fancy a Swedish “smörgåsbord”, all-day casual dining place KuPP, with four restaurants in the south of England is the place to go to! Their smörgåsbord contains a range of Scandinavian influences like Swedish Västerbotten cheese and smoked fish as well as homemade pickles, Scandinavian potato salad and rye bread. But KuPP has loads of other food with a Scandinavian touch as well. Why not treat yourself to some smoked meatballs, the popular smørrebrøds or finish off the day with a fika with Danish pastries? KuPP has it all!
Ekte Nordic Kitchen
Following the success of his first restaurant in London, 1 Lombard street, Danish restaurateur Michael Sorensen opened his new venture, Ekte, this April. The name of the restaurant means real or genuine in Norwegian and the food has no problem living up to the name. Boasting everything from typically Nordic open sandwiches to gravad lax, you are sure to leave with a satisfied stomach and smile on your face.
At TotallySwedish in Marylebone you will find a range of products including over 1,000 different Swedish food products such as pick n’ mix sweets and frozen food but also Swedish design and gift items. Apart from the typical and very popular staples that Swedes in the UK miss from home such as cheeses, soured milk (fil), crispbread, pickled herring and O’Boy, you will also be able to find exclusive Swedish deli products such as Swedish produced Hernö Gin, hot sauces from Skånsk Chili, coffee from Sandby and award-winning chocolate from Vintage Plantation in Umeå. TotallySwedish, so to say!
Stockholm-founded stone oven bakery Fabrique entered UK in 2012 and currently runs four bakeries in central and east London where they offer a wide range of classic Swedish pastries as well as traditional sourdough bread. Among the most popular pastries are the cardamom buns which according to Fabrique’s Operation Manager in London, Victor Bäckström, has a unique flavour and represents the Swedish “fika” culture. And the Swedish fika is sure appreciated by more than us Swedes. Nine out of 10 customers at Fabrique’s bakery are actually British.