Aquavit… The name itself makes me feel right at home! As some of you might now, I am Danish – a real viking, as Frenchie says! Now, I don’t know about that, as I am always cold, but when it comes to food, then yes! Having lived in Copenhagen for many years, I am very familiar with Nordic cuisine – and I simply love it! I am sure, that many of you have eaten classic Italian, Spanish, French, Thai and Chinese meals, but have you given Nordic food a try? I am telling you, you won’t regret it – and if in doubt, let me give you the reasons why you shouldn’t be in this blog post!
A week ago, Frenchie and I were invited to Michelin star restaurant Aquavit at St. James’s Market for lunch
I was very much looking forward to this experience – and approaching beautiful Aquavit from the outside, I could easily tell, that this was my kind of place! Having read a few reviews of Aquavit, it was clear to me, that some local critics had no idea, what Scandinavian/ Nordic design is all about, but to me it was spot on – and I was in love
Let’s go inside and take a look, shall we?
We were warmly greeted by the very professional staff…
When a picture tells it all… Will you look at that bar? Probably one of the most beautiful bars, I have seen in my life!
The famous (and a bit dangerous) Aquavit trolley, that even tempts Nordic Gods – and Frenchie too!
So why the name “Aquavit”. Well, Aquavit London is aptly named after the Scandinavia spirit derived from Latin aqua vitae meaning the “water of life”. Traditionally it is flavoured with caraway and/or dill along with several other hers. It is the ideal accompaniment to a smörgåsbord/smørrebrød or starter and as we say in Scandinavia “the perfect marriage between food and drink” I have had my share of Aquavit, trust me! It is not for the weak! If there is one thing, I wouldn’t recommend, it is drinking it without food, so if you are up for trying Aquavit, make sure to eat along the way – and don’t forget to make a toast. In Denmark we say “Skol/ Skål“, when we raise our glasses!
Aquavit is housed in a Grade II Listed building, so Interior Designer Martin Brudnizki and his team gave much time and consideration to honouring and preserving the original bones of the building, whilst creating a cosy, intimate feel for a dining crowd
An exquisite wall-mounted textile, “The Green Glass Carpet”
by Olafur Eliasson
, takes centre stage and sits alongside silverware from Georg Jensen
, artwork from Andrea Hamilton
, and furnishing by Svenskt Tenn
, with every detail coming together to exude a contemporary Nordic aesthetic
Hey, Mr Dj….
Time to dine! We began our food-journey with drinks! As I am pregnant I went for a non-alcoholic cocktail – and Frenchie….
… was ready to take on the Aquavit trolley! As you can see the selection is quite extraordinary
O.P Anderson served in the most beautiful Svenskt Tenn schnapps fish flask in pewter
When it comes to food, you should definitely try a few of the dishes from “Smörgåsbord” (Smörgåsbord is a selection of small dishes and the food is inspired by the beautiful nature of Scandinavia
The bread selection was really good and we both loved the anchovy butter with chives
Frenchie is a big fan of herring, so we decided to try the Matje herring potato, sour cream, egg yolk. Delicious!
You can not eat Nordic food without trying Gravlaks with mustard and dill sauce! (One of my all-time favourites, and this one certainly did not disappoint)
The Toast Skagen (a Nordic version of prawns on toast) completely knocked me off my feet! This is a dish I will dream about for a very long time!
Our extravaganza dish of the day: Vendace roe “Löjrom” with red onion, sour cream & chives (Löjrom is a Swedish protected origin caviar harvested from the vendace fish) It was simply beautiful and one of the foods, you must try before leaving this earth!
We loved every single one of the dishes – and they were quite filling, so for me, I really didn’t need anymore to eat, but Frenchie was still a bit hungry
So he got spoiled with the very popular and Swedish classic Beef Rydberg: Crisp potatoes and rare-grilled beef tenderloin with onion marmalade, horseradish and an egg yolk! Frenchie was happy! The cubes of beef were super tender. The potatoes were perfectly cooked and slightly crisped on the outside… Bravo!
I joined Frenchie with a smaller dish, as I simply could’t eat a main. And my choice was Crab on rye brioche with fennel. Happy days at Aquavit! I felt so healthy – and the best part was, that it tasted so good!
I was more than full (in the good way), when I had my beautiful cup of tea with tasty homemade caramels…
– but we weren’t allowed to leave without sharing a dessert. I have said it before, and I will say it again… You don’t say no to dessert, when something like this is served in front of your face!!!
A picture speaks louder than words, and this artistic beauty was an epic to behold and a sublime representation of life and hope. With chocolate noodles as the nest and goat’s cheese ice cream with a curd centre for the yolk and a shell of white chocolate, this ultimate dessert was almost too dear to eat. (But we did and it was lovely)
We had a wonderful time at Aquavit London and will most certainly be back again soon! Thank you to Team Aquavit for inviting us and making me feel like I was back in beautiful Scandinavia for a few hours