Have a very Scandi Christmas
LIST: As London revels in Nordic festivity this year, India Halstead picks out the best dining options for a Scandinavian-style Christmas feast
SCANDI-BIRD, The Bluebird, Chelsea
Chelsea’s renowned Art Deco bar and restaurant, the Bluebird, are pushing the boat out with their new pop-up. With 'scandi-themed bites and Belvedere cocktails', along with a traditional Gløgg - mulled wine with a Nordic twist – we doubt the highly reputed restaurant can go far wrong. The courtyard will be transformed, by reindeer skins and candlelight, into a Scandinavian grotto, - perfect for huddling up in and keeping winter chills at bay.
THE NORDIC YULEFEST, The Old Shoreditch Station
Throughout December the enchanted Nordic Yulefest is cooking up a Scandinavian storm. Guest are led up a candlelit staircase into a Christmas wonderland, filled with silver birch trees, antlers and edible stars. Leading the festivities is Tomte - Scandinavia’s Father Christmas - and head chef of Fika, Daniel Cohan. Each meal comprises four courses, with apple-stuffed hams and home cured gravlax alongside red beetroot and roasted vegetables. To wash it all down there are specially created cocktails and Gluehwein served from traditional glasses, followed by alcoholic hot chocolate concoctions to finish: this will be a truly indulgent and immersive Nordic feast.
SKANDILICIOUS, The Old Guardian Media House, Theatre Delicatessen, Farringdon
Former theatre turned events space, the charming candlelit environs of the Theatre Delicatessen host Skandilicious. Kickstart the evening by joining in the snapsvisa (a festive drinking song involving a small shot of snaps) before proceeding to dinner, where, after sampling a cup of Glögg, you are invited to help yourself to a selection of over 35 dishes from the Julbord, - everything from meatballs to smoked salmon to herring – with a few surprises along the way. The dessert selection offers more than 8 traditional alternatives to the humble Christmas pudding, as well as a selection of cheeses, handmade chutneys, crispbreads and sourdoughs. After dinner, retire to the loft bar for dancing and festive-themed cocktails (prepared by the award-winning Fredrik Olsson). The perfect alternative to a conventional Christmas dinner.
THE SOCIAL MEAT CLUB, the Sun & 13 Cantons, Soho
This winter, Soho welcoms a popular new resident in the shape of The Social Meat Club. Chef Matt Young takes traditional British fare and adds subtle Scandinavian twists: from succulent hay smoked wood pigeon, served with pickled cauliflower and root artichoke, to fennel cured hot smoked salmon on a bed of pickled fennel and radish on sourdough toast. We’re particularly excited to try the juniper rubbed venison loin, served rare with lingonberry jam and chestnut crème. For a quick snack, we love the Nordic breaded herring with dill mustard and Nduja scotch eggs. Having worked with some top Swedish chefs, the Nordic influences Young has worked into his cooking give it a unique - and delicious - edge over usual meat menus. This wintry barbecue is not to be missed.
NÁTTÚRA BY KITCHEN THEORY, Westbourne Park
The culinary magicians at the sensual and extraordinary Kitchen Theory return to West London with their latest experimental dining series: Náttúra. Founded by Jozef Youssef (of Fat Duck and Dorchester Hotel renown), Kitchen Theory aims to use seasonal, native ingredients in order to nutritional, delicately-flavoured dishes. Having developed the menu after four months of research into the variety distinct cultures within the region, and closely following the key principles outlined in the New Nordic Cuisine Manifesto, Youssef's ethos is reflected in each of the six carefully crafted courses. These include a main course of seasonal game with mushroom and chestnut oats, rowan berry and dehydrated pickled mushroom, and a dessert of green apple and chocolate mousse, blackberry cremeux, chocolate crunch and chestnut silver sand. For a healthy and experimental Scandinavian dining experience.