Hot Spot: Aquavit, London

Chanel Bailey, director, Bailey Communications, gives her verdict on this informal Nordic restaurant.

Chanel Bailey says she will return for the raggmunk at Aquavit
Chanel Bailey says she will return for the raggmunk at Aquavit

The story

New to London, Aquavit originally opened in New York in 1987 and serves up Nordic cuisine in a beautiful, informal setting.

The modern, Scandinavian-styled interior is by Swedish designer Martin Brudnizki, silverware is by Georg Jensen, wall-mounted textiles are by Olafur Eliasson and the furnishings by Svenskt Tenn. The staff even have Nordic uniforms designed by Ida Sjöstedt.

The reality

St James’s Market is a serene hideaway, tucked away behind the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly Circus. The setting was ideal for my breakfast meeting with a journalist – quiet and unpretentious. We were excited about trying a new kind of breakfast that was fairly priced, consisting of kippers, raggmunk (sweet potato pancake) and lingonberries.

The damage

Our bill came to £45 for breakfast for two. The lunch menu averages £41 a head. Signature dishes inspired by Scandinavian nature, the menu consists of seafood, wild foods and berries, and rich game meat. Top dishes included ragg­munk with lingonberries and bacon – we added poached eggs to ours. The Nordic breakfast included rye bread, boiled eggs, smoked cod roe and avocado. This is the place to come for those who are fed up with a traditional English breakfast and keen to try something new.

Dining experience *****

It has great service and a great menu, and is the ideal place for people who want to hold a conversation without having to shout over the noise.

Chance of getting a last-minute booking ****

The quiet location means footfall is low, so it’s the perfect place to walk in without a booking.

Client wow factor ****

This is an understated and relaxed restaurant, and is perfect for a catch-up meeting and for those who want to feel they are making healthy food choices. There is plenty of space for entertaining clients and the booths seat up to four people.

Overall *****

I will be coming back here for the raggmunk potato pancake, which kept me going until 4pm.

Reviewed by Chanel Bailey, director, Chanel Communications


 

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