St James’s Market, 1 Carlton Street, London SW1Y 4QQ
Having gained a great reputation with their double Michelin starred restaurant in New York, they are now here in London with a more relaxed and laid-back feel. Aquavit serves Nordic-sourced dishes in a setting that evokes the feel of Scandanvia with its stylish use of natural fabrics and plenty of warming wood textures throughout the restaurant complimented by silverware by the renowned designer Georg Jensen as well as a stylishly adorned waiting team.
It’s a culinary celebration of everything ‘Scandi’ including Glassblower herrings, Gravadlax Vendace Roe and Venison tartar with wild blueberries, lingonberries and juniper, a menu with great variation including other fine dishes such as Seared Duck Breast and Cornish Lamb too…and of course Swedish Meatballs! So plenty of interesting and unique dishes to tempt one’s taste-buds.
We were looking forward to our evening at Aquavit with much expectation and we were certainly not disappointed. Arriving at Aquavit we took our place at the bar and were presented with an extensive drinks, spirits and cocktails list.
After some light refreshment we took our place at the dining table (overlooking the courtyard of St James Market) where we were welcomed by a smartly dressed gent from Sweden introducing us to the flavoured spirit that is Akvavit (or Aquavit), principally produced in Scandinavia, where it has been produced since the 15th century. The perfect accompaniment to our hors d’oeuvres of what can only be described as a ‘tapas style’ Smorgasbord.
The menu offers great appetizers of course but for us, the Smorgasbord was our choice to start the evening – Liver Pate, Shrimp Skagen and Gravadlax with a mustard and dill sauce – all three dishes were a fabulous way to start the meal.
For the mains we chose a succulent and tasty Cornish Lamb with cabbage and lingonberries, Duck Breast with rowans and parsnips alongside purple sprouting broccoli with smoked anchovy. After our Smorgasbord, drinks and main course we could only really manage a dessert to share so we went for the glorious warm chocolate cake with spun sugar, clementine sorbet and tarragon!
Aquavit also offers 2 stunning private dining rooms. The larger Stockholm Room can seat up to 60 guests with additional lounge space and bar for a drinks reception. The Copenhagen Room is a more intimate space, seating 14 on one round table. Both overlook the main dining room. Overall Aquavit truly delivers a stunning Scandi chic dining experience.
Please contact your Lifestyle Manager for all reservation and private dining enquiries.
Reviewed by Kevin Hilton