Last winter, a band of my foodie friends recommended I check out Chef’s Table. I did and was immediately drawn to Fäviken, Magnus Nilsson’s restaurant. I dreamed about the quiet Swedish winters, tender game and briny vegetables, the mountains and the rivers.
My boyfriend and I were very lucky and managed to book a table (or rather, two seats at the communal table) for the first evening of the summer menu. And so, off we went to Åre, Sweden! Here are some pictures from our May trip, if you’d like to see…
Åre is a tiny ski town about 400 miles north of Stockholm. Fäviken is located on the outskirts of town. We landed at the closest airport in Norway and had to drive 2 hours east to get to the restaurant (!)
But the scenery was worth it.
Because there is minimal tourism during the summer, the owners of Fäviken provides 5 guest rooms in a building adjacent to the restaurant year-round. There are 3 communal bathrooms (plus 1 delicious sauna with a window overlooking the mountains), which can be an adjustment for some.
We loved the cozy feel of our lodge stay and joked that it felt like summer camp again.
We had a chance to stroll around the property before dinner service which started at 7 pm. We watched the sun tuck behind the tremendous mountains in the distance, raced along the thin stretch of dirt road and took in the fresh mountain air. Every inhale felt like drinking a tall, cool glass of water.
The restaurant is actually a two-story building complete with industrial kitchen, seating area and upper and lower dining rooms with the gateleg table on the first floor and individual tables the second.
Our dinner companions included an international food critic and an Olympic skier from the very area. Our backgrounds made for lively introductions in part because we were all holding our breaths for the meal to come.
Highlights from our tasting menu included crisp farm fresh vegetables, quail eggs rolled in ash and scallops served with smoked pine, so fresh you could taste the ‘scuzz’ of the sea.
I opted for the wine pairing which turned out to be quite alot to handle (!) I loved how Magnus made the restaurant his own, serving his own mead and being present through every step of the tasting.
We spent the rest of the evening chatting inside and sampling desserts and digestives before taking a tour of the root cellar and huddling together in our teepee with built-in firepit, scotch and cigars in hand.
Jetlag woke us up at 4 am, to which we simultaneously thought aloud sauna and dipped into the heat in just our terrycloth bathrobes.
The last dustings of snow had fallen overnight and we silently watched the white overtake the gentle hills and fields of green. In the morning, we would wake to breakfast-another ceremonious spread- before returning to Denmark for the next leg of our trip. More on that later!
(Pictures from my Nikon D5300 and our iPhones)