With the latest hit Danish series The Legacy about to air on our screens through Sky Arts next Wednesday, it would appear that us Brits just can’t get enough of all things Scandinavian.
Nordic Noir has become a genre in its own right and is usually meant to depict a crime series with complex characters set against a dark and brooding backdrop in the Scandinavian Peninsula (to include Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and sometimes Iceland).
Nordic Noir has, I think, has been a huge influence on American and British dramas of late with TV productions really upping their game in terms of the writing, acting and overall quality of production. But it’s not just The Killing, Borgen, and the books about Wallander and that Girl with a Dragon Tattoo that have got us hooked.
Scandinavian restaurants, bars and cafes have been popping up everywhere in London recently and although it still feels too early to be talking about the C-word (CHRISTMAS! In case you were wondering), if there’s one thing they do as well as Nordic Noir, it’s celebrating Christmas.
I’ve compiled a Smorgasbord of places to visit to get that hygge feeling, so here’s my handy Scandi guide:
- For some early Chrissy pressies, head to the Scandinavian Christmas Market taking place from today over this coming weekend (21st-23rd Nov). There’s an outdoor street market outside the Finnish and Norwegian churches in Rotherhithe, with a Finnish indoor market inside the church, complete with Moomin memorabilia. Taste some delicious reindeer stew (sorry Rudolph!) along with other Scandinavian fare and find unique decorations and gifts for friends and family. Click here for more details.
- Available throughout December (but must be booked in advance), have a Swedish Christmas experience at Fika. Glug down their Glogg (mulled wine) while sampling elk, pickled herring and lingonberry jam. Check out their menu here.
- To stock up on food (without the Ikea experience), head to Scandikitchen where there’s also a cafe attached, serving breakfast, sandwiches and sweet treats with coffee. Click here to check out their website and location.
- For a true Nordic Christmas experience like no other, book tickets to the Nordic Yulefest where their website promises “Christmas cocktails, a Nordic inspired festive feast, games and treats, sprites and dancing, and unbridled tomfoolery“. And that’s just for brunch! If they’ve got sprites and unbridled tomfoolery for their brunch dates then goodness knows what they’ve got lined up for their Late Night Frolics!! But it all sounds rather magical and tempting. Find more details here.
- Order some dark rye bread with cinnamon buns and a coffee to banish those winter- day blues. There are now 3 Nordic Bakery branches in London (see here). Once you step inside you’ll be enveloped by the warm and welcoming scent of sweet cinnamon. Christmas in a hug!
- Have a Swedish Christmas at Skandilicious – a pop-up dining experience at Theatre Delicatessen (which took over the old Guardian Media building in Farringdon). Taking place through Nov and Dec, you can join in the traditional snaps drinking songs whilst sampling lots of Swedish culinary delights all by candlelight.
- If you prefer more noir than choir to your Christmas festivities, then at least you can get your fill of dark, brooding drama during the Nordic Film Festival which opens next Wed 26th Nov and runs to the 7th Dec in London before a UK tour. Click here for programme details.
Oh. Did I forget to mention that those Nordic folk are also pretty renowned for their furnishings and design? Head to Skandium in Marylebone to pick up some cool gifts or check out Hus and Hem‘s website here.
And talking of gifts, I would be happy to find any of these under the Christmas tree.