Swedish cafes in London

Last week I visited 2 cafés serving Swedish/Scandinavian food in London, Scandinavian Kitchen and Nordic Bakery.

Scandinavian Kitchen

The Scandinavian Kitchen is a nice and friendly little place, which also has a food store inside. It is a 10 minute stroll from Oxford Street tube station.

61 Great Titchfield Street

Daily board outside

The café serves reasonably priced salads, sandwiches, cakes and coffee/tea. I had to try the meatballs with 3 salads (I went for beetroot, potato and Swedish style coleslaw), and I was happy with the food – it tasted very much like home. 🙂

I also picked up some groceries in their food store, namely messmör and vanilla sugar for baking. Oh, and licorice, of course.

The food was quite basic, but good enough and not overpriced. Service was good and staff were very nice and helpful. The place was homely and cheerful, with playful twists on the Scandinavian traditions. I was impressed with their groceries selections. You can also order food online, with free delivery on orders over £50.

The difference between this café and the next one I visited could not have been bigger!

Nordic Bakery

Just like their website, the Finnish-owned Nordic Bakery is dark, moody, minimalist and beautiful.

14a Golden Square

Unfortunately, the (lack of) light inside prevented me from taking any good pictures on my mobile of the interior.

The walls were painted grey and dark blue, and were partly covered in wooden panelling. The ceiling was high, and there was a beautiful window looking out on the Golden Square, just a 5 minute walk from Piccadilly Circus tube station. The interior was stylish and minimalist, far removed from the more cluttery and homely Scandinavian Kitchen.

We sat down and I was very much looking forward to tasting their Finnish style cinnamon rolls, which looked gorgeous.

However, I was very disappointed. Personally, I prefer my cinnamon buns to be crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, and the dough needs to have risen a lot. The dough in this bun felt as if it had not risen at all, and was just too compact and dry – I could not even finish half of mine (which is unusual). This is of course just a matter of personal taste, and I just didn’t like them. I also thought the prices were a bit much – it was very expensive.

However, I think these two Scandinavian cafes complement each other well, as they have two distinctively different identities and brands. It just depends on whether you prefer homely and cheerful, or stylish and minimalist.

If you live outside of Sweden, and have any Swedish or Scandinavian restaurants, cafes or other places nearby that you’d like to inform about, please e-mail me and you can be a guest blogger on this site!

Sweden in London: Marylebone

Marylebone is an area of London, UK, which has a particularly high concentration of Swedish-related shops and organisations. If you are in London, and want a taste of Sweden, then there are a few places you may want to check out. Most places are centred around the streets Montagu Place, Crawford Street and Harcourt Street.

The Swedish Embassy can be found on 11 Montagu Place W1H 2AL, and this is the place to go if you need a visa to go to Sweden (if you are not from an EU-country). On their website, you can also read more information about Swedish culture in the UK.

Swedish Embassy in London

Very close, on 32 Crawford Street, you can find a cute little shop called Totally Swedish. They sell all things Swedish, mainly food products but also some books, magazines and other Swedish-made products.

Totally Swedish, 32 Crawford Street

Also, just around the corner, is Ulrika Eleonora church – the Swedish church. The serve fika and have a lot of activities throughout the year. One particularly popular event in the Swedish lucia on the 13th of December every year, but get tickets in time because it is almost always sold out! People who work there are all Swedish, so it is a good place to practice some Swedish conversation.

Svenska kyrkan Ulrika Eleonora

Lucia celebration

Finally, you can also nip in to the The Harcourt, a Swedish-run pub on Harcourt Street. The pub serves Scandinavian-inspired food.

The Harcourt

Completely on the other side of town, on Brick Lane, is another Swedish restaurant/bar called Fika. They have a snug roof terrace and they provide blankets if you are cold, so you can sit outside the whole evening – just like in Sweden.

Fika, Brick Lane

Fika’s little roof terrace

Finally, on the site Londonsvenskar, you can keep up with Swedish-related events in and around the London area. One date to keep track of is the Swedish midsummer celebrations in Hyde Park.