Deep in a remote and serenely beautiful Swedish hunting estate, Fäviken Magasinet is a unique dining experience with two Michelin stars. Fiona Beckett discovers whether it's worth the distance and the price tag.
Fäviken Magasinet Järpen, Sweden
How far would you travel for a great meal? A couple of hours? Twice that? The best part of a day? Well if you want to go to Fäviken Magasinet it could take you at least that.
Magnus Nilssen is a Swedish chef who set up a restaurant in the middle of a remote 8,000ha hunting estate serving locally sourced Scandinavian food. (You can either fly to Ostersund via Stockholm from where it’s about 75 minutes’ drive, or Trondheim in Norway and then a 2.5-hour drive.) With two Michelin stars, it has become one of the world’s iconic restaurants, second place behind Noma in the Nordic White Guide.
The atmosphere is homely for a fine-dining restaurant. You’re greeted at the door and led into what feels like a large cosy barn. Everyone eats at the same time, each of the 20-odd courses announced with a clap. That might sound a tiresome conceit but here, unaccompanied by any pomposity, it doesn’t grate. The food is deceptively simple. There isn’t the clever-cleverness of dishes that are not as they seem but a great deal of thought, creativity and technique has gone into each one.
A cylinder of perfectly cooked king crab, for instance, bursting with sweetness is the best I’ve ever eaten. A huge scallop cooked over burning juniper branches mingles sweetness and smoke.
The moose broth filtered through moss which was poured over a local grain porridge might sound parodic, but imagine a game stock infused with all the earthy notes of the forest. Despite the existence of a Fäviken cookbook, I doubt many people would want to try this at home.
The wine list
You might fear you will be made to drink strange Scandinavian brews with the meal. Far from it. Polymath Nilssen originally went to Fäviken to sort out the wine list. Surprisingly traditional, it shows impeccable taste with Burgundy a strong suit.
Wine pairings on our visit included Colin-Morey’s Les Chenevottes 1er Cru, Chassagne-Montrachet 2010 and a Combes-Dessus Premier Cru, Pommard 2010 from Marquis d’Angerville. There’s also an impressive line-up of grower Champagnes.
There’s no getting away from it though, it’s expensive.
Dinner costs SEK 3,000 (£273) for the food which has to be paid on reservation and is non-refundable) and SEK 1,750 (£160) if you order the wine pairings. A room for two people including breakfast is SEK 2,500 (£228).
Would I spend my own money to go again? I would and will – if I can snag a reservation (there are only 24 covers).
It’s just a question of choosing between the snowy drama of mid-winter when the temperature can drop as low as -30°C and the ‘white nights’ of summer when the sun never really sets. It’ll be magic either way.
+46 (0)647 401 77
Edited by Laura Seal for Decanter.com
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