An hour and a half out of the city by ferry, Svartsö is an island gem in the Stockholm archipelago that is almost worth visiting just for its lovely (and only) restaurant – Svartsö Krog.
This dining experience can be filed under Travel’s Welcome Little Surprises. We arrived in Svartsö (as per my previous post on this island adventure) with zero expectations of a delicious meal – rather just a dim hope of any meal – and floated into what was surely some kind of heaven portal. Gourmet (but not wanky) local fresh Swedish food, delivered with friendly service. We couldn’t believe it when our waitress confessed – in the infuriatingly perfect English adopted by all Scandinavians – it was her first week. Even without a booking, we were seated on the wooden balcony, with views out to the water. The eve was starting to get cooler, but there were big rustic blankets at hand should we need them.
On learning that food was served until 10pm and the restaurant was open until midnight, we started with a refreshing local ale and were brought delicious crusty bread and butter artfully presented on a piece of deep grey slate. Our starter was a little salad with beets and carrots, nectarine, feta cheese, greens and almonds. For mains, our vegetarian Skymie got the beets again, but with mushroom, picked lemon, feta, hazelnuts and dill, whereas I enjoyed cod from nearby island Möja, served with vibrant tomatoes (from Viken, which is an island down nearer to Malmö and Copenhagen), herb emulsion, olives and artichokes.
Wine really adds to your bill considerably in Scandinavia – in some case you can almost double your bill just by ordering a bottle of the cheapest on the menu – but we decided to imbibe anyway, given it was turning out to be such a perfect evening with our private beach camping spot, luck experiencing the beautiful restaurant, and the fact we were in Sweden…in the archipelago…on an island.
By the same token, how could we skip dessert? Especially when they tempted us with cheese cake ‘Svartsö style’ with berries of the season and lime? We decided that Svartsö did have style, and that you could dine in a sophisticated way on an island with one restaurant, and that Sweden is beautiful as the daylight fades over the sea. We took a wander on the jetty out the front, watched the peach colours of the sky, felt all fuzzy and ready to go back and sleep in our…umm…tent.
Want more? Listen to my Wanderlust on Bondi Beach Radio Scandinavia Special featuring Copenhagen, Roskilde music festival, more Sweden, the Norwegian Fjords and loads of great Scandi music!