Marylebone has an array of fine dining options, but none with that Scandinavian spirit that The Harcourt possesses. Housed in a divine Grace II listed 5-story Georgian townhouse, The Harcourt, which originally opened as The Harcourt Arms in 1826, has been re-established as the finest Nordic dining choice in London. With a beautifully curated wine list, both signature and a la carte dishes and a cocktail programme to last a lifetime, The Harcourt has Scandinavian elegance, delicious food and heavenly décor.
The décor for The Harcourt is a talking point in itself. Designed by Samantha Palmer and Andrew Endean, the regency layout has been wonderfully preserved, with the original simple leaded windows reminding us of where this restaurant’s roots lie. The oblique Nordic touches and the traditional Swedish Dala horse statuette which hangs proudly above the door hint at the Scandinavian elements that transpire through the décor, the drinks and the dining.
The menu, watched over by head chef Kimmo Makkonen and general manager Thomas Haring, is wonderfully Scandinavian in essence. For those who aren’t sure what Nordic dining entails, there are four food menus to peruse. The stand-out dish of the main menu was the Nordic Reindeer with pearl barley and lingonberry, whilst the mammole artichokes were an excellent main course to enjoy after the Brittany Fine De Clare oysters. For those dining at lunch time, the express menu is the way forward for quick and easy but sophisticated dining. Amongst the dishes are Swedish meatballs (the fine-dining version of the Ikea meatballs), and the house gravadlax, which came with gorgeous sweet mustard and a potato salad.
The Harcourt dessert menu is elegant and stylish, with a blueberry tart with crème fraiche and a chocolate mousse with liquorice crumbs and salted caramel making up our favourite options. The wine list was extensive, but we opted for a glass of Chianti Classico Fontodi, before dabbling in The Harcourt’s cocktail menu. The Swedish Maccloud cocktail was a highlight of the cocktail programme, with Mackmyna Swedish whiskey and cloudberry liquer, similar to the famous Finnish liqueur. Another favourite cocktail of ours included the Northern Star, made with Star Anise and a whole black pepper, infused. The Harcourt is the finest option for Nordic stylishness, fine-dining Scandinavian dishes in London. The Harcourt will be seeing us again very, very soon.