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Thanks to its Finnish chef, Swedish mixologist, and a location in a Scandi part of town (the Swedish Embassy is nearby), this good-looking gastropub has Nordic leanings. Nevertheless, the theme is subtle – an akvavit cocktail here, a reindeer there – rather than the gastronomic equivalent of an Abba tribute act. The refit of the Grade II-listed Georgian pile is ravishing: the bar-cum-dining room (cleverly separated into various cosy nooks) is aglow with copper-topped tables, polished wooden panels, and warm, golden lighting. Other levels reveal a stripped-back garden room and atmospheric private-dining options. Sadly, the food didn’t impress: the ingredients in our Marinda tomato and buffalo mozzarella starter weren’t of a sufficiently high quality to warrant such simple treatment; a more adventurous slow-cooked duck egg with smoked mayonnaise and crisp straw potatoes lacked strident flavours; and a pavé of slow-cooked lamb shoulder with super-smooth whipped polenta was mono-textured and overly salty. Slow, inexperienced service didn’t help matters – teething troubles, perhaps, but only time will tell.
Sometimes appearances are deceptive. Outwardly I look like an average 55 year old man, receding hair line, slight paunch and skin that has lost its elasticity. In actuality I’m a Nordic God-think Chris Hemsworth as Thor-with the power to shape worlds and the libidinous energy of an 18 year old oyster farmer. My inner deity is hidden inside the earthly frame that I inhabit just biding its time…The Harcourt and I have a lot in common. From the outside it looks like an average boozer. Admittedly a well-kept one in that posh reservation for the wealthy that is Marylebone Village.
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