We’re proud of the fact The Harcourt holds plenty of interest and inspiration for enthusiasts of our lovely location – both Marylebone Village and visitors to London – and of course connoisseurs of culinary delights and private dining. And at this heart of the Harcourt, lies the crucial detail that makes us just a little bit different: the Scandinavian Connection.
The Scandinavian setting
The culturally charming area of Marylebone village where you can find us has been known for well over a century as Little Sweden. Broadly extending across the Western end of Marylebone village, from Marylebone High Street across to Seymour place and incorporating Montagu Place, Crawford Street and of course Harcourt Street, this area offers a vibrant Scandinavian setting, with shops offering plenty of baked goods, food, furniture and Scandi-style stores which offer some of the best Swedish, Danish and Norwegian products. The Ulrika Eleanora Swedish church is just next door to us in Harcourt Street and the Swedish embassy which is just a few minutes’ walk from here.
The Scandinavian story
Once upon a time in Harcourt Street, the beautiful five storey, Grade II listed Georgian building which is now home to The Harcourt was a 19th-century pub – the Harcourt Arms. With its distinctive ales, the pub quickly became known as “the Swedish pub” to its many Scandinavian regulars who popularly converged on the area.
The ancient pub evolved into The Harcourt restaurant we offer today, but with an eye still firmly on this Scandinavian heritage. Original features from the building’s Georgian era, such as oak panelling and leaded windows, have been carefully preserved, their timeless presence now helping to create the hygge cosiness of The Harcourt’s distinctive drinking and dining areas.
It’s this remarkable building, and the Scandinavian chapter of its story, which has inspired what’s on offer here today …
The Scandinavian influence
The Harcourt’s interior, aesthetics, and menu all embrace elements of this Scandinavian influence embedded in the history of our walls. This influence has inspired us to offer:
- Fika menu – the Swedish really know how to take a coffee break- which isn’t the usual gulp of caffeine and then back to it that we’re used to in London – but much more of an appreciative pause in the day. So, the Harcourt daily menu wouldn’t be complete without a dedicated Fika menu, which allows you to pause, reflect and appreciate the moment. With our Fika focus, it’s not just a case of stop and smell the coffee, but also enjoy some of the scents of Sweden, from:
- Toast Skagen, delectable sea-food which the Scandinavians are famous for;
- Gravadlax, Scandi-sandwich style, with delicious Rye bread, which also provides plenty of taste as a late-breakfast or early lunch snack;
- Cake of the day or a classic Cinnamon bun, using authentic recipes, flavours, and ingredients.
- Cocktails using Scandinavian spirits: popular choices include Swedish Maccloud; Nordic Cosmopolitan; Dalarna Drom and Kumina.
- Main menu dishes:
- House Gravadlax, a succulent salmon starter, incorporating tasty pickles and spices;
- Swedish Meatballs with a fine dining emphasis on a taste of Sweden;
- Nordic Reindeer, a delicacy which is not just high protein, it’s also high on flavour – available as a full carpaccio starter or as a main dish
You might also be interested to know that whilst Scandinavia doesn’t technically include Finland, we fully embrace the culture of this whole corner of Europe by enjoying Finnish flavours too, with cocktails such as Koivu (‘birch’ in Finnish and featuring a genuine birch spirit).