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A one-person restaurant is opening in a Swedish meadow

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver

One table, one chair and no human contact whatsoever. It may sound extreme, but one Swedish couple has come up with an ingenious way for gourmets to bliss out without having to worry about getting close to strangers.

Set up in the middle of a meadow near Ransäter, Sweden, Bord för En (‘Table for One’) promises ‘a solo dining experience with just your inner conversation and a three-course meal’. For anyone not already fed up with their own company, that sounds like heaven.

The idea was born when Linda Karlsson’s parents, both over 70, paid her and husband Rasmus Persson an impromptu visit after the Swedish government introduced distancing measures. Wary of the parents’ health, the couple suggested they sit at a table out in the meadow next door and eat their dinner there instead.

The setting is idyllic – and Persson a former professional chef – so they thought others could well be interested in the concept, especially if they upped the novelty by removing all but one chair. They were right.

The restaurant opens on May 10, and has already taken bookings from across Sweden and from as far afield as Japan (though, given travel restrictions, who knows whether the latter will be able to make it?). Reservations are available from 10am to 10.45pm, with only one person able to book per day until the end of August, when it closes.

Dessert at Bord för EnGin-soaked blueberries for dessert. Photograph: Bord för En

Guests will be served a three-course all-day menu, including Swedish-style hash browns with sour cream and kelp caviar to start; a main of sweetcorn croquette with browned hazelnut butter, a carrot-ginger puree and Spanish salsify ‘ash’; and for dessert, gin-soaked blueberries with iced buttermilk and viola petals.

Each course will come with a non-alcoholic local drink. So that the staff maintain a safe distance, the dishes will be delivered by a wheel-powered basket. And if you reckon so special a dining experience could quite easily empty your bank account, don’t despair: guests pay whatever they want (or can afford). In these bizarre and uncertain times, the only issue is getting there.

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