It is now autumn. When we visited Fäviken it was in the middle of July. I am writing this post in Tarn which is a Department in the region of Midi-Pyrénées in South West France. Magnus Nilsson spent three years in France learning his trade working at L’Astrance and L’Arpège. We visited both these places in April this year (see earlier posts). Fäviken is about 700kms north of Stockholm and one hours drive from Östersund where Magnus grew up. But that’s enough history – after reading an article by Allan Jenkins on the Guardian/Observer website back in January, I knew I had to go to Fäviken and experience for myself what Magnus is all about.
We were greeted by Nilsson’s business partner Johan Agrell, who is maître d’, sommelier & general jack of all trades. Immediately we felt welcome and after showing us our room, he sent us on a walk around the grounds. After the staff’s “Early Supper” I was invited into the kitchen to meet Magnus & his team. It was clear that the source of the ingredients being used in his very humble kitchen had to have traceability back to the source. So this is why if you draw a 200km radius around Fäviken you will find most of the ingredients coming from within it.
A wild flower can not be picked too soon, but on the other hand having respect for a milking cow or an old sow by eating them after they have done their job of providing us with milk and meat etc. is equally important. This is part of the message that I feel Magnus is conveying in his food. I believe that today most people are programmed to eat the best cuts of meat only and vegetables out of season – not here at Fäviken where all cuts of meat are used and you will only eat what is in season or has been preserved.
At 19:00 a ceremonial fire was lit outside, and it was time to eat. Johan & Hanna take on the role of Front of House so to speak, but at Fäviken things are a little different. There were fifteen guests that evening. Magnus himself announced each dish, which was then served to everyone at the same time by him and his team. There were about twenty courses in total. Some of my favourites included: Wild Trout’s Roe served in a crust of dried Pig’s Blood; Trout, grated Carrots, sauce of darkly toasted Oatmeal; Wild Pea & Blue Shell Mussel Pie; Summer Garlic & the good Butter; Marrow, dices of Raw Cow’s Heart, Flowers, Toast & Herb Salt; Oxtail baked in Mead & Onions, Greens & Green Sauce (this was possibly my favourite dish – the care and work gone into it was amazing); Sour Milk Sorbet, Raspberry Jam & whisked Duck Eggs.
After the meal that evening I joined the staff for a drink and a piece of the infamous Pineapple Pizza they sometimes have on the Saturday night “chill-out” at the end of the last service for the week. What did we talk about?……Food & Wine mostly!
I must make a special mention of the Ducks & Duck Eggs which are served at Fäviken. We were lucky enough to visit their supplier Peter Blombergsson and I can tell you these ducks are the most happy ducks I have ever seen! We had their wonderful eggs for breakfast which was another meal from Fäviken in itself.
We had a fantastic 24 hours at Fäviken and I hope to return in February to experience another season and some more rektún mat (real food) at this magical place. To see Allan Jenkins article click here, enfoodie’s view on Fäviken is also worth a look, click here for that. Fäviken is currently number 34 in the world’s “100 Best”. Cost per person (= Dinner, Bed & Breakfast) I feel is a very reasonable 2250 Krona (£210 or 320CHF) Fäviken’s website for more information click here. (Click on a photo to start slideshow)