Flavour of the Week: The Harcourt
Traditional boozer meets modern Nordic-inspired cooking on a quiet Marylebone side street. The Harcourt probably shouldn’t work, but it does
What's the draw
Nordic food's having a bit of a moment, and The Harcourt is all the evidence you need – it's an archetypal Central London boozer that's been given a Scandi makeover, from the menu (you can even get that Swedish afternoon staple fika if you want it) to the buzzy atmosphere. Grab a seat in the garden room for a chilled-out, leafy vibe.
What to drink
The Harcourt's cocktail game is strong, with a decent selection of twisted classics. If you're going full-Scandi, try the refreshing Berry Pine, with The Botanist Gin, pine liqueur and mint. The wine list's good, too, with plenty of by-the-glass value. The Plan B 2013 ST Shiraz has absolutely nothing to do with the rapper, and everything to do with Australia's Margaret River. Thankfully.
What to eat
Rather than being a full-on ode to Nordic cuisine, the menu tends to borrow influence and ingredients from the region here and there. The slow-cooked duck egg with smoked mayo and straw potatoes is as good as it sounds, while Nordic reindeer (is there any other kind?) with pearl barley, faggot and turnip and (of course) lingonberry, would have the members of ABBA salivating. It certainly did us. Line-caught Skrei cod from Norway, served with a few of its mates from the sea (cuttlefish, mussels, samphire) is another winner.
Mains from £12.50; wine from £4.50 by the glass and £30 by the bottle. 32 Harcourt Street, W1H 4HX; theharcourt.com