When the world closes one door, another opens. The first restaurant in the world designed to keep diners safe from COVID-19 has been opened in Sweden.
This unique restaurant has all the amenities of a luxurious new dining venue with carefully prepared menus including locally sourced ingredients and a picturesque setting. But most importantly, it’s “COVID-19-free”.
What is so special about Bord för en, Sweden?
The restaurant started when Linda Karlsson’s parents showed up at her house on a cold windy day and she refused to let them in. “I haven’t seen them in weeks,” but still couldn’t open the door. It was the latest chapter in a family movie, but that was the only way she knew to keep her and her parents safe from the virus that was sweeping the world.
“In Sweden, there are no real restrictions about social distancing, but there are recommendations and we follow them,” she said. That means it is not possible for parents to enter the house, but that does not mean giving up hospitality. “Instead, we put a white linen table on the outside and served food through the window,” Karlsson wrote in the email.
The sight of her parents having dinner outdoors and enjoying the food aroused the idea for Karlsson and her husband, former chef Rasmus Persson. The first “isolated” Covid-19 restaurant in the world! Right in the night, they open the website for the restaurant.
The result is the ‘Bord för en’ restaurant, which translates as ‘table for one’. The restaurant consists of a table in the middle of a meadow in Varmland. There, no waiters. Instead, food will be placed in a basket along the line from the kitchen kitchen window. Only one at a time, but unlike most restaurants, owners don’t have to worry about turning around. They even invite guests to stay as long as they have to answer a question from the poet Mary Oliver in the poem The Summer Day: “What would you do with your wild and precious life?”. Visitors can stay in the restaurant for as long as they like, guests with other restaurants are closed to diners, only open to rush food with staff wearing a mask.
Persson has created a menu using local ingredients, but very … international. “You can travel as long as you have food,” Karlsson said. The menu will take you on a trip around the world, starting with an appetizing Swedish fries inspired by a rainy night on the country’s west coast. The main course turned to a crazy night in Barcelona, Spain, with croquettes and solid roots (or three antlers – serpent root – small shrubs of oleander). The dessert is a creamy cranberry milkshake crunchy with the sweetness of the sugar beet-derived sugar, according to Persson’s grandmother’s recipe, to take diners on a sweet journey.
If traveling to Sweden want to try this unique restaurant experience, you will have to book early. The cold winters in Varmland also didn’t stop locals from setting up dining tables at her restaurant, which is full from May to August. One wants to book a table for the ferret’s 70th birthday. Another person wants to experience the feeling of eating out while keeping a safe distance. A person wants to enjoy the feeling of eating alone without having to look at them, looking at them. When the Bord för en restaurant is open, people can quietly have dinner alone or dine in peace with others. “At this restaurant, you will not meet anyone. Not even the waiter, ”Karlsson wrote.
When the world closes one door, another opens. Karlsson is ready to cope with the change in people’s eating culture. “We have to stay at home. We had to wash our hands all the time until the skin is wrinkled. But we have a home. We have cool water. This is Sweden, we have a government to look after us if we lose our jobs. Hope these days will change people. For the sake of this planet and its people, in the future.”
If the future involves sitting at a peaceful table overlooking a picturesque meadow while eating ginger carrot sauce with chestnut butter and sweet corn tortillas and solid roots, then it is an enjoyable experience despite the COVID-19 crisis.