Loving all things Scandi at the moment? Then check out Snaps & Rye restaurant in Notting Hill for a Danish dining experience with plenty of fresh fish and sharp flavours

WORDS Catherine McCabe

What is it about the Danes that allows them to create warming cosiness out of a blank canvas? At Snaps & Rye, the Scandinavian cafe that couldn’t keep itself out of the press in 2015, there are harsh angles, alarmingly-organised shelves, minimalist Anne Black crockery – and yet it has the warmth of a Sunday evening spent engulfed in a beanbag. The Danish style is a slow burner, presenting as austere before breaking into a big toothy grin. Like the strong Akvavit liquor used to spice up my Prosecco cocktail, it hits you hard, until suddenly a rush of warmth fills your extremities.

That warmth is what the Danish call ‘hygge’ – when the world is reduced to a manageable dining room size. And if you’re going to forget the world for a dining room you could do a lot worse than Snaps & Rye, where fresh fish and sharp Danish flavours are found on almost every plate.

Buttery crab with smoked trout for a Scandi and Danish Sunday evening

Buttery crab with smoked trout

The café recently started serving dinner; a rotating menu for £35, served on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. On our visit, there are two set meals to choose from, each with three courses – an arrangement of recipes carefully edited by chef Tania Steytler, whose Cornish roots denote her love for fishy dishes.

My guest is served a plate of buttery crab with smoked trout, sweetened by green apple, while I devour hake with pickled oyster, scorched lettuce and peas. All the Scandi essentials are here: fermented flavours, superior ingredients, lean fish – but Tanya’s cooking plays between land and sea. When a bowl of sweet potato and cumin soup arrives with shards of toasted rye, not a single orange drop is left in the stark white bowl. The only downside is the Risalamande, which happens to be a combination of my two food nightmares – rice pudding and liquorice. With such a meagre tolerance for the black stuff, I’d never make it as a Dane, but the welcome at Snaps & Rye made me feel as Danish as Mads Mikkelsen.

Sometimes, the hygge is worth the hype.

93 Golborne Road W10 5NL; 020 8964 3004;



Dinner for two around £70


Modern danish dishes you won’t find elsewhere in London


The evening menu changes weekly, but we loved the Crab with smoked sea trout


The danish drink Akvavit offers a welcome kick to a glass of prosecco