Social distancing is a disaster for the dining scene. Even if you believe the most optimistic projections around how quickly the economy may be able to recover from our current crisis, the reality of a world where sitting cheek by jowl is no longer advisable will upend everything we think we know about eating out.
Already, restaurants at every level of the industry have been forced to plan for a future where dining rooms are never more than 50% full. Replacing the cramped merry chaos of a thriving service with cavernous, ghostly gaps between tables is nobody’s idea of good night out. However, this stark new reality has inadvertently helped provide inspiration for a seriously unorthodox new Swedish food project.
Located in the middle of a balmy summer meadow in the small town of Ransäter, “Bord för en” is a dining experience like no other. Featuring a restaurant without any rooms, a service without any staff, and a meal without any company, the project aims to provide a solo three-course dinner as far removed from human interference as physically possible.
According to the “Bord för en” website:
“One table. One chair. Right in the middle of a Swedish summer field. Bord för en is a solo dining experience, and as such one of the only true Covid-19 safe restaurants in the world.
“Of course, you should really be careful traveling in these times. But if you are on the road or have an urgent cause in the region of Wermland. You do need to eat. And since most other Covid-19 safe places are drive-ins – come to us instead, for some fresh air and delicious food out in the open.
“Let's face it, a table for one might be our only option for a while. So why not choose a table with style?”
Food is cooked and prepared by couple Rasmus Persson and Linda Karlsson, who will deliver the meal via an intricately designed system of ropes and pulleys from their house, all whilst maintaining the strictest social distancing measures possible. The entire meal is accompanied by a specially curated drinks menu, designed by mixologist Joel Söderbäck, and will be priced on an entirely voluntary basis.
According to a sample menu on the restaurant’s website, dishes include “Råraka (Swedish style hash brown, smetana, seaweed caviar, wood plucked sorrel)”, and “Black & Yellow (Yellow carrot-ginger puree, browned hazelnut butter, sweet corn croquettes, serpent root ash)”. Bord för en may be an unusual way to eat, but these are unusual times to be eating - wherever you’re doing it.