Harvest festival: Faviken in Sweden grows its own produce


Spending the night in a simple bedroom with communal bathrooms might not seem like everyone's idea of the perfect end to an expensive gourmet night out, but at Faviken (00 46 647 401 77; favikenmagasint.se), that's what most diners are more than happy to do. This restaurant in northern Sweden's remote Jamtland region is just one of the most talked about restaurants among the food obsessed.

Set in an 18th-century barn on a sprawling hunting estate, Faviken's rustic dining room can accommodate just 16 diners and another eight at a communal table. Chef Magnus Nillson grew up in the region before moving to France. The menu here is evangelically linked to the seasonal cycle of the surrounding landscape – expect the likes of scallops cooked over juniper branches and local game on the Skr2,200 (£170)pp tasting menu. Despite its isolation, it's getting a booking at Faviken that's the main challenge; the restaurant closes for 20 weeks of the year and its online reservation system is accepting bookings only for late September.

Unless you happen to get a last-minute booking, the hottest tables elsewhere usually require a degree of planning. A menu entirely cooked over charcoal at Asador Etxeberri (00 34 946 583 042; asadoretxebarri.com) in the teensy, mountainside village of Atxondo in Spain's Basque country, has a procession of global chefs beating a path to its door.

Earlier this month The World's 50 Best Restaurants were announced in London, with the Spanish restaurant El Cellar de Can Roca (00 34 972 222 157; cellercanroca.com) in Girona toppling last year's winner Noma to regain the top slot again. To be one of the lucky ones unrolling your napkin at the three Roca brothers' restaurant, extreme planning is required. The restaurant only takes bookings up to 11 months in advance while the next booking period opens at midnight on the first day of each month for online bookings.

Noma (00 45 329 632 97; noma.dk) cemented Copenhagen's reputation as one of Europe's top culinary destinations. Nabbing a place at one of Rene Redzepi's tables is as difficult as ever, but there are half a dozen or so restaurants in the city run by the restaurant's alumni. For example, Relae (00 45 369 666 09; relae.dk) is run by rising stars Christian Puglisi and Kim Rossen.

Red dots also denote no available tables until the beginning of September at Massimo Bottura's three Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana (00 39 0592 239 12; osteriafrancescana.it) in Modena, Italy. It's little wonder that his three-night pop up at Sotheby's in London on 27, 28 and 29 June was an instant sell-out.