This award category is for restaurants – meaning places I have eaten while on my travels as opposed to routine dining out while at home. Like all the other categories, the choices have been massively impacted by the pandemic restrictions.
I had two stand out food events in Malmö in January/February. The first was just a pizza soon after I arrived. It was so good to find somewhere by chance, very close to my hotel, with such good food, a relaxed atmosphere and friendly service.
It is called Östergatan No.25, if you ever visit the city. Oddly enough it pops up as being ranked #1 on Tripadvisor for pizza – which means nothing at all of course, but I mention it for what it is worth.
The other was smørrebrød (yes I know that’s the Danish word – smörrebröd in Sweden) at FreDa49 in the city’s central railway station. Just delicious. The photo (below) speaks for itself.
After Malmö it is fast forward to my next trip at the end of August. I ate in my hotel – the Knockomie in Forres – which has a long standing reputation for good food. Yes, it was good and I enjoyed it. I also felt safe, and that is almost as important.
My routine was the same in September during my 3 night stay at Dowans in Aberlour. Again the food was good and I was comfortable in their restaurant. I felt it was a bit overpriced, but that is too often the case in Scotland.
For my last trip of 2020 I was self catering, and mostly ate in the cottage. That was the point. I did go for fish and chips one night, and ate outside at the Captain’s Table in Findhorn. In October I felt I was being quite brave. It was fun.
Now I have to choose a winner. With less choice it is a bit easier! Having said that, choosing between FreDa49 and Östergatan No.25 has been tough.
As well as being excellent in themselves, both have the benefit of being completely random choices which turned out to be superb. One represents all that we benefit(ed) from with free movement in the EU, with it being so simple for someone to move from Italy to Sweden and set up a successful business. The other displays all the joys of top quality indigenous food.
In the end Östergatan No.25 wins it, just because of the sheer joy of good pizza and a beer at the end of a long day on the road and in the air.
ⓒ iain taylor, 2020