CNN

Table for one? Sweden pop-up restaurant to serve solo diners only

May 1, 2020, 6:20 AM

    (CNN) — The cost of a three-course meal at Bord For En (Table For One), a pop-up restaurant in Sweden opening May 10, is left to the diner’s discretion.

And that is diner, singular, just like the restaurant’s name suggests.

Rasmus Persson and Linda Karlsson are the couple responsible for the unique concept. Located in Värmland, roughly 350 kilometers (217 miles) from Stockholm, the restaurant, or the restaurant’s single table and chair, more accurately, is situated in a lush meadow.

The promise — and premise — is no interaction with others. This is an individual experience meant to be enjoyed in isolation.

There’s no waitstaff and nary another guest in site. Throughout its limited run (it will be open through August 1), one person a day will be served so Persson and Karlsson can give their full focus to the guest.

The couple is not trying to turn tables and, indeed, are not doing this to make money.

They say they won’t allow spectators either: “We want to avoid the feeling of being watched while you eat your food. We all are facing difficult times and there are people who have lost their jobs, a loved one or even their mind.”

Eat now, pay whatever

Persson and Karlsson devised the Table for One concept on a whim one evening several weeks ago when Karlsson’s parents showed up at the couple’s home as Covid-19 made its way around the globe.

Karlsson notes Sweden has issued recommendations, not flat-out restrictions, around social distancing practices.

Despite that, Persson and Karlsson decided rather than let Karlsson’s at-risk parents inside the house where the four could enjoy a shared meal under normal circumstances, it would be prudent to set up a table for them outside in the garden a safe distance away.

This unusual dining experience served as an inspiration for something more official. Thus, Table for One was born.

“We welcome all, no matter what financial situation you are in. The price of the menu is up to the guest,” says Karlsson, who, along with Persson has experience in the hospitality industry — she, front of house; he, back of house.

Karlsson and Persson work in radio, and though Karlsson says the question “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” is haunting everyone, she hasn’t figured it out yet. Still, the couple says they might expand Table For One “when this is all over.”

Socially acceptable dining

In many international cities, dining alone, whether at the bar or a two-top in the corner, is not only acceptable but also normalized and cherished.

Still, not all restaurants have embraced the practice of the solo diner. Karlsson is optimistic that Table For One will further lessen any lingering social awkwardness surrounding the solo diner: “I have had a dream about it being socially acceptable to dine by yourself, and maybe now we are getting there?”

“The mere image of the lonely chair and table is a call to solo experiences.”

Three courses, one guest

The menu, inspired by Persson’s travels and memories, is set through the restaurant’s months-long run. Swedish-style hash browns, smetana (a type of sour cream), seaweed caviar and wood plucked sorrel is the starter.

Following the first course is yellow carrot-ginger puree, browned hazelnut butter, sweet corn croquettes, serpent root ash. Dessert, called “Last Days of Summer,” is ginned blueberries, iced buttermilk and viola sugar from beets on the couple’s farm.

Drinks will be served as well, but all will be of the nonalcoholic variety.

Think elderflower, seedlip and strawberries served in a small bottle, thanks to curator Joel Söderbäck, who helms a couple of high-end bars in Stockholm. Söderbäck plans to take advantage of locally farmed and seasonal ingredients to create his concoctions.

The food and drink will be brought to each guest in a picnic basket tied to a rope leading to the restaurant’s kitchen window.

Asked whether exceptions will be made for more than one guest, say a couple who have been self-isolating together, Karlsson says “unfortunately not.”

“It feels sad to say no,” she adds, while praising the authenticity of the self-isolation experience.

“We might be isolated, but do we spend time with ourselves? This is an opportunity to do that. You are worth spending time with.”

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

CNN

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) heads to the floor of the Senate for a vote on Capito...

Clare Foran, Morgan Rimmer and Ted Barrett, CNN

Mitch McConnell to step down from GOP leadership position in the Senate

Mitch McConnell will step down as GOP leader in November, the Kentucky Republican announced on the Senate floor Wednesday.

2 days ago

Soldiers carry the coffin of Ukrainian poet and serviceman Maksym Kryvtsov who was killed in action...

Stephanie Halasz and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Zelensky warns ‘millions will be killed’ without US aid to Kyiv, as Ukrainian troop deaths reach at least 31,000

“Millions” could die in Ukraine’s war with Russia if US lawmakers don’t approve President Joe Biden’s $60 billion aid request.

5 days ago

Kathy Brandel and her husband of 27 years, Ralph Hendry...

Sharif Paget, Chris Boyette and Polo Sandoval, CNN

Family of Americans believed dead after yacht allegedly hijacked in Grenada describe scene of violence

The family of two Americans who may have been killed in an alleged yacht high jacking in Granada hope the couple might be found alive.

5 days ago

Police tape drapes the crime scene on a trail behind Lake Herrick at the University of Georgia in A...

Ashley R. Williams, Raja Razek, Priscilla Alvarez, Isabel Rosales and Jaide Timm-Garcia, CNN

Questions remain in investigation of death of Augusta University student found on UGA campus

As the investigation continues into the death of an Augusta University student, officials confirmed the immigration status of a suspect.

5 days ago

Kenneth Mitchell, here in 2018, has died....

Megan Thomas, CNN

Kenneth Mitchell, ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Marvel’ actor, dead at 49

A native of Canada, Mitchell acquired more than 50 film and television credits over the course of his acting career. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2019.

5 days ago

Charles E. Escalera, 21...

Michelle Watson and Maria Sole Campinoti, CNN

Kentucky man arrested in connection with death of Campbellsville University student

A man has been arrested in connection with the death of a student at Campbellsville University in Kentucky.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Table for one? Sweden pop-up restaurant to serve solo diners only