Crayfish at The Harcourt

Crayfish at The Harcourt

Swedish tradition in the heart of Marylebone

Here at The Harcourt we’re happy to announce we’re bringing the international appeal of a Swedish summer tradition straight to the heart of London, as we celebrate August in true Swedish style with our special crayfish menu. Available 1st – 31st August alongside our lunch menu and dinner menu. Book a table using the form below, or visit our Private Dining page if you’re thinking of hosting a crayfish party.

Crayfish and akvavit at The Harcourt Marylebone

Make A Reservation

Powered by OpenTable

Traditionally speaking

Crayfish have long been a traditional food source in Sweden. However, because the risk of over-fishing posed a real threat by the early 1900s, restrictions were quickly imposed on river crayfishing. This restricted fishing for crayfish mainly to August and September, leading the Swedish crayfish to become a seasonal delicacy around which a Swedish summer tradition was born: Kräftskiva, the Swedish crayfish party.

Because crayfish are nocturnal, old-style crayfish parties would have included actually going out at night to catch the crayfish, before bringing them home to boil in brine seasoned with crown dill. They would then be eaten cold, alongside a summer picnic of Västerbotten cheese, bread and potato salad, beer and Akvavit, a popular Swedish schnapps.

Modern logistics mean imported crayfish are now available in Sweden all year Swedish crayfish party tradition is still an important seasonal marker and way of gathering friends and family together to mark the end of the summer, which is celebrated across the nation.

Although messy and hands-on to eat, crayfish are extraordinarily tasty and make a fun way to eat, drink and be merry. This traditional merry-making includes singing and regular cheering each time a shot of Akvavit is downed by the group.

Our Menu

Our crayfish are cooked using the traditional seasonings and served with our superb Swedish potato salad and of course with the customary Akvavit schnapps.

Summer Party Special

If you’re looking to host a private dining party with us in August, then our crayfish set menu should be a part of it. You can host your very own crayfish party here at The Harcourt, just get in touch using the form below.

Reserve by Phone

We take reservations for lunch and dinner. To make a reservation, please call us at 020 3771 8660 during our working hours or use the above form. For private dining & event inquiries, click here.

Our opening hours

Monday – Thursday 11am – 11pm (kitchen is open from 12am to 5pm, dinner from 6pm until 10.30pm)
Friday and Saturday 11am – 11pm (kitchen is open from 12am to 5pm, dinner from 6pm until 10.30pm)
Sunday 12 – 22.30 (kitchen is open from 12am to 5pm, dinner from 6pm until 10pm)