1 Michelin Star Chefs: Henrik Ritzén, Executive Chef, Aquavit London

The  Staff Canteen

Henrik Ritzén is executive chef at the one Michelin starred, Aquavit in London.

Henrik Ritzén has worked in some of the top restaurants in London, in addition to reaching the final of The Swedish Chef of the Year competition. He brings his Scandinavian cooking style and expertise to the new Aquavit, located in St James's Market.

Aquavit London

Aquavit London, St James's Market credit Jean Cazals

St James’s Market, 1 Carlton Street, London SW1Y 4QQ

Website: www.aquavitrestaurants.com/london/
Tel: (0)20 7024 9848
[email protected]

Opening hours: Monday-Friday: Breakfast 7.30AM – 11.30AM; Lunch 11.30AM – 3PM; Dinner 5.30PM – 11PM

Weekends and Bank Holidays: Brunch 11AM – 3.30PM; Saturday Dinner 5.30PM – 11.30PM; Sunday Dinner 5.30PM – 10.30PM

Monday - Sunday: Nordic Afternoon Tea/All Day Menu 3.30PM – 5.30PM

Head Chef: Henrik Ritzén

Executive Chef: Emma Bengtsson

CEO and Founder: Philip Hamilton

Facebook: Aquavit London

Twitter: @aquavitlondon

Instagram: @aquavitlondon


Henrik Ritzén has held a passion for cooking from a very young age. Born in Sweden, he attended culinary school in Gothenburg and worked at several restaurants in the area, including Fiskekrogen. He then moved to London in 1998, working alongside chefs like Jeremy Lee and Phil Howard (then at The Square).

Having gained some important experience in London, Henrik briefly returned to Sweden and competed in The Swedish Chef of the Year competition, where he reached the final. He returned to the UK in 2003 and got a job as head chef at The Anglesea Arms W6. Since then, he has worked at many top London restaurants including most recently, as executive chef at Lutyens in Fleet Street.


The first Aquavit restaurant opened in Manhattan in 1987. Their classic Swedish cuisine was awarded two stars in the Michelin Guide New York City 2015 under executive chef Emma Bengtsson, and retained this status in 2017.

Much-loved by locals and tourists alike, the brand decided to expand and Aquavit London opened in Winter 2016. They received their first star having been open less than a year, in the Michelin Guide UK 2018. Inspectors said: “Unlike the original in NYC, this Aquavit comes in the form of a warmly lit, relaxed brasserie. The Scandinavian cooking may also be less intricate but it's still immeasurably appealing. Kick things off by heading straight to the smörgåsbord section and some wonderful herring or shrimp.”

The team at Aquavit London credit   Jean Cazals 4 25
The team at Aquavit London
Photography by Jean Cazals

Food Style

Henrik’s contemporary Nordic menu is inspired by the fresh produce of the region, showcasing seasonal seafood and wild foods. Their all-day menu offers a Smörgåsbord, with dishes like Matje herring potato, sour cream, egg yolk and Vendace roe “Löjrom” red onion, sour cream & chives. Guests can enjoy these delicacies paired with Aquavit spirits.

Their pre/post theatre dinner menu is served from 5:30-6:30PM and from 9:30-10:30PM respectively, with two courses priced from just £22 per person. Swedish meatballs and Shrimp Skagen are among the traditional dishes served in the evening.

What the guides say:

michelin star

AA Restaurant Guide
AA 2 Rosettes

Menu Aquavit London, St James's Market photography by Jean Cazals 1 25
The Arctic Bird’s Nest
Photography by Jean Cazals

Aquavit also offers a ‘Nordic Afternoon Tea’. In fitting with the tradition of ‘fika’ (to have coffee, often accompanied by pastries), the Afternoon Tea has a classic Swedish cake selection and punsch rolls on the trolley, with Danish Hoogly tea and Johan & Nyström coffee.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th December 2017

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Henrik Ritzén, Executive Chef, Aquavit London