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FAROE ISLANDS

A young generation of chefs on this remote North Atlantic archipelago are creating strange and stunning dishes from the bountiful natural larder. Words: Audrey Gillan
Traditional black tarred timber and grass roofs, Faroe Islands
IMAGES: GETTY; CLAES BECH-POULSEN

The glory of golden hour enfolds me as I arrive at a little hut on wheels sitting on the edge of Lake Leynar, a half-hour’s drive from the Faroese capital, Tórshavn. Such clement weather is never a given up here in these islands where thick fog and rain have currently settled on one side of a mountain, sunshine illuminating the other. I climb the steps into what’s essentially a fermentation shed that doubles as a greeting place for guests, where I’m met with a glass of locally brewed beer and a warming bowl of clear lamb broth. This is the first stop on an adventure into the strange and stunning food of the Faroe Islands.

Fellow diners warmly salute each other then pile into a Land Rover that skirts around a shingle beach to take us to our destination. Koks sits in a lush valley surrounded by waterfalls and the sound of oystercatchers.

A distractingly named venue to English ears (the word actually means flirt or fusspot in Faroese), this is a new location for the restaurant that was awarded its first Michelin star in February 2017, and it’s truly spectacular. We’re seated at ‘the community table’, a concept that could bring a person out in the hives, but tonight’s gathering of strangers proves to be a hoot. A plate of shellfish, pulled from Kalbak Fjord just two hours before service, is brought to the table. What follows is a multi-course odyssey across land and sea that provides the backbone of the Faroese larder. Queen scallops, capelin roe, halibut, razorbill, foraged herbs and seaweed, crowberries, blueberries, angelica and rhubarb are just some of the ingredients included here.

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About National Geographic Traveller (UK)

We grab our binoculars and set out to discover the awe-inspiring wildlife of India, scouting out the likes of Bengal tigers, one-horned rhinos and snow leopards in some of the subcontinent’s most dramatic national parks. Elsewhere, we explore the winelands of southern Australia; cross the frozen frontier of the Antarctic Circle; and spend a long weekend in the city of Leeuwarden. Other highlights this issue include the Faroe Islands, Tel Aviv, Manhattan, Tokyo and Santiago, while our photo story takes in the fresh air and Alpine beauty of Switzerland.