Welcome to a day in the life of Bronte Aurell – the Danish entrepreneur, restaurateur and cook who, together with her Swedish husband, Jonas, runs the acclaimed ScandiKitchen Cafe and shop in Central London. She has recently released The Scandi Kitchen – an accessible introduction to simple, delicious Scandinavian dishes for any occasion.
“Before my husband and I opened ScandiKitchen, I think we thought it would be easy to run a Café and Deli in London. It isn’t! Eight years on and we’re tired, but still happy! No two days are the same and we still love what we do – which is the most important thing. A typical day for me is something along these lines:
5:30 Rise and shine! I start early with a strong cup of Scandinavian filter coffee as I put on my runners and head out the door. 3 mornings a week, I run into the centre of London along the still quiet, dark streets. It’s my time to think. I run to Good Vibes Studio in Fitzrovia where I practise an hour of yoga whilst trying hard not to think at all. After this, I’m ready to face the day.
8:45 I am at the café in Great Titchfield Street. By the time I arrive, the amazing team have already set up and are serving our customers who pop by for morning coffee, chit chats and hugs. I usually catch up with the manager on duty and make sure we are all set for the day.
09:30 Today, I spend the morning planning different catering bookings. After this I catch up with my husband Jonas, who is based at the warehouse and office. We spend an hour discussing our strategy for the Christmas season coming up soon. A late morning snack is essential, as I’m training for yet another Marathon, so I need to keep fuelled all the time. Today, I eat a huge bowl of Skyr high protein yoghurt with home made gluten free coconut granola.
12:00 Midday and the café starts to get really busy. I give the team a hand with the lunch rush, chat to customers and help out where I can. I love being hands-on in the café.
14:00 Time for proper lunch! I love eating at the café, so today I have a few open sandwiches. I catch up with the kitchen girls and help them plan the rest of their day.
16:00 Today, I have two interviews for a new Barista we’re hiring. I always like to keep a finger in the pie when we hire new people. In my previous career I was Head of People and to me, the people you find to join your business shape your business’ future. It is paramount to me that we get the right people on board. I really like one of the people I meet with and we set up a trial date for the day after for him to try us out – and vice versa. Around 16:45, I pack up and head home to spend time with the kids. If I have time, I walk home along the Regent’s Canal – it’s a long walk but I make my phone calls on the go, listen to the radio or just enjoy the sounds of London.
18:00 My family is my world. Around 6 pm every day, we sit down for a family dinner, together. It’s the most important time of the day to me – we catch up, we talk, we wind down and we share our day and bond as a family. I don’t care how busy we all are: taking time to share food, talk and be a family is more important that anything. We eat a lot of Scandinavian food at home – I cook a lot our family recipes. Through our food, our children get an injection of Scandinavian culture!
20:30 The kids are in bed, the house is quiet. I have a proper cup of Yorkshire Brew tea with a dash of milk, catch up on the last emails, plan the day tomorrow with Jonas, we take stock of life and make sure we talk about stuff that has nothing to do with work. By 22:30 I’m usually snoozing on the sofa or already in bed, getting ready to do it all again. The life of a café owner is busy, but wonderful. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Follow Bronte on Twitter: @Scanditwitchen
Order your copy of The Scandi Kitchen
‘Stretching from the midnight sun of northern Norway to the flat and fertile fields of Denmark, Scandinavian food culture incorporates a huge variety of influences. Dishes and ingredients link all the regions together, bringing a uniquely Nordic food experience to life.