Getting Cray Cray at Joseph Pearce’s Annual Crayfish Party

Joseph Pearce's Crayfish Party in Edinburgh

After moving away from Stockholm a few years ago I knew there would be things I would miss, most of which include food, let’s be honest. Some examples: lösgodis (pick and mix), Kalle’s Kaviar (creamy caviar paste in a tube, which sounds so nasty but is just oh so tasty), kanelbullar (cinnamon buns), semlor (a bun filled with almond paste and whipped cream), lussekatter (Christmas buns with saffron) and crayfish parties that everyone takes part in in August.
Turns out Edinburgh is Scandi friendly and most of my worries diminished instantly. I live close to Nordic Affär, which is a little Swedish food shop and cafe that stocks all my fave goodies, as well as Söderberg bakery which makes the bestest buns and pastries in all of Edinburghland. All that was missing was my dear crayfish party…
BUT THERE’S A BUT! The story continues. Last year I walked by Joseph Pearce’s and saw that they do annual crayfish parties. I was intrigued but for whatever reason didn’t end up buying tickets.  And a year later, I can now happily report with a content heart that my fave Swedish chain Boda do indeed host AMAZING crayfish parties since I was invited along to one (insert smug emoji, grin emoji, all the excited emojis).  In conclusion, I never have to move back to Sweden.

What exactly is a crayfish party you ask?

Let me tell you. In Swedish a crayfish party is called a Kräftskiva. It’s a traditional eating and drinking celebration held in Sweden every August. In a nutshell, you have a bunch of people sitting together wearing funny hats and colourful bibs, surrounded by paper lanterns and other funny decorations, singing traditional Swedish drinking songs and eating crayfish. Drinking Aquavit, which is a Swedish spirit, is an absolute must during the party.

So…now on to how Charlotte and I experienced one of the funnest nights I’ve ever had in Edinburgh. Let me show you what we got up to…

A little side note: since things got a bit rowdy (what else do you expect from a bunch of Swedes coming together to drink and sing and eat crayfish with bibs on?!) my photos also got increasingly grainy and dark. In fact, for several hours I forgot to pick up the camera. But that’s a sign of a super fun night, no? 😉

Joseph Pearce's Crayfish Party in Edinburgh

Above is an excited Charlotte, who is just about to experience her first ever crayfish party and has no idea what to expect!

The back room at Joseph Pearce’s was booked up for the party, which was great. It kind of separates the party from the rest of the bar but is still spacious enough to move around in. We were greeted by Anna, the host and owner of JP’s who showed us the wonderful decorations. There were several tables, some bigger, some smaller. Our table of 5 was named  ‘KK & the Swedes’ which I thought was really cute. All the tables had the bibs, hats and song sheets placed out.

Joseph Pearce's Crayfish Party in Edinburgh

Joseph Pearce's Crayfish Party in Edinburgh

Joseph Pearce's Crayfish Party in Edinburgh
And of course the decorations were on point!

Joseph Pearce's Crayfish Party in Edinburgh
After everyone arrived and had settled down Anna brought out the Aquavit! It’s still not my favourite drink of all time but you gotta do what you gotta do when you’re a crayfish party! Look at the way the bottle has an ice block around it to keep it cool- handy, right?!
We were so lucky to be sat with three super fun and friendly Swedes who had just moved to Edinburgh the week before. The perfect crowd as they showed Charlotte how eat the crayfish properly and I was able to practise my Swedish for a bit.

Joseph Pearce's Crayfish Party in Edinburgh

Joseph Pearce's Crayfish Party in Edinburgh
Shortly after the shots were poured the food started coming out. First up was the crayfish and each table had their own big platter that you picked off of. Alongside the crayfish you got three different dips and lots of bread.

Joseph Pearce's Crayfish Party in Edinburgh

Joseph Pearce's Crayfish Party in Edinburgh

Joseph Pearce's Crayfish Party in Edinburgh
Charlotte got the low-down on how to eat the crayfish and was cracking away before I knew it. All I had time to do was take a few shots and she had already turned into a crayfish-eating veteran.

Joseph Pearce's Crayfish Party in Edinburgh
Between munching on our crayfish and chatting to our new friends, we all stood up, sang songs and shotted our Aquavit. I’m cursing myself for not having filmed any of it! I had some clips up on my Insta stories so I’m hoping you saw them (apologies for my bad singing).
It was also after this that things got a bit hazy, as the photos start to show hehe. Here’s Charlotte and Albin happy as clams (crayfish) after a belly full of food and Aquavit.

Joseph Pearce's Crayfish Party in Edinburgh
Last up to soak up the alcohol was the cheese pie, also a tradition in Sweden. YUM YUM YUM. This one was with tarragon which I hadn’t had before. I inhaled it in all of 5 seconds. Good lining for the stomach 😉

Joseph Pearce's Crayfish Party in Edinburgh

Joseph Pearce's Crayfish Party in Edinburgh

After that the singing continued, getting louder and and more out of sync as time went on.

Joseph Pearce's Crayfish Party in Edinburgh

Joseph Pearce's Crayfish Party in Edinburgh
And that was the end of our fun Tuesday night at JP’s! I’m already waiting for next year’s one. It was the perfect ending to the Fringe and the summer in Edinburgh!

I’m telling you, you do NOT want to miss out on this! If you’re keen on joining next year’s crayfish parties the dates are as follows: 20,21,27 & 28th of August 2018. I’m guessing the price will be about the same as this year, which is £25 per ticket and includes lots of crayfish, Swedish cheese tart, salad, bread, cheese and 2 shots of Aquavit. WORTH IT!

If you’re impatient and can’t wait until next year, fear not. Joseph Pearce’s as well as the other Boda Bars host events all the time! You can follow them here:
Joseph Pearce’s FB page here
Boda Bars website here

THANK YOU again JP’s and Anna for an absolutely fantastic evening!

 

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