Sweden, Denmark and Norway have been voted the happiest countries in the world. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is off to find out why.
Hugh starts his adventure in Sweden, meeting a member of ABBA and going hunting in the woods. Hugh visits the Ekstedt restaurant in Stockholm, where everything is cooked over a wood-burning fire. Over 70% of Sweden is covered in forest and the Swedes love to spend time in the outdoors, so Hugh flies north to Umeå, to join an Elk hunt, where he cooks the hunters elk liver for dinner. In Gothenburg, Hugh sees an IKEA flatpack house being assembled in just one morning and meets a group of stay-at-home dads. Hugh visits the ABBA museum, where he meets Björn Ulvaeus, one of the men behind the music, who explains the concept of 'lagom', which means 'just enough', and sums up how Swedes approach life. But is the 'Swedish model' of equality and prosperity at risk? Hugh visits the set of the country's number one sitcom, which mocks the materialistic aspirations of a new breed of wealthy citizens. And at the end of journey, Hugh visits an end of summer crayfish party in Stockholm's archipelago.
Hugh lands in Denmark, which the United Nations has declared the 'happiest country in the world'. In Copenhagen, he cooks with Rene Redzepi, owner and head chef at Noma, voted the best restaurant in the world for three years in a row and pioneer of new Nordic cuisine. Hugh meets Bjarke Ingels, one of the brightest names in international architecture and Søren Malling, star of The Killing and Borgen. He practises his high diving in a swimming pool in the city centre harbour, surrounded by Denmark's beautiful people, and discovers how everything travels by bike in Copenhagen, even the booming Danish sperm bank industry Leaving Copenhagen, Hugh visits an Efterskole, a boarding school where the teenagers spend a year being taught how to be better citizens. Arriving on the idyllic island of Samsø, Hugh climbs a wind turbine and meets up with chef Kasper Gaard, and together they cook up a feast.
Hugh visits Norway, the 4th richest country in the world, where he tries some smoked sheep's head, visits an open prison that looks like a holiday camp, and goes diving for sea urchins. Once one of the poorest countries in Europe, Norway is now the 4th richest in the world, thanks to its oil reserves and with £500 billion in the bank. Hugh meets up with local chef Christopher Haatuft and joins some fishermen as they net some rather aggressive Monkfish. He visits some fjords and joins local oil workers on an emergency rescue rehearsal. He meets the people behind Norway's 'slow TV' craze and the Ylvis brothers, who made the viral hit 'The Fox Song'. Hugh also visits Bastoy prison, which looks more like a holiday camp, and flies to the village of Nordskot in the arctic circle to go diving for sea urchins and to cook a Scandinavian feast.