Tatler How-To: 7 Stylish Ways To Experience Reykjavík
December 18, 2017 | BY Ester Hilmarsdottir
Heading to Iceland to see the Northern Lights soon? Explore these creative nooks and chic spots around Reykjavík for a taste of Nordic culture and design.
For a epicurean treat, head on over to Iceland’s first Michelin-starred restaurant, which has quickly become a favourite destination for New Nordic cuisine. Dill uses ingredients from the surrounding area and offers a fresh take on Icelandic traditions. The small, quaint restaurant resembles an old barn, where the best of the island’s produce is dexterously prepared at the central counter for all to see. The interior design is also the creation of Hálfdan Pedersen and was nominated for the prestigious Restaurant & Bar Design Awards in 2015.
For a dose of adaptive reuse and to rub shoulders with the true locals, Kaffihús Vesturbæjar (or Kaffi Vest) is the spot. Five friends felt the need for a spot where locals could meet up for lunch, coffee or a couple of drinks in the trendy Vesturbær neighbourhood—and they eventually took it upon themselves to open such a place, transforming what used to be a pharmacy into a cosy bistro and cafe. Under interior and film set designer Hálfdan Pedersen’s supervision, the building’s original features have been kept; most of the furniture is a mixed bag of wonderful vintage items provided by generous neighbours.
The Oddsson Hotel and Hostel is located on the west bank of Reykjavík’s centre in a 1940s warehouse. Its concept and design is by Icelandic studio Döðlur, in close collaboration with Stáss Architects. With a contrast between high and low culture, it’s a happy marriage between the industrial architecture of the space and Döðlur’s eclectic aesthetic and custom pieces. Also a gallery for furniture lovers, Oddsson offers a mix of its own design and 20th-century furniture masterpieces from the likes of Pierre Jeanneret, Augusto Bozzi, Pierre Paulin, Mario Bellini and Eero Saarinen.
(Related: Holiday Home Ideas For The Design Snob)
For highlights of Icelandic design, from the quirky to the classic, this place has it all. Hönnunarsafn Reykjavíkur, also known as the Museum of Design and Applied Art, aims to collect and preserve Icelandic design history, particularly from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day.
(Related: The Circuitry Of Award-Winning Design)
Fashion designer Hildur Yeoman recently opened a new boutique at Skólavörðustígur 22 that’s well worth a visit for those wanting to bring home a piece of Icelandic design. Fine fabrics characterise Yeoman’s designs, with colourful, distinctive, busy prints often inspired by Icelandic flora.
Folksy and a bit quirky, yet elegant, clothing studio Geysir is inspired by Nordic city life and Iceland’s history of craft and knitwear. The brand’s pieces tread a fine line between tradition and modernity, with linen and cotton garments mixed with knitwear. Geysir is where you’ll most likely succumb to your need for an Icelandic knitwear purchase.
Ypsilon is a cooperative design store in downtown Reykjavík, run by four designers/studios: And Anti Matter, a creative studio that makes aesthetic functional objects and audio projects; Kolbrun, a fashion designer known for her exclusive, eco-conscious clothing; Tanja Levý, a fashion and textiles designer who creates playful maximalist outfits; and Usee Studio, which specialises in upcycled rave clothes and accessories with a zero-waste policy. Ypsilon focuses on selling products by the team, so expect clothing, accessories, light sculptures, scents and music galore.
(Related: Introducing The Tatler Design Awards)
This story was adapted from Singapore Tatler Homes October-November 2017.
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