Published September 3, 2004
We jump into car and drive to Háls, the last house on the right, in the valley among the dramatic mountains of Öxnadalur. Close by, the Home of the Winds glacier huffs and puffs, perhaps watching us. Stimulated by the dramatic scenery we start to talk of Icelandic ghosts and the hidden people…
”It is business doing pleasure with you” says the sign on the left as we turn from the main road and enter the restaurant yard. Rain intensifies.
Inside the host Guðveig Eyglóardóttir, a native of Borganes, welcomes us warmly. Born to a family of seven children, she has had extensive training in cooking in Snæfellsnes before renting this house in Öxnadalur as a restaurant that was opened 26th June 2004.
We are treated to a four-course dinner, including a soup with shrimp, squid, scallops, crowberry & ice cream and coffee. Throw in some wasabi and you start to get a good sense of the evening’s offerings. The menu rotates; actually there is no menu. The dishes change daily, depending on the seasonal cycle of the year and the moods of Guðveig. Meat dishes such as a whale course are available later in the year ”as the nights get longer and darker.” The evening is crowned with home-brewed ”Fíflavin”, a secret local wine product made out of dandelion. The wine is on the sweet side, as is the hostess. All this for 3900 ISK, depending again on her mood.
”My dream was always to become a slave to an Arabic King,” says the colourful character that operates this bizarre but interesting little restaurant. The house is filled with Arabic rugs, Persian music playing softly in the background, and bizarre items referring to the Arab world around the dining hall. One half expects late great qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan from Pakistan or one of his relatives to show up and do an improvised gig here in the embrace of the mountains of Öxnadalur.
Guðveig lives in nature and from nature. As a fisherwoman, she gets local trout from the streams, berries from the mountains and seafood by supporting the local fishermen. In the little house in the mountains, the best thing is the hostess herself. A colourful and straightforward personality, Guðveig takes care of you like no other on the ring road.
You can reach Halastjarna at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 4617997.