A fresh addition to the Reykjavík bar and bistro scene. Roomy bar floor, nice sofas and stylish interior make this a comfy café as well as a tavern with good, unintrusive music. Click on image to see bigger map!
The small and unassuming Eimverk distillery can be found in an industrial park in Garðabær. Inside, numerous vats, barrels, boxes, filters and pieces of distillery equipment flood the warehouse floor space, and there is a notably sour (but not pungent) smell in the air. The family-run distillery has already received critical acclaim for their gin, Vor, which got a Double Gold Award at the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. That’s impressive, but we’re not here to praise their gin, we’re here to taste their whisky, which is the first of its kind to be made in Iceland. Water of
Nostalgia marketing is big money but it is around the Holidays that it is most expertly wielded. Shady mega-conglomerates and unashamed monopolies doff their Christmas caps and electrocute their army of Yuletide lab monkeys into screeching Christmas carols. But it wasn’t until the 1950s that companies found a way to market the Christmas celebrations and binge consumption to the middle and lower classes. And ever since the 50s, for one month out of the year, our corporate overlords transport us all to the 1880s. But this time around, instead of typhoid, we get cursive fonts, sepia filters and snapshots of
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads. And their teeny-tiny bellies rumbled all fill’d with seven kinds of animals kill’d and smoked, salted, cured, canned, hung, dried, buried, beaten, signed, sealed, delivered, it’s yours. Welcome to the food-a-geddon. Leave your gag reflex at the door and let the gavage begin! The Yule Lads For children, Christmas starts on December 12, when the first of the thirteen Yule Lads comes crawling through their window bearing the gifts of knick-knacks and terror sweat. In many cases those gifts are candies. No one
Chocolate. Oh heavenly Chocolate! The Aztecs—early converts to the cause—believed that it was a gift from the gods, and that it could even bestow special powers upon those who consumed it. We can confirm that this is true. We learned it at Halldór Kr. Sigurðsson’s chocolate making course. We also learned to make chocolate. It was sexy. On a rainy afternoon, a group of dedicated people is immersed in the steamy act of melting chocolate. Learning how to heat, stir and harden chocolate; how best to bathe marzipan in it, and how to sprinkle the pieces of chocolate covered marzipan
Look, intrepid traveller! Here is a primer on the usual suspects and new additions to the ever-popular Icelandic Christmas buffets, found at various restaurants around the country. If you’re around in time for one of those, why not give it a whirl? You’ll certainly be immersing yourself in Icelandic culture, if nothing else. The Kings of Meat Town Hangikjöt should be the first word in any discussion of Icelandic holiday culinary traditions. A common misconception is that Hangikjöt can only be made from lamb, but the name only refers to the processing method of the meat as it literally translates
Like we noted in last year’s Straumur Xmas Special, the holidays can be hard on the ears for folks who have a modicum of taste for decent music. It’s a well-known fact that most Icelandic Christmas songs suck pretty hard, but of course there are always some exceptions. You can add the following to last year’s selection. Skakkamanage “Costa Del Jól” This lost pearl of a Christmas song was released by indie band Skakkamanage (led by Svavar Pétur, the man behind Prins Póló) just before Christmas of 2005 and is named after one of Iceland most popular holiday destination, Costa