Albert Finnbogason is a guitarist—often seen performing with sóley, JFDR and a variety of other bands—and a producer at the Iðnó recording studio. Here’s how he’d spend a perfect day in Reykjavík.
A perfect day starts with a morning. Bright and clear skies, and I don’t mind if it’s a bit chilly. I wake up around 9am, draw a bath, and have a smoke. I don’t always do breakfast, but when I do I like to make coffee, toast, maybe some fruit, and have it in the tub while listening to some music or podcasts, or just good old Rás 1.
In the morning
On my walk to work, I like to stop by for a double lungo at Kaffífélagið on Skólavörðustígur. It’s a tiny Italian-style espresso bar with some of the best coffee in town. In the morning it’s filled with interesting intellectuals, debating hot topics of the day—a perfect alternative to the hot tub politicians. This short commute takes ten minutes but can be extended into a good half hour. It might take me through the Einar Jónsson sculpture garden, or Hljómskálagarður, but most often just some side-streets and back alleys. Anything to avoid walking Laugavegur.
My studio is located in Iðnó, the most beautiful building in Reykjavík, which also happens to have a brilliant restaurant and café on the ground floor. With chefs from Bergsson and coffee by Reykjavik Roasters, a day gets instantly more perfect slurping on their vegan soup and a double espresso. There are countless restaurants I’ve always wanted to try out in the vicinity. Every month there seems to be a new place opening up, but I have a resolution of trying all the old classics I’ve never been to, like Lækjarbrekka, Humarhúsið, and Skólabrú to name a few. They seem to have added some nice lunch menus recently (thank you, travellers!).
In the afternoon
A perfect day would include me working on a perfect project—helping talented people realise their material as recordings. With a view right over the Tjörnin pond, and no traffic apart from ducks and swans, it’s the perfect spot to forget about everything and dig deep into the sonics. These sessions can run late, but for the sake of this being a picture-perfect day, we would stop working at a decent hour and head out to some killer restaurant.
Hverfisgata 12 comes to mind. Oozing with vibe, it has superb DJs to soundtrack a lovely evening of cocktails and the best pizza in town. It’s easy to waste the whole night there by going upstairs to Mikkeller & Friends and getting lost in the beer selection—but not tonight!
In the heat of the night
It’s a good idea to turn up at Mengi (whose recording studio I co-run) right before 9 pm. It’s highly likely that someone super amazing—or on the cusp of becoming so—is playing. You’ll always meet friendly people at Mengi, so after the set it’s ideal to form a small herd and head over to Ölstofan for a pint or two.
Read more perfect days here.