Lilja Birgisdóttir is an Icelandic artist, which means an all around “þúsundþjalasmiður” (“jack of all trades”). She’s part of the Kling & Bang gallery, and a photographer, designer, choir member and, more recently, a store owner at Fischer. Here’s how she’d spend a perfect day in Reykjavík.
First thing in the morning
My perfect morning would be to sleep in, with no deadlines. I’d wake up to a breakfast table from Brauð og Co, the best bakery in town. Suddenly my good friend Katla would bang on the door with hot coffee from her lovely café Bismút. She’d give me the good news that it’s the warmest day of summer. I’d step onto my balcony into 25 degrees, and start collecting freckles. Atlas, the family dog, wakes up, and picks me up for a stroll—we’re headed to our favorite place, the Marshall House!
The Marshall House is a culture space with the most beautiful view in Reykjavík. It has a lovely restaurant, the Living Art Museum, Kling & Bang gallery, and an exhibition space by Ólafur Elíasson. Atlas is very passionate about art, and we get inspired by all the amazing ideas. After being so cultural, we head to the newly opened Grandi Mathöll for some salmon and champagne at LAX. They have sparkling wine on tap, which feels like a never ending summer. Feeling like a hundred bucks, I head downtown to my favourite store and precious baby, Fischer.
In the afternoon
Curious faces greet me when I arrive, and I have a long conversation about the underrated power of smell, and other curiosities. Fischer is a little bit different from other stores—its main purpose is not to sell you stuff. It’s a place where your senses are triggered with music, smell, visuals and taste. It’s a wholesome experience, and everyone’s invited. Because it’s my perfect day, my brother, Jónsi, flies in from LA, and my family gets together for a toast at Hotel Holt, which is like stepping back in time. It has a classic elegance and beauty.
We’re in our neighbourhood, so we give Snaps a visit. There are so many new restaurants, but I always end up going there for the good food, good price, and friendly staff. After two glasses of wine, me and my creative family come up with some good ideas to prevent pollution, or to open a Fischer in LA. With those lovely thoughts, we head over to Jónsi’s house, open a bottle of wine, and listen to Frank Sinatra, for we are old.
In the heat of the night
Talking about being old, I don’t really go out to bars anymore—they’re too loud and I can’t have a decent conversation there. And I found my first gray hair this morning! Maybe now more than ever, I need to forget about life—so I head over to Kaldi for a locally made beer. When the beer isn’t doing it for me anymore, I head to Húrra with my best friends to dance the night away. Before anyone notices, me and my boyfriend sneak out, grab a pizza from The Deli, and head home to Atlas, who has missed us dearly. There’s nothing better than having a dog. If you ever get lonely in Iceland you can borrow him for a walk or a snuggle.
Read more Perfect Days here.