Dr. Bryony Mathew is the U.K.’s newest (and first female!) Ambassador to Iceland. She holds a PhD in Neuroscience from University College, London and has served under Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service since 2005. Having just arrived in Reykjavík a few weeks ago, she’s still discovering all the charming little things that make Iceland so distinctly…Icelandic—and loving every second of it.
I think the absolute ideal is waking up early but feeling like you’ve had a great night’s sleep. I always start my day with coffee and maybe, if I’m lucky, I can see the sunrise. Then I would get changed into running gear and probably head out to the waterfront to get some fresh air and exercise. I love running there—really fresh air, the smell of the sea and seeing the mountains. I love having these fabulous views as I run. You really feel like you’re in Iceland, despite being right in the city. On my way back, I’d stop by a bakery to get some sourdough, some snúður and head home for brunch with my family.
Discovering Iceland’s adventures
Then I would love to head out on some kind of adventure. Just get in the car, drive somewhere and try something new. I’d really loved to try ice kayaking. Or do some kind of hiking, maybe trail biking or even stand up paddle boarding. I’d love to do that in Iceland. I think that would be fabulous. From there, I would go to some summer house in the middle of beautiful nature with stunning views — just somewhere really Icelandic. Being in nature for some part of this perfect day is really important.
Learn a little something
Once there, it’ll be time to relax because I think we’ve done quite a lot of activity. I would sit down with another nice, big coffee. Something really important for me is to learn something every day. It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be reading a detailed article about a topic I don’t know about. It could be learning some Icelandic. I would like to feel like I’ve achieved something in a day. So a bit of time just reading and relaxing and looking at the beautiful view.
Martinis and making memories
Now it’s getting into the early evening so I’d say it’s time for a cocktail. My husband is, amongst many other things, a fantastic cocktail bartender, so he would mix the drinks. Then, a really lovely evening for me would be to have lots of friends and family come over to barbecue — kids running everywhere, people just relaxing, having fun and chatting late into the evening. Finally, when everyone’s tired and collapsed, I would love to fall asleep to the sound of rain on the roof, just knowing you’re in nature.
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