Image source: https://www.bookmundi.com/iceland
Iceland has fast become the place de jour, with its stunning mountain passes, glaciers and Aurora Borealis now pulling travellers by the thousands to its snow-capped lands.
This week we're taking our inspiration from the Nordic Island and exploring everything from its unique furniture offerings through to the best restaurants, hot springs and luxury hotels. So whether you're planning a trip to the Nordic Island, or just needing some holiday porn to get you through the working week, we've got you covered.
Scandinavian design is characterised by the concepts of minimalism, simplicity and functionality, with a particular focus on quality and form. Perhaps one of the crowning jewels in the Curious Grace collection that truly encapsulates this essence of Scandinavian design is the Icelandic Pampa Mariposa Grey Mix Chair.
Only one in a hundred sheep are born with the natural grey-coloured lambskin that adorns this exquisite chair. With so few born each year, this piece really is an original, with each having a completely unique pattern, texture and story to tell.
Gaining its name from the Spanish word for "butterfly", the iconic Mariposa design was taken up by designer Lars Kjerstadius, who dedicated 10 years of his life to refining the chair for comfort and style. The result is truly something extraordinary.
Iceland's Top Eateries
Known for its smorgasbord, dark rye bread and cured meats, Iceland is quickly growing as an island with a notable food culture. And while restaurants and cafes may be difficult to come by in the depths of the mountain ranges, the cities hold many treasure troves that are sure to delight even the most discerning of palates. Here are some of the countries top picks.
Iceland's capital city Reykjavik is home to several Michelin starred restaurants, including Grilld, which allows guests to survey the unique mountainous terrain while feasting on four to six courses of expertly prepared food.
Located in the Radisson Blu Hotel Saga, Grilld places a particular emphasis on the farmers and producers that supply ingredients to the restaurant. This means that true Icelandic ingredients are front and centre of each dish, with precise technique used to bring out the unique flavours of each.
Image source: http://en.grillid.is/
Another restaurant offering up the true flavours of Iceland is Varma Restaurant, which focuses on local food based on the slow food movement.
Located 45km from Iceland's capital, Varma is set amongst the beautiful natural surrounds of Iceland and creates menus heavily focused on fresh produce and seasonality.
Dishes may include the likes of creamed soup of langoustine and "cooked earth", lightly cured cod with jerusalem artichoke puree and chocolate cake with whisky and salted caramel mousse.
Image source: http://www.frostogfuni.is/
Like any modern, youthful city, Reykjavik loves its coffee, so popping in to one of its beloved coffee houses is a must. Top of the list is Reykjavik Roasters, which opened its doors in 2008 and has since grown to become one of the city's most lucrative coffee haunts.
The coffee here is roasted on site and is imported directly from growers in Colombia and Nicaragua, with every batch tested for superior quality and taste.
Image source: https://reykjavikroasters.is/
Luxury Hot Springs
If you've ever dreamed of sinking your weary, travel-worn body into a pool of steaming water surrounded by stunning mountains, look no further than Iceland's naturally occurring thermal hot springs.
With so much geothermal activity occurring beneath the country's surface, Iceland truly is the land of fire and ice, with numerous hot springs dotted all over the island. Here are a few of the island's best springs to sink yourself into.
The Blue Lagoon is by far one of the most notable hot springs in Iceland. Named as one of the "Top 25 Wonders of the World" by National Geographic, these spring boast perfect water temperatures ranging from 38-39 degrees.
But it's not just the milky blue, mineral-filled waters that draw crowds. The hot springs have given rise to an impressive spa resort, featuring several restaurants, cafes, a hotel, massage facilities and an in-water bar.
If you're looking for a hot spring fix on the northern side of the island, consider a trip to Myvatn Nature Baths, which is quieter than its southern counterpart.
Relax in the alkaline waters of the man-made hot springs, luxuriate in the steam baths or enjoy smoked trout sitting atop warm spring bread as you survey your beautiful surrounds.
Opening in late 2017, Krauma Bath Resort may be a newcomer to Iceland's hot spring scene, but it certainly won't disappoint. Due to its location, Krauma sources its water from Europe's most powerful natural hot spring, which is conveniently located right next door. The searing hot waters of the spring are mixed with glacier water, resulting in a perfect temperature.
Sink into the beautiful black marble hot tubs, which vary in temperature, or else brave a dip in the cool pool with temperatures of 5-8 degrees, which is said to increase blood circulation.
We hope that you've picked up some helpful travel tips from this read. And if you're not yet planning a trip to the Nordic Circle, try and bring some Scandinavian Style to your home with our stunning, one of a kind Iceland Pampa Mariposa Grey Mix chairs!
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Nothing breathes life into your home more than the pieces of furniture that bring loved ones together over a meal, so we've chased up the Curious Grace design experts and asked them their best advise on how to choose the perfect dining table and chairs for you.