I’ve spent the past couple of evenings looking through the last of the thousands (yes, thousands!) of photos that I took in Iceland and reminiscing about Reykjavik, the final leg of our trip. I’ll post a bit about our time exploring the world’s most northerly capital city later this week, but first I want to share some pictures of the stunning apartment we stayed in.
There’s something wonderful about having an apartment on holiday – you can spread out in comfort, you don’t need to wake up early to make hotel breakfast times, and you can spend a few days pretending you’re a proper local. This place turned out to be one of the best we’ve booked to date – quiet, private, brilliantly located and extremely stylish.
Set just around the corner from the famous Hallgrímskirkja cathedral, it’s one of three apartments owned by writer and designer Halla Bára and her photographer husband Gunnar, who together run lifestyle blog Home & Delicious and have published a book about Icelandic interiors. All sit in a smart grey townhouse which the couple renovated in 2014 (a fourth is their family home) and have their own entrances off the tranquil courtyard garden.
We’d opted for the smallest apartment of the trio and it proved perfect for the two of us, with an open-plan living area and kitchen, a bedroom and a shower room; the others can easily accommodate families. All are decorated in the kind of minimal yet cosy style which the Nordic countries seem to get so right: moody greys brightened by copper-lined lamps, squishy sofas scattered with cushions, and open shelves stacked with a tasteful jumble of collectables. Some of the walls are adorned with Gunnar’s haunting images of Icelandic landscapes, others with delicate feather-pattern wallpaper or smart wood panelling, and the original plasterwork has been immaculately restored.
We particularly loved the homely touches dotted around – scented candles on the coffee table, piles of magazines to browse, pretty pom-poms strung from the windows. A speaker with an iPhone dock sat in one corner, and underfloor heating and snuggly blankets kept us toasty throughout our stay.
Our sleek marble-topped kitchen had everything we needed to cook a meal (we even found a couple of beers waiting for us in the fridge!), so we alternated between lazy evenings on the sofa and heading out to eat (Halla Bára and Gunnar happily pointed us in the direction of their favourite bistro). Come morning, we lolled around in our pyjamas with coffee, croissants and skyr as we waited for the sun to rise (around 10am in February). It was the ideal start to a day discovering the city – more on that to follow…
Head over to i-escape.com to read more about the apartments and book a stay.
Photography by Abi Dare