So the Easter holidays are a distant memory. I managed to squeeze a lot into two weeks meaning there was not a lot of time for baking. I did make another sticky toffee pudding for dessert on Easter Sunday and more recently another Minion birthday cake for the daughter of our lovely admin lady at work (more about that in another post to come soon).
The main reason for the lack of baking was that myself and Mr Birdie (AKA Rob) were on our travels. We spent four nights in Iceland. Rob has been keen to visit for a long time and so when he found some cheap flights and a reasonably priced hotel that was it – they were booked and off we were going! The scenery and landscape is truly amazing. We hired a car so were able to drive ourselves around and could be flexible in what we wanted to see rather than being confined to coach tours. We saw some of the main highlights such as the geysers and Gulfoss waterfalls which make up part of the ‘Golden Circle’ and traveled along the south coast, as well as enjoying the geothermally heated water at the Blue Lagoon. There is so much more we could have done (such as whale and puffin watching, visiting a glacial lagoon and visiting the Snæfellsnes peninsula) and we’ve mentally made a list of things we want to do should we ever visit again.
I thought I would share some of our food highlights. We didn’t eat many things that were traditionally Icelandic, but should you be visiting you might find this useful and pick out .
C is for Cookie
Rob found C is for Cookie via Trip Advisor and was very keen to visit after seeing photos of their hot chocolates and lattes. We visited after having spent the morning walking around the city and felt we deserved some sugar and fat laden food to reward us for our exertions! It’s not too far from Hallgrimskirkja Church which is one of Reykjavík’s main landmarks (it has a tower you can climb which has 360 degree views around the city). C for Cookie has a cozy, quirky feeling. We sat at a small table with very comfy armchairs. As the name suggests, they have a range of cookies on offer as well as lots of other delicious looking baked goods. They also have a sandwich menu as well as your usual hot drinks. We shared a toasted cheese and ham sandwich before Rob tucked into an oat and chocolate cookie and I had a chocolate brownie (with whipped cream). Rob was very impressed with his latte art and I was equally impressed with the whipped cream and grated chocolate which topped my hot chocolate. Should you be looking for a cosy setting to enjoy a sugar and caffeine pit stop C is for Cookie should definitely be on your list!
Resto is a small restaurant that is a little bit tucked away from the main touristy areas. The interior has a slightly Mediterranean feel to it but the menu most definitely has Icelandic influences. Rob found it via Trip Advisor and as we weren’t staying too far away off we set. When we visited it was rated third on Trip Advisor, but at the time of writing they are now rated as the top restaurant . We visited fairly early (7pm) and were the first people in there so luckily didn’t need a reservation. The menu is handwritten and is largely based around fish. We decided against starters to leave space for dessert! Rob opted for the baccalao which is salted cod. It was served with salsa verde, onion and chorizo (Rob’s favourite!). He was very pleased with his choice and certainly enjoyed it. I had the honey sauteed salmon with a lemongrass and coconut curry sauce. It was delicious and I too was very pleased with my decision. For dessert I enjoyed their signature chocolate cake with whipped cream and almonds and Rob had panna cotta with cherry sauce which he declared was delicious. The service was prompt and the setting relaxed. It was a lovely final meal to round off our stay.
Rob found the blog I Heart Reykjavik particularly useful when planning our adventures as it has a lot of ‘Drive yourself’ guides. We used a couple of these when driving ourself around the Golden Circle and along the south coast. Rob had read about a tomato nursery that sounded interesting so on our way back to Reykjavik we stopped for a mid-afternoon pick me up. Friðheimar is a tomato nursery that uses geothermal water to heat the nursery and “green” electricity from hydro and geothermal power plants to provide the artificial lighting necessary to grow the crops all year round. They have boxes of bees that fly around the nursery working to pollinate the plants. As part of the nursery they have their own restaurant where they serve tomato soup made with their own tomatoes. This is served with freshly baked bread, crème fraîche and cucumber salsa. There are pots of basil on the table with scissors for you to cut your own garnish! The soup was very tasty and the bread was particularly delicious. You eat right next to the nursery – it was definitely a unique eating experience!
We ate at Núðluskálin on our first night in Reykjavik. It was about 5 minutes from our hotel so was perfect for not venturing too far after a busy day travelling. Núðluskálin doesn’t look like much from the outside (or on the inside either) but it does serve fantastic, cheap noodles. Rob had ‘Gwiddíáw Domm Kha’ which was noodle soup containing rice noodles and chicken in a coconut soup infused with fresh chilli, garlic and ginger. I had ‘Noodles on land’ which was fresh egg noodles and chicken tossed in sweet soy with crushed peanuts, bean sprouts and leek. Rob definitely made the better choice – his was very tasty and I’m now hoping to try recreating a similar dish.
We also ventured to The Hamburger Factory for dinner one evening (Rob is a big fan of burgers – especially if they involve egg, which his did), Kaffitar (a small chain of coffee shops) for breakfast one morning, Eldsmidjan for pizza one evening and also tried a very interesting range of smoothies called ‘Froosh’. We definitely enjoyed the food in Iceland and I would certainly recommend visiting the country to see what it has to offer.