Food and Saga in Reykjavik

I just got back from a fantastic trip to Iceland and Greenland. I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

This was my second visit in Iceland. First time around, I did the Golden Circle, Jökulsárlón and even took a hike in Thórsmörk. So this time, I decide to do something different. A friend recommended The Food & Saga Gourmet Tour by Season Tours and I was glad to have done it.

Chef Tyffi Tyffason is a professional chef, who is passionate about cooking, photography and showing people around his beautiful country. He will pick you up from your hotel, take you to interesting places around Reykjavik. Some of which you would have never thought of visiting as a tourist, such as this ocean front secret foot bath – filled with wonderful Icelandic geothermal water, which is actually an art piece designed and installed by Icelandic artist Ólöf Nordal, titled Kvika:

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located in the township of Seltjarnarnes

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with a little shark-curing shed nearby

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and a spouting water fountain to quench your thirst

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The idea is to take a stroll along the beach, admire the open sea view and its rich birdlife, drink the pure Icelandic spring water, smell the shark and soak up those weary feet while soaking up the scenery. What a splendid idea!

Another work of art by Ólöf Nordal is this quirky landscape sculpture called Þúfa, located at Reykjavík’s old harbour. The mound is a small man-made hill, 26 meters in diameter, 8 meters high, with stone steps to reach the top, where yet again, a drying fish shed lies.

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We made a stop at a local cheese shop for some cheese tasting.

Looks like some dedicated Icelandic football fan has painted his car. Fyrir Ísland!

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On our way to the fishmonger, chef Tyffi pointed out Björk’s house, which to my surprise, was very modest by Hollywood standard. It is very easy to spot as it has a black triangular roof in between the two red roof houses.

We then stopped by a small beachfront and checked out icelandic Angelica plants

I learnt about the health benefit of Angelica from my last hiking trip in Thórsmörk, but little did I know that touching this plant under heated sun could cause severe skin reaction. I moved gingerly under chef Tyffi’s guidance and of course since it was a cloudy and rainy day, it was completed safe. Both the flower and the stem are edible. I snipped some on the top, it tasted delicate and sweet, vaguely reminiscent of celery.

After getting fish at a local fishmonger, we made at stop at Bessastaðir, the official residence of the President of Iceland. The first newly elected president of twenty years appears to be at home. We took a walk on the green path open to the public. There were no security guards and no fences. Chef Tyffi said that there is only one class in Iceland, and I truly believe it. If only the White House were like Iceland’s……

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Afterwards we stopped by a Icelandic horse farm. Chef Tyffi had some lava baked rye bread, and apparently the horses knew that they were in for a treat.

We also foraged some arctic thyme nearby, before heading to chef’s home for our multi-course dinner.

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To be continued……

Food and Sage Gourmet Tour by Season Tours
Booking URL: http://www.seasontours.is/#!food-and-saga/c1hy
Email: bookings@seasontours.is

This afternoon tour can be booked alone or with the morning Horse riding with Íslenski hesturinn for an additional ISK14,500 p. person. I booked both tours separately, it wasn’t a problem at all. Once I was done with the first tour, the driver dropped me off at a small bakery where I had a light lunch. Remember to notify both companies to arrange pick up and drop off. 

There is however, a caveat in the booking. If you are a solo traveler like me and want to book this tour and you see the book button grayed out after picking the date, that means that you are the first one to book this tour on that date. It has a minimum requirement of two person. What I did was to email the tour operator and asked them to keep me posted if the requirement has met so that I can add myself to the tour. I got an email two weeks before my trip and was able to complete the booking online.

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