Unique Space to Visit: London, Scandinavia￼
From eccentric shopping experiences to hotels made of ice, we wanted to share a few unique spaces you can visit in London or if you plan a trip to the Nordic region. So, read on for some exciting and interesting bucket list spaces to visit.
Not just a shop, London
Looking for something one-of-a-kind, or even fancy a bit of inspiration? At “not Just a shop” Holborn, you can uncover unique artwork, homeware, fashion, stationery, and giftware created by University of London students and alumni. The shop’s sustainable range includes recycled leather items, and eye-catching cards printed on a carbon-neutral card and made using wind power. Sales go towards supporting UAL students with their creative ventures, making your support even more valued. Imagine having an original piece by a famous designer? Not just a shop is your chance to have just that.
Alice Through the looking glass, London
Stumbling upon a hand-painted “Alice in Wonderland” themed chessboard, Jake Fior & Pete Doherty knew they had to create something inspired by this fantastical coincidence. In an interview, Fior stated; ‘I thought, I have to open a shop dedicated to Alice,’ Not everybody’s first conclusion, you might think, but most definitely the thoughts of eccentric visionaries like Fior and Doherty. The idea for the shop was to take customers on a trip from the repressed Victorian madness portrayed by Lewis Carol through to the free expression of the 60’s psychedelic movement. Something that sounds rather peculiar, but that’s precisely the aim of this little shop on Cecil Court, an exciting alley just off St Martins Lane. You can see the original chessboard hanging at the back of the shop, and can now buy your own replica, hand made in England and Gilded in real gold. You can find all sorts of Lewis Carroll peculiarities, including many first and early editions of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass, as well as framed illustrations, Victorian top hats, and chess pieces. The surreal vibe of the shop is Enchanting and appealingly odd.
Under is the highly regarded underwater restaurant in Lindesnes, Norway, which hosts a dining room found 5.5 meters below sea level. The entirety of the dining floor is 495 square metres, making Under the most extensive underwater restaurant globally. It is the only underwater restaurant in Europe and only the third to be found worldwide. Under is not only a highly sought-after restaurant but also doubles as a sea lab, facilitating research in marine biology. The restaurant was designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta. The restaurant’s culinary focus is to showcase the diversity of what the ocean and land have to offer in the southern part of Norway. The restaurant operates with a tasting menu of around 18 to 22 dishes. The creations by Chef Ellitsgaard and his team were awarded one star in the Michelin Guide after being open for less than one year. “Under” in Norwegian carries a double meaning, meaning both under and wonder. This incredible dining experience is one you’ll need to try to book months in advance but won’t disappoint.
Aifur feast hall in Vasterlanggatan, Stockholm
Aifur is an exciting restaurant and party room hidden away in a basement on the main street of Gamla Stan, Stockholm. Although situated in a bustling location, this hidden gem can easily be overlooked, as it’s rather nondescript from the outside. However, this is not the case for the restaurant’s interior décor. It is strewn with Viking stylizations, from dark wood adorning the walls and floors, leather accents, fur hides covering seats and even exact replicas of objects found in excavations and Viking graves sites all over Europe. This Viking inspired restaurant will transport you back in time to another life. Aifur is only open for dinner, so be sure to book in advance if you want to be taken on a trip back in time. The restaurant can seat about 100 people, so you shouldn’t have any problems getting a reservation. In addition to the dinner menu, there is an excellent bar with a wide beer selection, a recommendation for a one-of-a-kind dining experience.
ICE HOTEL, Sweden
Located in the small village of Jukkasjärvi in the heart of the Swedish Lapland, visitors have a chance to stay overnight in the original ICEHOTEL, built and furnished exclusively from ice. Your stay includes ice-carved amenities such as giant ice beds outfitted with thick mattresses, thermal sleeping bags and local reindeer skins for warmth, to the ICEBAR, where cocktails are served in glasses made of ice. Feast your eyes on beautifully lit ice sculpture galleries and intricately designed hallways, all dreamed up every year by ice sculptors worldwide and using water from the Torne River. Every spring, the hotel melts away again, making this unique stay even more special to attend. Not only can you say that you stayed in an ice hotel, but the place is also packed with fun, adventurous activities for you to do during your spare time. This unique stay is a very “Cool” bucket list option.
Tree Hotel, Sweden
Known as the landscape hotel where nature and imagination run wild, the Tree Hotel in Sweden is one of those prolific experiences that ignite every bit of your imagination. Whether you’re looking for an adventure, a relaxing break, or wind down in nature, Treehotel allows you to experience nature most uniquely and memorably as you can imagine. The TreeHotel feels like something out of the Avatar movie with eight varied tree nestled cabins. Choose a cabin that most intrigues you, from The Mirror Cube to the Birds Nest, each with its unique look and feel. The TreeHotel is one of those unique experience of a lifetime.
Gods Own Junk Yard, London
In the darkest Walthamstow, you will find one of London’s brightest and most visually enchanting places – God’s Own Junkyard. This neon laden shop is a treat for the eyes and is an ‘Instagrammers’ delight. A private collection of all thing’s neon – curated by the late Christopher Bracey, is undeniably like walking into a fantasy film set. The late Bracey, also known as the ‘Neon Man’, was a second-generation neon sign maker who collected pieces throughout the decades and housed them in God’s Own Junkyard for all to enjoy. Once you’ve had your neon fix, be sure to have some tea and a snack at the splendid on-site cafe. Not only does this unique space make for some great pictures, but it is an incredibly stimulating experience.
Ballie Ballerson – Ball Pit bar, London
Starting as a “one month only” pop up in Dalston in 2016 has turned into a fun and whimsical adult entertainment venue called Ballie Ballerson, permanently situated at its residence premises in Shoreditch. You can experience a blend of contemporary cocktails and childhood nostalgia at night out in Ballersons. Dive into over one million plastic balls in their glowing ball pit or dance to your favourite anthems on the dance floor. This diverse space offers the perfect setting for an exciting night out. Hen do, stag party, girls’ night or even just a change of scenery, this is a unique experience that you should try!