I´ve been visiting Norway for the first time and I can´t for the life of me understand why on earth I haven´t been there before. What was I thinking?!
The Norwegian landscape is unbelievably beautiful with lush mountains and hills, deep fjords, lakes, cliffs, rivers and waterfalls everywhere I look. The architecture is either cute, little wood cabins and family homes, hidden in the woods or majestic, decorative architecture from centuries past in Oslo, the capital.
The town of Ålesund is a perfect example of the many picturesque towns located all over Norway.
I have to admit that so far at least, most of my visits in Oslo, have been to, ahem...shops. The Vigeland Sculpture Park, The Norwegian Opera and Ballet and the Ibsen Museum will have to wait. First on the list was a trip to Kvist, which I´ve been dying to visit since I came across it online originally. I have to admit I almost hyperventilated out of excitement when I looked around the shop. Kirsten Visdal, the owner of Kvist, has an uncanny eye for a fantastic design and apparently, like me, a weakness for the color white. I literally wanted to buy every single item in her shop. Here are just couple of designer objects from Kvist. Much more on Kvist.
Caroline Swift makes paper-thin but absolutely gorgeous ceramics. See more on Caroline Swift.
In House of Oslo shopping center I found Illums Bolighus, Milla and Muji. The wall mounted Muji cd player, designed by Naoto Fukasawa has been on my must-have list for way too long.
In the Grunerlökka area of Oslo, I came across Granit, a favorite shop of mine. It´s relatively inexpensive and has a fantastic selection of well designed necessities for the home.
Bolina is a beautiful lifestyle boutique, in Stabekk, just outside of Oslo, right by the train station. It´s definitely worth the trip.
Villa Malla is located about an hours drive from Oslo. It´s run by husband and wife Sonja Lee and Laurant Surville. The ambience and decor is a fantastic mix of Scandinavia and Morocco. Villa Malla boasts a four star restaurant serving Moroccan cuisine. The location is just beautiful and the view over Oslo fjord fantastic. On the day I visited, a large cruiser on it´s way from Oslo up to the Norwegian fjords sailed past, as I enjoyed a particularly moist and delicious carrot cake. A breathtaking sight. If you are not up to the drive from Oslo, you can travel to Villa Malla by boat (it has a private marina) or by helicopter.