Thursday 16 May 2013


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True to its namesake—the Icelandic natural wonder where Eurasian and North American plates drift apart—Silfra, the restaurant at the Ion Hotel, is a place of beauty and serenity, marvel and euphoria.

Through the utilization of native materials and sustainable practices, Silfra echos the natural surroundings and extreme contrasts of Iceland, a place where the darkness of winter concedes to the summer’s midnight sun, and fire and ice co-exist.

We are first met with a rush of silver drapes that mimic a gentle waterfall cascading across a wall of crystal clear windows that offer breathtaking views of nearby Lake Thingvallavatn. Contrasting natural wood panels unify the room with a contemporary, yet rustic feel. 

Across the dining room is a floor to ceiling sitting booth that is as much a work of art as it is a means of comfort. The booth, upholstered in a blue-green opalescent fabric that calls to mind the pristine, glacial waters of the Silfra rift, features a mosaic pattern that emulates the surreal underwater landscape of jagged lava rock.

The lights were given a new life by organizing them at different heights as one wavy row of lights, and features the “Rubbish” sink made of recycled rubber. Lights and furniture are reclaimed from the former restaurant. Mounted on the far wall is a larger than life sculpture of the salmon trout, an ancient specie and protected fish found only in Lake Thingvallavatn.

Placed in prominent lake viewing position is a long counter table adorned with photographs of the legs of typical local adventurers—a fisherman, a scuba diver and a hiker. Take a seat at the communal table and enjoy a drink with new friends while imagining yourself exploring the natural wonders of the Silfra rift in someone else’s shoes.