Five meters below the ocean surface outside of Lindesnes in Southern Norway, the Snøhetta-designed gourmet restaurant Under is one of the world´s most unique attractions.
Published: 12 October 2018
At Båly in Spangereid, all the way down south in Norway, a unique structure awaits for you. Although there are other places where you can enjoy food underwater, they look more like aquariums compared to the restaurant Under.
Offering accommodation for up to 100 guests in an area of about 500 square meters (5,300 square feet), it is the world’s largest of its kind. Striking architecture, beautiful interior and food expected to be on the highest level has made Under an international sensation.
Under is – like several other spectacular buildings – designed by the Norwegian architect office Snøhetta.
Rune Grasdal, project manager at Snøhetta, explains that the most time-consuming part of the work process has been removing everything that isn’t essential to the concept.
“We had to spend a lot of time making it simpler. The building’s function is taking people down to the sea bottom in a safe and simple way. It has to be able to withstand the forces of nature – water pressure, waves and rough weather”, he says to Visit Norway.
“In addition, Snøhetta har provided Under with furniture, colour palette, textiles and other interior details. That takes time as well.”
From inside the restaurant you can see schools of fish gather in the area surrounding the structure, and have the unusual pleasure of witnessing rain whip up the ocean surface – from below.
“This is a special experience regardless of the season and the weather. It’s obviously awesome being there in stormy weather, but also beautiful when the sunshine creates fantastic colour patterns in the surface. The experience will vary according to the time of day and year”, says Grasdal. Special lighting is set to make sure that the view is unforgettable even as the ocean is pitch black.
Inside the restaurant, the mood is “safe, nice and warm”, according to Rune Grasdal, with local oak tree as one of the prominent features.
The kitchen’s mastermind, Danish chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard, is basing Under’s menu on the rich nature in the Lindesnes area. Obviously, this means a plethora of fish and seafood, but also local birds, wild sheep, mushrooms and berries.
“Our Norwegian specialty highlights the wonders beneath the sea and the unique blend of genuine Norwegian wildlife and berries in keeping with the changing seasons of the Southern tip of Norway”, Ellitsgaard says about the concept, adding:
“My team and I work in close cooperation with local farmers, fishermen, hunters and harvesters to provide the freshest ingredients. In this way, we create flavorful, innovative dishes that reflect our landscape”.
The underwater restaurant, Under, will be worth the trip in and of itself. However, you can experience a lot of other things in the Lindesnes region.
Vigeland, the municipal centre of Lindesnes, is a 15-minute drive from Mandal. From there, the road leads to Spangereid where sights include the famous Spangereid Canal.
If you stay on Spangereidveien Road until it ends, you will come to another major tourist attraction in Southern Norway. Lindesnes Lighthouse is Norway's oldest, and it can be an excellent place for those of you who like stormy conditions, as well as beautiful sunsets.
The team behind Under has also made it as convenient as possible for guests who are coming from afar to experience Under. It is a comfortable walking distance from the restaurant to first-rate accommodation at Lindesnes Sea Hotel.
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