Under – The world’s largest underwater restaurant
Five and a half meters below the ocean surface in Southern Norway, the Snøhetta-designed gourmet restaurant Under is one of the world's unique attractions.
At Båly in Lindesnes, as far south as you can get in Norway, a unique restaurant awaits. There might be other places where you can enjoy food underwater – but they look like aquariums compared to Under.
With space for up to 90 guests in an area of about 500 square metres, the submarine restaurant is the world’s largest of its kind. Striking architecture, beautiful interior, and gourmet food have made Under an international sensation.
So much so that the prestigious magazine Forbes called it “one of the most remarkable restaurants in newer time”, and praised the “18-course tasting menu of the finest Nordic products” at the opening in 2019. Forbes also placed the restaurant on their list of the 10 coolest places to eat in 2020.
An experience for all seasons
Under is – like many other spectacular buildings – designed by the Norwegian architects’ office Snøhetta. Project manager Rune Grasdal explains that the most time-consuming part of the work process was to remove everything that wasn’t essential to the concept.
“We spent a lot of time making it simpler. The building’s function is to take people down to the seafloor in a safe and easy way. It must be able to withstand the forces of nature – water pressure, waves and rough weather”, he says and continues:
“Snøhetta has also provided Under with furniture, colour palette, textiles, and other interior details.”
No wonder that the restaurant won the Wallpaper* Design Awards 2020 for Best new restaurant.
Through a large glass wall, you can see schools of fish gather around the structure. You also get the unusual pleasure of witnessing rain whip up the ocean surface – from below!
“It is a special experience regardless of the season and the weather. It’s obviously awesome being here 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”, Grasdal says.
Inside the restaurant, the mood is safe, nice, and warm, with local oak tree as one of the prominent features.
The kitchen's head chef, Bernt Sætre, has a special focus on elements found right outside the windows. He approaches the surroundings and produce with an educational perspective and combines the values of presence, diversity and traditions in his cooking – a «binocular approach», as if looking into the nature's own pantry.
From spring 2024, Under will present a brand-new concept, but the philosophy will be the same as before: Giving the guests a unique experience and showcasing local ingredients from Southern Norway.
"The set menu will be seasonal and consist of 10-12 dishes," says head chef Bernt Sætre.
Norway’s oldest lighthouse
Even though Under is worth the trip in and of itself, there are lots of other things to do in Lindesnes.
One of the absolute highlights is Lindesnes lighthouse, at the southernmost tip of Norway. It is an excellent place if you like to feel the forces of nature – and beautiful sunsets. Swing by the visitor centre – or why not book an overnight stay?
You should also stop in the city of Mandal, where you’ll find the white-painted wooden houses and charming narrow streets that characterize the small towns of Southern Norway. Here, you’ll also find some of the country’s best beaches.
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