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Europe Is Getting Its First Underwater Restaurant

Eat seafood under the sea at Norway's marine-set and -themed eatery, Under.
By Sarah Ward
October 28, 2017
By Sarah Ward
October 28, 2017

"Darling it's better down where it's wetter" isn't just a line The Little Mermaid fans have had stuck in their head for the last two decades. Come the beginning of 2019, it's also the first thing likely to pop into the minds of anyone heading to one particular Norwegian restaurant. Set to open in the coastal village of Båly in the country's south, Under will plunge hungry patrons into watery surroundings, offering more than just the usual scenic vistas. At this eatery, diners will be tucking into their dishes underwater.

To be specific, they'll be feasting on seafood under the sea — if you're going to open a space underneath the ocean, you have to serve up the fish, which is just what head chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard will be doing. Visitors will descend down three colour-coded levels to sip sparkling tipples in a champagne bar that boasts views of the shoreline, before enjoying meals in the completely submerged dining room. The latter sits five metres below the water's surface, and is surrounded by panoramic acrylic windows for quite the aquatic view.

For those wondering about pressure and safety, metre-thick concrete walls will keep everyone nice and dry, in a structure designed by architecture firm Snøhetta. Describing the space as "a sunken periscope", the building will be constructed not only to wow those stepping foot inside, but to fit in with its surroundings. The grey exterior colour scheme will blend in with the rocky coastline, and coarse surfacing will encourage molluscs to cling on. Indeed, over time it's hoped that Under will become an artificial mussel reef.

As well as offering a memorable place to eat, the project also aims to champion biodiversity, functioning as a research centre for marine life. This will include informational plaques educating visitors about the area, helping to expand not only the list of places you've tucked into a meal, but your knowledge.

Start planning your 2019 Scandinavian trip now.

Images: Snohetta.

Published on October 28, 2017 by Sarah Ward
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