Welcome To Europe's First Underwater Restaurant - And It Looks Stunning

Fancy a drink under the drink? Your tea under the sea? Your dinner with a swimmer?

OK, that last one might not work as well, but the point stands - Europe's first underwater restaurant is upon us and set to open in Norway at the start of next year.

And it looks pretty amazing.

Imaginatively titled "Under", it will sit on the sea bed some five metres below the surface of Lindesnes, an area off the coast of southern Norway.

Credit: MIR & Snøhetta
Credit: MIR & Snøhetta

The unique building has been designed by architectural company Snøhetta, which has previously worked on the Norwegian National Opera and the Biblioteca Alexandrina in Egypt - and they are understandably excited about how the project is shaping up.

"One of the benefits of this building is how it links nature and land, and how you can come safe from the land and in a very dramatic way go down through this concrete tube to the nature at sea level, and experience what normally is not experienced," said Rune Grasdal, who leads the project.

Up to 100 diners will be able to experience dining and drinking over three floors and will be greeted by a champagne bar as they enter. There will be a dining space, of course, with tables that face onto a 13 foot high window that will allow people to enjoy the deep sea views along with their food.

"On a day of rough sea, you can feel a hint of fresh, salty ocean spray against your face as you enter the restaurant," says the website.

Maybe the fact there's a champagne bar on one floor will balance that out.

Credit: MIR & Snøhetta
Credit: MIR & Snøhetta

Grasdal is confident the experience, though unusual, should not put people off their dinner.

"It should be an exciting experience but people should also feel secure and well when sitting down there," he said.

Effects used to make Under include natural oak wood and good lighting, so diners don't feel claustrophobic.

Naturally, the menu will be themed around the sea, with head chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard focusing on fresh shellfish, accompanied by local vegetables in the summer and mushrooms and nuts in the winter.

"Here our guests are given an opportunity to take in the otherwise rarely seen marine ecosystem;" says the Under website.

"We are creating an iconic structure complete with an immersed gourmet restaurant. The menu at Under highlights the hidden treasures of the raw beauty of the local surroundings, and the delicious varieties of the pulsing sea.

"Head chef Ellitsgaard and his team are preparing innovative seasonal dishes that capture the essence of the pristine Norwegian coastline on the southern tip of Norway - with its rich and abundant natural resources."

One for the foodie bucket list. Armbands not permitted.

Mike Wood

Mike Meehall Wood is a freelance journalist and translator. He writes for LADbible, VICE and countless sports publications, focusing on rugby league, football and boxing. He is a graduate of Leeds University and maintains a fizzy pop obsession. Contact Mike at [email protected]

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