Travel black book: Land of fire and ice

Travel black book: Land of fire and ice
Former beauty queen Rachel Kum loves the outdoors in Iceland and recommends the beautiful scenery.

Who: Rachel Kum, 28. The former Miss Singapore Universe is the co-founder and director of skincare and cosmetics brand Rachel K.

Favourite city: Reykjavik

Why: I was there for a week during the summer of 2012 for a holiday. I loved it for its beautiful scenery and desolate landscapes.

Best place to stay

If you want to see glaciers, volcanoes, moss-covered lava fields and unexpected natural wonders, then Hotel Ranga (Sudurlands veg, 851 Hella, Iceland, tel: +354-487-5700) is the best place to stay at. It is a log lodge in a remote location - almost 100km east of Reykjavik - with views of Iceland's legendary Hekla volcano. It also has a great location for views of the Northern Lights.

Rooms start from €200 (S$348) a night.

Favourite restaurant

Saegreifinn (Tryggvagata, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland, tel: +354-553-1500, open daily from 11.30am to 10pm). This place in the old port can be described as a shack. The port feels like a pure Icelandic experience where whale-watchers and whale-catching ships sit side by side.

This restaurant specialises in lobster soup made from a secret recipe using a sort of local crayfish. It's simply divine. It costs about 1,000 Icelandic krona (S$12).

Favourite cafe

Grai Kotturinn (Hverfisgata 16, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland, tel: +354-551-1544, open weekdays from 7.15am to 3pm and weekends from 8am to 3pm), which means "the grey cat", is a cosy, dimly lit, book-lined cafe in an old townhouse. It's a breakfast and brunch place that serves really good pancakes and bagels. Breakfast for one person costs between 900 and 2,000 Icelandic krona.

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