Dining in with locals may still be somewhat of a nouveau option in Iceland but it’s done regularly and it’s a blast. Although not a very common practice there are a few individuals who open up their homes for strangers and offer an unforgettable dining experience. One of which are the hospitable Beggi and Pacas.
It might have started out as a crazy idea, a simple suggestion by a concerned friend, but when Beggi and Pacas opened their doors to their first “all-strangers” dinner party they had no idea it would turn into a full-time dream job. It all originated on a rather gloomy note when Beggi experienced a heart attack in 2009. Four more attacks were to follow, paired with two blood clots.
“It made it impossible for me to work on the floor, so to speak,” Beggi notes. “I was never going to do a nine to five job again. So my friend suggested I should open up our house for dinner parties, seeing that the ones we hosted were very popular amongst friends and family.”
So that is exactly what Beggi and Pacas did. After all, the ingredients for the mix were all there in perfect quantities: A large, secluded house in the outskirts of the grander metropolitan area, a very interesting historical aspect of that house built in the cold war 50’s (there is even an eerie nuclear bomb shelter far below the house), a large estate covering over four hectares of forest, fields, mossy lava, and elvish residency, and last but not least, Beggi’s and Paca’s unflinching charm and hospitality, not to mention they both happen to be chefs.
It is safe to say their dinner parties have been a success. “We get people from all over the world. Group of friends, workplaces, tourists, young, old, you name it,” says Beggi. “It is always fun. I try to get a feel for the group as they arrive, if they know each other well or if they are strangers amongst them selves. If they are more interested in the historical or natural, or just in having a good time. But in general we like to laugh, so that’s what we do.”
There is more to the evening than the healthy cooking and good company, as Beggi is accustomed to sharing his fortune-telling abilities with his dinner guests. “We never go too deep and I never reveal the delicate secrets of my guests,” Beggis says laughing. “But yes, I do map out people and tell them a little about themselves, but again, it is all in good humour since the main objective is to laugh, and then laugh some more.”
Those interested in a dinner party at Beggi’s and Pacas’s can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. But be warned, they are hugely popular so book in good advance.