Mona Jensen is the Founder and Creative Director behind Norwegian jewellery label, Tom Wood. With headquarters in Oslo, the capital of Norway offers innovative architecture, unmissable museums alongside cool bistro’s, cafes and bars – all ready to unearth. We ask Mona all the right questions about her Scandinavian roots.
Describe your hometown in three words.
Small, emerging, cool.
Where should we base our stay in Oslo?
Oslo is really such a small city you can stay almost anywhere and be within walking distance to almost anything.
What are best hotels, and why?
The Thief on Tjuvholmen, located in a new area by the harbour where you can enjoy a beautiful scenery, the modern museum, small galleries, shopping and nice restaurants. And you are close to everything downtown Oslo. For a sense of luxury, Hotel Continental is a five-star hotel with a chic restaurant and bar.
Scandinavians are renowned for their effortlessly cool sense of style. What are the top fashion, lifestyle and interior boutiques in Oslo?
Luck is a charming and unique boutique located at Grünerlokka, run by two eccentric and friendly guys that happens to be good friends of mine; John Andre and Jojo. The store also features a hair salon, they sell huge plants, small Japanese porcelain and a many of the best Norwegian designers are represented there.
YME is a nice fashion store on three levels, starting with sneakers and street style at the ground floor, then women’s and finally men at the top floor.
Vincci is a small and well curated candy store for girls that want high end luxury ranging from Celine to Balenciaga.
Millas Boutique is a very nice interior and lifestyle boutique at Aker Brygge. They sell unique posters at first floor, and interior at ground floor.
Our own Tom Wood Store located downtown in Prinsensgate. That area is now growing, and you will find a lot of nice luxury stores and independent stores in the same area.
List your top dining locations.
Sentralen – where you can explore Norwegian ingredients prepared in a modern way. Sharing dishes, low key atmosphere and a tasty experience for sure!
Hanami – by the harbor. It’s just great Asian snacks combined with drinks and a nice vibe.
Skur33 – serves Italian food, and during summertime you can enjoy your food with a beer in the sunshine at their deck almost in the ocean.
Piscoteket – a low key Peruvian inspired restaurant/bar, where you get served ceviche and small dishes to share.
Maemo – is the place to go for fine dining and a true culinary experience, the Norwegian version of Copenhagen based Noma.
It’s hard to choose only five restaurants, as there have been popping up so many nice ones lately. Check out andershusa for more.
What are the best vantage points for people-watching and taking it all in?
That’s a hard one. I would suggest walking the streets of Oslo, to experience the atmosphere, the people and to see how we live. Or try to spend some time in the woods around Oslo, to get a feeling of our strong nature. It’s really beautiful!
What are the best cultural or art experiences in Oslo?
Personally, I like modern museums, and architecture. So therefore, I have to list Vigelandsparken because of the fantastic nude sculptures in brass and stone. The Opera House because the building and scenery is fantastic. Ekebergparken because you can walk in a park and interact with all the art installations there.
For a first-time visitor, Mona’s recommendations for:
- The best brunch is at Mathallen – located at Grünerlokka by the riverside. It’s a food court where you find local dishes as well as international cousin, prepared by seasonal ingredients coming from Norway.
- For a taste of history, try out some of our older museums, covering Viking history or National art.
- The best walk is either to enjoy free art, or Aker Brygge to smell the ocean and watch all the people there. Grab an ice-cream or buy shrimps to peel yourself and enjoy it on the pier.
- A touch of luxury via Ovre Slottsgate with brand stores including Balenciaga, Hermés, Saint Laurent, Jimmy Choo and more.
- To keep busy with activities, many boats can take you around the archipelago of Oslo, where you can stop on one small island and go for a walk then jump on to the next boat again. Bring your own food and vine and enjoy the nature!
What do you love most about your hometown, why is it so special?
The size is charming, and all the green parks spread all over the city. I also love the growing optimism and all the new establishments covering trendy restaurants and bars with food from all over the world.
Explore the Tom Wood collection, exclusive to Parlour X here.