Guide / Oslo
”I love that although we live in our capital, everything is within walking distance”
On the best co-working offices, restaurants, and hiking trails
19 Aug 2021

Anette Miwa Dimmen is the founder and creative director of AWAN (As We Are Now), a comfort-first fashion brand for women based on circular principles and a DTC business model. Both Anette and AWAN are based in Oslo, but the fashion brand’s team is divided between Norway and Sweden, and they are hoping to expand more in Sweden this year.

The best thing that makes me proud of Oslo: 

I love that although we live in our capital, everything is pretty much within walking distance. We live quite central in Torshov, with beautiful swimming spots, idyllic hiking areas and great restaurants & bars all within a 40 minutes walking distance. We also live close to Akerselva, which is a hub for so much activity during the summer.

My favourite weekend routine: 

Friday after work is my favourite time of the week. Whether I’m horizontal on the sofa with a glass of wine, at an impromptu BBQ with neighbours, or going out with friends, it marks the end of what has usually been an incredibly intense and busy week, and the beginning of the weekend, with a slower pace and different routines.

My favourite summer weekend activity is simply going for long walks with the family and with friends to a lunch spot in the sun, often somewhere close to the river.

My favourite cultural spot:

I am much better at visiting galleries and museums when I am travelling than at home in Oslo. But as someone who likes to walk, I am really loving the ongoing Fjordbyen development project aimed at connecting the fjord with Oslo city through a 9 km long promenade along the harbour. The development of Bjørvika and Sørenga as a new and happening urban area in Oslo with fantastic swimming areas, restaurants and shops, are good examples of how much this project is adding to the Oslo city experience.

My favourite place for dining out:

Honestly, so many! As a family, we tend to opt for tried & tested local spots at Grünerløkka, Torshov or Nydalen, but when going out with friends I try to discover new restaurants in other parts of town. I just had a great meal with girlfriends at Marlow, a new American hot spot at Aker Brygge.

One of my go-to places is Südøst at Grünerløkka, where they offer tasty and pretty Asian food in a large courtyard with great vibes (30 min walking distance from my home). The food is also reasonably priced which has been important for me these past years when living the life of a bootstrapped startup entrepreneur. 

For other Asian food lovers out there, I would also recommend Ching Ching, a smaller Asian restaurant with great cocktails and a cute backyard, slightly hidden away from the busiest streets at Grünerløkka. Or Gohan, for a quick and tasty Japanese lunch at Oslo street food.

Great dinner and cocktails opportunities at Ching Ching.

My favourite breakfast place:

At home. My boyfriend makes the best breakfasts. Hands down.

My favourite place for a bath:

I am more of a sunbather unless there’s a pool. My favourite spots in Oslo for sunbathing are around Akerselva or Sørenga, as long as they are not too crowded. I love that there are great food and drink options right by so you can make a day of it.

My favourite place for ice cream or other refreshments:

My favourite cafe is Oslo Raw. They have the best raw cakes and chia pudding I have ever tasted. I would really recommend their super tasty brunch menu with avocado & hummus on bread, chia pudding and raw cake treats. Also, perfect to bring with you to the park for a picnic. 

My favourite excursion/city escape:

I have recently spent some time in the nearby city of Tønsberg. It’s only a short train journey away from Oslo, and a proper idyllic summer city by the sea. 

My favourite local entrepreneur or creative we want to promote:

I am part of a network of several incredible local entrepreneurs and creatives, who are making beautiful products with great care for the planet. Anna Karenina and Christer from Drink Empress brewery make incredible kombucha from local ingredients. Kristina from Rua Botanics makes luxurious skincare products from her lab in Tøyen, and sisters Haddy & Aissatou from Diawéne have created a really exciting jewellery brand, merging Scandinavian simplicity with West African aesthetics. Just to mention a few.

My favourite hotel for a staycation:

I would have to say The Thief. I love the location and the people there, and from time to time you will find AWAN dresses hanging in your wardrobe, for you to try and buy. I recently had a staycation and much-needed break from the hustle there, with my friend and Theia startup founder Raja Skogland. I also love the central location and airy spaciousness of Amerikalinjen, just by Oslo central station, and I often arrange to have my meetings there.

My favourite route for a run or walk: 

I walk 5 minutes from my apartment to the river, then follow it all the way to the deep forest of Maridalen.

My favourite place for design:

Factory Tøyen is a different type of co-working space in Oslo and AWAN’s new home from September. The founder Amalie has created a dream space for work and contemplation with great attention to architecture, design and air quality. Every aspect of the workplace have a purpose, and materials are handpicked for sustainability, quality and comfort.

My favourite example of tech innovation in Oslo: 

I generally love the buzzing vibes of the tech startup scene in Oslo these days, supported by co-working spaces and incubator/accelerator players like Antler (AWAN investor), 657, Mesh, Startup Norway and Startuplab. There is a massive focus on sustainable innovation in Norway these days, with Oslo at the centre of it, but I still wish to see more investors focus on wellness and fashion tech, which are areas that Norway is not known to excel in. 

My favourite place for fashion:

I very rarely go to physical stores to shop these days. I prefer to shop more consciously online where it is much easier to browse based on sustainable fabrics. But one store worth highlighting is JF Curated at Prinsens gate. They are in a process of changing location, but this is a true destination for sustainably curated fashion and the only physical store where you can find AWAN today.  

My favourite local media:

One of the few Norwegian podcasts I listen to is Powerladies with Yrja Oftedahl, in which she interviews some of the most inspiring Norwegian women out there on subjects such as careers, personal growth, wellness, leadership and innovation.

My favourite thing at home: 

My family. And as a close second, our integrated Gaggenau coffee machine. It has been a trusted friend and savours many mornings for 13 years. Well worth the investment.