hello Helsinki

Helsinki red boat

Chef and Sue are back, slightly tanned, from a little sunny break in Finland. Setting off from Heathrow at lunch we landed late afternoon and in half an hour were in the centre of Helsinki, walking to the Crowne Plaza on the big Mannerheimintie road. After admiring the view of the city from the 8th floor we headed out and ate salad and baked vegetables at Gastone before having wine under the glowing pink lights of Teatteri in the central Esplandi area.

The next day we walked around the harbour, enjoyed cheese and wine in the indoor market, and then went to the Design Museum to see a great exhibition of Kaj Franck’s work – including his famous glasses for Iittala. Later, it was on to the opening party of Design Week in an old warehouse with a giant inflatable anatomical heart outside, and then dinner at Toscanini.

inflatable heart at Helsinki Design Week

view from Sokos Torni

Helsinki sea fortress

We carried on the theme the following day with a huge design market at the old Cable Factory, which was full of great local products. That afternoon we got a boat over to the sea fortress – a UNESCO world heritage site – to enjoy the views in the sunny weather, before walking into the design district for a dinner of risotto and pasta at Bali Hai.

Sunday saw us breakfast at Mbar – in the neon sign topped media centre – with delicious fresh croissants and cereal, before we walked along the lake shore to the Olympics stadium and then the local theme park to go on an old wooden rollercoaster. As the day cooled we sat on the lake edge at Cafe Regatta with coffee by an outdoor open fire. For a last night treat we went to the top of the Sokos Torni hotel and sat on the 14th floor terrace at the Ateljee Bar, enjoying the night view of the city and the sea twinkling under the full moon. That left Monday to do some last minute shopping at the Moomin shop and Marimekko before we were back off to the airport. A great city. Chef’s Kiss!

helsinki wooden rollercoaster

Helsinki Media Centre

view out over water

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