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Eat at Ask

Ask is a small, intimate restaurant in the Kruununhaka area of Helsinki, not far from the back of Tuomiokirkko.

The restaurant offers 4 or 8 courses. All produce is sourced from small farmers and producers and menus vary according to the availability of ingredients. The beverages are carefully selected to complement the food.

I chose the 4 course menu, but first to the table was the crunchy bread alternative, served with a delicious yoghurt.

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You are invited to choose between the 2 main courses then the chefs will select the others which will best suit your choice. I chose the lamb.

An amuse bouche was the next tasty treat to arrive.

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One of the chefs brings the food to the table to explain what you are about to eat.

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The heavenly bread is baked on the premises every day.

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Here are my scrumptious dishes.

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Before my dessert was a pre-dessert taste treat.

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Then came the apple pancake.

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Normally there would be a different wine with each course, but I asked to have just one glass and they happily agreed to this. It was an excellent Umbrian Sangiovese.

Ask seats only 26 people and I would suggest you book ahead. You can do this via the website.

Ask has a Michelin star…well deserved.

Vironkatu 8. 

restaurantask.com

Bad Bad Boy

The latest addition to the harbour is bound to be a bit controversial. Tommi Toija’s 8 metre concrete sculpture now stands proudly beside the sea.

The tall boy is not especially handsome.

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He is naked.

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..and he is peeing into the harbour.

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I’m sure lots of boys have done this; it is time they were recognised for their efforts.

After the Crimean War the Russian sandbank walls and gunpowder magazines on Suomenlinna were reinforced and covered with sand. Grass grew over the top of the magazines and helps to protect them.

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The area attracts over half a million visitors a year. The combination of lots of feet and severe weather have eroded the ground allowing water to get through the layer of sand, causing them to cave in easily.

Work began in 2009 to restore the walls and magazines, and it is no longer possible to walk over them. It is a much better idea to admire them from below.

The magazines look wonderful in winter covered with snow.

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It is difficult to believe that this beautiful and peaceful place was once an important military zone.

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Suomenlinna is an easy ferry ride across the harbour from Helsinki. Ferries leave regularly and take only 15 minutes to reach the island.

Stay with Amanda

 

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Clever people in Helsinki have built a temporary one room hotel around Havis Amanda. The project was organised by the Helsinki Art Museum and the room sold out almost immediately.

For those not able to stay the night with Amanda, the hotel is open for visitors between 11.30 and 17.30 daily.

My friend Kirsi has been following the progress of the building of the hotel.

She joined the crowds waiting to see inside.

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You really do get to be up close and personal with Amanda. I think she looks much smaller when you are beside her.

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At least for a time she will be free of seagulls.

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Go to Restaurant and Wine Epicure for another post on the Hotel Manta.

…and here for a great view of the hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner in the sky

Today is the last day for Dinner in the Sky. If you are in Helsinki right now you can have a delicious dinner with an incredible view over the city.

Enter here.

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Dine here.

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Thank you to my friend Kirsi who is in Helsinki now and keeping me up to date with Helsinki happenings.
www2.dinnerinthesky.fi

 

Kauppahalli – Old Market Hall – has been closed on my last few visits to Helsinki. I was pleased to see it open again recently.

The market place was designed by Gustaf Nystrom and built in 1888. Kauppahalli first opened its doors to customers in 1889 and has been providing excellent produce to the lucky people of Helsinki ever since.

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The interior is looking very smart.

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The selection of food is excellent.

Kauppahalli is open Monday to Saturday from 8.00am until 6.00pm.

www.vanhakauppahalli.fi

City Hall

The lovely blue building that houses City Hall began as the Hotel Seurahuone in 1833. It was designed by Carl Engel and was taken over by the city in 1901 and became City Hall in 1913. The offices of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and meeting facilities for the City Council and City Board are here.

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Virka Info is a public information service for Helsinki residents and for services for immigrants. There are 6 public access computers available. As well as this, Virka gallery organises exhibitions, concerts, movie screenings and other free events in the lobby and banquet hall.

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When I was at City Hall in early July there was a delightful exhibition of advertising posters from the Finnish Co-operative Union from 1949 to 1957. The posters from the Labour Archives constitute one of the most extensive collections of posters related to commercial activity in Finland. The archives have a total of 1,891 co-operative advertising posters.

The exhibition is on until 31st August.

City Hall is in the Kruunhaka district next to Market Square at Pohjoisesplanadi 11 – 13.

City Hall is open Monday to Friday from 9.00 – 19.00 and Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 – 16.00.

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