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Archive for the ‘restaurants’ Category

I travel to Helsinki at least 4 times a year. I love the city and each time I return I like to walk around revisiting my favourite places as well as discovering new ones.

My first stop is usually Fazer in Kluuvikatu for a coffee and one of their delicious rye sandwiches. (Click the word in bold type to see a post about the subject)

Fazer

Fazer

From there I walk through the park along Esplanadi to Market Square beside the harbour. The park is lovely in any season.

Esplanadi park

Esplanadi

Havis Amanda is always there to greet me at the harbour.

Havis Amanda

I was at the harbour one very cold winter morning to see the sunrise.

Helsinki sunrise

There is often a market offering lots of local delights. I have managed to be in Helsinki 3 times for the Baltic Herring Fair held in October. Boats back into the harbour and sell their products directly. It is great fun to talk to the fishermen about their catch.

Kauppahalli, the covered market, always beckons me inside. On a cold winter day it is the perfect place to warm up with salmon soup for lunch. If I am staying at an apartment with a kitchen I buy fresh salmon to cook at home…wonderful.

Kauppahalli

A short walk from the harbour is the imposing Russian church, Uspenski Cathedral. It was built between 1862 and 1868.

Uspenski cathedral

Uspenski cathedral

Behind the church is the beautiful district of Katajanokka. I absolutely love the architecture in this area. I can wander for hours, trying to remember to look up at the incredible roof decoration. The beautiful doors are also a source of delight. All of Helsinki is full of fabulous buildings, but in this area they are all amazing.

Walking back towards the city I visit Senate Square dominated by Tuomiokirkko, Helsinki Cathedral. This exquisite white building looks brilliant with a blue sky background….or covered with snow.

Tuomiokirkko

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Opposite the front of the church is the National Library of Finland. Even though I can’t borrow a book I like to wander through and look at the gorgeous reading rooms.

National Library of Finland

Back in the city I walk past the naked blacksmiths. Look for the bullet holes left from the war.

Naked blacksmiths

The railway station building was designed by Eleil Saarinen in 1904. It is one of the most beautiful in Europe. The stone men in front have been restored recently and carry their lights beautifully.

No visit to Helsinki would be complete without a walk around Tooloonlahti. I love the way Finns are out in any weather enjoying this beautiful place.

Toolonlahti

The shopping is excellent in Helsinki. They say if you can’t get at Stockmann it is not worth having.

Stockmann

Just in case I have missed something in Stockmann I drop in to Marimekko to see their beautiful clothes and homewares.

iittala has the most exquisite glassware and kitchen items. Something usually finds its way into my suitcase.

Dining in Helsinki is great. I have been to many Helsinki restaurants. For the setting, it is difficult to beat Kappeli, which has been around since 1867 in Esplanadi park.

Nokka serves delicious modern Finnish food.

Juuri is another favourite.

So far I have only dined at restaurants serving Finnish food. Helsinki restaurants also cater well for those looking for other cuisines. Look in the “Restaurant” category for posts on places I have visited.

I have been writing Beautiful Helsinki for 5 years. If you look back through the archives you will find quite a lot of information about this fabulous city.

I will be back in Helsinki next month…can’t wait.

 

 

 

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El Fant is a welcome addition to the food scene in Helsinki.

El Fant Helsinki

The decor is clean and bright and the food looks delicious.

El Fant Helsinki

El Fant Helsinki

El Fant Helsinki

El Fant Helsinki

El Fant Helsinki

El Fant Helsinki

El Fant Helsinki

I ordered the blueberry porridge and liked it so much I went back the next morning and had it again.

El Fant Helsinki

The carrot cake was also good and the coffee, from a local roastery, is  excellent.

El Fant Helsinki

I’m sure El Fant will do very well.

Find El Fant at number 3 Katariinankatu, not far from Senate Square and the harbour.

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Havis

Havis is a pretty nautical style restaurant beside the Helsinki harbour.

Havis

The interior is very elegant.

Havis

Havis Helsinki

I chose the Havis menu. You can have 3 or 4 courses. I decided on 3, leaving out the cheese course.

First came an amuse bouche. I can’t really tell what it was, but it was delicious.

Havis Helsinki

Mushroom soup followed and was also very good.

Havis Helsinki

I really like Arctic char, which was the reason I chose the menu. It was served with scallops, potatoes and fennel sauce.

Havis Helsinki

Dessert was sorbet with muesli and white chocolate served 3 ways…yum.

Havis Helsinki

Helsinki has many good restaurants to choose from…I would go back to Havis any day.

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On a recent visit to Helsinki I returned to Nokka for another delicious meal. They specialise in pure, fresh ingredients sourced from small Finnish producers.

Nokka Helsinki

This time there was an available table in the beautiful dining room.

Nokka Helsinki

Nokka Helsinki

They have an open kitchen.

Nokka Helsinki

…and a great cellar.

Nokka Helsinki

We had the lovely French waiter who served me last time and the food was every bit as good as I remembered.

Nokka Helsinki

Nokka Helsinki

Nokka Helsinki

Nokka Helsinki

Nokka Helsinki

I’m sure this won’t be my last visit to Nokka.

http://www.ravintolanokka.fi

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4 times a year Pop-up restaurants appear all over Helsinki. The residents of the city get together and have fun with food.

Anyone can participate, and hundreds of little places to eat appear everywhere.

Here are some photos taken by Jodie and Alan at the latest one which took place on 16th August.

Restaurant Day Helsinki

Restaurant day Helsinki

Restaurant day Helsinki

Restaurant day Helsinki

Restaurant day Helsinki

Restaurant day Helsinki

Be prepared for the next Restaurant Day on 21st November. There may not be as much sun around on that day, but I’m sure it will be fun.

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Taste of Helsinki is a culinary festival, which takes you on a journey through the gourmet flavours of the city. Finland has some amazing food and this was a chance to try some delicious food by Helsinki’s best chefs…and have some fun along the way.

Perhaps we should all be making plans to be in Helsinki for the feast next year.

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On Pohjoisesplanadi opposite Stockmann is a wonderful bookshop…Academic Bookshop.

Book shop Helsinki

I could spend hours there, in fact I have. There is an excellent range of Finnish language books, as you would expect, as well as lots of books in English and other languages.

It was designed by Alvar Aalto in 1962 and completed 1969.

Academic Bookshop Helsinki

Academic Bookshop Helsinki

Academic Bookshop Helsinki

While you are there take the time to have a coffee and snack at the delightful Alvar Alto cafe.

Academic Bookshop Helsinki

Academic Bookshop Helsinki

The Academic Bookshop is one of the largest in Europe, I’m sure you will find a suitable book or two there.

 

 

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