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Archive for the ‘shopping’ Category

New Arabia shop

Beautiful Arabia ceramics have been around since 1873 when the brand new factory was built near Helsinki. Within a couple of years the output from the factory accounted for half of the total annual ceramics production in the whole country.

Arabia ceramics are known the world over for their beautiful design and practicality.

A brand new shop has opened at 23 Pohjoisesplanadi.

Arabia Esplanadi

It is full of gorgeous things.

Arabia Esplanadi

Arabia Esplanadi

Drop in and be delighted.

 

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Market Square is a fun place to be in summer. There are colourful stalls selling fresh produce and hand made items.

The wonderful open air pool is waiting nearby…what a fun thing to do in the city.

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The iconic Finnish glassware, iittala, is 100 years old. They have turned blue to celebrate.

The window in Esplanadi looked amazing when I wandered past.

iittala

iittala

iittala

iittala

iittala

Here’s to the next 100 years.

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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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When I was in Helsinki late last year I was disappointed to find the main Marimekko shop on Esplanadi closed for renovation.

I returned earlier this year and was very pleased to see the newly renovated shop. It is not quite as big as before, and it is no longer on Esplanadi, but further down Mikonkatu.

Marimekko

Marimekko

Marimekko

Marimekko

 

Marimekko

Marimekko

It can also be entered via the Kampi shopping centre. There are several other places to buy Marimekko in Helsinki, but this one has always been my favourite.

 

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The very first Sarpaneva watches were made in the home of Stephan Sarpaneva, using a metal lathe in his kitchen. In 2003 he moved his workshop to the old cable factory by the Helsinki seaside.

Stephan Sarpaneva was born in 1970 to a Finnish family with a long heritage of craftsmanship. Son of jewellery designer Pentri Sarpaneva, and nephew to Finland’s renowned product designer Timo, it was perhaps inevitable that Stephan would grow into some sort of artist, or artisan.

Stephan likes to work in steel…and his watches are very special indeed.

My friends Jodie and Alan visited his workshop to show us some of the beautiful work.

All Sarpaneva watches are designed by Stephan himself…exceptional timepieces intended for exceptional people.

Stephan Sarpaneva

http://www.sarpanevawatches.com

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The Baltic Herring Fair is the oldest traditional event in Helsinki. It has been held since 1743…and what perfect weather there has been so far this year for the outdoor festivities.

Baltic fishermen bring in their fish to sell, along with lots of other delicious things to eat.

Herring festival Helsinki

Helsinki herring festival

Helsinki herring festival

Helsinki herring festival

There are colourful stalls selling handmade clothing and wooden items.

You can sit and enjoy delicious seafood, coffee and cakes and take in the lovely sunshine.

Helsinki herring fair

You might have to share something with the large and persistent seagulls.

Helsinki herring fair

The festival runs until 10th October in market square beside the harbour.

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