In December, I was commissioned by Helsinki Tourism to photograph and explore the city. Find above my fave photos and below my fave picks for the week.
1 - The Food
Finnish cuisine is highlighting fresh and seasonal ingredients. My best picks for food for the week:
* Juuri - my favourite restaurant in Helsinki and the best food that I had in a while. The chef treated us with the Christmas lunch including small fish Sapas. It is gourmet food using fresh and traditional ingredients.
* Putte’s - trendy and busy pizza place with a bar and a disco downstairs. Really good food and wine.
* Fleuriste - Finnish are really into Coffee shops. There is a really good looking Brunch menu but we decided to go for their selection of Cakes and Coffee. I really recommend it because it is very good but also because the ladies working there are the nicest. It’s like stepping into a friend’s house.
* Ekberg - oldest Bakery in Helsinki, they retained many old school architectural features. It is a bit touristy but I recommend their brunch on Sunday.
2 - The Bars
I am more into wine and cocktails so I tried to look for some of those:
* Shelter – best cocktails, by the harbour and Uspenskin Cathedral. Really cosy and super friendly waiters.
* Liberty or Death – amazing cocktails too if you are in another part of the city.
* Ateljee Bar – best view of the city for this really tiny bar located at the top of a hotel. Worth checking it out before you head out elsewhere. It is really, really tiny.
* Vin Vin - located right next Putte’s Pizza. Their sommelier is very resourceful and the wine selection amazing.
3 - Design
Design in Finland is a big thing, from furniture’s to clothes, to architecture.
I really wanted to try to visit Marimekko factory and it was my highlight of the week. I got an Insight of the design house, how they printed their textiles and what they are using them for. It was amazing to see the prints created before my eyes. They use 10 gigantic screens to print !
I love to meet people who are passionate about their craft. So to follow with this, I also got to meet the girls at Box Jewellery. I highly recommend checking out their work if you like unique jewellery pieces. They are very inspiring. http://www.keskipomppu.com and http://pionidesign.fi
4 - Arts
Design Museo, Alteneum and HAM Helsinki were my predilection choices. There are so many Museums in Helsinki and with a National Holiday in the middle of the week, I couldn’t quite experience as many as I’d wished for. Yayoi Kusama retrospective was the most fascinating for me.
5 - The Outdoors
There is multiple parks to explore in the city but my favourite escape was UUnisaari Island. In wintertime, it is accessible via a bridge from the harbour. The landscape and the light were perfect. It was the most beautiful place for me in the city.
> Bonus : Tallin
If you get a chance, hop on the 2 hour boat ride to Tallin. You’ll find cheap eateries and medieval bars as well as multiples little museums and vintage shops. I highly recommend the restaurant called V (Vegie/Vegan) in the city centre. We also enjoyed mulled wine at Olde Hansa and a few drinks at the Depeche Mode (like the band !) Baar. Very easy trip if you want to see a different architecture and hop to another country for the day.