Getting to know Helsinki on a food tour of the city!
I’ve said it time and time again on this blog, but my favourite way to get to know a new place? Straight through my stomach! So what better way to understand what makes Helsinki tick than on whistle-stop tour of some culinary hotspots on Heather’s Helsinki Fork In Hand food tour?
We met tour guide Heather under the Stockmann clock in the centre of the city. Heather’s not a native. Originally from Tasmania, Australia, she’s lived in Helsinki for 15 years. In some ways seeing the city through the eyes of someone who had moved there gave us a better understanding of its quirks. Rather than growing up with them, she’s experienced them as a newbie – making them easier to identify.
Serving gourmet Scandinavian cuisine in the centre of Helsinki, there’s a reason Olo Restaurant has a Michelin star.
When it comes to foodie cities, I never expected Helsinki to be a top destination. But, with 4 Michelin starred restaurants in the centre, and plenty of spectacular waterside locations to dine at, it’s a city that really took me by surprise! During my week staying at Visit Helsinki’s #HelsinkiSecret Residence I spent an evening at Olo Restaurant enjoying their 9 course tasting menu (entitled ‘The Shorter Way’) with wine pairings.
I don’t think I’ve ever sat at a restaurant table to find something totally uncooked waiting for me. But, sure enough, as I took my seat beside the window at Olo, as a beautiful rainbow draped itself through the sky, there was a dish of unbaked sourdough. “It’s rising” waitress Melanie said. “I’ll take it off to be baked and bring it back when it’s ready.” Nice touch I thought…
Viewing Helsinki from the skies is a magical way to get to know the Finnish capital.
As I boarded my flight from London to Helsinki, I couldn’t help but snap away out of the window as we were coming in to land. Fairytale forests and beautiful archipelago filled my plane window. It was absolutely breathtaking.
Over the next few days, while visiting the city as part of Visit Helsinki’s #HelsinkiSecret campaign, I explored the city on foot, by tram, boat, kayak and big wheel. However I never expected for a moment that I’d be taking to the skies in a 4-seater Cessna!
Jutta, a friendly local contacted me via twitter asking if I fancied a unique birds-eye view of the city.
What could she possibly mean? We continued to chat back and forth and days later arranged to meet at Helsinki Central Station. From there we travelled 30 minutes by bus to Malmi Airport. Just 10km from the city, the small airport boasts around 40,000 landings every year.
This summer is shaping up to be an extra special one!
Is it really May already? How did this happen? After planning to slow down a little in 2016, I ended up visiting Morocco, France, Chile, Argentina, Sweden, St Martin and St Kitts all in the space of a few months. It was an accident I promise!
I’m really enjoying being back home at the moment, but guess what? It’s shaping up to be one big summer of adventures…
So what’s coming up?
Well firstly, I’ve spent the best part of the last four months overindulging. South America was all about huge steaks and red wine, while the Caribbean was about cocktails and carbs. I’m a firm believer that you should stick to what you’re good at, and it just so happens that I’m much better at drinking on a beach than exercising… See?