Wineweek 144: Places in Helsinki

The last two weeks have been spent in my childhood home of Helsinki. I come here every summer to spend time with my family, and to check out whats new in town. This time, I did not check out so much new, but rather revisited the old. I took long walks with my camera, and tried to capture some memories from childhood hangouts. One day I even had the pleasure of taking a photowalk with my mentor Tuulia. She has taken me from completely automatic to 100% manual photography within a matter of hours. I always learn something revolutionary about my camera when I am with her. For this week, I thought of combining a bit of tourist tips with my pictures – places in my childhood neighborhood of Töölö that I think are worth a visit. Continue reading “Wineweek 144: Places in Helsinki”

The Little Gin Bar at Nytorget – Bar Agrikultur

Nytorget is kind of a hipster-cool city oasis. It’s a little park in SoFo (South of Folkungagatan), Södermalm, surrounded by charity shops and vegan cafes. I have long avoided hanging out there. Not because I don’t like second hand or vegan, but rather because it is so crowded by locals and tourists and the food and drinks selection has been limited. This summer, everything has changed – Bar Agrikultur has opened next to the park. Now, I have been hanging out around Nytorget every week. Other newcomers, like Café Pasqal opening a branch there will make it even more attractive. Continue reading “The Little Gin Bar at Nytorget – Bar Agrikultur”

Wineweek 143: Tales from Tallinn

As many of you know, I am from Helsinki, and I visit quite often. My family and many of my friends still live there. I am around almost every other month. But it has been an embarrassing 10 years since I have visited Tallinn. No, I have no secret estonian relatives, but Tallinn is only 80km – a short boat ride away. Traveling from Helsinki, It’s a great destination for a day trip or even an overnight. Its almost a Finns national responsibility to check it out every now and then. It was actually M that came up with the idea a few weeks ago. And before I had even time to blink, he had mustered up a credible list of twentysomething restaurants, cafes and wine bars worth checking out. So we booked a hotel and the boat trip and off we went. And the trip was every bit as great as we thought it would be. Here are some of my best tips for a foodie in Tallinn. Continue reading “Wineweek 143: Tales from Tallinn”

Sugar in Wine Demystified

Sugar in wine – a topic that has claimed a lot of interest in the past ten years. For many, the topic has spawned from more focus on health and weight. For a smaller majority, sugar, or rather lack of sugar is a sign of quality of wine. I must admit that for me it was initially the first, and during recent years, as I have learned more, the latter. As I have started understanding different methods of wine making, I have also understood the role of sugar and the importance of where it comes from. Here is a quick summary and my attempt to demystify the topic of sugar in wine. Continue reading “Sugar in Wine Demystified”

Dinner in the Archipelago at Oaxen Slip

I often get questions about Swedish cuisine – what is it besides meatballs? And furthermore, where can you eat something Swedish? Stockholm, as many big cities, cater to a vast variety of styles of food, and a traditional and hearty Swedish menu has not been trending. The restaurant scene is dominated by New Nordic, Asia inspired and French bistro -styles, as well as vegetarian and vegan aspirations. None of these, except for perhaps New Nordic, is very Swedish. There are a few restaurants though I can recommend for a Swedish experience. Bistro Oaxen Slip on Djurgården island is one of them. And here are some reasons why. Continue reading “Dinner in the Archipelago at Oaxen Slip”

Wineweek 142: Summer Sounds

This week has felt like holiday even though I have been working. Hard. I have been out early every morning, walking around Stockholm with my camera; and stayed out late having a restaurant marathon with M. The little critter has obviously been having a blast out in the countryside. The great thing about this kind of work is that it is what I love doing most. So although intense, the week has been fantastic. Continue reading “Wineweek 142: Summer Sounds”

My Best Tourist Tip in Town – The Flying Elk

I often get questions from friends visiting Stockholm: where would I recommend to eat. You would think this is a question I love answering, however, I actually find it a bit hard. I could recommend tons of places, but I run into hesitation. Why? Three things. Firstly popular restaurants in Stockholm require advance booking. A lot of advance booking. So all of those who are not extremely well planned (90%), will just hit a wall when trying to score a table. Which is a bit discouraging. Second, many visitors will find the Stockholm price level for food high. I find it inconsiderate to suggest something that will cost an arm and a leg, so I need to really think of those price worthy places that are easy on the wallet . Third, people like eating different things, and I am generally suspicious of restaurants that think they can master several cuisines (if you advertise that you master everything – I suspect you master nothing). And as you know, I never, ever, recommend something that I don’t think is good. Continue reading “My Best Tourist Tip in Town – The Flying Elk”

Wineweek 141: At Home

This weekend we planned to be mainly at home. How unusual. I don’t know why I have such restless feet, as our (new) home is actually quite nice. We have space in the kitchen and a big balcony, M makes great food and the best wine selection in town is right here in our living room in our Climadiff wine fridges. We even bought this small electric grill to be able to get the barbecue-experience without having to go to a restaurant. So to make sure we stayed at home, we invited some friends over for dinner, both Friday and Saturday.  Continue reading “Wineweek 141: At Home”

Yakitori and Japanese Cocktails at Yardbird – Hong Kong

As I sat down to write this post, I realized, it is already a month since we came back from Hong Kong, and I haven’t even started going through all the places we visited. There were some pretty awesome restaurants there, and it would be a shame to keep them just to myself. Yardbird is one such place: well known by local expats, but rarely mentioned in tourist guides. Perhaps for the reason that you cannot reserve a table, so who wants a bunch tourists queuing to get into your favorite restaurant.  We were lucky enough to be tipped off by a friendly waiter at restaurant Amber, so there we were, a quarter before Yardbird opened, waiting to get our hands on some of that awesome yakitori.  Continue reading “Yakitori and Japanese Cocktails at Yardbird – Hong Kong”

Under the Grapevines at Klimaty Poludnia

July is here and it has brought with it a calm that I have long been craving for. I have time to sit around, write and think. Our trip to Krakow was like a tipping point. The point where my mind started to wander and tense muscles relax. There was this specific moment on the terrace of restaurant Klimaty Poludnia (“Climates of the South”) where my brain acknowledged that I was actually on holiday.  And if you see the restaurant, you will understand why. The place was practically medicine for the soul. Continue reading “Under the Grapevines at Klimaty Poludnia”