Two weeks ago, I was still clutching on to my winter coat – today the sun is warming the city like its July. The change in weather during the past few weeks has been phenomenal. Everyone hopes it will last through the coming months, and signify the best summer known in decades, but we all know it won’t. I am a realist, and by midsummer the cold will be back. But, that’s the wonderful thing in the Nordics: a beautiful day and everyone forgets they had a thousand things to do. We Finns run out to bathe in the uncommon warmth of the sun as if it the only day of the summer. Live in the moment – fantastic! I celebrated the weather with a nice photo-walk, and I found some novel places, that I am very happy to recommend to you.
Allas Sea Pool
For you Helsinkilites these are nothing new, but for me, who visits now and then, even Allas Sea Pool, next to the famous Market Square is an exciting new feature in my former home city. It is an outdoor pool and sauna with panoramic views of the Fish Market and the looming archipelago. An outdoor pool in Finland might sound as a bit of a dead business idea, but Allas is heated and open all year round. Many locals have found it a fresh new landmark, and tourists are drawn in by the promise of the Finnish mythical Sauna. The roof of the Allas building is used as a bar and terrace with sun chairs and soft Fatboys to sink into on a bright day. The selection of drinks is nothing to celebrate, but as always, laws of demand and supply prevail – why offer something upscale, if people buy the cheap stuff as well. Yeah, they have Prosecco as their house sparkling, so you can imagine, I was there only for the view. Next time, I need to brink my bikini, and pop in for a swim.
Is a café and wine bar next to Senaatintori serving Good Life coffee and nature wines. We have meant to visit for a long time, but El Fant has funny opening hours. They close every day already at seven, so we have never really made it there for wine or drinks. On this lovely Saturday, we felt like a glass of bubbly already in the afternoon. Disappointingly they were out of almost everything – and not too sorry about it. The wine fridge didn’t seem to be handled with too much love. We stayed and had some Champagne (the only bubbly by the glass). M was so annoyed that he skipped wine completely and went for a cold brew. That was very good through, so we left a bit more content than we came.
Helsinki Distilling Company
With several hours to kill before dinner, we headed off from the center, to Vallila and Teurastamo, which is an old slaughterhouse turned urban oasis. Teurastamo has approximately 10-15 different restaurants: a bbq smokery, Nordic quisine, oriental, meat-store slash restaurant, fish-store slash restaurant, coffee roastery and artisan ice cream. Teurastamo is also home to Helsinkis own gin distillery, Helsinki Distilling Company. They have a lovely bar with cocktails and some easy foods, like cheeses and charcuterie. They also have a very nice wine list, that I must try out next time. We had dinner reservations at another restaurant, but the Distillery bar was a perfect place for sundowners and some Finnish cheese. We sat in the yard on simple garden tables and enjoyed the buzz of the nearby barbecue area. Cocktails were fantastic, and relatively inexpensive during happy hour, which was even on Saturdays from five to seven.
So, this is what a perfect day in Helsinki is made of: A dip in the pool, coffee at El Fant and drinks and dinner at Teurastamo. All these places are on our Tripsteri App btw. and translated to English by me. The app has a lot of fun facts about these places, you can use it to navigate from place to place, get a taste of the places with professional photographs, even 360-degree ones; the app even has a separate day tour just for Teurastamo. Just search for Tripsteri in your AppStore or Google Play and you cannot miss the pink beautiful logo.