When I still lived in Helsinki, my objection to it was mainly that it was too silent. I traveled for work, and longed for big city life with a plentitude of bistros, bars and terraces. I imagined myself mid-March holding a Cappunico on a sunny terrace in Paris, or having cocktails in a speakeasy in London’s’ Soho. Somehow Helsinki was quiet, monotonous and grey, and I felt a belonging somewhere else. Maybe it just felt like that at the time, however, looking at Helsinki now, it has changed. The atmosphere is more open, people like to go out, and that Parisian terrace, and many like it, can be found right there, close to the center of the City. For example, Le Petit Chaperon Rouge, which is a French wine and snack bar in Katajanokanranta, just a stone throw away from the Senate square.
Le Petit Chaperon Rouge means Little Red Riding Hood in French. The bar is named after the owners little dog Hilkka (riding hood in Finnish), who also spends a considerable amount of time at the bar. The bar, as its name suggests, serves a wide selection of wines from France. Also Italy, Germany and Greece are represented. Many of the wines are ecological, biodynamic or nature wines, and you can enjoy a nice selection by the glass. Since February, Chaperon has also started with small plates of food: charcuterie and cheese, and other delicacies, meaty and vegan.
The food and the wines are good, but one of the unique selling points of this bar is the ambiance. The historical red brick dock-building is home to many cozy restaurants and cafes. The furniture is made from slender dark wood, and there is a brasserie type ambiance. In the summer, there is a small terrace overlooking the Helsinki archipelago and a grand marina with tall sailing boats.
Now I wish I could call the below pictures my own, but they are Tuulia’s, who is my Photography mentor and fellow Tripster. Le Chaperon rouge can be found in our Tripsteri app by the way, also as part of a city tour of Helsinki’s best wine bars. So if you are in Helsinki, and go looking, make sure to try out our app. It will give you the directions, opening hours and links to Facebook and Instagram accounts and media.