Head Start to Christmas in Porvoo

This post is a tribute to my friends at Tripsteri. I have to admit that they are behind all this good work. However, I could not help my self but to post some of these tips here prior to Christmas. Porvoo is a small historical town in Finland, around 30 minutes drive from Helsinki. Its a very old village with lots of history, beautiful wooden buildings, and surprise surprise, a wonderful restaurant scene. Here are a few tips to the Porvoo food scene, compliments of Siru, Paula and Tuulia, my lovely colleagues at Tripsteri.

Haiko mansion and spa

Let me start with the only place on the list that I have had the privilege to visit myself, the Haiko mansion. I posted some pictures from Haiko in the summer. The history of the manor ranges at least as far as the 14th century. Its the perfect destination for couples and families. The old hotel makes a lasting impression with its range of outdoor activities and beautiful spa. There is also a Bollinger champagne bar, which in itself is a fascinating trip back in time, but in the summer you can also buy a bottle and have a picnic somewhere in the hotel grounds. There are cute pagodas, a sandy beach as well as several docks, where one can enjoy a glass of bubbly while admiring the Finnish archipelago. The history of the manor is exhibited as its art gallery. Haiko is a bit outside of Porvoo center and you need a car (or taxi) to reach it.

Winelover in the center of Porvoo

Bistro Gustaf is known as the “Paris of Porvoo”. It’s a French kitchen with a comprehensive drinks list. In addition to a la carte, Gustaf also serves lunch and café fare. Gustaf also organizes all kinds of events, such as wine tasting evenings, shellfish week, and champagne nights. The popular restaurant is not only a good place to eat, but also elegant in its design.

Another wine-legend, Bistro Sinne, is modern restaurant on the river focusses on local produce. Sinne is the place to enjoy tastes from the Nordics at lunch, dinner or brunch. The journey of tastes takes you to the farms of the local producers, and the people behind the ingredients. Special diets are well considered. There is a broad selection of artisan wines form Burgundy, Rhone as well as Germany.

Last but not least, El Patio is an atmospheric restaurant in a cozy 19th century wooden house. In the winter, the dining hall is lit with candles, and in the summer guests can enjoy their meal on the idyllic terrace under the Silver Willow. Try out the Spanish tapas, wines and a la carte dishes.

Porvoo’s Christmas Markets

Porvoo hosts two different Christmas markets: one at the Porvoo Art Factory (inside) and one at the town hall square (outside). The market at the town hall square is held on the 8th and the 9th of December between 10 and 16.

The Art Factory Christmas market has been organized already for the last ten years. Its full of warmth and magic. Avanti-hall and its entrance is a good place to do some Christmas shopping: the stalls are gushing with interesting Christmas products, local treats and artisan goods. The market is open from the 14th to the 16th of December between 10-16. If you are lucky, you might even meet Santa Claus.

There you go! If you are in Finland, get ready for a Christmas overload at Porvoo’s fine and cozy restaurants and its wonderful markets. Don’t forget to buy some traditional Brunberg chocolates from the little concept store in the old town. The vegan buckthorn marmalade, berry chocolate and mint chocolate drops are deelicious! And the best news is: these and many other tips will soon be available in the Tripsteri App, when we launch Porvoo as a tribute to the Christmas season!

xx Soile

P.S. These beautiful pictures are taken by my awesome photography mentor Tuulia Kolehmainen (all rights reserved)

Walking in old Porvoo. Photo: Tuulia Kolehmainen
Walking in old Porvoo. Photo: Tuulia Kolehmainen
Colonial products store Skafferi. Photo: Tuulia Kolehmainen
There are many cute stores in old Porvoo selling handicrafts. Photo: Tuulia Kolehmainen
Walking in old Porvoo. Photo: Tuulia Kolehmainen
Tea and coffee room Helmi. Photo: Tuulia Kolehmainen
Local handicrafts. Photo: Tuulia Kolehmainen
Ani’s Cafe. Photo: Tuulia Kolehmainen
Café Aatos has a wonderful range of feel good foods. Photo: Tuulia Kolehmainen

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