The Silence of Suzhou

Suzhou is called the Venice of China. It is a city about 30min train-ride west from Shanghai, that is full of culture, history and canals. It is also a large commercial center, but there is something about the town that you can really forget about that part. Suzhou has a large number of relics and places of historical interest, and it is the place to visit some tranquil gardens, traditional temples, and stroll narrow roads surrounded by water. It’s a great day-trip destination if you are visiting Shanghai, but you need to go prepared. Here are a few tips to get you started with planning. P.S. No wine tips in this post (Suzhou is not really a wine-city).

Continue reading “The Silence of Suzhou”

Wineweek 157: The Photographer Gone Wild

I have always been a bit fascinated with Shanghai. It is a mix of big and small, old and new, and classic and modern. The french concession has left its beautiful marks in the architecture, as well as the great ambitions of the Chinese keep erecting a futuristic skyline that is recognized around the world. Shanghai is a dream for a photographer; there is so much color and tiny detail that I could have just wondered around with the camera all day.  Continue reading “Wineweek 157: The Photographer Gone Wild”

Wineweek 156: Good Morning Shanghai

I’m actually not yet in China, but in a few days time I can say those words – Good morning Shanghai! I used to visit frequently, for business you know. But in the past five years, our encounters have been too few. I am looking forward to roaming around the old quarters again, snapping photos and snacking on street food. This is a bit of an unusual trip, as I am not traveling with M, but we have done the travel planning together so I am quite sure it will be a success anyway. I thought I would share a few of these tips with you even before trying them. My camera finger is just itching to get down to business.  Continue reading “Wineweek 156: Good Morning Shanghai”

Wineweek 153: Barcelona in Pictures

What is a great week in Barcelona made of? Sun, sand and the sea, and great food accompanied by cava. We really got lucky with the weather, as well as choice of restaurants. If one  is allowed to complain about something, it was the beds in our rental apartment. They were rock hard. So we slept poorly. I actually needed the weekend to recover from our vacation. Continue reading “Wineweek 153: Barcelona in Pictures”

From Barcelona with Love

It’s that time of the year again – cava overdose time. Normally we have timed our visit to the first week of October, the week of the cava festival Cavatast. This year, however, we decided to come early and stay in Barcelona instead. Sant Sadurni is a train-ride away and it always takes more time to visit the winemakers than we anticipate (we always end up drinking cava with them for hours). Now we are just drinking cava in Barcelona by ourselves (smirk). If you are interested in Cavatast, you can find a survival guide here. In this post I have collected a few old favorites from Barcelona – where should you go for a good glass of wine. I am of course also going to post about some new finds (but more about those on Sunday). Continue reading “From Barcelona with Love”

Wineweek 146: London Vol. 2

This week has been genuinely uninteresting. Perhaps it was the limit reached on the credit card, or the two kilos I gained during the summer, doesn’t matter, we decided to lay low for a while. Its quite nice. No expectation of wearing anything else than soft pants and laying on the sofa. Thus, I am posting some more pics and tips from our trip to London.  Continue reading “Wineweek 146: London Vol. 2”

Wineweek 145: Best Pics From London

Finally back home. For the past three week’s it has been a marathon of travel in Finland, Estonia and most recently Great Britain. Tomorrow autumn will start with a return to the office and daycare; cold winds will blow and sooner than we know it, winter is here. For us that is actually not that bad, as we always have our long holiday starting in December, but until then days will just get shorter and we would rather be somewhere else. I am one of those people who was born to the wrong side of the globe. During our years in London we always exclaimed that we moved there for the weather. This year, however, the beginning of August was a bit chilly even there. But we had some awesome food and wine to keep us warm. I even found a possible new obsession.. The best pics from our trip to London var så god! Continue reading “Wineweek 145: Best Pics From London”

Helsinki’s Best Bars for Nature Wines

I had a quick look at my statistics last week, and one of the most popular posts of all time is my review of Helsinkis wine bars a few years back. All the places in that post are still relevant, I would go for a glass of wine at Latva, Vin Vin, Soil Wine Room and Sinne Helsinki any day. However, there are is a new genre of wine bar in town, that should really be mentioned – the natural wine bar. Nature wines are produced without any help from synthetic chemistry: pesticides or additives like clearing agents. They are usually unfiltered and can have some sediments that make the wine murky and thick in color. There is a skin contact-trend going on which means that you can also find orange, and amber-wines on the lists. Continue reading “Helsinki’s Best Bars for Nature Wines”

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”

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”