Tallinn – Wine City!

It has become a bit of a summer tradition (two years in a row is tradition, right?) for us to take a mini vacation in Tallinn. It’s a small city, and one can easily get around by foot, and there are many fantastic restaurants to visit. Additionally, price level is low compared to Sweden; a glass of nice wine costs less than 10 euros, and the most expensive glass might take you back 20. It’s so funny, you cannot even get a glass of house wine in Sweden for that price. However, as with any other destination, finding the good places requires some work and good eye. So here are a few recommendations for foodies and friends of the fermented fruit in the capital of Estonia. Continue reading “Tallinn – Wine City!”

Some Finnish Magic at Haikko

A beautiful sea view opens from the building of the pastel blue mansion. Its a calm and sunny morning. Although I am at a congress center, there are no noisy groups of people, just some couples in the distance, walking and observing the gulf. I have arrived at Haikko mansion, spa and congress center, for a company event, however, I feel as if I am on holiday.  Continue reading “Some Finnish Magic at Haikko”

The Escape to Budapest

Midsummer is a special time in the Nordics. It’s a national holiday to celebrate the longest day of the summer and the midnight sun. For those who have not been in the Nordics this time of the year, it might sound a bit absurd, but it is light clock round (or at least almost). The Finns, Swedes, Norwegians and Danes celebrate Midsummer usually at their cottage, with barbecue and too much wine. Nothing is open and even the food stores are half empty after people of their way to the countryside have ransacked the shelf’s to stock up for the long weekend. We don’t have a cottage, and usually do not enjoy visiting one, so every year, we escape Midsummer to somewhere it is not celebrated. Last year, we were in Krakow (which was wonderful), and this year, we decided to continue with Eastern-Europe, in Budapest.  Continue reading “The Escape to Budapest”

Bosporus Calling

There is something magical about the Bosporus, the straight running across the city of Istanbul. It forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia and separates Asian Turkey from European Turkey and it connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara. The Bosporus is very present in the city of Istanbul. You can view the enormous container ships as they slide past, as well as take a small sailing vessel to explore its shores and nearby island. This week I was very privileged to be invited on a cruise, starting from the European side, along the shores and ending up on Büyükada island. Continue reading “Bosporus Calling”

The Berlin Beat

Poor but sexy – said the city’s mayor in a speech a few years back when describing Berlin. I don’t know about poor any more, but sexy, vibrant and overgrown. Its like a controlled chaos: bombed down buildings, street art and untended vegetation mixed with clean, modern and orderly. The same goes for the food scene: national street food delicacies like currywurst and Döner kebab from run down kiosks, mixed with sleek bistros, wine bars and even Michelin restaurants. Its like the Bangkok of Europe – where you can, during the same day, eat from a cheap looking food cart , and then continue to a restaurant with white table cloths and fancy pants service. We only had a few days in the city, but here comes a few tips for food, coffee and wine Continue reading “The Berlin Beat”

Helsinki Summer City

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. Continue reading “Helsinki Summer City”

At the Helsinki Coffee Festival

This weekend was full of events. I know many of you are waiting for my report from Grad Champagne (it was awesome), but I want to put some more time and effort into writing that. So today I will focus on the Helsinki Coffee Festival instead, where we found ourselves just by chance. M saw a poster on the wall of one of our favorite third wave cafes, and luckily the event was near to where we were staying – the Helsinki Cable Factory event hall. The tickets for the morning were 15 euros from the door and 12 euros if you bought them online. The fare included access to the event and an endless flow of samples of coffee. Continue reading “At the Helsinki Coffee Festival”

80 Meters Underground – Cricova Wine Cellars

It has been long since the last winery visit – and this one is a treat. Last week I visited nearly 70 year old Cricova winery in Moldova, half an hour ride from the Capital Chisinau. The winery is underground, housing a labyrinth of tunnels that have existed since the 15th century. The tunnels are over 120km long and 80 meters deep underground: Half of the roadways are used for wine storage and the rest for production, warehouses, tasting rooms and other facilities. Continue reading “80 Meters Underground – Cricova Wine Cellars”

The Resurrection of Magkeolli

Last Sunday, I wrote about our Easter trip to the capital of South Korea, Seoul. During our travels, we stumbled on a traditional Korean drink that really tickled our fancy – Makgeolli. Makgeolli is a Korean alcoholic beverage made from rice. Its a kind of rice wine, like Soju, but low in alcohol (from six to nine percent). Makgeolli is milky, creamy, and lightly sparkling with a some viscosity. The taste can be sweet or slightly bitter, and and the texture chalky with sediment that gives a cloudy look. Magkeolli is considered a happy communal drink, and due to its history as the “farmers” wine, it has been mostly unpopular since the 80’s. But recently the 2000 year old drink has been resurrected as young korean’s prefer low alcohol and healthier beverages. Continue reading “The Resurrection of Magkeolli”

The Seoul Journal

This will be hard to fit in one post, but here goes. For the past three and a half days, we have been in South Korea. Seoul to be exact. You might think that that’s a short time to visit a city, but it is often sufficient for us to have a break. It’s the long flights that are offsetting. However, once a year, we are lucky enough to fly long haul in first class – with airline points of course. But the first-class experience is not the topic (I can write someday about that too), I aim to summarize our four day food extravaganza: low and highlights. There are not many disappointments though (except for the Aseana first class lounge), but a list of great recommendations for a foody holiday in the capital of South Korea, Seoul. Continue reading “The Seoul Journal”