24 June 2013

Kippis, Helsinki

And so my second new country for 2013 is...Finland. I'm in Helsinki for a few days for a conference, and although I have a busy schedule while I'm here, I'm hoping to see a bit of the city too. After a bit of networking, a few of us headed off in search of dinner. The city was eerily quiet. 28 Days Later quiet. I don't know if it's because all Finns head to their summer houses for midsummer, or this is just what it's like on Mondays. It took us a few minutes to get our bearings, and then we seemed to find ourselves in the pricey part of town. Yes, pricey, even for Finland. We were tempted by a restaurant with a sign proclaiming, Fish You Were Here, but with a pun that good/bad we were expecting chip shop prices. Alas.

Something's fishy...

We ended up at an Italian restaurant called Vespa, which was actually quite reasonably priced at only 12 Euros for a tasty small (read: huge) pizza. We sat outside and watched as it failed to get dark, but after our earlier failures to find interesting places to eat and drink, I decided to take charge on the bar front, and research took us to Ateljee Bar, the rooftop bar on top of the Sokos Hotel Torni. On the way, we eyed up the cool-looking shops, and even I liked the look of this pink bicycle.

My kind of ride.

Ateljee has only a small terrace but it does have an amazing view over the city -- it's on the twelfth floor, but towers over its neighbours. There wasn't really a sunset tonight, as it was too cloudy, but it became increasingly surreal to find the hours ticking by while the sky remained light. It didn't help that London is two hours behind Finland; by the time we left at midnight, when it was starting to get a little darker, my body had no idea what time it was. The drinks at Ateljee are nice (my raspberry mojito was good), but to be honest, you go there for the view.

Not a bad backdrop for cocktails.

The view from Ateljee Bar.

A well-earned peach Bellini.

The walk home to our hotel was pretty swift, now that I've aligned my mental GPS. We walked home past a restaurant that displayed typical Finnish modesty. It would just be too presumptuous to claim they were definitively the best in town.

We don't like to brag but...probably the best in town.

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