Tuesday, July 30, 2013

HSS Boathouse

Helsinki, 22 degrees

Our lives are like islands in the sea, or like trees in the forest, which co-mingle their roots in the darkness underground.

Sun, wind and water, and good food. That is what the beginning of my second holiday has been all about! Last week I had the pleasure of spending a romantic dinner with my boyfriend in the archipelago in front of Helsinki. Sometimes people forget that we do have about 300 islands in front of our lovely capital city, so it's easy to explore the seaside even when staying in the city. Can you guess what restaurant we went to?

Next to the verdant Kaivopuisto park and its stunning guest harbor, we waited for the small connection boat to take us over to Kämp Group's HSS Boathouse restaurant. I wrote about this restaurant also last year, you might remember this blog post?

It only takes about 10 minutes to reach the island from the pier next to the park. The restaurant is located on an island called Liuskasaari (Skifferholmen in Swedish). This particular island has functioned as the home of Helsinki's very own sailing society since the 19th century, so no wonder they built a restaurant on the island to serve the sailors in the area. The restaurant we see today was built back in 1949.

While sitting on the connection boat, I always get a sensation of being in a Venice like setting, kind of swining on the water between islands and boats. I think not many people know that one can experience something this unique in Daughter of the Baltic Sea, as Helsinki is sometimes also called. What one wouldn't find anywhere else though, is the stunning Jugend architecture on the coast. Helsinki is one of the finest Jugend, also called Art Nouveau, cities in Europe! There has even been made brochures about it, you'll find one in English here if you're planning a trip to the city where heaven meets the sea. You can also see some of its Jugend beauty in my earlier blogs posts like this, this and this.

Once we reached restaurant HSS Boathouse, once again, as always on an island, my mind was at ease and my soul at rest. The pavilion like restaurant is very particular since it enables you to enjoy a unique sea view. If you sit on the outer side of the restaurant, you'll see purely the sea, no city view. However, on the other side one can admire an urban scenery as well. The round dining room is very romantic in my opinion. Rumors say that it's a popular place for proposals, and it's no wonder since the place is so dreamy. I think the restaurant's terrace is one of the best in town: the white sun chairs are just perfect for a summer day!

Despite the fact that the place view is its best feature, its food does not fall much behind. Me and my boyfriend enjoyed both a three course menu, and I made this collage to showcase some of the treats we had. My favorites must have been my starter: the fennel soup and crab croquet, and my dessert: the cheese plate with Finnish cheeses and nut bread. I must admit though that my boyfriend's starter "Fish with a twist" - citrus salted salmon, dill aioli and pickled vegetables - was yummy as well. My boy's favorite was the meaty dish - grilled marbled fillet of beef, roasted black root and Boathouse's béarnaise sauce.

Such a lovely insular experience! The sunset was splendid as we returned to shore. I put together my outfit for the evening based on one of my favorite dresses this season - my floral maxi dress! Some of you readers might remember that I was obsessing about finding one just right for me, so you can imagine how happy I was when I found this one on H&M's website. I tried to find something similar in their stores here in Helsinki, but apparently this dress didn't reach the shops, merely the web shop. I combined the dress with a sailor blazer, small black shoulder bag and black sandals. I also added some white pearl earrings to the outfit. To finalize the look, I put on some mandarin colored lipstick - my favorite shade of lipstick this summer!

Since I've been so crazy about my maxi floral dress, I also used the same piece when I went out with some of my best friends one summery Saturday evening! We took some fun group photos that I thought you might enjoy! We started out at a friend's place and ended the evening at Club Kappeli. Club Kappeli is located in one of Helsinki's most legendary restaurants, which summertime turns into a nightclub. I actually ended up on a video that was made at the club that evening, how fun is that? If you want to catch me on the video, have a look at 00.23!

The summer is short! What is your favorite way to spend the summer? Which are your must do's?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Graphic printed pants

Helsinki, 25 degrees


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Leisure trip: Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy

Helsinki, 18 degrees

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tall Ships' Races Helsinki 2013

Helsinki, 18 degrees

Monday, July 15, 2013

Isola Bella, Sicily, Italy

Helsinki, 22 degrees

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Leisure trip: Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Helsinki, 21 degrees

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Leisure trip: Giardini Naxos, Sicily, Italy

Helsinki, 20 degrees

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The sunny island

Helsinki, 25 degrees

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.

After a wonderful week spent on "the sunny island", which I'll fill you in on in future blog posts, I have finally returned home to Helsinki and I wanted to switch the focus on to you readers and ask you what a perfect summer holiday is in your opinion. Are you a person who loves traveling: city breaks and cultural trips, or do you head to the beach for your summer holidays? Or do you rather stay at home and relax? Or visit other cities in your country? When do you start planning for your holiday? Do you like to plan ahead or do something spontaneously?