• BLOG
  • Best Vegan Café & Lunch in Rovaniemi – WOODSS

    Tiina Kivelä Creative

    One of the funniest things about winter in Lapland is how quiet the nature is, for many months. No birds or other animals – all sleeping or escaped to the south to sip drinks by the pool – and all the sounds softened or fully muted by the snow and cold. In the winter, you also can’t smell the nature. It’s all frozen and sleeping under the thick and fluffy layers of snow and ice.  And when the spring finally arrives… Just wow, all the smells and sounds, in good and bad.

    The past years I have found myself smelling the nature and hearing the birds even middle of the winter, by escaping to Switzerland. And luckily – for the ones without a basecamp in Switzerland – nowadays in Lapland you can also just escape to the new vegan café in the middle of Rovaniemi. For the sounds and a bit of the smell too, thanks to the soundtrack and the plants in the café. Oh, and especially escape here for the taste of nature.

    If and when you are traveling to Rovaniemi or past it, and looking for a good vegan café or just generally a good café, and the feeling of being in the forest when it’s not all frozen, go check WOODSS in the Lordi’s Square, right in the city centre.

    Recently opened cafe serves vegan pastries including delicious raw cakes, coffee drinks made with oat and soy milk, good selection of loose leaf tea, the it drink of today aka the Kerkkä Latte (spruce sprout latte), lunch and toasts and smoothies.  many with natural and local ingredients by Arctic Warriors.

    Yes, it’s very green, it’s very hipster and very vegan. Nevertheless I would say a visit here wouldn’t be a bad idea for a basic eater either. And on top of it all, it’s also an excellent place for little work and studies; either in the café side or in the quiet working corner (left from the counter).


    Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Where: WOODSS, Koskikatu 14-16, Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland

  • Bern
  • Sunday Breather – Velo Cafe Interlaken

    Tiina Kivelä

    Took a little breather and went to Interlaken for a long weekend getaway.

    Nah, who am I kidding. I had some things to do and sort out over there, so rather than a good breather, it was a hustle kinda break, including a bit of a disastrous bike transport across half the country and lots of rain. Nevertheless, past Sunday was more than relaxed in there, thanks to a beach hangout and Sunday afternoon coffee in the newest (and long waited) café in town, Velo Cafe Interlaken.

    Open every day (9am to 10pm), serving excellent coffee and drinks and homemade cakes (when a carrot cake is named rabbit cake I’m more than sold), having fixie on the wall and a nice little terrace – not to forget the overall looks seen in the pics – the café has very high hipster vibes. Sometimes though, hipster – or may I say well thought – is more than a good reason to love madly.

    Thanks for the coffee! Someday, I’ll be back for the after ride drink(s).

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Velo Cafe, Unionsgasse 10, Interlaken (map)

     

     

  • BLOG
  • Eating & Drinking Well In Helsinki

    tiinakivela.com

    At the Nordic Travel Fair I got asked if I knew the places for eating and drinking in Helsinki. Oh the trap of looking like a local*. Unfortunately, right there and then I didn’t have excellent, up to date tips to share with them. Situation is different now though.

    I wish the they would be asking that same question now, because later on that weekend I updated my knowledge of the places to eat and drink in Helsinki, thanks to local friends, good timing and some luck. And since I didn’t have the information I now have, to share with them there and then, it’s time to correct the situation here. Better late than never, they say.

    So here you have, freshly tested and tasted and now recommended, eating and drinking (maybe even some dancing and singing) locations in Helsinki.

    Lunching at Skiffer, Erottaja 11

    Like the name suggests, Skiffer has its roots in sailing and a close connection to the sea it lives by. They serve “liuska” which are like pizza but not all like pizza (good though) and which got their name from a oval shaped “Liuskaluoto”, in where Skiffer also holds another location serving the hungry through Finnish sailing season. The Skiffer Erottaja is open year round.

    The liuskas  are excellent and they offer quite a good selection of wines (and beer too). Extra points for having Urban A (I do love my new scarf a lot) and other great shopping close by.

    eat and drink in helsinki

    Skiffer Interior

    Coffee at La Torrefazione, Aleksanterinkatu 50 B

    Classic, I would say. Great location near shopping and railway station, excellent coffee and sandwiches. Simply good.

    tiinakivela.com/latorrefazione

    WiNING at Roasberg, Mikonkatu 13

    Relaxed, cozy and well waited place at the city. They serve coffee, lunch and wine (and great cakes – never forget the cakes if and when worth mentioning). Extra points for the convenient location near railway station and Ateneum.

    tiinakivela.com/helsinki

    Burgers at Naughty Brgr, Lönnrotinkatu 13

    The place to be if and when you want to taste the most talked burgers in town. No reservations. But please, take note: the best burgers in Finland you’ll get from Rovaniemi (Kauppayhtiö, to be precise). The guy behind the burgers is the same on both places and one could argue that Lapland is not Finland, so maybe, maybe we can say that the best burgers in Finland you get from Naughty Brgr. (But still, the best burgers in the Nordics you get from Kauppayhtiö.)

    Naughty Brgr

    eating at Famu, Mannerheimintie 46 / Scandic Park

    I rarely eat at the hotel restaurants (other than breakfast), but since Scandic has this great deal for its Friends and I happened to be very hungry on Friday, after a very long day at the Nordic Travel Fair and sauna, I decided to give Famu a try.

    The interior is modern, very nice (works well with the breakfast too) and the food is good enough. Didn’t take the lead from the previous occasion I had a dinner at the hotel restaurant though. But if and when you’re competing with Långa Raden (Hotel Skeppsholmen, Stockholm), you can (should) be happy with the label good.

    Famu

    Cocktails at Bronda, Eteläesplanadi 20

    Bronda if something is in at Helsinki. I still haven’t tried the food there (for that reservations are more than recommended) but on Saturday we managed to find free seats just popping by at Bronda Bar, to try the cocktails, and well… I’m speechless. Or almost speechless. Because I want to say that the drinks were excellent. Delicious, exotic and innovative (if innovative is a word one can use for drinks then I want to use it right here); the first sip of a the “chaos” drink brought me directly to the paradise I’ve never been to but which I can easily imagine – a beach, a palm tree, pitch black but warm night and the sound of waves washing the shoreline…

    Extra points for interior, quirky but professional service and beautiful / handsome people.

    tiinakivela.com/bronda

    tiinakivela.com/bronda

    singing at Restroom, Tehtaankatu 23 A

    I rarely do karaoke, but if and when that happens, Restroom is the place to be. Not going to tell you more – you have to experience it yourself.

    Last but not least – friends with benefits

    I have the pleasure (well, one could say it’s not a pleasure since I’m not living there) to have many friends living in Helsinki, and sometimes I take the couchsurfing option since it has its perks like this: a candlelight dinner for two. With wine and talk.

    I can’t give you the address though, but I’ve heard the trend of people organizing open dinners in their private kitchens (so called underground dining) are coming to Helsinki too (if not even already there – so keep your ears open).

    tiinakivela.com

    Other great not-so ordinary eating and drinking option are these private parties, as the occasion was last Thursday when I had the privilege to attend*** the NBE PARTY with Finnish Travel Bloggers hosted by Radisson Blu Plaza (who surprised me with their looks and atmosphere, both the hotel, staff and fellow bloggers).

    Kiitos ja anteeksi, as we say in Finland.

    tiinakivela.com/radissonplaza

    Helsinki is, like Finland in general, an expensive place to eat and drink, but if and when you get this quality and great service for your money (or you just simply have the money) I can say Helsinki is a nice foodie location. Especially when it comes to these simple, minimalistic, nordic cool places.

    If and when you have any questions, other great tips to share or you just want to say something, feel free to use the comment box below or contact me in some other way. And remember to eat and drink, whatever you prefer.


     

    * Hi there, if you happen to read this. It was nice to meet you!

    **Huge thanks to everyone who’ve treated me so well there over the years.

    *** I still have a problem calling myself a blogger. But working on it, during the weekend almost professionally even 😉