When busy days turn in to busy weeks’ a holiday can feel like a lifetime away. I think us Londoners are far too guilty of working hard and forgetting to indulge in a weekend away every now and then. With so many beautiful destinations here in Europe it’s easy to forget how close a getaway is. Now that it’s summer I promised myself I would make the most of my weekends after a long week in the office. Whether that meant waking up early to go for a long run, spending the afternoon at an art gallery or escaping the city in search of adventure.
So when I got an invite to Helsinki from Finnair I was delighted. This trip was the perfect chance for me to explore more of Europe. Finnair flies from London to Helsinki several times a day and the flight takes less than three hours – perfect for a weekend away! I had a wonderful Finnish experience so I’ve been really excited to share my photo diary from the trip…
I always consider travelling alone a treat as I love indulging in a little ‘me time’. When I boarded the plane from London I ordered a glass of champagne, opened my book and let the relaxation process begin – what bliss. Finnair had kindly put me in business class which was so exciting! As I walked on the plane and was ushered left I could barely contain my glee. I had so much space and the service was fantastic – it was the most luxurious start to a holiday I’ve ever had. Can I travel like this all the time please?!
We were staying at Hotel Haven which was perfectly located in the market square. My room was beautiful but I was so eager to explore that I dropped off my bags and headed straight to the harbour with my camera.
Despite travelling solo I spent very little of my trip alone. Finnair had invited 100 fabulous influencers to the event so my hotel was full of bloggers, journalists, designers and PR gurus. Luckily for me this meant I got to explore Helsinki with a lovely bunch of people from all over Europe. My main travel companion for the trip was Wendy whose blog, Thank Fifi, I have admired for a long time. Getting to meet her, and even better hang out with her for three days, was such great fun.
The streets of Helsinki really are beautiful! As we strolled through the city I couldn’t resist taking a photo of nearly every building we walked past. The scalloped edges of the rooftops and pastel painted houses looked like something out of Hansel & Gretel. They look good enough to eat don’t they?
On our first evening we went to a spectacular dinner party at The Savoy. The restaurant plays a key role in the culinary scene of Helsinki so it was the perfect place to be introduced to Finnish food. We enjoyed a four course meal full of local delicacies and wines. The marinated asparagus with lobster sorrel and egg yolk crème had to be my favourite as it tasted so fresh paired with a Riesling.
After far too many glasses of champagne we ventured on to the streets of Helsinki to find a bar. Byron, a charming writer from New York, recommended a local cocktail bar called Liberty or Death where we chatted over gin & tonics till the early hours of the morning.
Eager to make the most of my time in Finland I woke up early the next morning and went to find Wendy so we could explore the city together. The sun was shining so we decided to find a café on the harbour that she had seen on Instagram called Loyly.
Once we arrived we lazed on sun chairs, drank fresh orange juice and admired the views. I was snapping away with my new Fuji Film X-A2 camera taking travel photos but Wendy was the real expert when it came to capturing the culture of the city– you can see her post here.
After a relaxed morning (I mean you can’t really beat a sundeck can you?) we went to Marimekko HQ for a tour of their textile printing factory. This Finnish design house is renowned for its original prints and colours so seeing the process first hand really started the fashion theme of the trip. The creative director, Anna Tuernell, treated us to a RTW Presentation of the new collection over a delicious lunch – served on Marimekko homeware of course.
Once we said our goodbyes to the Marimekko team we were rushed back to the hotel to get changed before the main event – the Match Made in Hel Show! There is far too much to say about the fabulous show so I’ve written a whole blog post about it which you can read here.
I only spent a few days in Helsinki so I left feeling like there was so much still to explore. The city was splendidly romantic and I would love to return one day to discover more hidden gems. Thank you Finnair for introducing me to fabulous Finland!
Have you been to Helsinki? Comment below to let me know what you loved about the city & where I should go next time I visit!