|HEL YES! at night, picture courtesy of www.helyes.fi|
|We didn't touch this stuff, thank God...|
|The temporary kitchen|
|The scene when we arrived|
|Birch twigs put to good use.|
|The bar area was canopied with the softest silk cashmere blankets in a new design by Klaus Haapaniemi. I want one now!|
|Detail from Klaus Haapaniemi's design|
The Iittala and Arabia crockery at the restaurant was sourced from donations made by the Finnish public. The food on offer was equally wild and earthy: I had white fish tartare followed by wild mushroom hash with a poached egg. Both dishes were excellent, but the portions were so small we were all relieved there was pudding to come. I had something which took me back to being seven again: whipped raspberry semolina. My grandmother (she of the leopard print habit) used to make it out of lingonberries, a slightly more tart and smaller version of cranberries. I'd have a bowlful with cold milk after school, and it was the best thing for a fussy eater: I rarely could stomach school food, but that's another much longer tale. Others at the table had a liquorice dessert. I love anything liquorice and wish I'd been able to have both, but I'd tasted a similar dish at my very favourite London restaurant, St John's Bread and Wine, so I had to choose the semolina.
My only regret (apart from the frolicking yesterday after the meal) was that we didn't get to sit on one of the canopied round smaller tables on Alvar Aalto chairs. We were such a large group we had a long birch table with benches, the kind of dining room furniture I have always despised.
|Our friendly Maitre'D|
'Should have set up that crayfish farm after all,' Husband sighed as we walked out of the very Finnish bubble that was HEL YES! But I'm glad we didn't. I've now become such a townie that the thought of having to wear wellies every day to babysit aggressive crayfish whose only aim in life is to kill each other made me shudder. I'll just wait for Helena's restaurant to open and get my crayfish neatly served on a plate.