Helsinki Corners

Helsinki is a big city and you can often experience big cities in the different ways. MY favourite Helsinki is located on Katajanokka peninsula, just foot steps away from city centre. Far enough, not to be the tourist trap and close enough to prefer it for the comfy stay in downtown.
Katajanokka (SwedishSkatudden) is a neighbourhood of HelsinkiFinland, with around 4000 inhabitants in 2005. The district is located adjacent to the immediate downtown area, though in the first major town plan for Helsinki from the mid-18th century, the area fell outside the fortifications planned to encircle the city. Originally, it was a headland of the Helsinki peninsula but is now technically an island, as a small canal was dug across the base of the headland in the 19th century. Katajanokka is one of the most distinguished neighbourhoods in Helsinki. 

It's sophisticated - upscale area with the fairy-tale architecture, as most of the houses are from the Jugend-style. Lot's on decorations, unusual shapes,  hidden alcoves and penthouses make you want to walk around in the evening with a desire to peek inside from the large windows. Downstairs of the houses are full of tiny private businesses, starting from the tattoo salon and ending with the teddy-bear hospital.

This brings me to a reason I actually started this post. If ever planning to stay in Helsinki and you are not a dedicated hotel type of a person - try out my favourite accommodation in town: Essexhome Apartments. A very nice lady called Seija owns 8 especially charming, cosy and homy apartments in the historical Jugend-building. She lives downstairs herself and is very friendly and helpful with guests coming to stay in her property. I have staid so far in 4 different apartments and I have loved every one of them. The way the rooms are planned and designed, is making them a little more than just any rental apartment, you feel like at home.

I also love the fact of the local grocery store in the corner, run by the guy from Sicily, who has a little coffee shop in the other side of street. I like the seaside walking boulevard. Nepali Restaurant downstairs and my latest discovery - hidden little pearl of gourmet - Restaurant Wellamo.

It is one of these places you would like to know in every city - untold secret of the locals, out from any regular trails, place where people come to enjoy THE food.

Wellamo is located on the zero level of a weird round building and doesn't have any particular inviting outlook from the street. It's tiny inside and simple, offering only 10 tables. Perhaps even a little tatty, with the furniture never been changed after it was established (in 1975). But you'd better look into it's soul, because this small intimate place provides food for the Gods, using only fresh local ingredients.

After having 2 delicious dinners with friends in a row, I am totally fascinated about it's genial simplicity. Our favourite dishes from the menu are:
- Bouillabaisse fish soup - the real classic. It is hard to find a good Bouillabaisse out from France, but here I found a GREAT one. You can have a small portion as the starter (8 €) and large bowl for main course (16 €).
- Home made lamb pelmeni with mushroom salad. Legendary hand made dumplings with quality filling of lamb meet, accompanied by the bullion and mush room salad. Must have food.
- Lamb fillet with vegetables. I don't often like to have a lamb, because it is so delicate meat, but this is the place to have it. Medium minus, please. Unforgettable.
- Tard ice cream dessert. It so crazy, that is makes it delicious.

It is definitely not a place for all. You have to be a bit twisted, love the smell of history and see the layers behind to enjoy these corners of Helsinki.

But if you are this kind of person, follow my leads.

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