On the weekend we spent a whole day in Tallinn. For us it’s only a two hour ferry ride away but I would definitely recommend it to anybody. Such a lovely town and so much to see!
We arrived pretty early since our ferry left Helsinki at 7:30. The weather turned out really lovely so we decided to take some pictures and walk around in the city.
We had a long list of things to do and going to handicraft stores was part of it. Jolleri was recommended to us by a friend so we paid a visit. It’s a really nice, cosy little store with lots of yarns and a separate section for wools made in Estonia. The owner recommended some made out of dog wool but we didn’t quite have use for that (yet).
Afterwards, and finally paying attention to our rumbling stomachs, we decided to go to III Drakoon which serves meat and vegetarian pastries and some fantastic elk soup. It’s located in the town hall and almost everything costs 1€. It’s one of our favourite places. People wear medieval gowns and everything is only lighted by candles. No spoons or forks: only wooden benches and historic earthenware for the food and drinks.
Filled with hot elk soup, and a veggie cabbage pastry in Tiia’s case, we walked around some more. The Christmas market was already open and offered lots of hot glögg. I have to admit that the American Christmas songs seemed to be a bit out of place when you look around and everything seems to be from a different time.
Another nice place to eat is Olde Hansa . A medieval restaurant in the old town and former merchant house. It’s a bit on the pricey side but the food is amazing and the atmosphere even better. We went there last year on my birthday.
Olde Hansa also has a small shop where you can buy all things medieval. (Historically the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th – 15th century so basically it belongs to Modern History.) Glasses, earthenware and even clothes. As an archaeologist I am always happy to find something that is really authentic and doesn’t sell fictional artefacts for touristy purposes. The glasses, jugs and pots are all pretty good replicas of 16th-18th century artefacts.
Since Tiia had a terrible cold we decided to get a big pot of tea. The best place to do this was Café Matilda . We just love this café and it has really good prices and awesome cake. A big pot of Early Grey was 2.90€ and the cakes were each 2.40€. We opted for a lemon meringue cake and a mascarpone-berry one. Lemon meringue is something we both wanted to make for a while but didn’t have the time for.
As I’m looking at this post it’s seem like we’ve only been eating and drinking all day! This is somewhat true but we did walk a lot also!
So, after a hot glögg on the Christmas market we went to an Indian restaurant called Chakra. In the meantime it started snowing heavily and by the time we got there we were quite soaked. Gladly we managed to get a table in the fully booked restaurant without a reservation. We ordered some naan and roti bread along with Mattar Paneer (Indian cheese with peas in tomato) and Shahi Paneer (Indian cheese in tomato-almond-cashew sauce). It was delicious and a vegetarian main course costs only around 9€.
Sadly, it was almost time to return to the ferry. On the way we stopped at Scotland Yard for a cider and Guinness.
It was a long, exhausting day but totally worth it. After 12,5 hours in Tallinn this little journey came to an end and we arrived in Helsinki after midnight. I can’t wait to return soon!