A MasterChef type outdoor cooking competition was taking place in Narinkkatori square just outside Helsinki’s Kamppi shopping centre so we decided to join lots of other inquisitive people and take a look at what was happening. The event was hosted by Lidl and was the national finals of their Grillimaisteri barbecue competition.
It was interesting watching the competitors preparing mouthwatering dishes against the clock. Then, one by one, they carried them up to the stage to be tasted and reviewed by the judging panel. In between cooking heats we were entertained by live music and amongst the acts performing, a children’s heavy metal band called Hevisaurus proved very popular.
In addition to live music and cookery competitions, queues formed for complimentary freshly cooked sausages and fruit juice which were very tasty. The warm, sunny weather was perfect for the event and after spending some time there we decided to take a walk over in the eastern part of the city.
We stayed near the sea in Herttoniemi one summer and often enjoyed strolling along the shoreline, so to walk off our sausages we decided to go there.
Getting there was very simple, we took the metro to Herttoniemi and after crossing the main road we headed straight down towards the waterfront (approximately 20 minutes walk). Our stroll took us past modern apartments with huge glass balconies, perfect for soaking up the idyllic views across the narrow sea channel. A little further we passed some moorings along an inlet and there we found a Swedish theatre boat before reaching the sea.
Many homes lie secluded in the trees and several have their own moorings. How lovely it must be to go out on your boat to collect your grocery shopping instead of using the bus or car.
A bend in the path and a few more minutes walking led us to the beach which was crowded on such a warm, sunny day. I dipped my toes in the sea and it felt lovely and warm. The beach is equipped with changing rooms and showers and there’s also an ice cream kiosk and beach cafe nearby. In the distance there is a swimming platform and beyond, the sea narrows into a channel between the mainland and adjacent islands.
Our stroll continued to Herttoniemi Manor which was built in 1803. The gardens surrounding the manor are designed in a French / English style with linear tree lined avenues. In the grounds you will also find a farmstead museum which comprises a collection of buildings brought there from the surrounding region. Unfortunately the museum was closed on our visit as it is only open on Sundays in summertime and once a month in winter.
We continued our walk along the shoreline before heading inland slightly to Itäkeskus from where we returned to the city centre by metro. This is a very pleasant walk with several wooden benches along the way to sit and relax and soak up the lovely Finnish scenery.