Flow Festival 2013

Flow Festival is coming, and I’m going to be there. That means I won’t be here.

My “must sees” for Flow Festival 2013

See you on the other side 🙂


Taste of Helsinki 2013…

…is coming sooner than you think!

I missed the inaugural Taste last year. Bad timing and bad organisation. Not this year. We have tickets and I’ve been scouring the menu trying to create my ultimate night out. I think dessert will be ‘SALT-CARAMEL CAKE with pine fudge and rhubarb’ from Juuri, and starter is looking more and more like ‘ORGANIC BEEF CARPACCIO, beetroot aioli and juicy salad’ from Bistro O mat. Main course is causing me all sorts of difficulties – there are 12 really great options and while I can’t try them all, I think I should make a decision before I get there 🙂

So, what is Taste of Helsinki? I hear you ask. As per their own site it’s a gourmet food and beverage festival, a boutique picnic, a journey! Where else can you sample the best of Finnish Food and be entertained at the same time? Here is a really good guide to the Taste which as well as being informative, is also really easy to read!

As I type this, the clock is ticking. Only 1 day, 12 hours, 39 minutes and a few seconds to go! Actually for me it will be a little more as we will be heading to the dinner session on Thursday night. Either way, as I mentioned, it’s just around the corner!

The clock is still ticking

Now, if you are wondering why I insist on abbreviating the title to the Taste, well that stems from attending what is now called The Taste Festival in my home city of Hobart, Tasmania. It’s been running for 24 years already and is known just as the Taste. Old habits really do die hard.

In the meantime, I’ll be reporting back after I’ve enjoyed my own Taste of Helsinki!

The next Restaurant Day is just around the corner

and I will be hosting a restaurant! As I mentioned in my opening post of the year, the first restaurant day has already been. The 2nd restaurant day for 2013 (and the ninth overall) will be held this coming Saturday, May 18th. If you are unaware of Restaurant Day, please drop by the official site and read a little about the mechanics behind the restaurants.

Perry posing for Restaurant Day
Perry posing for Restaurant Day

I’ve been contemplating having my own restaurant for at least the last 12 months and having taken that leap of faith and decided to do it. My Dog on the Tuckerbox restaurant is going to cater to our four-legged friends and their two-legged companions. At the time of publishing there are well over 1200 restaurants taking part, and in the greater Helsinki region alone you will have the choice of over 400 to choose from!

You’ll find restaurants in parks, in shops, in courtyards, on beaches, on terraces… anywhere that there is a passing parade and hungry customers. My location is in a dog park situated just a little way from the city centre, close to where both the president and prime minister have their official residences and dog heaven. There’s a beach too which is always busy.

I hope you have a great time exploring Helsinki and finding a restaurant or three that you like! Name the cuisine, I’m quite sure you’ll be able to find someone serving it up! Be brave, try something new!

No doubt Perry will have a great time too 🙂

Helsinki Summer School

I’ve been a little absent lately, for good reason! I enrolled myself into a course at this year’s Helsinki Summer School. Yesterday the 23rd of August was our final exam and then wrap up session. Although I’d heard of the summer school previously, I’d never imagined that I would actually contemplate studying there, let alone enrolling! I actually read the course outline before I read the home page: research, advance degree students… my initial reaction was ‘hmm, I don’t think this is quite for me’. Yet, the course outline kept pulling me back to the page. ‘Service Marketing and Design’. In the end I bit the bullet, and sent a mail off. I explained that I wasn’t studying although I was establishing my own business and that I felt this course would be beneficial to this end. Feedback from both the university and the course co-ordinator was positive so it was on to the next step. Shortly after, my enrolment was confirmed!

Fast forward to August and now the mails have been arriving thick and fast: pre-course reading and assignment; social programme information; times, dates and places! Day one had no actual study, instead it was set aside for opening ceremonies and social events. Already at the reception I met a class mate, along with a heap of other students from around the world. Day two we met our class mates, co-ordinator and one key lecturer. We played the interview / introduction game and it turned out that we were a truly international group and coming from many different disciplines.

Our course comprised lectures, guest lectures, class presentations, field trips, field studies and the final exam. We also combined some social events of our own separate to the official programme. I led my first group tour from the school to the flea market Hietsu. As a tour leader I did get the group to the destination, although I was at the back of the group for more than half of the trip. Next time I’ll leave the bike at home 🙂

Our co-ordinator convinced Kunsthalle / Taidehalli to include us on the guest list for the opening of Tomás Saraceno’s installation 14 Billions (Working Title), which was also an opening night event for Helsinki Festival. I don’t mind spiders or their webs and this installation has plenty of the latter!

Inside the web! Tomás Saraceno at Taidehalli / Kunsthalle

One of my personal highlights of the Helsinki Festival is the Night of the Arts. There is always something for everybody, and this year’s grand event was the dominoes, winding through the city to Senate Square. At the time of writing the official site did not have any pictures or videos, however a quick search of YouTube has resulted with these to start: here, here and here. The first one shows the dominoes (and the eager crowd) up close, the second shows the finale and a good map of the domino route and the third one is Senate Square from a different angle.

Even though these studies are over, my ‘student career’ continues, Monday I’m off to an interview to undertake a course that will culminate in ‘Official Helsinki Guide’ status. Stay tuned!

Now I’ll take a brief moment to say a huge thank you to all the participants of the Helsinki Summer School 2012 Service Marketing & Design course. Best of luck in your future endeavours! It’s been a great three weeks and I hope that our paths cross again in the future 🙂