10 + 1 travel quotes that reflect me

I decided to delve into the myriad of travel quotes you can find online and make a list of the quotes that best describe my own attitude towards and thoughts about travel. I used Canva to make the pictures.

To me, this describes travel to a T. When you get a broader understanding of the world, you realize that you are merely a small part of the world. You learn that you cannot expect the rest of the world to adapt to your expectations, but when you adapt to the world, you become more understanding.

Just like a ship is built to travel the oceans, humans are, in my opinion, built to travel the world.

I have never had a list of places I have to see or the goal to visit all continents, for example. I do love discovering new places but when a passionate affair in one location turns into a deep love, I’m more than happy to return to that place several times.

To me, this is the quintessential reason for people to travel. If you have never traveled, your view is extremely restricted. How can you even imagine what all exists in the world if you spend all your life in the same place?

I feel travel is one way to become a child again – to see everything with new eyes. Travel can truly make everyday things seem like wonders and help you enjoy the littlest things in life.

When I first started traveling, I used to make detailed lists of what to see and do on a trip. I still research my destinations in advance and make a rough itinerary, but experience has thought me to leave time and space for surprises. Nothing brings me more joy than getting lost and finding new marvelous places and stunning gems.

This, in a way, ties into the previous quote. It also reminds me that even the best laid plans are always subject to change. If you set off on a trip with a detailed plan and you expect that plan to materialize as is, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

I have a difficult time understanding people who travel but expect things to be the same as home. To me, the value of traveling comes from seeing and experiencing new things, like the local food culture. I would never go abroad and look for a Finnish community, a Finnish restaurant or bar, etc.

As an avid reader and traveler, I simply love this quote. To me it seems that people who do not travel are missing out on the story of life.

I know that one lifetime is not enough to experience everything the world has to offer, but I’d rather keep trying than stop and remain stagnate. To me, it is also a comfort to know that there will always be new places to see.

This requires no explanation, it simply perfectly sums up what has happened to me.

Do you have a favorite travel quote? If so, I would to hear it.

Anniversary dinner at Penélope

We celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary in early June and chose Penélope as the place for our anniversary dinner. The owners, Hans Välimäki and Arto Rastas, say that they decided to open a restaurant where they would like to go. An uncomplicated restaurant that focuses on high-quality ingredients and friendly service. A restaurant where customers are treated like you would treat your guests at home. Every portion has a story that has become etched in out memory thanks to its deliciousness – a story we want to share with you. Before dinner we enjoyed some champagne at the Champagne bar at Stockmann. I decided to try something a little different, Veuve Clicquot Rich Rosé, which is a very fruity champagne with 12% red wine. It has a higher dosage of Pinot Noir than the traditional Veuve Clicquot (45%) which gives the flavor more depth.

Inside Penélope, picture from hs.fi/nyt/

I immediately liked the vibe of the place. We started with an aperitif and took some time to study the menu. There was a nice selection of cocktails to choose from and the ones we had were tasty and refreshing. The menu is divided into seven sections: Bread & Dips, Small, Charcuterie, Medium, Large, Sides & Extras and Desserts. The idea is that you can mix and match from all sections and the food is brought to the table whenever it is ready so it’s not the traditional starter, main & dessert approach. There was also a separate specials menu.

My aperitif cocktail

We decided to both have three small portions and one large portion each. I had Siikli, vendace roe & smoked fresh butter, Scallop & summer truffle, and an Asian inspired Arctic Char dish from the specials menu. Hubby ate Asian style beef tartar & shiso, Gambas pil pil, and Quenelle de brochet. All the small portions were lovely and there were some clever ideas like the smoked butter with the potatoes, the crispy potatoes on top of the scallop, and the coriander and sesame oil with the tartar. My large portion was Pan fried white fish & wild mushrooms and Penélopes ”Clam Chowder” and hubby’s was Chicken “Piri Piri” inspired by Carlos Henriquez. We had planned to share a portion of Patatas fritas mojo rojo with our large portions but forgot to order them, which was actually not a problem because there was plenty of food anyway. The large portions were also nice. The only issue was that the small portions were served relatively quickly but then we had to wait quite a long time until eventually a waiter came around to ask if everything was okay and I said yes but we were waiting for our mains. This resulted in the mains being served so quickly that my guess is they simply had forgotten to serve them and the food felt like it had waited under a heat lamp for quite some time. This probably affected the food somewhat and I’m sure the large portions would have been better if they had been served right away after preparation, for example the skin on my fish was not crispy at all, which I believe it was supposed to be.

Siikli, vendace roe & smoked fresh butter
Scallop & summer truffle
Asian inspired arctic char
Asian style beef tartar & shiso
Gambas pil pil
Quenelle de brochet
Pan fried white fish & wild mushrooms and Penélopes ”Clam Chowder”
Chicken “Piri Piri” inspired by Carlos Henriquez

The food and atmosphere at Penélope were great and apart from the small mishap with the mains the service was also good. The place was packed and without a reservation there was no way we would have gotten a table. I really liked the idea of the different portion sizes and would like to go back for a cocktail or two and some of the smaller dishes instead of a full-blown dinner. I am also interested to see how the menu evolves depending on the time of the year.

We rounded off the evening with G&Ts at Casa Largo. A great anniversary celebration and now we start our 23rd year of marriage.

Birthday dinner at Sikke’s

This year for my birthday we had booked a table at the recently (mid-April) opened restaurant Sikke’s. The restaurant calls itself a neighborhood bistro that you can easily pop into for a glass of wine and a small bite at the bar or stay longer and have dinner. We arrived a couple of minutes early and had to wait a while for our table. Once we were seated we were asked if we would like an aperitif. I ordered a Negroni and hubby a Dry Martini.

A classic Negroni to start

We looked over the menu while enjoying our drinks. The menu consisted of four starters, four mains, four side dish options and five desserts. There were also a specials board with a few alternatives. I decided to start with mozzarella, salted lemons and thyme and hubby chose the beef tartar with crispy capers and an egg yolk. I ordered a glass of Riesling with the food and hubby had a beer. While we waited for our starters I noticed that other tables were served bread, but we did not get any. When the waiter brought the starters, he noticed that we didn’t have any bread and said he would bring some. I would have preferred to have the bread served before the starter which it apparently was supposed to be but at least we got some bread, which was delicious. The starters were both lovely and I was inspired by the salted lemons, I want to try to make them at home.

Mozzarella and salted lemons, a brilliant combo
The tartar meat melted in the mouth

For my main I had Arctic char with a sour milk and cucumber sauce and green asparagus and hubby ordered grilled rosemary Baltic herring with dandelion. With the mains we also ordered a serving of fries seasoned with rosemary salt and served with ketchup and aioli. The mains were well made with top notch ingredients and we enjoyed both. The fries were tasty, and the aioli was good, but we could not decide if we liked the ketchup or not – it seemed to have cinnamon in it, which was quite interesting. Once we had finished eating our mains we still had some fries left but the waiter was extremely quick to come and clear the plates and also took the fires away without asking if we wanted to finish eating them. This seemed a bit odd. The next less than perfect experience was that once the plates were cleared no one came to ask us whether we wanted something else, like dessert or more to drink. After waiting for someone to come for closer to 30 minutes I finally caught the attention of a waiter walking by and asked for the check. It was then brought rather promptly but once we had laid the card on top of the check to pay, we again had to wait for quite a while for someone to come and take the payment.

Beautifully fried Arctic char
Baltic herrings on a bed of dandelions

All in all, a nice dinner in a pleasant restaurant but the service still needs some tweaking. I am sure we will come back, and it will be interesting to see how the menu changes with the seasons. The restaurant also hosts something called pasta Sundays when they serve four different pasta dishes, a salad and focaccia to start and a dessert to finish. I would also like to check this out at some point.

The happy and well-fed b-day “girl”