Naantali – medieval churches and crappy service
On our second morning in Naantali, we decided to walk to Kailo island that is home to Moomin World. We chose to skip Moomin world and simply strolled to the seashore and back. Then we visited Naantali church that is the 2nd largest medieval church in Finland. It was built in the 1460s-1480s as a church for a Catholic St. Bridget’s convent. The church is the only building that remains of the convent. The most recent renovation of the church took place in 2011- 2012.
Cute café and Rymättylä church
Next, we decided to take a drive to Rymättylä to visit St. Jacob church but before jumping in the car we stopped for coffee at Eriskummallinen kahvila & teehuone. This is a Moomin-themed café with quirky interior decoration. I have to say the prices were a bit steep compared to the quality of the products so wouldn’t visit this café again. The church in Rymättylä is a greystone church built in the 1510s. The medieval interior is very well-preserved, including wall paintings and several artifacts.
Traditional grill kiosk lunch
We decided to drive out to the Hanka pier after visiting the church in Rymättylä. This is a pier where you can take a ferry to Seili and Nauvo. The line to the ferry was long and I felt sorry for anyone with a car who hadn’t pre-booked a place on the ferry. This crossing is part of the Archipelago Trail that is hugely popular during summer. On the way back to Naantali we stopped for lunch at a traditional grill kiosk (snack bar) called Särkän grilli. These grill kiosks are traditional fast-food places in Finland that have been part of the Finnish food scene since the 1930’s. We decided to share a staple of grill kiosks called makkaraperunat (sausage potatoes, i.e. fries with sausage) and a meat pie.
Worst restaurant service ever
I had booked a table for us at a restaurant called Trappi for our last dinner in Naantali. We had visited the restaurant a good decade ago and back then it was a decent enough restaurant with tasty food. Not anymore. When we arrived, we waited a few minutes to be directed to our table. The restaurant wasn’t even half full when we sat down at our table with the menus. There seemed to be three waiters working (a young woman, an older woman whom I think was the head waiter, and a middle-aged man). While we waited for service, we followed what was going on around us and everything seemed a bit chaotic. Waiters did not know how to open wine bottles, forgot whether customers had ordered wine by the glass or bottle, took 20 minutes to deliver bills, etc. By the time we had waited at our table for 45 minutes with no one paying any attention to us we contemplated leaving and when five minutes later we heard another table say they had been delivered completely incorrect orders we decided to take our business elsewhere. I must say I’m surprised how this restaurant is still standing because after this experience I read several super-negative feedbacks on Tripadvisor.
Return to Kaivohuone
By the time we left the restaurant, I was starving and so hangry I was ready to kill someone. Thus, we decided to revisit Kaivohuone that had proven to deliver good food quickly. This time I decided to try the hoisin-glazed salmon burger and hubby opted for the chimichurri steak & fries. The food did not disappoint this time either and the service was quick and friendly. With a belly full of tasty food the night ended on a good note with cocktails for dessert. After another good night’s sleep, it was time to point our car homewards and leave Naantali behind.
We had another successful workation in beautiful Naantali old town and returned home refreshed. Next week we head for our actual summer vacation to Lappeenranta and Savonlinna so stay tuned for posts from our adventures there.