Two-day minibreak in Helsinki
This post has been in the making forever as my new job has kept me busy and I’ve ignored my blog.
Hotel Haven never fails
After Christmas, we spent two nights at our favorite hotel in Helsinki, Hotel Haven. Once again I had booked a Grand Deluxe room and for the first time, our room was in the original hotel, not the expansion from 2017. This meant the room was slightly bigger than the corresponding ones in the expansion. I kind of liked the fact that the room had more separation, and the sofa corner was almost like a separate living room. We started our minibreak by relaxing in the room for a few hours having some snacks, reading, watching some TV and I took a bath.
Brasserie & Pub Alexanderplats
For the first evening, I had booked a table at Brasserie & Pub Alexanderplats. This restaurant was opened in September 2019 and this was our first visit to it, but definitely not the last. I liked the relaxed style of the restaurant and the staff was friendly and attentive. The restaurant serves European classics made with the best ingredients. I opted for scallops with cauliflower purée, brown butter, capers, and lemon to start with and hubby had rösti potatoes with vendace roe, sour cream, and red onion. Both starters were very tasty, but the scallops were to die for, whereas the rösti had slightly burned edges but was still delicious. For my main, I had pike quenelles with crayfish sauce and spinach and hubby enjoyed Ibérico pork cheek à la bourguignonne with garlic smashed potatoes. The mains did not fail either, both portions were excellent. We were so full after two courses that we skipped dessert. All in all, this was a great dining experience and I’m keen to come back when the menu is updated.
Hotel Haven offers an excellent deal for having breakfast in your room. If breakfast is included in your room, you only pay a EUR 20.00 room service fee to have it delivered to your room. We have utilized this option several times when visiting the hotel and did so again. You fill in a form indicating what you want (basically a list of almost everything that is available in the breakfast room) and pick a time for delivery. We decided to have the breakfast delivered at 9:30 am and took our time enjoying it while reading the morning’s news. Later we headed out to town to do some window shopping, stroll around the city and have a spot of lunch. Once it got too cold (it was a windy day) we headed back to our room to warm up. Before dinner, we decided to check out a relatively new pub nearby, Pyynikki Taproom Helsinki for a drink. This was a nice addition to the Helsinki pub scene and I’m positive we’ll be back here soon.
For our second dinner, I had booked a table at Nude. This restaurant opened in 2018 but this was our first visit. Nude serves food inspired by the best street kitchens across the world. The restaurant is slightly oddly shaped as the room is long with the kitchen in the back, but it is still inviting and relaxed. The menu is divided into smaller and bigger dishes, as well as sweets. I decided to try three smaller dishes and hubby had one small and one larger dish. My pick was fish bao, sushi tacos, and mushroom dumplings with kimchi. Hubby chose venison tartar and a larger serving of the mushroom dumplings. We were also served Nude’s sourdough bread with two spreads. All of the foods were delicious and well thought out. Of my three dishes, the taco was my favorite but the bao was a great second. The dumplings were covered in a nice sauce/paste, but it was quite sharp, and, in my opinion, there was too much of the sauce on the dumplings. This was another great dining experience with some new flavors and great service. I’m sure we’ll come to eat here a second time.
Like a real vacation
On the second morning, we had breakfast in the breakfast restaurant. The setting is quite impressive, the restaurant is set in Sundmans’ building, the second oldest stone building in Helsinki. The windows offer views over the Market Square and harbor of Helsinki. After a nice breakfast, it was time to pack our bags and head home. It is amazing how just two nights in a hotel, time to relax and a couple of enjoyable dinners can feel like a real vacation. You return home relaxed and invigorated.