Sometimes…Finns can be romantic and sentimental.

February 5th is one of these sweet occasions with Runeberg’s Day cosiensining with their official flag day (I loooove flag, btw).  It is to celebrate the life and works of Finnish poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg, lyricist to the Finnish national anthem. 

So how do the Finns celebrate? By eating a Runeberg’s cake. The Runebergintorttuja are soaked with Amoretto and were made by Runenberg’s wife every year for his birthday. Awww.
I had the opportunity to try a Runebergstårta  while visiting Finland (the second picture). And so when Feburary 5th came around, I decided to attempt to make one for Sunday family lunch (first picture) I didn’t have the mold, but I thought I did a pretty good job…the taste well, next year will be better 🙂 
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The Dormouse in the Teapot

Parisians specialities are cafés and small pastries (they are starting to make micro macrons!).  During my summer holiday in the States, I noticed one major difference between Paris and America (regarding cafés).  In America, people go to coffee shops alone with their Apple product of choice. And Paris cafés are more of a social place.  However, Anglophones are taking over Paris (it seems sometimes) and depending of the cafés will see more tables for 1. 

Le Loir dans la Théière is making a radical movement: computers are not aloud in their salon de thé.  SHOCKING (but hey, it’s France don’t forget).  Another fact about this cozy social nook is that during your first visit, you will probably miss the dessert table. QUEL DOMMAGE!!!   Because these tartes are something to Instagram about! They are most famous for their gigantic (fresh) lemon meringue pie. And it is oh-so delicious! I always feel like I’m stepping back in the Victorian era, it’s very charming and a perfect place to meet a friend! Their coffee isn’t that great…just go straight for the desserts! 

Le Loir dans la Théière

3 rue des Rosiers

75004 Paris

M: Saint Paul (le Marias)  

Mon-Fri 10-19h30/ Sat & Sun 9h-19h30

Broken Arm
I’m part of that generation where I spend my free time at coffee shops.  I love starting my morning or a break in the day with a little caffeine and friend time.  I’m always a fan where shopping is involved and the Broken Arm is attached to a lovely boutique (the perfect combination for when The Finn gets involved in long conversations with the baristas). The coffee is exceptional and set in such a charming location and atmosphere. 

Try it: 

Broken Arm

12, rue Perrée – 75003 Paris

Mardi – Samedi:  09h00 – 18h00

Une fête du Sainte Valentin! 

This year, I hosted a crafternoon with some very lovely ladies. It was a a perfect Sunday afternoon full of Champagne cocktails, tartes and card-making! It was a tight squeeze and wished I could have invited more, but it was the perfect group of girls! I love Valentines day because it’s an excuse for sending out cards,  to buy flowers and treat yourself to Champagne and chocolate! 

You can also view Hana’s lovely photos here

London Bridge. 

On my last day (before stores opened) I did see the tower and bridge of London. Nobody had ever told me how juxtaposed London’s architecture really is—you will have towers built in 1600 standing next to the most modern 21st century glass building.  Next time I’ll go over to the Tate! 
English food.
While the English breakfast looks like indigestion on a plate, I much enjoyed tasting a variety of English scones with my tea and coffee. I also gobbled up spicy curry.  However, there’s nothing like a Parisian croissant. As much as I loved the friendliness and charm of London…there’s no place like Paris, says this Kansan girl. 

London town. 

A few weekends ago I went to London for the first time. Weird, huh? I mean I’ve been visiting and living in Europe for 12years now and never did I venture over to England.  My first trip to the capital was very unique. Because I already live in a city with many museums, I wasn’t that anxious to see any landmarks. All I wanted to do was shop at Liberty of London and Topshop. I saw a musical in Westend…Spamalot, which was Hilarous (especially after a few large glasses of wine). I would encourage any anglophone living in France to see musical theatre in London because in well, the French translate EVERYTHING…can you imagine Mama Mi or My Fair Lady in FRENCH? Yeah, better hop on over to London. 

 

Le Coutume café opens a new café:  Coutume Instituutti 

If there’s anything that I’ve picked up by being surrounded by Finns is that they like quality coffee…a lot of it…it’s brewing 24-hours. So I wasn’t too surprised to find that the Finnish Institute chose le Coutume café to open up shop in their building. Their new location is spacious, overlooks the Roman ruins of Cluny,  internet works wonderfully and you are surrounded by Iittala.  I am in love, it’s my new hangout!
For amazing coffee with an equally beautiful view go here: 

60, rue des Écoles
75005 Paris

01 40 51 89 09

Tues-Sat 9 h à 18 h / Sun 10 h à 18 h métro: Cluny-La Sorbonne  
 

 Date night

It is rare that the Finn and I get to be alone these days. Both of us have an extensive list of family and friends who we need to see when on vacation.  Our date nights are something that is most treasured.  Just coming off a day of traveling and adventuring, we had a late supper at the luxurious Teatterin Grilli in Helsinki. The food was to die for (see my Jerusalem artichoke and black truffle infused goat cheese soup?) plus their wine list had many good selections. The venue has a cocktail lounge (kellobarri), a deli (wine&deli), a disco (klubi) and a fine-dining restaurant. Its somewhere I’d highly recommend wether you are attending a performance at the Swedish theater (that is attached to teatteri), wanting to party  or just grab a coffee to go! 

Teatterin Grilli

Pohjoisespa 2, 
00130 Helsinki
+358.09.61.28.50.05

Dark FInland.

Because of the lack of white snow, we really got a sense of how dark and gloomy a Finnish winter really can be! The sunrise was around 10Am and the sunset was around 15:30-16:00. Here are just a few photos from the Finn’s and mine walks in the forest, during the late afternoon.  Finland dark but still so lovely.