Photo by Rosalinda Whybrow

The serene setting of the Pargas – or Parainen in Finnish – archipelago is made up of 10,000 islands. The recent union of five municipalities has created a municipality with one of the highest amount of islands in the Åboland (Turunmaa in Finnish) area. It is located in the Finland Proper region in southwestern Finland, and is a bilingual municipality with a majority of Swedish speakers.


Art is my activism

Photo by Carl-Johan Utsi

Photo by Carl-Johan Utsi

Racism, inequality and structural violence have been part of the everyday life of the Sámi people for hundreds of years. The Sámi are Europe’s only indigenous people, located in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, and suffer from being a minority. The Sámi aspire to live in harmony with nature, and pursue a sustainable relationship with the land they live on. A continued denial of rights to make decisions about the land they own as an indigenous population has led to hundreds of years of confrontation – a struggle which has recently begun to gather momentum.

Jenni Laiti grew up in Inari, and was bullied as a child. Yet it wasn’t until she was a teenager that she began to understand that the reason was her cultural heritage as a Sámi, an understanding that motivated her to do something to change that reality. (more…)

Pizza, wine & Jazz

Pjazza edit 1

Helsinkians can rest easy – everything they’ve ever needed now in one place.

“ONE DAY, it was the 12 of March, Paolo [Morcucci] came to my place,” begins Stefano Metta. It was a Friday and the two of them were living in Mazzano Romano, a small medieval town close to Rome. “I’m the owner of some restaurants and bars, and he told me why don’t we open something in Finland? I said to Paolo, why not.”

Two weeks later they were on a plane to Finland, and would soon fall in love with Helsinki. Simple as that. (more…)


Pedersöre edit

Photo by Pedersöres kommun

RIVERS, lakes and the Kvarken archipelago – Pedersöre, or Pedersören kunta in Finnish, has a diverse nature to offer, not to mention excellent places to spend a day unwinding by fishing. It is a bilingual municipality in the Ostrobothnia region, with a majority of Swedish speakers. Historically it is one of the oldest parishes in the Ostrobothnia region.


There is no record of exactly how old Pederöre is, but it is one of three original parishes in the Gulf of Bothnia. It was first mentioned in writing in 1348, when King Magnus Eriksson issued a statute concerning trade in the parishes of Korsholm, Närpes, and Pedersöre. (more…)

An urban granny’s ridiculous desserts

Blog 4

Grilled pikeperch with scallops, shrimps and mussels in bouillabaisse sauce

Recipes from a little, black, metaphorical book.

FAMU is an urban granny who has travelled around the world and throughout her travels has collected recipes in to her little black leather bound recipe book. When she gets home to cook the food from that notebook, however, she doesn’t remember exactly what the food looked like and how it was when she ate it. So the end result of her cooking is a dish that has elements and ingredients and main flavours of a classical dish, but may look different.

This is the concept behind the à la carte restaurant Famu & Bar, according to head chef Antti Isoniemelä, whom I sit down with just after lunch time. With the capacity to seat 380 people, the seating area is certainly spacious. (more…)



HOME OF Finnish National poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg, Jakobstad, or Pietarsaari in Finnish, has been an important player in the cultural development of the west coast in Ostrobothnia. It is a bilingual municipality with a majority of Swedish speakers, situated by the sea.


Jakobstad was founded in 1652. On 19 June Queen Christina granted Count Jacob de la Gardie the right to found the town in the parish of Pedersöre, yet after his death the project was taken over by his widow Countess Ebba Brahe. The town was named Jakobstad after the Count, but its Finnish name Pietarsaari pays tribute to the municipality it once belonged to, Pedersöre. (more…)

Blog: Welcoming the New Year 2015


Waiting for the year to change at the Helsinki harbour

Happy new year 2015!!!!!!

How exciting, and terrifying it is to begin a new year. When the 31st of December comes around, it’s always equally difficult to believe that the year actually has come to an end, and another one is to begin. Although nothing concretely changes, its symbolism is there: is almost as if you’ve been handed a blank slate to make changes in your life. The Resolutions.

I’ve read about resolutions this year in attempt to get some inspiration. The ones that have stuck to me the most aren’t specific ones, but those that are oriented towards a happier life: thinking positive, doing what you love and remembering to enjoy good moments. These, although they may sound self-evident, are something that are easily forgotten in day to day life in its habitual state. It’s also a reminder to make the time for doing what you like and spending time with good friends. Making your life a good one: it’s about being active about it. The second resolution is to learn to cook more interesting and healthy dishes! (more…)

Blog: Finnish Christmas Dinner


Now that the holiday season has calmed down a little, I thought I would share some photos from my holiday 🙂 Specifically, a typical Finnish Christmas dinner.

The assortment of foods served at Christmas is called the Joulupöytä, literally translated as ‘Christmas table’. The dishes are seasonal, and of course there is a lot of fish although the main course is a traditional ham. Our dinner has three courses; the starter, main and dessert. (more…)


Korsholm Ann-Britt Pada 4

Photo by Ann-Britt Pada

Korsholm, or Mustasaari in Finnish, is located in the Ostrobotnia region. The municipality has a majority of Swedish speakers. Over half of the Kvarken archipelago region, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is located in Korsholm.


Korsholm first appeared in historical documents in 1348. For many hundreds of years, Ostrobotnia was governed by Swedes from the Korsholm region. The modern Korsholm municipality was established in 1973, with the integration of five communities. (more…)

A taste for tapas


“HOLA!” The waitress greets each customer who steps through the door of Mercat. It is a windy, finger-numbing cold outside but inside it is an easy Mediterranean evening: the combination of warmth, foodies of all ages chatting energetically, and a dash of turquoise on the walls is reminiscent of Southern Europe, a vibrant restaurant by the ocean. The warmth and Southern European vibe beckons the desire for a smooth glass of wine, the cold outside just about forgotten. (more…)