The other day I drove my husband to Helsinki and had a couple of hours to kill while he had a cast removed from his hand. He underwent surgery on the worst of his arthritic fingers last week.
Chauffeuring as I was, I decided to take a little ride along the western coastline of the city to find a nice little café where to wait for his call. As vacant parking spaces were scarce I ended up at the Tamminiementie café operating in an old wooden villa on the grounds of the Meilahti manor.
Pots full of roses were greeting you on the porch. There was a table packed with orchids by a window in the entrance hall. By the time I entered the parlour of the café and saw an orchid or two on each of the tables I was convinced the entrepreneur, an obvious aesthete of the casual sort, must have some kind of an arrangement with a flower shop, or more likely a wholesaler.
The café had opened half an hour earlier. It seemed I was the first customer on that morning. The cakes hadn’t been taken from the fridge yet and at least the one I chose – a piece of cherry cake – was far too cold and moist to be recommended. Nevertheless, I had nothing to complain about the cup of tea I had, especially as I had the parlour all to myself. There was much to look at: all types of more or less shabby period furniture, a lovely ceiling with painted decorations, even an old tiled stove.
But the prices were shocking. Then again I suppose every once in a while you will be willing to pay some extra for a delightful setting even if you didn’t get much of a service, and even that may be totally different on high season. This easy-going café must be a charming place to visit in the summertime when you can sit on the flowering veranda facing the garden.
|An old tiled stove in the ladies' room, not functional I would assume. Note the old timber walls|
that are protected with thick sheets of plastic.
Today, summer feels very far away. It is All Saints’ Day and below freezing point. I’ve put a few oil candles to burn through the night on the pitch dark patio and the porch. In recent years, this has been the time when I couldn’t have helped starting my winter beauty sleep. There’s nothing of such inactivity to be expected this season.