Lunch at Kauppatori, Helsinki

It’s our first day of holiday and the sun is shining, it’s the perfect day for a visit to Suomenlinna, the little island in front of Helsinki and a UNESCO world heritage site. We leave the hotel headed to the harbour to take the boat that will bring us there in about 20 minutes, I was feeling very excited about the idea of spending an whole day out, walking and cycling in the nature, but as soon as we approached the harbour my attention was totally caught by something completely different: the Kauppatori (which is the Finnish for the Market Square). I was still determined to visit Suomenlinna first though, so I had to wait a few hours to go and explore the market properly (but I promise that the temptation to stop just there and dive into the food was really huge!).

What is nice about this market is that you can actually stop there and have some warm delicious food! It’s (obviously) mainly fish, so if you are not a fish lover you might not understand all my enthusiasm and might not enjoy the experience fully. On the other hand, if you do love fish, then you’d better go there soon!

I tried an amazing salmon and dill soup, then (more) salmon cooked with cream and potatoes, then some mixed fried fish/calamari/prawn…mmmh mouthwatering! All of this sitting in front of the sea and ended with some fresh cherries also from the market.

The day went on and we had a lovely walk in the city (so extremely tidy and clean), but this is a food blog, so I should stop here and leave you with a few pictures! 🙂

Salmon and veg

Salmon and veg

Fish, veg and dill soup!

Fish, veg and dill soup!

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

When my friends suggested to go to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, I had no idea of what it was about, but the name sounded cool so I said “why not!”. As soon as the show started, I was so glad I decided to go and I could not stop to thank my friends for suggesting it.

First of all the location: the Esplanade in front of the Edinburgh Castle. The show starts at the dusk, and if you are lucky enough and the weather is nice, you will enjoy a wonderful sunset all over the castle. Fantastic.

The show, which last around one and a half hour, is a series of military parades performed by British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and International military bands, and it is held every year in August as part of the Edinburgh Festival.

Here you can see a short video I made. I wish I recorded more, but I was getting too distracted holding my camera and making sure I was recording properly, and I certainly didn’t want to miss any bit of the show.

Fantastic, brilliant, sensational. The whole performance was a continuous surprise; it would be very hard to decide which was the best part.

The etymology of the word “tattoo” is also interesting. It comes from the Dutch “tap toe” which literally means “close the tap”.  Back in the centuries the regiment’s corps of drums used to play a signal every night to alert the taverns owners and “remind” them to turn off the taps of their ale kegs so that the soldiers would retire at a decent hour.
However, in the 18th century the term “tattoo” was also used to describe a form of evening entertainment performed by military bands. For more info, click here.

If you have the chance, you should definitely go!

Sunny Sunday: Brighton!

Having lived in the darkness and rain for about two months, as soon as we read the unbelievable news, we looked at each other and we said: “let’s go to Brighton on the beach!”.
Sun! Eventually the sun was shining!!! Since it is not something that happens often we had to make most of it…and spend the whole day out.

We have immediately booked a train ticket on First Capital Connect and thanks to a good deal and to the Network Railcard we got a return ticket for about £6.30 each. Needless to say that this was already an extremely good start! 🙂

We left from London Bridge on a super crowded train full of people with flip flops, sun glasses and a good smell of sunscreen. In a bit more than a hour we were walking by the sea side looking for a nice spot to sit down and relax.

We first sat right next to the Pier but we had to move pretty soon because of those killers seagulls! 🙂 A girl sitting next to us was eating her sandwich, when a seagull came and literally stole it from her hands! That’s was scary and I was really loving my lunch to have it stolen by one of those huge birds!

Talking about lunch…I know, it’s not the most appropriate meal to have on the beach, but I was really craving a fish and chips, and I still remembered how good it was the one I had the first time I went to Brighton…so I had to have one! 🙂
There is a small fish&chips shop right at the beginning of the Pier, on the right side and it sells the best battered cod I have ever had! It’s huge, thick and super crunchy…impossible to resist!

We stayed on the beach till around 4pm, then we went for a nice walk in the city centre and once again I loved every single bit. Those nice narrow streets full of nice shops are so nice, and the sun and all that light made everything even more beautiful.

At around 7.30 we jumped on the train to go back to London and I have fallen asleep as soon as I sat down on the train (as usual!).

Eventually I got some sun tan…I think this is the first time in my life I am so pale in July!

SUN, we love you!

Brighton Pier

Brighton Pier

"Brighton Eye"

“Brighton Eye”

my lunch

my lunch