Saturday, 29 March 2014

Bloggers galore

One sometimes hears criticism about bloggers and how, based on what they write, they seem to live in a bubble that is in no way in touch with reality. They just run from one press event to another, hoarding goodie bags, pose for photos at Champagne launches, enjoy free dinners and then paint a rosy picture on Instagram and Twitter on how everything is so easy and fun. And sure, occasionally there are days when life is just so much fun it's hard to believe it's really happening. Overwhelming majority of the days, however, consist of curse words, chain smoking, exploding cake batters, broken ovens, lack of time, bad light, computer problems and bread experimentations that would warrant a chain saw.

Last week's Wednesday luckily wasn't one of those days. The day started with dining at The Chef of The Year competition and continued with a blogger meet at Scandic Hotel Marski, sampling their new menu. There were all sorts of bloggers and plenty of laughter and talking (over each other). Catching up, planning next get-togethers and celebrating each others' successes. The Boy Next Door came as my obliging plus one and got his first exposure to the world of Food Blogger's Significant Others. As he listened to tales of the other halves and the names they are known by in the blogosphere he couldn't believe his ears: "what? There are more of us out there?". Christ. Next he'll probably go and set up a union or something...

Oh, and of course there were the treats. They've been working on the menu, known as Nordic Bistro for a while now and felt they were ready to share the fruits of their labour.

Elk salami. Loved that!

Some of the delicacies are available on the new menu as well. Such as that dreamily light pannacotta with oven roasted apple compote. Unfortunately pig cheeks (slow roasted for 24 hours) along with slowly braised lamb entrecôte weren't quite as melt-in-you-mouth-tender as we were hoping.

The menu itself is classic and fuss-free and there's bound to be something for everyone. The fact that they're part of a chain brings with it certain commitments, but they also aim to live according to the seasonal produce and local specialties, which is something for instance their selection of cheeses reflects.

Hartwall's representatives were at hand to give us the lowdown on the differences between wines from the Old and the New World. We also got a chance to put everything we'd learnt to test as we drank our way through the house wines, selected from Chile and Italy. Antares Sauvignon Blanc charmed with its floral bouquet and was well received by everyone. Perlage Merlot delle Venezie Organic with its mellow tannines on the other hand proved to be surprisingly good match with cold smoked salmon of all the things.

Wine list is fairly vast and varied. I was delighted to notice attention had been paid to dessert wines too, which is something Finland still has some catching up to do. My heart melted as I spotted Pedro Ximenes' Pemartin Cream on the sherry selection...

When you bring some of the country's most prominent bloggers together, you can only have a good time. Good luck trying to get them to leave though...!

Our goodies bags featured bottles of the house bubbly (René Barbier Brut Reserva) with which we also kicked the evening off. Our bottles barely had time to chill as only a couple of days later they were popped open to celebrate some good news the blog's Facebook followers have already been revealed. We got engaged! And in case you even need to ask: with a sabre, of course!

A big thanks to Scandic Marski for a great night - we had a blast!




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