Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Have a (mini)break - have Fiskars!

Earlier this year a new character made his first appearance on the blog. The character in question is quite a character indeed and became known as The Boy Next Door. The most eagle-eyed of readers immediately picked up and sure enough things too picked up a pace very different from what I'd had in mind. I tried to resist and be the token voice of reason (doesn't come naturally, I can tell you) but that didn't amount to much.

Only a couple of weeks after we'd exchanged our first kiss we found ourselves on a day-trip in Fiskars. It was a grey and rainy day... but I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. Much as I still can't  as I look back on that day: that's the day I fell in love with him. 

We were even planning to marry this summer but in the end had to admit we simply didn't have time to put anything together at such short notice. We didn't want to forgo a little honeymoon though, and so we returned to Fiskars and stayed at that charming Wärdshus I'd already admired back in February.

Founded in 1836 Wärdshus is the oldest inn still in business. Located on the historic King's Road 89 kilometres from Helsinki, Wärdshus has accommodated and entertained many grand historical figures, so we found ourselves in very capable hands.

Since 1998 Wärdshus has been looked after by Patrik Karlsson and his wife Marja. Patrik has honed his culinary skills at Savoy Helsinki and Marja is a hospitality industry professional. Everything at Wärdshus speaks of their love for this place and their role as the guardians of her magnificent traditions. Wärdshus proved to be every bit as delightful as I had envisioned.

The rooms at the original building and the annex have been lovingly restored with appreciation for the old in cooperation with the local arts and crafts people the village of Fiskars is famous for. 

Having first taken out time enjoying our room (where do the hotels source those beds? From heaven?) it was time for the dinner. Both Instagram- and Facebook - followers have been treated to some teasers and the rest of you will be served the whole spread in the next post. 

The restaurant continues the quietly calm, simple and elegant line of the rest of the hotel. This time of the year it's also a popular destination for kräftskiva-revellers. Even the drinking songs were conducted with the utmost grace (quite unlike our Finnish - English- Italian crayfish affair, hosted by a closeted Andalusian, equipped with a very Middle Eastern temper...)

Though especially popular in the summer months, Fiskars is active off-season too and both hotel and the restaurant are open all year round. 

After the dinner it was time for sauna. During our excursion in the village earlier that day we'd discovered the local Rekola Brewery whose beers where available at Wärdshus as well. A cold beer after sauna, as your skin still steams from the warmth in the chilly late August evening turning to dusk... I suddenly found myself very much in touch with all the things it means to be a Finn. 

Later, after the nightfall we went outside to admire the bright starry sky ("There's none of that light pollution here, you see," The Boy Next Door lectured in his Channel 4 news specialist voice), enjoying the sound of crickets (me) and the quietness of the countryside (him). After some shooting-related injuries (and before you even ask: no, he's not a mercenary. That I know of anyway...) he's a bit deaf, you see. 

Oh yes, we were very much at peace. (And a little bit later sound asleep.)

Even if just a mini-break, holidays are clearly good for one. My date, who normally is inherently incapable of anything comprehensible for the first two hours after waking up and (his words...) "unable to issue any kind of statements" before he's had at least a vat of coffee, was up, bright and talking, at 8am. "There's breakfast" he cheered, "there's hotel breakfast!".

The breakfast was very simple though. But, not in a rush to be anywhere, it was lovely to savour those precious moments (and croissants, served with their delicious jams)... and casually try and calculate he earliest possible date for a wedding - I don't wan't to have to wait for our next honeymoon for too long, you know!

*In collaboration with Fiskars Wärdshus*




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