Sunday, 5 April 2015

Ping Helsinki and Kalamaja Kokaklubi

A week ago Eckerö Line packed one of their ships full of content gurus and business hippies. Destination: Tallinn. Purpose: to bring together those producing content (bloggers, vloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers) and those wishing to collaborate with them. 

Ping Helsinki, the brain child of 4-woman power house was first of its kind but mark my words - it won't be the last. The seminar started a very welcome debate on the value of the work content producers do (because that's what its is: work!) which has since continued all over the social media. Hooray, I say. Though I'm sure I'll have a lot more to say about it in another post to come. 

It's going to take a while to process the content of all of the workshops and presentations, but I can already tell you that the words useful and valuable can't even begin to describe it all. So, consider yourself warned: awesome, inspiring and breath-taking are words that will feature heavily on this post. 

Take Instagram sensation Ida Frosk for instance. The girl has turned playing with food (quite literally!) into a lucrative new career. Do check her out. Amazing personality, inspiring story, breath-taking photos (see, it's already happening).

But if I had to choose one presentation that stood head above the rest, it would have to be Pata Degerman, the only Finn whose business card actually reads explorer (yes, there are people like that out there. For real!). I mean, whoah. There are no words to descibe just how awe-inspiring his presentation was. Persistance, faith in oneself, courage to dream and then to turn those dreams into reality. Lessons for us all. 

In addition to those I also picked up some useful tips that will, without a doubt, come in handy should I ever find myself desperate fora toilet break in the middle of a tornado-like ice storm (the bottle you pee in is the square one. Just so you know). 

We also had a couple of hours to explore Tallinn. Not-so-surprisingly I chose the food-themed tour of Kalamaja, a trendy, bohemian neighbourhood of Tallinn I've not been to before. 

The area, full of small restaurants, cafes and little shops definitely warrants a new trip - I absolutely fell in love with it. Its narrow streets are lined with adorable, old, ramshackle houses that make me want to throw caution to the wind and buy one of them. Mortgages, interest rates, missing pipes, years of renovations, 6-hour commutes to Helsinki each day... who cares when you're surrounded with such atmosphere! Reckless? Or... romantic?

And while on the subject of atmosphere... Would you just look at this kitchen! Have you ever seen anything that perfect? That tap! That KitchenAid! That light!

This kitchen is located at Kalamaja Kokaklubi where we sat down together with some Estonian food bloggers, Piret HansonRagne VärkBritt Paju and Mariliis Ilover. Wonderful, talented, stunning and so lovely, every single one of them. Did I already mention stunning? I don't know what they put in the water South of that Baltic Sea, but it must be something special. I myself have a very distinct food blogger body type whereas these could easily pass for supermodels.

Kokaklubi is an event venue that host cooking lessons for one. Our hostessess had published a stack of cook books between them and some of them were shot right here.

The space, with high ceilings that seem to continue all the way to ozone layer is full of light, interesting details and love. This is a space where food and good life are held in high esteem. 

We sat down to feast on lunch our hostesses had prepared for us, sample local specialties, get to know each other, compare our experiences, exchange views, share secrets of the Tallinn restaurant scene... well, you know. In a company like that you're not going to run out of things to talk about. Time on the other hand, yes. We could have easily continued well into the night with these ladies!

The biggest trend in restaurants in Tallinn? Simplicity. Going back to basics; returning to the roots. Below you see a local and a very rustic take on panna cotta. With seabuckthorn jelly.

What a day. Which was made even greater by the fact that on the way back we won a trip to London! It's been too many years since my last visit so all the tips are much appreciated!

Oh, and Tallinn - we'll meet again too. You can count on it. 




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