My town is full of cosy cafés offering most delicious cakes, coffees and teas. Café Helmi (Tee- ja kahvihuone Helmi) in Välikatu 7 is one of my favourites. Anything you choose in their bakery vitrine, anything and everything you taste is delicious. We have not once been disappointed.
The service is friendly and good. Often times I see a familiar face greet me for many of my students have had a part-time job there. Any time you step in you hear a mixture of languages, the two local ones Finnish and Swedish, and Russian, Spanish etc. There is a mix of tourists and locals, young and old, families, couples and friends.
You can choose between sweet and savory, and on weekdays they serve lunch. Each room has its own ambiance with slightly difference decor. Everything apart from the kitchen ware is from the past centuries. It is bohemian with small tables and corners to have private conversations and tete-a-tete, and larger sofa groups for larger parties.
As you sip your coffee you can study pictures telling about the history of the town – the Romanoff family and Tsar Alexander I, Diet of Porvoo in 1809, the Cathedral… Some of the town guides take their groups to Café Helmi and continue their guiding with help of the pictures on the walls.
Today we admired a fine set of old coffee cups and a coffee post on display in the window, art deco perhaps? They also had ad largish set of china on display and on sale on one of the cabinets or dressing tables in the main hall. Italian decorations and made in England.
The rose tea was delicious as was the coffee and the Danish. They were out of Shrove buns at around 12 – this bread bun filled with whipped cream and almond paste is a speciality served on Shrove Sunday.
Today we missed the buns and enjoyed sleigh riding at a distance as a bunch of families were active in the hill slope. The weather was just about perfect – sunny, blue skies and -4 C. I would have been fun to ride along, don’t you think?