When in Helsinki I rarely miss a visit to Stockmann’s department store. This shop is a bit of a Selfridges of Helsinki, and you’d be pushed to want something they don’t stock. Especially the food hall downstairs is so moorish, I have to be really careful not to buy it all up! (Suitcase issues are always a problem when I’m travelling).
|Strawberries and blueberries…|
|…or a rye sandwich to go?|
Another place which I rarely miss is the large Marimekko store on North Esplanade, as I am a bit of a Marimekko freak. I’ve been brought up on the stuff after all!
|This is me wearing the classic Raitapaita
You can imagine my delight when a friend asked me last Saturday if I’d like to go to the outlet store (Tehtaanmyymälä) in East Helsinki, near the newly branded shopping centre, Itis. I didn’t even know such a thing existed!
Although some of the stuff in the Tehtaanmyymälä is not that heavily discounted (dresses were only down from 129 Euros to 119 Euros, for example), you can still find some fantastic bargains, like this classic striped t-shirt. I’ve head several of these Raitapaita t-shirts over the years, so I thought it was about time to get another one. I found a perfect summer combo: Navy and white, and it was discounted in the Marimekko Outlet store. Couldn’t really say no…?
These are my other finds: the dress is from the current collection, but I couldn’t resist as it’s really thin fabric and perfect for a beach to bar cover up (we are off on holiday soon; can’t wait).
Another great Finnish clothing store which a good friend recommends for businesswear is Andiata. They do good quality suits, shirts and dresses for special occasions. The fit is just right, and when in Finland I buy one or two pieces. This time I went for this sleeveless cotton shirt. It was so comfortable to wear I tried to get another one in white (you know me and my serial shopping problem), but they had run out of my size everywhere. (Andiata can also be found at Stockmann’s).
A very different store, which I’d not visited before is Moko Market and Cafe. It’s a sort of Finnish Anthropologie, although I was told Moko precedes the US store. This shop stocks quirky home wares and clothing from the Nordic countries, as well as French and American stuff.
The coffee they grind onsite is delicious, we brought home this breakfast blend, which was just perfect for a morning brew.
Finally, for me, a shopping trip in Helsinki would not be complete without a visit (or, erhm, half a day’s browse) to Akateeminen Kirjakauppa. This vast bookshop on North Espalande has a coffee shop upstairs, called Aalto Cafe. Here you can hear literary discussions abound, or see refined Helsinki ladies having coffee and cakes.
Akateeminen Kirjakauppa has books on any subject in almost any language you may require. In short; a writer’s heaven.
|I love these old escalators.|
This time I was also delighted to find a friendly face (or book cover) to remind me of London. In the biography section on the second floor I spotted Maggie and Me, salonista par exellance Damian Barr’s recent book. I hope it’ll soon be translated into Finnish and Swedish so everyone in Finland can enjoy this excellent biography.
In spite of now having no space at all in my suitcase, I bought three hardback books by new Finnish writers. I will report back soon on my book review site on these. Just as well my friend had room in her suitcase for my books. The same old story! (Kindle, what Kindle?)