Kipina Pop Up Restaurant, Kustavi – Finland

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The dinner I had at Kipina PopUp Restaurant in the island of Kustavi this summer is probably one of the best culinary experiences I had in the Finnish archipelago.

Kipina is an idea by Pekka Kuru and it’s both a restaurant and an art gallery. It’s open only few weeks during summer and it features different chefs every week. We had a dinner hosted by chef Petteri Luoto – chef and painter at the same time that week! – and we really enjoyed the mix of Finnish food and Mediterranean flavours. Surrounded by the forest. What else?

If you are planning a visit to Finland, or if you want an excuse to do that, check the Food and Fun Festival out in Turku this October!

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We flew from Milan and Chicago to Helsinki with Finnair and then we drove to Kustavi.
Check An islander in the Finnish Archipelago out for some recommendations and routes if you are considering a travel to Finland – or even if you are not 😉

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lauraKipina Pop Up Restaurant, Kustavi – Finland

Formentera

formentera, spain

Last May, my friend Francesca called me to ask if I wanted to join her and one of her friend for a 4 day vacation in Formentera. Luckily the flight was very cheap – considering everything else in the island is really expensive!

La isla is very small and even if it is one of the favorite places for people living in Milan, that was my very first time there.

We arrived in Ibiza at night, and from the airport we got our ferry tickets. Once in Formentera we rented a car and we try to reach our apartment asking locals where to drive. We stayed at Apartamentos Escandell: nice, clean and at a good price!

Because nothing else was opened that night we had dinner at 1am at Caterina, an Italian restaurant owned by two brothers from Milan – of course! One of them was really nice and recommended us a few places to stop by for aperitivo in the next days.

I personally recommend El Pirata bus and Blue Bar. Beaches are beautiful and waters are pristine everywhere. Take some time before sunset to enjoy the pinkish salt evaporation ponds. And if you are looking for some bocadillos for lunch be sure to check Mama Pan mini market. The lady is really nice – honestly, one of the few nice people on the island.

Looking forward to going back to the Balearic Islands… maybe Minorca next time!

formentera, spain

formentera, spain

formentera, spain

formentera, spain

formentera, spain

formentera, spain

formentera, spain

formentera, spain

formentera, spain

formentera, spain

formentera, spain

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lauraFormentera

Taormina

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Taormina is a small village between Catania and Messina, in Sicily. It’s one of the places on this earth I really love the most – probably for some memories from my childhood.

This is why when Vanessa, the beautiful owner of the Ristorante al Duomo, called me to shoot some pictures in her hidden gem I immediately booked my ticket to Sicily, and said YES! of course.

That day my mom was my special personal assistant and together with Vanessa and Gaetano, the chef, we had a day full of laughs and good food!

I’m happy to share some pictures with you, and if you are planning a visit to Sicily remember to reserve a table there. I’m looking forward to going back soon!

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Ristorante al Duomo, Piazza Duomo 98039 Taormina (ME)
Instagram – Ristorante al Duomo Taormina
Open every day – Lunch + Dinner

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lauraTaormina

From sunrise to sunset

Succo Sunset

During summer we have so many fruits and vegetable available it’s a shame not to get the best from each product.

I love juices and when Smeg challenged me to create a couple of them inspired by the color of my juice maker I thought about some of my favorite ingredients – berries, beet, tomatoes – and moments of the day: sunrise and sunset.

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The first juice, is inspired by my morning ritual – guess which one? Breakfast, of course :-)
Brush 2 beets, add some berries, ginger – as much as you like it – and one lemon: the awakening is guaranteed!

The second one is made for a healthy aperitivo. It’s a tomato juice with celery, cucumber, tabasco, salt and pepper. Don’t forget to chill your glass before serving.

If you are an Italian resident scroll down for a good news for you ⬇️
Succo Sunset Ingredienti Succo Sunset Ricetta:Scarto Succo Sunset Succo Sunset 2
Puoi partecipare al concorso di Smeg #MomentoBenessere per ricevere in premio un estrattore della linea anni ’50 e sbizzarrirti a preparare ricette e succhi.

Fotografa dall’alto gli ingredienti del tuo succo ideale per il tuo #MomentoBenessere.
Registrati sul sito Smeg50Style e carica la tua foto. Successivamente, condividi su instagram il tuo scatto utilizzando #MomentoBenessere e #smeg50style per partecipare all’estrazione.

 

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lauraFrom sunrise to sunset

An islander in the Finnish archipelago

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Do you know the largest archipelago in this world is the Finnish one?
I didn’t and I’m glad I had the opportunity to discover some of its hidden gems few days ago.
I was invited to explore the area between Helsinki and Turku with Lance Henderstein for the Tour de Relax hosted by Visit Finland.
We met in my beloved Helsinki together with other photographers and bloggers, we got a car and our tour started.
[This is a play and read post: some songs of the road-trip are in The Finnish Archipelago playlist on Spotify.]

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Day 1 – Turku and Naantali

We arrived in Naantali where we met Marianna from Visit Turku. She gave us all the information we needed to explore the region and to reach the National Park of Ruissalo for the Ruisrock Festival. Check Ricky-Tick Big Band out for some Finnish ska.
Naantali is also the home of the famous Moomin Family! If you have kids stop at the Moominworld, I’m sure they like it!
Where to stayNaantali Spa, Naantali
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Day 2 – Kustavi

We left Naantali to drive towards Kustavi. That night I had one of the best food experience in Finland at Kipina Pop-Up Restaurant. Look at this dessert as a sneak peek of the dinner prepared by chef Petteri Luoto.
Pekka Kuru, the owner of Kipina is also organising the Food and Fun Festival in Turku this October.
Where to stayPeterzens, a family owned boathouse complex. Leontina took care of us and we had the pleasure to chat with her and her young son. We watched the Euro 2016 Final match in the bar – food is also really good! – with other guests, Leontina’s brother and his golden retriever. Of course, thanks to my other love for the Iberian Peninsula I cheered on Portugal!
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Day 3 – Kustavi and Iniö

After breakfast we visited the Kustavi Artisan Village. Essi and her newborn, Felix, showed us what her parents built years ago: a villages dedicated to art and crafts with workshops, and I shaped my first pottery… Well, at least I tried! Her salmon soup made me forget about the rain.
In the afternoon we paid a visit to a weird building we saw on our way to Kipina Restaurant: Art Teatro.
If you want to challenge yourself and see how acrobatic you are, that’s your place!
We got on the last ferry to Iniö and we arrived at our Bed and Breakfast, owned by the very kind Tapani and Satu. A quick dinner and then the first and deserved sauna!

Where to stayBergshagen, Iniö
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Day 4 Houtskär and Korpo

Satu leaded us to the ferry, we arrived in Houtskär, had lunch in Näsby and then we reached our final destination of the day, the island of Korpo.
William, who is also the chef at Hotel Nestor, welcomed us in his Bed and Breakfast.
Some ribs for dinner – they say Buffalo Restaurant is the place if you look for meat on bones. I won’t disagree!
Where to stayHotel Nestor, Korpo

 

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Day 5 Korpo and Nagu

An early morning wake up call to meet Linnea. She lives in Korpo and with her, we walked the Barefoot trail in Retais – walking distance from Hotel Nestor – a path to discover art hidden in the woods – and the island of Korpo.
A lunch perfectly prepared by William, who is young but already talented and then off to Nagu.
In Nagu we visited Margot Wikström, a strong woman who quit her bank job to follow her dream of growing berries. Her farm, Tackork, is wonderland to me, and for the first time in my life I tried the Saskatoon berries – where can I find them in Italy?!? With this dilemma I ate a salmon soup right before having a hot Sauna.
Where to stay Stallbacken, Nagu.

 

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Day 6 Nagu

After breakfast, a stop at the farmers market to eat more saskatoon – ah! – and then we tried the famous Köpmans pike burger. Famous because it was good for real!
Patrik and his friend Veera joined us because – oh mamma! – Patrik was filming us for a short video about the Tour de Relax. And yes, we were so relaxed we missed our ferry to Pensar Syd where we were supposed to meet Eva and Petter the owners of the islands for a day of foraging into the wild. We have to come back, for sure.
Instead of discovering the natural delicacies of that tiny island, we tried to fish in the Baltic Sea, and we got… tons of seaweed!

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Day 6 Pargas

A new day for our final destination before going back to Helsinki: Pargas.
Minna at Sattmark, a building from the XIX century, made a delicious fish and chips and a fish plate for lunch. We already knew it was raining a lot, but what we didn’t know was that we were going to meet the reincarnation of Salvador Dalì himself that the afternoon!
Ted Wallin is an entrepreneur who opened Art Bank, a private exhibition of the Catalan artist and an art gallery featuring young artists. He is going to build in the city center a new place which architecture is inspired by – of course – Dalì!
With surrealist visions in my mind I drove back to the beautiful Villa Reuter. Sauna, hot tube and a dive in the Baltic Sea after a pike perch and chanterelle mushrooms dinner along with a couple of cold beers home-brewed by Patrik and Eva, made that night the perfect end for this journey.
Where to stay Villa Reuter

 

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With eyes full of the summer Finnish light and bellies dreaming about those berries, it’s time to return to Helsinki and saying good bye to this magic country. Once again, hope to see you soon, Finland.
Kiitos to Finnair and Visit Finland for this opportunity.

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lauraAn islander in the Finnish archipelago