FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Unexpected discoveries in Tallinn

Posted in Estonia, Tallinn by folkestonejack on July 1, 2019

Every trip has its unexpected moments – a new taste, a new discovery or a new perspective on something familiar. Our trip to Tallinn had all three. I thought I would pick up on a few of those.

Ice yachting

I had never come across ice-yachting before I visited the the Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour. The yachts on display looked fascinating, and the moment I saw some footage I was completely enthralled. I was left wondering how I had never been aware that such a thrilling sport existed. The way that the yachts glide so gracefully over the glistening ice is quite extraordinary.

Porcelain dogs

Scandinavian sailors had a thing about buying pairs of porcelain Staffordshire dogs when they stopped off in English ports as a sign of devotion to their wives. I’m not sure this was entirely in the interests of the sailors if the caption in the museum was true – apparently dogs arranged in the window looking out to sea were a sign that a wife was on her own and in need of some company!

The must have purchase for Scandinavian seamen

I had never heard this before and certainly not seen any mention of it in maritime museums I had visited in the British Isles. However, it clearly was a Scandinavian tradition as we would go on to discover porcelain Staffordshire dogs on display in museums in Mariehamn, Turku and Helsinki. Strange how something familiar turns up in a completely different context.

Surprising tastes

In our short stay we sampled some incredible dishes at two rather wonderful restaurants which I would recommend without any hesitation.

The first of these was Kaks Kokka which served up an incredible five course tasting menu which managed to make a dish out of five variations on cauliflower. However, the absolute star dish was undeniably a juniper creme brulee served with gin and tonic gel.

The second was Rataskaevu 16 which served up the most remarkable frozen blue cheese cake (yes, it’s really made with blue cheese!). I would never have guessed that this could work so well. It was a very subtle but unmissable flavour and is absolutely divine. The rest of the meal was pretty superb too, but the dessert was definitely the highlight.

Gelato Ladies

A hot day prompted a frantic online search by my heat-averse travelling companion until the nearest source of rescue was identified – Gelato Ladies. This small shop did more than just revive with some rather incredible home made ice cream. I opted for two scoops – rhubarb and elderflower+mint – which were simply incredible. It’s definitely worth seeking out.

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