Food travels

Food travels

I’m one of those people who travels through my sense of taste. I love food. And I love them especially when the common blends and taste pairing are discarded, but, instead non-overlapping flavours are valued. Think about Indian food and the secret of its flavourful taste! I have to admit that food takes a huge portion of my spending. I’m never afraid to try something new and I enjoy expressing my compliments over a meal again and again and again…

During these COVID times, I illustrated more recipes to create travel memories through food. Fortunately, I don’t have to travel far to get a taste of delicious cuisine. In a two-minutes walk from home, an exotic meal awaits me! Here are my latest illustrated recipes. They can also be found on They Draw and Cook Website.

Imagine… Travel…

Imagine… Travel…

When the COVID crisis was just looming around the corner, we were in intense state of planning for a holiday in Shanghai. It was an exciting time. Flights and hotels were just a click away from purchasing until we came to our senses and realised that this was such a bad idea. Then COVID – 19 exploded…

Our plans changed to a holiday in Greece – Athens and Santorini. Flights and hotel accommodations were all bought. After all, Wuhan was far away from Greece. Then COVID – 19 entered Europe. We were on a lockdown. This was not only affecting our holidays but even more our work travels.

We remained positive and accepted that this is how it is. I didn’t really miss traveling until lately. It has been awhile now and I’m imagining myself sat at a cafe somewhere…

Well, during the past days, I created travel memories through illustrations. It was fun creating them. They brought me back during those times, although a bit of sadness was felt too. I wish I’m back in Asia.

Please walk with me and take the trip down the memory lane. There is nothing wrong in celebrating the past this way. Although these adventures will never be recreated, they were fun for as long as they lasted…

Golden Helsinki

Golden Helsinki

Autumn is my favourite season. Everywhere in Helsinki seems to be framed by this beautiful Autumn colours and the lovely golden backdrop. Helsinki is even more beautiful in Autumn and this year has been an endless supply of warm and sunshine.

One of the best places to see the Autumn colours is at the Hesperia Park. This park never ceases to amaze me and gives so much hope for the coming darkness.

All photos by Ari Vitikainen @http://arivitikainenphotography.com

Magical Kuusamo

Magical Kuusamo

It has been many months since the last time I was on an airplane. To be exact, it was on the 1st of December 2019, coming back from our holiday in London. Although there were many travel plans over the last months, the Corona virus put them all on halt. But September is a wonderful time to visit the northern Finland.

We flew to Kuusamo and from there, we explored the surrounding areas. We started in Myllykoski (rapids). The hanging bridge was the most magical of all!

And the Kitkajoki (river) is very beautiful in the midst of the Autumn backdrop.

Waiting for the sunrise on the top of Pähkänä Kallio was such a highlight. It was so beautiful that I almost forget how tricky it was to find the place in the dark.

While the sunset was on Konttainen mountain peak. Although, it was a blustery day, it was a sunset worthy of the climb.

We were always met by beauty as we drove around the area. Colourful trees lined up the roads. There were peaceful lake areas and blue foggy moments. We even found a small magical lake surrounded by multi-coloured tress. Beauty was everywhere! Autumn is indeed my favourite season.

But the climax of the trip happened during the last night of our holiday on Rukatunturi (fell) at midnight when the skies were clear and the stars were visible. There I experienced something I haven’t experience before under the massive night sky. The Northern Lights appeared above us, flickering as if begging for attention. It was the most beautiful thing ever!

But beauty didn’t stop there. On the way to the airport on a foggy morning… My heart overflowed with gratefulness!

All photos by Ari Vitikainen @arivitikainenphotography.com

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Konditoria Huovila

381A7F46-0163-4BC1-9043-D540429787F4Stood by the town hall in Hamina at 4 in the afternoon, I can’t help but think that it’s coffee o’clock! At this instance, the best move was to look at Google map and type in “the best coffee in town”. With no further delay, the result was Konditoria Huovila. Well, it was the cafe just right across the street from where we were standing with it’s tagline, “Joka hetki on juhlahetki”. (Every moment is a moment of celebration). How appropriate is that!

The Konditoria (confectionary) Huovila in Hamina was established in 1966 in a building constructed in 1888. The place is idyllic with many elements from the past. And the best part –  the coffee was good and the sweetness of the cakes was just right!

All photos by Ari Vitikainen@ https://www.arivitikainenphotography.com

Tammisaarin Kopparö

Tammisaarin Kopparö

Tammisaarin Kopparö is a huge camping ground located in the town of Raseborg, Finland. It is a fully equipped area making camping experience such a delight. The place is not only located by the river where guests can enjoy sauna and swimming, there is a beautiful forest trail. This trail is covered with blueberries, forest strawberries and wild flowers. Of course, there are squirrels too and deers.

All photos by Ari Vitikainen at https://www.arivitikainenphotography.com

Hanko Blues

Hanko Blues

It was almost 10:00 in the evening when we arrived in Hanko. The sun was peaking through the clouds after driving in the rain. Standing by the shore in a few minutes, I felt I already achieved what I came here for. The cool breeze, fresh air and the gentle sound of the crashing waves… The moon revealed itself too which ended the day in such grandeur.

The next day was even better. Sunshine, hair blowing in the wind, sand on my toes, watching the waves in an empty beach. It was Hanko Blues. Blue waters. Blue skies. It was a perfect beach day!

One of the highlights was to reach the southernmost tip of mainland Finland. It was a beautiful walking trail surrounded by nature. Also, that feeling of achievement to reach the tip, not peak though! Hanko is indeed a recommended holiday destination.

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All photos by Ari Vitikainen at https://www.arivitikainenphotography.com

Lake Tuusula

Lake Tuusula

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Located in Southern Finland, Lake Tuusula is considered the artists’ colony of Finland. In the early 1900’s, the Golden Age of Finnish Art, many masters left their imprint on the Tuusula Lake Road. Situated around this 6.0 square kilometres lake stood the houses of Jean Sibelius, Juhani Aho, Pekka Halonen, Eero Järnefelt, Joonas Kokkonen and Aleksis Kivi which are now turned into museums.

However, the main highlight was to visit the top of Sarvikallio. The cliff is steep but it gave an amazing view of lake Tuusula.

All photos by Ari Vitikainen at https://www.arivitikainenphotography.com

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Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna

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Suomenlinna is a popular island destination about 4 kilometres away from the Helsinki city centre. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and very popular among locals and tourists. It is a beautiful place to soak in the warm sunlight and breathe in fresh air. Personally, I just love to sit by the shore to watch the gentle waves rolling in.

I’ve been to Suomenlinna many times before but it was my first time to visit when it is covered in Bunias orientalis (Ukonpalko in Finnish). It is such an amazing sight in combination with the blue colours of the sea and sky. So beautiful! It is something not to be missed in June of each year.

All photos by Ari Vitikainen at https://www.arivitikainenphotography.com.

Tea moment in Helsinki

Tea moment in Helsinki

If you fancy an afternoon tea in Helsinki, I 100% recommend to head over to Brasserie Kämp along Pohjoisesplanadi Street. You won’t regret it, I promise. It will be a lovely afternoon spent in a beautiful place. You will have a choice between the Classic Afternoon tea and the Grand Afternoon tea. Take the latter as the lobster and caviar are a must to complete the setting. There are 13 tea selection. I prefer the Jasmine spiced green tea from Japan with its fresh taste and deep aroma.

All photos by Ari Vitikainen at https://www.arivitikainenphotography.com