We took the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn, Estonia. Tallinn has a elegance about it, probably helped by the uber cool decorated apartment we stayed in. By far the most spacious apartment we stayed in and being together 24/7 the extra space was welcomed! It was cold, boy it was cold, you know when you start buying some seriously ‘dodgy’ head gear at the first souvenir shop you can find.
I will remember Tallinn most of all for some seriously good food, cool interior restaurants and oh my the black bread. If you are following me on Facebook and Instagram you will remember that the bread justified two picture posts – it was that good, in fact it was the best bread I have ever tasted. I love bread but these days it does not seem to like me back – maybe it’s my imagine, maybe it’s the abuse the poor carb is getting these days, who knows, but I don’t tend to have bread these days.
The lovely waitress at The Farm Restaurant in Tallinn (worth a visit just to see the animal display) sold the bread to me – I had no choice honestly. Soft and malty, it would justify going back to the restaurant just for that – we left with a doggy bag! I had the spiced sprat with black bread, pickled onions and horseradish sour cream and it was delicious. In the Baltic Sea, sprat along with cod and herring (oh dear the ‘roll mops’ again) are considered the most important species of fish. I felt oblige to give it a go.
The next day we gave Tallin’s no1 restaurant a go for lunch which was a welcoming escape from the cold. Rataskaevu 16 is beautifully nestled in the old town and the restaurant has no name but is very popular and one must book to ensure a place. It was quick to see why, funky decor, fresh food and very very reasonable priced with most mains being under £15. Again the bread stole the show! Their variety of black bread was made with pumpkin and was fermented for 40 days (yup that’s what the waitress said) with the result being the softest bread ever tasted but with lots of texture if that makes sense? I have researched the recipe for black bread and there are plenty of versions to make one confused but most recipes call for a rye started as well as a sourdough starter with both starters having had lots of time to ferment.
We finished our 2 days with more eating with Restaurant ‘O’ – a wonderful tasting menu that felt clean and fresh at the same time. We left with a doggy bag of bread – obviously.
We did manage to do some sightseeing amongst all the eating and exploring the Old Town is off course the highlight. We managed to pop into some Afrikaans speaking Namibians in one of the souvenir shops, trying on gloves this time, (damn you Arctic wind) who told us of the most beautiful Northern Lights they saw the night before (grr) and how thankful they are the pound is now so weak as they make their way to London (grrr). A quick visit to Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Olevista Church is memorable but I just loved the town walls encasing the old town – just magnificent.