The old town of Porvoo steals your heart with it’s beauty – and your money with the great selection of boutiques. Every time I go there, I cannot but go into my favorite shops: toy store Riimikko, tiny design boutique Design Deli and delicacy store Skafferi. And almost every time I get out with something new in my bag. I just can’t resist!
Riimikko is an old fashioned toy store with tempting show windows (and less tempting homepage). On the windows you can always see white hippo looking figures called Moomintrolls, this time in christmassy atmosphere. Tove Jansson, one of the best known Finnish writers, invented them at the age of eight, when competing with her brother Lars about who can draw the ugliest character ever. Tove lived in Helsinki but spent her summers in the archipelago of Porvoo, and that’s why you could say that the Moomins are from Porvoo where she draw the first sketches.
Design deli offers well selected collection of Finnish design such as charming tea towels of Kauniste, Lumi bags and their own Porvoon Pirkko tableware with matryoshka doll figures. Skafferi instead looks and smells just delicious! It is an old colonial store originally founded by Fanny Parhiala in Helsinki already in 1914. Today behind the counter you are served kindly by Fanny’s great-great-granddaughter.
After the hard shopping tour – or in my case, when you can’t feel you toes anymore – it is time to relax in Café Helmi where crystal chandeliers hang from the ceilings and the colorful wallpapers are covered by pictures of the Russian tzars and their family members. During the summer you can enjoy your peace of cake (just delicious!) and a cup of tea or Finnish coffee (I don’t recommend their espressos) outdoors in the backyard terrace, but in the winter the best places are by the old tile stoves, still in use.