This week is Design Week in Helsinki, and it must be the best week to be in Helsinki (obviously it has taken me a while to post this blog. Just had so many hot chocolates on this trip. Sorry! But there is an open call right now for participants for the 2016 Design Week so perhaps the timing is perfect).
Founded in 2005, Helsinki Design Week is the largest design festival in the Nordic countries. Held annually in September, the multidisciplinary festival presents design from a number of fields as well as fashion, architecture and urban culture. It is a great time to visit because there are countless interesting events happening across the city that gave an extra opportunity to highlight the stunning design stores located, in particular, in the Design District, an area of the city that is just filled with Design stores.
There were over 200 events during Design Week. Some were organized specially for the event, such as the Design Market, some were installations found throughout the city, while many were events within design stores, museums and spaces. We spent time in as many as we could and were romanced into spending a bit of money. This evening Ittalla, a very famous Finnish glass brand, (which now does so much more than that) had an event with a DJ and lots of licorice (they love their licorice here) and 20% off everything so we had no choice but to get a gorgeous Aalto vase, a classic.
But to backtrack a little, we started our day of Design exploration right at the southern tip of the Design District, at Moko Café and Market. Although not officially on the Design Map (yes the tourism office produces a fantastic map of all the design stores), Moko is a great little store filled with colorful, and unique pieces for the home. They have coffee roaster where you can get some great coffee, and lots of great spots throughout the store to sit and enjoy it. The other side of the store has a café which serves great, simple food that changes daily. Today they had, and we had, incredible cauliflower soup and some pasta with meatballs…and a hot chocolate. The hot chocolate was unsweetened cocoa powder mixed into just slightly warmed milk and was ok, but the food and atmosphere, and the store in particular are more worth the detour.
Design Week takes place every year and the group that organizes it also has a publication that presents design information in Helsinki weekly.
Verdict: Worth the little detour .Moko Café and Market, Perämiehenkatu 10, Helsinki, Finland