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Destination Helsinki

3 October 2018

You would be forgiven for overlooking Helsinki as a design destination, but on a recent visit to the Finnish capital's Design Week interiors editor Rory Robertson discovered that it is, from various perspectives, a haven for interiors inspiration and exciting newness to inspire our latest homeware trends.

Are you an interior design fan? Read on. 

Whilst the design shows proved insightful, and there will be more to come on that shortly, it was the city itself which impress us tenfold.

Put New York, Paris and London aside for a second, and think laterally about where you can go this autumn for an easy-to-reach, and less discovered, weekend getaway.

The city of Helsinki should be high on your list, and here’s why.  

Where to stay and the latest in hotel style

Hot footing it into Helsinki, which takes a nifty 30 minutes from the plane to the hotel doorstep, we arrived at what is one of the Finnish capital’s edgiest places to see and be seen.

The St George Hotel is a recently opened establishment that mixes Georgian architectural elegance with some rather funky and contemporary statement art, all tied together with a heart-warming and inspiring eco-friendly ethos to improving your wellbeing and reducing your carbon footprint. That, in itself, is enough to hook us in.

Linger in the foyer long enough and you’ll soon notice that there’s an epic full size wire horse sculpture hanging above you, and once checked-in, take a meander down to the in-house bakery to eye-up what tasty treats you’re going to tell yourself you’ll avoid, but then end up ordering 3 of. But the majority are vegan and gluten free, so why feel any guilt?

On our hotel tour, which is one of our favourite things to do because it’s a green card to be incredibly nosey, we spied some great interior design ideas that we would like to take home. Think the latest in luxury hotel style, including: sumptuous high quality bedding, scatter cushions of dreams and armchairs and console tables and desks fit for a king.

Get your culture fix and visit the brand new Amos Rex exhibition centre

You could be walking through Helsinki city centre and never know this is here, but lying underneath one of the cities most prominent art deco buildings, the original Bio Rex cinema theatre, lies one of Europe’s most exciting new contemporary art spaces – Amos Rex.

So if you love art and like to be both ahead of the game and appearing enviably cultured, then put it on your list of must see spaces and get your ticket reserved in advance, if you don’t then expect to queue, it’s a popular place.

Amos Rex is currently showcasing a light and technology exhibition, called Teamlab, that is being praised by critics for its avant-garde interactive technology. It’s fun for all the family.

Gen up on Helsinki history and take a trip to the Helsinki Design Museum

Having been founded in 1873, the museum plays host to a variety of cultural events and exhibitions all year round. Housed in a beautiful old building in the heart of Helsinki’s design district, it’s a hub of creativity and offers visitors the experience to walk through, quite literally, the decades of Finnish design.

And if that doesn’t appeal, there’s an excellent café and shop.

Shop from a selection of future design classics at Next...

Get close to a design legend and visit the studio of Alvar Aalto

One of the highlights of a trip to Helsinki has to be a tour of the home of design legend Alvar Aalto. If you haven’t heard of him before, he is one of Finland’s most famed designers and architects, and remains, years after his death, influential.

Visit Studio Aalto before you leave Helsinki, it’s worth the short taxi ride to the Helsinki suburbs.

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