A trip to Tampere’s Niagara

Looking for something to do in Tampere during the long Easter weekend? One suggestion is you go see a movie in Niagara Cinema in Kehräsaari. The area alone is worth a visit for it’s unique atmosphere, craft boutiques and restaurants.

Info bit: In Finland, whether in TV or cinema, the movies and programs are always shown in original language and there are subtitles, never dubbing.

Niagara Cinema only has one screen but the point of this cinema is not to attract a huge crowd with Hollywood cra… stuff. Instead they show a lot of European films, Finnish movies and independent productions. If they have a Hollywood film on the program it’s likely to be a Wes Anderson or such sort.

Read more on Dirty Cars Million Cows weblog

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Ready for winter swimming?

The last weeks it felt as if the spring already arrived in Tampere, but further up north in Rovaniemi people are preparing themselves for the yearly winter swimming world championships which takes place from 20-23 March 2014.

Over 1.200 people from 34 countries will compete to become one of the toughest and fastest swimmers. Not only Fins, but also Russian and even participant from more tropical countries like Australia and even Thailand will take a dive into the cold water.

For me it is already hard to imagine swimming 50 meter after sauna, but during the championships there is even a 450 meter endurance swimming event.

Probably I will read all about the event from a comfortably warm place and I wonder if I will ever have the sisu to be able to endure such an activity.

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Only for women!

Once again the oldest public sauna of its kind will be open only for women. To celebrate International Women’s Day Rajaportin sauna will be exclusively open for women on Thursday March 6 at 15–22.

Both sides of the sauna (including men’s side) for women only and for FREE ENTRANCE

Address: Pispalan valtatie 9

Sauna Café opens at 14:30–22:30

• Offers sweet and savory special offers with special promotion: mud cake with whipped cream for 2 Euro

• Good selection of microbrewery beers and ciders

Massage therapists offer:

• A brief indulgence or a head massage 15 Euro / 20min

• 20% discount on the prices of longer treatments

Janne Passiniemi

(Kalevala treatment and head massage)

+358-50-3311294+358-50-3311294 (will be on call on the spot)

Adam First (rebalancing massage)

Reservations in advance: +358-45-2088350+358-45-2088350

Happy International Women’s Day!

More about the sauna on the Rajaportti sauna website.

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Tampere Film Festival

From 5-9 March Tampere is the center for short films. Tampere Film Festival is the oldest and the largest short film festival in Northern Europe, gathering together an active audience, filmmakers and other professionals from the Finnish film and television industry. The festival attracts over 30,000 festival goers and in addition 800 accredited festival guests.

The festival combines tradition, festivity and good vibes. The stage for the festival is the Tampere city center with primary location the Finlayson area. The main screening venue Plevna shows films from dawn till dusk, and both the festival center and the film market serve accredited guests in the same area.

Valaistunut – Tampere Film Festival 2014 from Tampere Film Festival on Vimeo.

More information about the festival and ticket sales can be found on the Tampere Film Festival website.

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Snow, ice and apple pie

Restaurant Day Dutch Delights - 16-02-2014

Restaurant Day Dutch Delights – 16-02-2014

Last week I was writing about the preparations for our pop-up cafe as part of Restaurant Day, but so far there were no pictures of the final result Now that we had some time to relax after the event and to sort out the pictures I just wanted to show you a little bit about the event.

Restaurant Day Dutch Delights during the evening.

Restaurant Day Dutch Delights during the evening.

After some days of working it was finally time to let people enjoy our event during Restaurant Day in Tampere. Unfortunately the weather was not cold enough to build what we were initially had planned, but we came up with a good alternative.

Snow and ice made a nice outdoor cafe.

Snow and ice made a nice outdoor cafe.

It is very likely that next winter will be normal again so we keep our plans alive. The snow and ice sculptures have been melting rapidly, but the memories will last. It was a true pleasure to share some of the Dutch Delights with foreigners, Fins and compatriots.

Read more about the event and the secret hot Chocolate recipe of the Restaurant Day’s Tampere outdoor cafe on the website Dirty Cards Million Cows.

It was warm and this is a before and after 16-02 (left) 17-02 (right)

It was warm and this is a before and after 16-02 (left) 17-02 (right)

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Restaurant Day

Coming weekend on the 16th of February the quarterly food carnival called Restaurant Day takes place in many towns and cities all over the world. The event has it’s origin in Finland so therefore one can visit many pop-up restaurants in Tampere.

This time we join the festivities by hosting our own pop-up ice cafe in the garden. As native Dutch we will serve you self made Dutch apple pie and to keep warm there is a selection of hot drinks including hot chocolate milk.

We have been working and are still working hard to create an atmospheric winter cafe. To have a look at some first preparations you can have a look at time-lapse to see part of the building process.

Unfortunately the weather has been way to warm for the time of the year and now we are still hoping for some frost, but the foundations are there and we will focus on baking a lot of apple pie. So whatever the weather we will serve you pie and warm drinks in our outdoor cafe and more information about the event can be found on our Restaurant Day Facebook event page.

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Do you want to be World Champion?

Did you have a dream to become a world champion and are you still lacking this title? No worries because on the 8th of February you can become the Snow Tango World Champion in Tampere.

Will the dancers make the snow melt with hot dance moves? You can have a look at the championships which take place on Keskustori, Tampere’s central square, between 12.00-14.30.

There will be a 5 persons strong jury that will decide who can call themselves Snow Tango World Champion 2014.

If you want to have a chance of winning make sure to join this event on Keskustori on the 8th of February at 12.00 and the event will last until 14.30.

If you want to have a chance of winning make sure to join this event on Keskustori on the 8th of February at 12.00 and the event will last untill 14.30.

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Delicious Runeberger’s torte

I got to know this day for it’s famous pastry which is typically eaten only in Finland, as far as I am aware of. Today is the day that Fins eat a pastry, named Runebergintorttu in Finnish, flavored with almond flour with leftover bread crumbs to give it texture and usually there is raspberry jam in a sugar ring on the top of it. This pastry is consumed from early January to the 5th of February, which is the date that Runeberg’s day is officially celebrated in Finland.

It is said that the pastry is created bij Runeberg’s wife Frederika Runeberg and this pastry now marks the anniversary of one of Finland’s most important poets.

The words of the Finnish National Anthem are based on Runeberg’s poem “Vårt land” (Swedish), ”Maamme” (Finnish) or ”Our Land” in English.

But enough about the background – most important is the recipe so you can make some yourself.

Runeberger's torte

Runeberger’s torte


200 g margarine or butter

2 dl sugar

2 eggs

2 dl wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cardamom

2 dl sweet bread crumbs (e.g. crumbled biscuits)

2 dl ground almonds (appr. 80 g)

1 dl cream

solid raspberry jam

To moisten:

2 dl water

1 dl sugar

2-3 tbsp arrack liqueur or rum


solid raspberry jam or marmalade


1 dl icing sugar

2 tsp water or lemon juice

Start to preheat the over to 200°C

Mix the butter/margarine and sugar and add the eggs while you keep mixing the ingredients. Then you start adding the baking powder and flour.

Grind the almonds you mix them with the bread crumbs and then put that also in the mixture together with cardamom and the cream.

Make sure that you grease the muffin moulds and them put the mixture in them leaving enough room for it to raise. Make a hole in the middle of each muffin and fill that with jam. Now you place them in the over for 15 minutes.

Boil water and let the sugar melt and add some flavor with the alcohol. And this mixture you use to moisten the muffins. Now you can also add dome more jam while you let the muffins cool down. While it cools down you mix the icing sugar, water and lemon juice and when the muffins are cool you add a circle of icing around the jam.

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One kilometer of winter wonderland

It has been a warm winter so far, but a bit over a week ago winter arrived to Tampere. It brought us cold temperatures unfortunately almost without snow, at least not enough to make a cross-country skiing track.

It is common that one can ski in Tampere from early January, but things turned out different this year. Fortunately with a little help of mankind and machinery Tampere managed to create about one kilometer of skiing tracks plus a practice area in Kauppi forest.

Tampere cross country skiing

Cross country skiing practice round in Tampere

As an addict to cross-country skiing I decided to try out the one kilometer of track in Kauppi forest and to enjoy the sunshine last weekend. For the first time in her life my girlfriend was on skies and I was trying to teach her some skills. After a while she got more comfortable on the ski’s and this was the time for me try out the tracks since we were still on the practice area.

Dutch are used to traffic jams, but back home they take place on the roads. I could have never imagined I would be in a traffic jam om the skiing track, but for the first time in my life this happened. Due to the weekend with nice sunshine there were dozens of others on this one kilometer.

A busy day at the skiing tracks in Kauppi forest

A busy day at the skiing tracks in Kauppi forest

We are still waiting for a lot of snow to fall although we had some promising gray sky on Monday morning, unfortunately the sky cleared up and no snow came. While writing this on Tuesday morning I could see a couple of flakes coming down from the sky, but this can hardly be called snowing.

So that means the snow machines will have to keep doing their job in order to give is more meters of skiing track day by day.

Winter in Tampere - snow machine in Kauppi forest

Winter in Tampere – snow machine in Kauppi forest

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How to make your own glögi

Christmass time is the time of the year I associate with glögi. Glögi is Finnish mulled wine and this sweet tasting treat always keps we warm during cold winters. This year we are stil waiting for winter to arrive, but that is no reason to postpone making some glögi.

It is possible to buy readymade alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic glögi in the shop, but I prefer making it myself. The only danger of making the drink yourself is that it will taste so good that you can’t stop drinking ;)

There are different kinds of glögi and although red glögi is most common there is also the less common white glögi. I made some red glögi and I will share you that recipe plus two others.

Red glögi

Ingredients for glögi

Ingredients for glögi


1 bottle red wine

3 – 4 thin slices of fresh ginger

1 cinnamon stick

6 cardamom seeds

6-8 cloves

1 orange, zest and juice

1 lemon, zest and juice

sugar, brown sugar or honey to taste

making glögi

making glögi

Put all the ingredients except the sugar into a pot and heat it up just under boiling point. Now you add the sugar and you leave the pot for another 10 minutes on low heat before you pour it all through a sieve. Serve the drink with raisons and whole or sliced blanched almonds.

Alcohol free glögi


1 litre red grape juice or black currant juice

A few strips of organic orange peel

1 cinnamon stick

6-8 whole cloves

4 cardamom seeds

very small piece of fresh ginger

Make sure you have thoroughly washed the orange and then peel some thin slices of the zest. Pour the juice in a pot and add a cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, ginger and the slices of zest. Heat up the mixture to about 90 degrees and make sure it doesn’t boil. Keep the pot on low heat for about 10 minutes. Pour the drink through a sieve and serve with raisons and blanched almonds.

White glögi


750 ml apple cider, fruity white wine or light/white grape juice
½ apple
2 spoons of brown sugar
1 stick cinnamon
3 – 5 cloves
¼ tsp mace

After you have peeled the apple you make thin slices and you add those to the cider in a pot. With the pot on the stove you add the spices and sugar and bring it to just under boiling point. When it almost reached boiling point you keep it for another 10 minutes on low heat. Pour the drink through a sieve and it is ready to serve. You can use the slices of apple which you sieved out as garnish. And like the red version of the drink you also serve this with raisins and blanched almonds.

Drinking a warm glass glögi

Drinking a warm glass glögi

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