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NORDIC PLACES I WANT TO VISIT // FINNISH EXPERIENCE HOTEL KOTI IN PARIS

I have been eyeing out this place for a while, it simply is gorgeous and a great excuse for any Scandi lovers to take a trip to Paris.. The Koti hotel is a pop-up experience taking place in Paris for 100 days from January to May 2017 at the Institut Finlandais, a big sleepover in Finnish cabins!

The concept is simple; it’s a living art installation celebrating the Finnish home. There are 6 different cabins, during the day they are open to public viewing and in the evening they are available for guest to use. There is a daily schedule for all guests starting with quiet time & morning showers before a Finnish breakfast is served at a large communal table with specialities such as rye bread, salted butter and Finnish berries.

Getting back to nature in simple cabins can help us escape the busy everyday life and reconnect with family & friends. And the Finnish people are very good at just that, they like to enjoy frequent visits to the cabin as an essential part of everyday life. It really is a lovely way to relax and get away from the pressure and stress of daily life.

“Be our guest at Koti and escape the hectic pace of modern life. Savour the luxury of simplicity, the importance of home and the value of sharing unforgettable new experiences. Sleep in your very own cottage and indulge yourself with tranquility and communal hospitality right in the heart of Paris.” – Koti

You can book your stay through Airbnb. Because who wouldn’t want to have a sleepover in Finland, and waking up in Paris?

// Photo credit: Koti

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NORDIC PLACES I WANT TO VISIT // FIKA CAFE IN TORONTO, CANADA

Fika is a Swedish word that means to have a coffee break, the perfect name for this cute cafe located in Toronto. FIKA Café provides a cozy place for people to come and break away from the ordinary with typical Scandinavian treats, coffees and teas. Because in Scandinavia you take your time with the coffee, and if you want to have a coffee break the Scandi way then pastries are a must.

These lovely photos are from the Cereal website, and they show a light space full of character that looks inviting and cozy in that true nordic style. The logo is the dala horse, which was a popular toy for children in the old days but in modern times has become a famous symbol of Sweden and it’s culture.

If you live nearby you should stop by and have a fika with friends here, I know I would!

// Photo credit: Rich Stapleton

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MY HYGGE MOMENTS // COZY LUNCH DATE

I am a ferm believer in enjoying those little things in life, appreciate the moment and just be happy. I know there are so many things in life that can get you down (we all have those moments..) and because of that I think it’s important to have times to look back at and say to yourself “in that moment I was truly happy!” It can be things like meeting your best friend for a coffee & a chat, popping a prosecco bottle with a group of girlfriends or as simple as a walk in the park when the light hits the trees in that magical way. It can be laughing so hard that you start crying, getting a smile from a stranger just when you need it, or listening to your favourite music. Those moments are what keeps you going, those moments will lift your mood on a cloudy day and put a smile on your face.

For me one of those moments I will treasure for a long time was a cozy date with my boyfriend when we were in Norway. We decided to take a little drive to a place called Hå Gamle Prestegard, which is an old vicarage that served as the residence of a senior civil servant several hundred years ago. Today, as well as hosting exhibitions and events, you can find a cafe serving lunch as well as cakes and coffee for guests. When stepping inside you get that warm welcoming feeling, its like visiting someone you know and eating lunch in their living room. The cafe has the perfect Scandi vibe and the food is rural and hearthy. We had the chicken soup, which was perfect as it was a very windy, cold day. Sitting there in silence, enjoying the meal and looking out at the view of the pebble beach was one of those moments. A truly happy moment.

// Photo credit; Ingrid Opstad

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AUTUMNAL TRIP TO STAVANGER, NORWAY

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Last week I came back to Italy from a lovely week in Norway. Here are some autumnal images I took there to start your wanderlust off..

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While visiting Stavanger I had to check the newest addition in town; Kokko! After hearing so much about this coffee place I was very curious to see it for myself, and I was not disappointed. Kokko is a space for anyone interested in coffee, architecture & design. It is a café, but also has a architecture firm located on the top floor. Because of this the interior is very aesthetically pleasing with a lot of great details like an exposed brick wall, a cozy fireplace and a open wood shelf. There is also a great selection of design and lifestyle books for sale, and of course coffee plus delicious looking food.

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I also had a lovely walk along the Hafrsfjord walking path looking at cute houses, the beautiful scenery and breathing in the fresh autumn air – recommended if you are in the area!

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// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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NORDIC PLACES I WANT TO VISIT // THE DREAM HOTEL IN FINLAND

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I have never been to Finland, but I hope to visit one day! And when I do I would love to stay in this Dream Hotel designed by Studio Puisto. I’m loving the use of hanging basket seats and the strips of timber, it gives a very minimal and nordic look.

The hotel is located in an old factory building in the city centre of Tampere, along with a hostel. The rooms were designed in a basic style to keep costs low, and the focus was to create a private sleeping area for the guests. The rooms are very minimal, in the hallways you can find seating so that this space acts as communal living spaces. This helps to merge the hostel with the hotel, a great way to offer accommodation for all needs within one building.

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// Photo credit: Patrik Rastenberger

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JUST LIKE A SUNDAY HIKING TRIP IN NORWAY

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This Sunday we had a trip to the mountains, sometimes I forget how close it actually is. For a moment I almost felt like I was back in Norway on a Sunday hike.. I wanted to share some images with you to show that it is actually quite easy to get the Scandinavian feeling here in Italy, you just have to look for it.

Growing up Sunday’s were usually the day for family and a lot of times this meant being outside. We would go for hiking trips, walks in nature or exploring different areas around us. It was always a great way to end the week, to get a chance to switch of your brain for a bit and just enjoy the surroundings. Living in Italy can be quite different from back home in Norway, but in the north it’s actually not as different as you would think. The great thing is that it’s so easy to just jump on a train or in your car and get away for a day or a weekend, perfect for anyone with some serious wanderlust. We live quite close to one of the biggest parks in Europe, Monza Park, but sometimes I crave that mountains feeling. Because of that we decided to take a little trip yesterday to an authentic little mountain town about one hour from us; Piani Dei Resinelli. We arrived just in time for lunch, and found this super cute cabin serving Italian winter-food. How good does fried cheese-filled doughballs and blueberry (!) pasta sound?

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“The mountains are calling and I must go..” – John Muir

After the lunch we went to explore the area, and even ran into a group of goats. I had with me my trusted Kanken Fjällraven backpack, because us Norwegian’s will never go hiking without a backpack. Usually this backpack would be filled with hiking snacks like oranges, biscuits (a favourite being the classic Kvikk Lunch – Norwegian for “Quick Lunch”) & a thermos with hot chocolate. It’s important to keep the energy level up as well as being prepared incase of emergency, especially if its a “hangry” emergency!

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Little trips like this really is an energy boost, I now feel refreshed and ready to tackle a new week! In Norwegian we have a saying “ut på tur, aldri sur” (which translates to “out for a walk / hike, never in a bad mood”) and it’s so true.

// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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