Sunday, 20 December 2009

Ice cream shops in Finland

People who know me know live in Kouvola ... its also not a secret what I think about the place. Well Kouvola has an incredible and good secret (not the railway station), it is home to the best hand made ice cream in Finland. Ice Cream or as its known locally Jäätelö

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you ...


Kouvola is a bleak and grey Finnish town (perhaps this comes across a little in the image above), but just behind the glass windows of the store front resides an interior of colour and flavour which is a breath of fresh air in the bleak greyness of Kouvola. While Kouvola would be an ideal town for a director like David Lynch to re-shoot a bleak surreal movie such as Eraserhead, it is not the sort of place where you'd expect to find rich colours and great tasting ice cream ... but as it happens Kouvola is home to the best ice cream shop in Finland.

Certainly this shop belongs more to a place such as Helsinki, Tampere or Turku.

Perhaps predictably enough the owner is not a Finn, but an Argentinian who moved here (with his Finnish wife, why else...) and found that he couldn't get a job. Not one to be held down by the prejudices of others Sergio has built himself a job ... and what a great job he has done!

caminitoIceCreamAs soon as you walk in the door you're greeted by an assortment of excellent ice creams of the like you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else in Finland.

As well as taking advantage of local flavours (such as Metsamarijat) you can find exotic and delicious flavours from Mango and Banana through to the (just tried it today) Jasmine flavour.

Yes, Jasmine, just as in the Chinese tea.

Its just great.

Naturally Sergio serves coffee (both the crap drip filter style often served up here and quite nice Espresso), hot chocolate a selection of Teas and even some home baked breads and pastrys (for the genuinely hungry).

Everything is made on site by the owner Sergio (who being Argentinian loves bright colours). Naturally the interior is decorated in the colours of his home town, with some bright oil paintings of the region adorning the walls.


Downstairs he has his ice cream making factory as well as more tables for patrons and even a playground for the kids.

downstairs at Caminito in Kouvola

Naturally even the reserved and stoic Finns enjoy hanging out here during the long summer days, and despite not selling beer or other booze here seems to attract quite a turnout.

Lets face it, its nice to be able to take the kids somewhere away from the typical beer selling Kahvilla (and the people you typically find there) isn't it...

As you may have noticed on this blog, I don't do free advertising; so this isn't an ad. In fact its quite unlikey that anyone reading this blog will even be in Finland. I just thought that it was quite funny to find such a Jewel in this place. Either way I love it and I hope it continues to do well.

I really like Sergio, he's a lovely fella with a great attitude on life. He and his brother inlaw work bloody hard on this place and they deserve to succeed (not sure that the average Kouvola resident deserves such good ice cream though). I spent some time to do some photography for him of his place, and thought I'd also use the same images on this blog to plug him a little (not that its likely to help so much ...)

Anyway ... if you're in Kouvola drop in ... perhaps I'll see ya there!

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