May 11, 2018
Run by the charismatic Barbara ‘Piri’ Ettel and taking its name from the Finnish icebreaker ship on which she spent her honeymoon, welcome is everything at this character-rich Berlin bar. There’s a Finnish influence evident in both the décor and the drinks list. The latter consists of classic cocktails (including a decent range of non-alcoholic drinks) and Finnish specialties, while the interior has a smattering of maritime paraphernalia and artefacts that conjure up the ship it is named after we’re particularly taken by the model ships, given a touch of whimsy by a crew of lounging polar bears. (The drinks list, too, is nautically themed, from the Cabin Boy alcohol-free selection, through First Mate to the Captain’s choice we’d recommend the refreshing gin gimlet). The bar itself is small, smoky and cosy, done out with Finnish minimalism and pared back style. While it has to be said the place looks fairly unprepossessing from outside, it’s worth pushing through the door and taking a look inside. Friendly and welcoming, Ettel is an exemplary hostess as well as a dab hand with a cocktail shaker. She can whip up a note-perfect Dark and Stormy, but the drinks are only half the story. This is a bar with real personality and that’s what counts. There are happy hours 6-8 most days and, like many in Berlin, the bar stays open till well into the early hours it can be a little quiet early on, so when you decide to visit will probably depend on how laid back you like your bars, but chilled out or busy, it’s definitely worth a go.