May 11, 2018
Facing the lovely tree-lined Esplanadi Park in the city’s commercial heart, the uber-luxurious Hotel Kamp is arguably the smartest spot to bed down in Helsinki. Known for its luxe rooms and decadent spa, the historic, neo-classical hotel is also home to one of the smartest places in Helsinki to drink. Dating back to 1887, the street facing, ground floor Kamp Bar is both elegant and opulent. Lit by sparkly chandeliers; walls hung with prints of works by the19th century artists who frequented the hotel, the bar area harks back to a time when it was customary to come to come to Kamp Bar to see, be seen, and hear the latest news from abroad. Attracting a steady stream of business types, the same can be said today. While somewhat more modern, the dress code is undoubtedly smart most guests don suits simply to quaff beer here, and you’d definitely feel out of place in a pair of jeans. Having embraced Helsinki’s emerging cocktail culture (interestingly many locals still prefer beer and the ready-mixed Gin Long Drink, also known as a Lonkero, originally developed for the Helsinki Summer Olympics in 1952), there are some smart tipples on offer here alongside the thick wine list favouring European varieties. Of course, one could never be left hungry at a place like this, and Kamp Bar’s adjoining brassiere offers a killer Finnish-style Sunday brunch alongside its regular menu. During the summer months, the brassiere section opens onto the street, while heaters keep the glass-walled area toasty during winter.