There is a little cafe, in a little village, on a little island in the middle of the Finnish archipelago that I have not been able to stop thinking about.
This place is out of the way and can only be reached via a 20 minute ferry ride (or in my case, a 2 hour kayak trip), yet its delicious home cooked meals draw visitors from the surrounding islands and even the rest of neighbouring Europe.
It’s a place that doesn’t advertise itself, yet it has a loyal clientele that has for years been growing through word of mouth.
And most importantly, it’s a place where you immediately feel at home.
This very special place is Farmors Cafe, or Grandmother’s Cafe in Swedish.
The setting is nothing short of idyllic.
Having left our kayaks on the island’s pebbly shore, we walked along the dusty main road past barns, grazing farm animals, and cheerful coloured homes en route to the small village of Högsåra.
Nature was in full bloom adding to the magical feel of this place.
We approached a bright red home and took a seat at a wooden table outdoors.
All around us families were dining while children tried to feed the pet rabbits and then continued chasing each other around the farm.
Högsåra may have a total population of 50 most of the year, but on this glorious summer afternoon, the guests at the cafe far outnumbered the locals.
Inside, Farmors Cafe was bustling as people served themselves an array of pork cutlets with gravy, boiled potatoes, cold pasta salads, smoked salmon, hearty soups, and black rye bread with butter.
The dessert selection was nothing short of heavenly. There were trays stacked with white puffs of meringue, strawberry tarts with powdered sugar, carrot cake with cream cheese icing, lemon merengue pie, and sinful slices of chocolate cake.
I opted for the white chocolate cheesecake and every bite was savoured slowly as I attempted to make my dessert last longer.
We got to chat with Mats (whose family runs Farmors Cafe) over a cup of coffee and he explained that they prefer to think of this place as a cafe rather than a restaurant because a cafe maintains a very homey and welcoming family environment – something that this establishment prides itself in. And while the cafe has a light a la carte menu, the dishes at Farmors Cafe are ever changing with many of the family favourites making appearances on the menu.
I left Farmors Cafe feeling happy and relaxed, albeit a bit stuffed for the 2 hour return kayak trip.
If you ever find yourself in Finland, it’s definitely worthwhile tracking down this little cafe, on this little village, in this little island in the middle of the Archipelago Sea.
My visit to this wonderful little island was made possible by Visit Finland. Kiitos!