Rumours have been circulating lately about the islands that lay between Pargas and Iniö. Long revered for their lush countryside and glittering shores, there are now whispers about the countless restaurants and vineyards here, serving up a little slice of foodie heaven. Well, we are happy to report that the buzz is well and truly justified. Need proof? Here are five places you (and your taste buds) won’t want to miss.
Just 18 kilometres from the city of Pargas is Tammiluodon Viinitila, a popular vineyard with some curious creations. You’ll know, of course, that most wines are grape-based, but it is the humble apple that takes centre stage here. Tammiluodon Viinitila is home to some 9,000 apple trees and the harvested fruit is the key ingredient in their liquors, ciders, and wines. The vineyard also makes berry-based products, like a sweet dessert wine with strawberries and red currants, perfect for a picnic on a balmy summer’s day.
Right in the heart of Nagu is Köpmans, a delightful café-restaurant and B&B. Not only is everything prepared from scratch, but Köpmans strives to incorporate as much local produce into their menu as possible. The chef even makes jam from treasures found in the restaurant’s garden. Famous for their munkit (sugary doughnuts) and korvapuustit (cardamom and cinnamon buns), Köpmans is also earning a reputation for its decadent chocolate cake. Hungry yet? Us too.
Restaurant Back Pocket
Back Pocket is the brainchild of owner and chef, William Hellgren. Passionate and creative, Hellgren honed his skills at the three Michelin-starred restaurant, Frantzén, in Stockholm. He has since returned home to his beloved Korpo to put his training to the test and it’s fair to say that it has been a rousing success. Every plate is like an artwork and the menus sparkle with flavour and flair. And the cherry on top? The restaurant is part of Hotel Nestor, so once you’ve squeezed in that fifth course, you can simply crawl into bed.
Built in 1929, Hyppeis Värdshus was once the village school. But the building has undergone several transformations over the last century and now houses a welcoming hotel and restaurant. It’s all about local produce here: vegetables and fish are sourced from Houtskär and meat from nearby Korpo and Nagu. The kitchen is usually in the capable hands of the talented Sabina Fagerlund, but as an extra treat on summer evenings, Fagerlund hands over the reins to a star-studded line-up of guest chefs.
Run by Suvi and Tom Lindqvist, the charming Erkas Gården is found on the island of Jumo. The pair have years of restaurant experience between them and it shows in their carefully crafted menu. Not content to rest on their laurels, the Lindqvists have now also opened a tiny dairy: Jumon Juustola. The handmade products are in high demand, but it’s not surprising: how could any self-respecting dairy devotee resist gingerbread ice-cream?