Friday, December 29, 2006

3 days're you?

Woo! I like Tallinn! I've done nothing but drink, eat and walk for three days. Woo! I'm fat, happy and have muscular calves.

So yesterday we found this cool little wine shop in a 14th century building. The owner was a fairly young guy whose "hobby" was wine, so he opened a wine shop. He had a couple of tables in there, wedged into this tiny shop filled with shelf upon shelf of wine, and offered wines by the glass. He also offered great conversation. What a charmer! We had a few glasses of vino each, and ended up talking to him for a couple hours. He also gave us some rather large samples of champagne..yum! We bought some bottles of it from him....I would always rather buy from a person who not only enjoys what they sell but also enjoys people. If you ever go to Tallinn, go to In Vino Veritas, and have a glass of wine and a chat with Michael, the owner. You won't be disappointed.

After that we had dinner reservations at an Italian place called Controvento. It was in a 14th century warehouse. (Notice a trend?) OHMYFUGGINGGOD I had the best steak I have ever had there. A really nice filet in a mushroom sauce...holy crap it was good. Washed it down with more wine. Yummy yummy wine...numm.....

So today it was a bit hard getting up, but we managed. We went first to the Kadriog park, where there is a palace built by Peter the Great for his mistress, a slave of war who got traded around as war booty until she ended up married to him and crowned as Queen Katherine. The palace there was not too large, rather cozy and lovely, and had a great collection of art from countries other than Estonia. Some nice Dutch artists and a decent collection of portraits. We wandered around the park briefly but it was too cold, so we headed back into town guessed it...more food and drink. This time courtesy of the Olde Hansa, a medieval theme restaurant in a 14th century warehouse that is the be all and end all of tourist places, but actually manages to be authentic, charming, tasty and fun. The decor is phenomenal, the toilets were a hoot (I took pics, but you have to wait as I can't upload from this computer) the food was good and the whole place was lit by candlelight only. Gorgeous. For the boys, there's comely wenches galore, for the girls, there's boys in tights....what's not to love?

Tallinn is seriously one of the most gorgeous olde worlde townes I have ever seen...and did I mention the beer and the food?

Two local beers are widely available: Saku and A le Coq. They both have a good variety of flavors, my favorite always being the darker versions. At this one pub we went to, Hell Hunt, they also have a great selection of beers from Europe, all the ones I like including the Czech ones (Krusovice), Belgian wheat beers (Hooegarden) and similar yumminess. None go for more than $4 a pint.

There are lots of other good pubs, too....and believe me we hit as many as we could.


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