Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Medieval Tallinn and Olde Hansa Restaurant

As you may have deduced from my posts from the Turku Medieval Fair and the Häme Medieval Fair, we are something of Medieval enthusiasts. This is one of the reasons we like Tallinn: the old, Medieval part of the city is so beautiful. We always spend most of our time in Tallinn walking around the narrow alleys, admiring the lovely houses and just enjoying the atmosphere.

The old Town Hall Square and the Town Hall (during the day and at night).

You always discover something new. This time we ended up in an apothecary museum. It was a lovely old room with lots of information about medicine in the past. The glass jars on display featured such items as a mummy’s hand, a hedgehod, a frog... These fascinated my daughter endlessly. It was a small place, but very interesting!

One of the places we always go to is the Medieval restaurant Olde Hansa. It is a stunningly beautiful place, the staff is dressed in Medieval garments, and there is often live music in the evenings (the ”house band”, Olde Hansa Musicus). Downstairs you can find a Medieval Shoppe with pottery, glass ware, jewellery, soap, leather belts and purses, clothes...

As we often do, we spent one night in Olde Hansa. I said one night, because this is a restaurant where you want to order three courses or linger over drinks just to enjoy the atmosphere, it truly is something special. It also gets rather crowded when the night progresses, so it's good to plan ahead and not be in a hurry. The food is very authentic; you will find no potatoes or tomatoes or chocolate here (alas, no mead, either!) but barley, various meats and fish, pastries etc. Olde Hansa is the house of a rich merchant, so you dine like well-to-do people might have done (not everyone had access to expensive spices, like ginger and peppers, for instance). The service is friendly, and you get to hear little stories about the dishes and old dining customs etc.


We started with delicious toasted cheese flavoured with juniper and herbs which was served with nut bread. This was very good. The main course was chicken in almond sauce. This was also very tasty, although the portion was much too large for me (especially after splitting the cheese thing with my daughter).

For dessert, we ordered rose pudding. This dish looked absolutely charming, very romantic – and it did taste like roses! It was a creamy, silky, rich pudding but not too filling. Just the right thing to finish off a wonderful meal.

We like this place so much that, three years ago, we chose it as the place (well, one of them) where we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.

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