Tallinn, Estonia

Mimi ON Aug 10, 2010 AT 12:34 pm

Tallinn town

Tallinn town

By Anna Mason

When you think about escaping for a weekend break, Estonia isn’t necessarily the first place that springs to mind, but the Capital town of Tallinn makes the perfect getaway.

A two and a half hour flight transports you to a fairytale world straight from the pages of a story book. Tallinn’s 13th Century Old Town is one of UNESCO World Heritage’s best-preserved medieval towns. With centuries old, pastel-coloured, chocolate- box houses, gothic spires and medieval markets, Hansel and Gretel would feel most at home here. It wouldn’t look out of place to see a medieval knight atop his trusty steed particularly since driving in the Old Town is largely prohibited.

But Tallinn isn’t a museum. A hybrid city, it mixes historic ambience with cutting- edge culture. Trendy cafes, bars, restaurants, boutiques and art galleries adorn the winding cobble-stone streets. A thriving, buzzy atmosphere in a compact town where everything is within walking distance

Schlossle exterior

Schlossle exterior

The Schlössle hotel is a beautifully preserved 13th Century building which is hidden away – like the Old Town’s best kept secret – on one of the cobbled-stone streets. Antique furniture, vaulted cellars, wooden beams, rooms with irregular corners and wall niches give the hotel real character and charm and with only 23 rooms (all luxurious and cosy) you get an attentive, intimate service.

As with all medieval buildings, at night it can get really hot. The thick, stone walls retain the heat from the sun’s rays and air conditioning can’t be installed due to The Schlössle’s status as a listed building. The hotel compensates for this by having fans in every bedroom.

Stenhus

Stenhus

The Hotel’s award-winning restaurant, The Stenhus, is regarded by Estonians as one of the finest restaurants in the country. You can enjoy sumptuous gourmet food by candlelight in your own medieval, vaulted cellar.

The courtyard is a wonderful setting for an al fresco breakfast. As you would expect from a Five Star hotel there’s a great selection of local and international breakfast options. The hot breakfasts come in small portions so you don’t feel like you’ve over-eaten.

For an authentic Estonia meal, The Golden Piglet Inn – owned by the same proprietors as The Schlössle – guarantees great food and service with traditional dishes like blood sausage and sauerkraut on the menu.

Alternatively, The Schlössle’s sister hotel, St. Petersburg has a traditional Russian restaurant, The Nevskij, complete with Russian singer and its own parrot! To make the most of this Russian feast, try the set menu and be aware of the waiter who keeps topping up your glass with vodka shots!

Click here to continue reading Anna’s review…

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