Minibars typically bring to mind feelings of shame and regret. They seem like a good idea when you finally return to your hotel room exhausted and desperate for a nightcap, but when the awful truth is revealed the next morning at checkout, that final late night drink does not seem to warrant the exorbitant cost.
Helsinki’s Minibar at Eerikinkatu is different. Your night may end in regret for any number of reasons, but at least the drinks will be tasty: get a Gin and Tonic, Old Fashioned, Negroni or ask what the bartender has been experimenting with lately. They will be happy to tell you, but don’t expect a lecture.
It’s a tiny bar (hence the name) with only a few tables and chairs. It is not the type of bar where people park themselves for hours to pound down beers. If you have a few minutes to spare, you can stop by for an expertly made drink. Simple, quick and efficient. In a city with its share of noisy and gimmicky bars, Minibar is pleasantly uncomplicated and easy.
Welcome to the blog! It’s dedicated to the things we like in and about Helsinki. Everything here is completely subjective and biased: if we (the writers) like it or think it particularly pleasant, we will write about it. If we don’t like something or think it’s merely OK, we will probably not write about it. If we find something that is too strange not to mention here, we might find something to say. It’s a fairly simple concept: write about the things that make life better for people who live in or around Helsinki.
The blog is divided into four categories: food + drink, art, health and style. All the categories are understood in broad terms. Food + drink is self-explanatory. Art includes a wide variety of arts and entertainment from exhibitions to movie theaters. Health refers to various health-related activities in town from gyms to flotation tanks. Style … I’m not completely sure yet what goes under “style”, but I’m sure we will think of something.
I use a flotation tank on a fairly regular basis. I know it may sound strange, but hear me out – I would like to make flotation tanks more approachable and encourage everyone to give them a try.
Let’s start with why anyone would want to enclose themselves in a tank full of salt water and float in it for extended periods of time. A flotation tank experience works like a power nap after a long and stressful day. It will not eliminate the causes of your stress, but it does give you time to unwind and refocus. People who exercise a lot will find it physically soothing, because it gives your body a chance to relax completely.
Friends wise to psychedelic lore often ask me: “Did you get a buzz? Any visuals?” “No,” I tell them, “but I did have a nice, relaxing, long think about my day.” Perhaps some people can trip out on floating in the tank, but most of us need something much stronger to reach the realms of elves and wizards. I can see why people would think that, however. There is something ritualistic in getting into the tank and closing the lid knowing that you will be completely alone in a room, in a tank, stuck inside your head for the next 90 minutes. Stuff will come up. If you are not ready to spend quality time with your thoughts in silent darkness, flotation tanks are not for you.
Before you begin, you should shower and put on earplugs. Both of these are supplied by Float Kallio. They also provide a floating support ring for your head if you feel you cannot keep it above the water. The tanks may sport colored lights, but you can turn them off if you prefer darkness. You can choose to have music at the beginning and end of your session.
There are virtually no rules to floating, but I have come up with at least one very strong rule of thumb: If your face itches, don’t scratch it! The water is extremely salty and if you get it in your eyes you will not have a good time. You can rinse it off with a spray bottle (if there is one in the tank) or by taking a quick shower, but it’s better just to avoid scratching that itch. It will eventually go away.