This elusive family of gentle trolls that inhabit the imagination of children across the world, are pretty hard to find. Head west of Helsinki about 100 km, and you might come close to spotting one in the spectacular countryside near Karjaa.
Mustion Linna or Svartå Manor (pronounced ‘svart awe’) is tucked away along a country road and is the proud possession of the Linder family who have owned it since the early 18th Century. A museum of course it should be, but in the capable hands of Christine and Filip Linder and Maria his sister, the many majestic and quaint buildings with the magnificent gardens that sweep down towards the lake, have been transformed into a multi-faceted business. Hotel guests are put up in uniquely styled rooms with modern conveniences, the sauna is next to the water which lures you into taking a dip while the restaurant has a small but carefully selected menu using only local ingredients many of which come from the farm itself. A culinary school is at the disposal of groups where they’ll teach you how to whip up dishes that you never thought you would even begin to attempt. The museum gives you a peek into the lives of the nobility that had close connections with this place and can only be visited with a guide. There’s a summer theatre and plenty of events happening especially in the warmer months. The children can look for Moomins while the adults relax on the terrace overlooking the immaculate surroundings.
If you don’t find Moomins there, you might just come across them in the fairy world of Fiskars, arguably the prettiest town in Finland. Oozing charm from its wooden houses, mill and river, this place used to serve as a foundry once upon a time. Today artists and crafts people occupy these spaces and take exceptional care of them. Finnish design can be seen in every nook and cranny of the boutiques and restaurants and a major exhibition takes up room from May to September. This year ‘Kasvu, Tillväxt, Growth’ is organic and earthy and pretty wild with 45 works to intrigue, puzzle and wow you.
Have lunch at the famous Wärdshus Restaurant where you can also spend the night. The local brewery is a class act and calls itself Rekolan Panimo. They are extending their craft beer selection to gin and whisky in the near future once the distillery is up and running. In the meanwhile, try their Metsän Henki or Spruce Shoot beer, it’s different and apparently their biggest seller. Café’s are in plentiful supply but there’s one that’s just a little different. It’s called The Laundry. Soak up the sun, sip on a cold one while overlooking the pond or stay the night in their cute little B and B.
Fiskars has it all. Their summer programme is jam-packed with events including the Beer Camp with products from micro breweries and lots of munchies to drive away the hunger pangs and Faces Festival in August, celebrating multiculturalism and world music. Nature lovers can take long walks in the truly beautiful surrounds and who knows, you might come across a little creature hiding in a crevice? Don’t be afraid, it’s only a Moomin and they’re known to be gentle and kind.