lauantai 5. joulukuuta 2009

Arla Sauna

After we introduced our Sunday opening hours Sunday Sauna at Arla quickly became a tradition of ours. There is no place I would rather be after a long week of work than at our next door neighbour public sauna Arla.

Arla has served and washed the people of Helsinki since the late 1920s and with the well-perserved deocr of the facilities all of your senses can experience the history of our city. The shower room and massive sauna stove are both rustic and beautiful as well as mildly creepy and, well historical, all at the same time. The ceiling of the sauna room is tainted black and all work-related thoughts vanish while you find different images, shapes and figures in the ceiling..

History aside, at the end of the day you always go home feeling cleaner, softer and more relaxed than you have since (in our case) the week before when we last visited :)

Arla is open wed-sunday, 14-21, Kaarlenkatu 15.

perjantai 27. marraskuuta 2009

i made this

Tiina Palm's playful and colourful accessories have been added to our shop! Perched on our birdcage are several graceful bird earrings and necklaces from Tiina's I Made This Tender collection, which is described as follows;

"Tender jewelry is
pure handmade aesthetics
for gentle fingers and loving souls.
These delicate creatures with
a heart of metal
and exterior of feathers
need a little love & affection
so please treat them with
extra special care and respect
like you would treat a very dear friend."

Tiina has a blog full of inspiration, promoting all things positive (it really pulls you in.. in a good way! So much to discover) and several different collections under her I Made This label. You can see some great pictures of her Tender collection in this post, as well as some great pics of our cafe and the little birdies in this post! Visit;

tiistai 17. marraskuuta 2009


psst. our little blog has been quiet lately...

but... it has not been quiet at the cafe.

and there is so much happening during the next few days and it was impossible to stay quiet here at the blog anylonger!

picture credits: Thomas Söderström

First let me tell you about something past... Ottilie. Ottilie, oh Ottilie! (time to stop the itlalics "whispering"!) What an amazing French duet! I could not believe my luck when they agreed to play at the café during their short stay in Finland. It was exhilarating to experience their talent in such an intimate space under candlelight. Do not forget their name, Ottilie, as they are now our official French houseband and I will let you know when they return to Finland early next year! Merci beaucoup! Ooh lala! Pupupidu!

picture credits Denis Vinokur

And next to the forth-coming... ! Kallio will be happening during the next few weeks as the annual Kallio Kipinöi festival kicks off this Friday. At the cafe our very own Katja will be hosting the opening of her art show which will be on display during the entire festival! Also on Friday there will be Niina Sillanpää performing as Hannibal at 19 (see pic) and a Kallio based acoustic cover band Tissit will entertain you at 20 (no pic unfortunately ;)).

On Sunday acoustic guitarists will play at Arla sauna and at the cafe and the following week on the 25th poets Kati Neuvonen and Anu Korvenniemi will perform via a dialog of poems. I have no idea what poem dialogging is but I'm sure it's something I don't want to miss!

Last but not least, we will be celebrating Villipuutarha's one year birthday this Wednesday so please stop by and celebrate with us!

keskiviikko 14. lokakuuta 2009

ILOMIELI ekodesign

Adorable, beautiful, happy Ilomieli products have arrived in our shop! The brand creates clothes and accessories from recycled materials so almost every item is unique. We have purses, skirts, belts and handy wine glass 'identifiers' - but unfortunately no pictures - so drop by and check them out! Also take a look at their website:

tiistai 15. syyskuuta 2009

Philosophy and Socks

Tomorrow we will be hosting this Autumn's first philosphy cafe evening organised by The Finnish Adult Education Centre of the City of Helsinki. The event is open to everyone and it will be organised on Wednesdays on 16.9., 7.10., 4.11. and 2.12. at 18.30–20. Tervetuloa!

picture credits: Maarit Kytöharju

Last week Nina began to host Villipuutarha's knitting evenings, which have already been booked full! We cannot wait to see what different kinds of knits and projects emerge from these evenings!

maanantai 7. syyskuuta 2009

Soups have arrived!

Starting tomorrow we will be spoiling you with delicious vegetarian soups from 11-15 every weekday! Lunch time soup meals include a cup of our dark-roast coffee or tea, served with a piece of Petri Sirén's smoked salt dark chocolate - sounds quirky but it is exquisite. 

Later on in the week I will tell you more about our extremely talented new chef, stay tuned! 

Kiima-levyt @ our shop!

Ever notice that our little cafe is also a little shop? Thus far almost all of our furniture, chandelier and little decorative items have been for sale, although not specifically marked as for-sale items. During the next few weeks and months we will be significantly adding items to our shop and I will be presenting them here on our blog.

And here's my first little intro!

Last week a stack of cds from Kiima-levyt appeared in our shop. Kiima-levyt is a small independent record company which aims to increase the well-being of our community with high-quality music, which is an objective we can relate to! Each record can be yours for the price of 18 euro. If you want to know more about a specific album ask Nina or anyone else working at the time. If you want to listen to the cd before buying we can play a few tracks for you at the cafe. Happy listening!

sunnuntai 6. syyskuuta 2009


Our squirrel got a new home last week, and take a look at what a beautiful new home he got! His new home also came with a squirrel friend.

The new owner of the squirrel also brought a mesmerising picture to the cafe!!:

lauantai 5. syyskuuta 2009

Vegan chocolate!

Chocolates have arrived! In addition to some of the favorites we have three new flavours - including VEGAN chocolates! Come taste Petri Sirén's vegan chili chocolate or (and :)) his vegan coconut cream chocolate - delicious!

As an end of summer special we've been giving away sun flowers to our customers this week. We only had four left when I left the cafe today, so the last ones will go pretty fast tomorrow I suspect!

With the end of the summer season at Villipuutarha we are re-introducing lunch time soups to our menu, will update you more on Monday! Stay tuned!

perjantai 14. elokuuta 2009

Holiday, Celebrate

We're going on a little vacation next week, so our wild cafe will be closed from the 17th until the 23rd on August and we will be back from Tuesday 24.8 onwards.

btw we are now open longer on weekends! Early birds can enjoy our deluxe breakfast now from 9am and we will stay open until 4pm (so you can still sleep in late and come in for breakfast, which we will prepare up to as late as 3:30pm).

See you again after our holiday week!! Take care

maanantai 20. heinäkuuta 2009

Deer Coffee

The blog has been on a lil bit of a summer vacation it seems! Nothing like updating it a bit on a rainy Monday afternoon - and we will get back to updating more frequently again, we promise :)

Even though I spend a lot of time at the cafe, sometimes even I notice funny little things... like yesterday when my friends Amppu and Ru and I sat down for our Sunday deluxe breakfast I noticed a funny reflection in my cup of coffee....

Amppu came up with the name of the picture (which I stole for the title of this post). Have you captured any funny little details at the cafe lately?

perjantai 29. toukokuuta 2009

T.i.l.a visited Kallio

Villipuutarha and other shops in Kallio were featured on this weeks episode of the T.i.l.a show! If you missed it you can watch it here or catch the rerun on MTV3 this Sunday!

In other news: We now have several new "gardeners" for the summer months! Which is great news because it means that we will be able to stay open six days a week, Tuesday through to Sunday! Our deluxe breakfast is now available twice a week!

We also have a new summer menu including refreshing gazpacho soups served with sandwiches or quiches for you to explore - both healthy and delicious :)

picture from

tiistai 28. huhtikuuta 2009

Mayday Mayday!

We are anxiously waiting for the first day of May at the cafe, as we will be serving a nice Vappu brunch! We spent the weekend experimenting different recipes and combos and we just know that you'll love what we came up with!

We're also going to be packing picnic boxes and providing blankets for those of you who want to spend May Day outdoors in the sun, so drop on by on Friday to see what we've prepared for you!

p.s. We'll need a bit of extra time to prepare, so we're keeping the cafe closed on Thursday. Friday we'll be all dolled up for Vappu from 11-17!

sunnuntai 12. huhtikuuta 2009

Easter post

Happy Easter from Villipuutarha.

Today Villipuutarha served roast lamb with mint sauce, fresh green salad, roasted garlic cloves and for dessert chocolate eggs filled with home-made pasha, spiced coffee with vanilla milk.

Next public holidays Villipuutarha will be celebrating are Vappu and Mothers Day.

keskiviikko 1. huhtikuuta 2009

Day of mixed feelings.

It's about time I share some news with our blog readers. This is what we had to post up on our door this morning:

Text: OPEN FOR THE LAST TIME TODAY. We are closing. It's been wonderful, thankyou!

It was a fun day, filled with mixed feelings.

A fun April Fools day :)
*pics by Marina Ekroos.

torstai 26. maaliskuuta 2009

It's Heikki!

Heikki walked in one day and asked if he could complete his 2 week work placement for school at our cafe. Katja and I are incredibly happy we said to ourselves "yeah, sure why not, let's say yes!" He'll still be at the cafe full-time this week then it's back to school. If we're lucky he'll be able to do a few shifts for us in the future. Come drop by and taste the awesome lattes he makes!
Heikki stays calm while we fuss about ;) picture credits go to Paul Wilkins

sunnuntai 8. maaliskuuta 2009


Today we're celebrating international women's day at the cafe from 12-16. Come pamper yourself & your ladies with everything pink and lovely. Maybe join us for a relaxing women's day sauna at Arla afterwards? (you can pick up the chocolate and raspberry masks & scrubs, sauna drinks, sponge and towel, lady-priced ticket to Arla and hint of loveliness from us)
enjoy :)

maanantai 2. maaliskuuta 2009

One Sunday Afternoon..

Here are a few shots from our first sewing club. We rented a badge machine and everyone got to make badges for themselves using e.g. old pictures, lace, buttons, envelopes and postcards from the early 1900's, plastic animals and whatever other materials they may have found from the trip to the fleamarket earlier on in the day. .... I will post pictures of what everyone created as soon as I get them!

maanantai 16. helmikuuta 2009


We had our first chocolate tasting event last Friday. Finland's best chocolatier (well, I think so anyway;) Petri Sirén brought the the mysterious world of luxury chocolates to our..our lips, I suppose! Nothing like starting off the weekend by sampling hand-made chocolates.

Maybe I should make a separate label for these chocolate posts, as there seem to be quite a few of them already :D But I'm sure you understand, it's not common to be able to provide hand-made's a little bit of luxury and I believe it deserves to be acknowledged! As Petri said, it's difficult to find high-quality chocolate in Finland.

ps. We have a nice selection of chocolates at the cafe now, including: milk chocolate banana (my new favorite..well, it's sharing first place with raspberry), orange, coconut and lime, raspberry, mint, hazel nut... :P~~

maanantai 9. helmikuuta 2009

Feeling Good

Today I visited Stupido Shop and picked up some new albums to play at the cafe. I'm a newbie when it comes to jazz so I relied on the expertise of the Stupido guy and came home with some Nina Simone and St Germain.

I would love to play Edith Piaf (among other artists) when at work, but her CDs didn't cross my path this time. What would you like to listen to when sitting at our cafe?

sunnuntai 8. helmikuuta 2009

A Wild Week

I've been busy and unable to focus on writing the past week. Adjusting has been quite overwhelming and it'll probably take a few more weeks before life as a "cafe co-owner" begins to feel normal.

A lot is happening. We've been open now twice on Saturdays and served a luxury plate of assorted goodies incl. Blue Stilton, Brie, Serrano ham, goats milk Gouda, spiced cream cheese, olives, black cherry and orange marmalade, sun dried ("half dried") tomatoes, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, herbs, a healthy smoothie drink, an espresso based coffee drink and as much "granny coffee" as you can handle.. We figured there's not much point in eating out for a Saturday breakfast/brunch/evening snack if the food served is something that you could easily find in your own fridge, and this is the result. What do you think? :)

We've also booked several private events, have a few of our own events coming up (incl. chocolate tasting and a sewing club), appeared in the February issue of Trendi magazine (lil text with a few pics towards the end of the mag, will try to get a scan once I get my own copy), and a little baby girl was Christened at the cafe a week ago!

Reinforcements have also arrived! Two wonderful women have stepped in to help us with daily tasks at the cafe and I could not be more relieved or happier to have them with us.

Also, my dad saw the cafe for the first time since last summer (when it was still a pile of paint cans and loads of renovation tools). He's not much of a talker but he did say it looked different, so I'll take that as a compliment ;)

lauantai 31. tammikuuta 2009

A Working Lady

We had a few boxes of things across the street at a friend's little workroom, which I went to pick up this evening. While I was picking up more boxes to carry across the street my friend (male) said "it's nice to see a woman working"....! :D

I just got home from the cafe. I got to sleep in today and only had to start work at 10am - yet I've still managed to put in a 14hour day of work. Generally I spend all my time and days at the café with only a few exceptions.

Tomorrow I'll be there from 8am until about 4pm, because I'll leave early to go to a birthday party in Turku :P Yet I will also be taking a night bus back so that I can help out on Sunday when we have a Christening at the cafe. Cutesies!

Tomorrow, or technically today (Saturday), we'll be serving breakfast from 11am until 7pm, come enjoy! :)

keskiviikko 28. tammikuuta 2009

A Happy Monkey

I've been busy, but I've been loving it. Katja just told me, if I'm tired I can go home and rest but why go home when I can sit down and update our blog in our lovely cafe? My home is, unfortunately, just not decorated as cozily as my "offce": there's not candle light, no jazz, no murmur of people chatting.

I'm happy to say, for the first time in my life, that I'd rather be at work than go home!

And this gives Katja the perfect opportunity to hop off to the paint store to pick up some gray paint, there's a spot below our antique cash register, which is still paintless! ;)

Now, chocolate news! Our chocolatier restocked our chocolate shelf with raspberry, nut, mint and white chocolate with passion fruit filling..! And we're having a chocolate tasting here on the 13th of February which will include dinner, coffee or tea and of course a wonderful range of chocolates that you will get to sample, so send me a message if you're interested to hear more.

Right now one of our regulars is showing us aprons she's sewn, and they're gorgeous and we hope to have them here for sale when Spring enters our café and little leaves appear on the branches of our ceiling!

Uuh, writing here is challenging because I keep getting caught up in conversations, this is why this post is a bit all over the place, hope you're keeping up! But if you're not, then no worries, I have to stop writing to go feed myself before I go play with my friends from Jolly Dragon. Thank you for reading! I'm a happy monkey! ^_^

sunnuntai 25. tammikuuta 2009

A quick update..

Did I promise to update the blog? Oops. The last two weeks have been busy.

The first week was busy but nothing spectacular happened. The second week we re-opened and I spent most of my time there. Morning till night. I have completely fallen behind all of my blog reading and writing.

But I do feel like I'm in the right place. I really enjoying being a cafe entrepreneur! All the hours and all the work really don't bother me because it's our own business, our own thing.

Despite spending all of my time working, it doesn't even feel like I've fallen out of touch with my friends either. That's the wonderful thing about working at a public place, friends (and even your mother's cousins!) can drop by and say hello to you during your work day. I'm sure I'd feel a bit different if I'd been spending all my time these few weeks setting up and working at say.. an accountants office? Or a dark room? ;) And of course I'm meeting new people all the time as well. We've had some friendly customers this past week!

I would like to encourage all of my friends to stop by and visit me!

Tomorrow will be a busy day, will meet Katja at 8am to prepare for the week to come. Just FYI, our opening hours will be 11-19, Tuesday to Saturday! And already next week we will have re-enforcements: Essi will be helping out. yay!

More to come!

maanantai 12. tammikuuta 2009

Hasn't quite sunk in yet...

So last Friday was my last day of work at the office. This morning when I walked passed my usual bus stop it felt like I was skipping work. Yup, I felt like a rebel! If this was a movie I would have walked down the street while tearing off my business suit, taken a hammer sledge hammer and smashed our little office coffee machine into tiny twisted plastic bits.. Next I would have fixed my hair, straightened out my apron and walked up to our beautiful espresso machine and switched it on.

Ah the movies!

In real life however, something inside your café partner says "today is the first day of work with your co-worker - now it's OK to get sick!" So half of my day today was spent by poor Katja's bedside going over papers and making plans for the week to come. The other half I was clearing the backroom of the café in preparation for a few more finishing touches (=more. yes more renovation work). Get well soon Katja! I mean it :D

Renovation of course means that we have unfortunately had to postpone the re-opening until next week. Sorry about that! But it's better that we take care of all the things we have to take care of properly and then come back when we can really focus on running a café 100% and not have to think about all the other nonsense ;)

A bit about my last day of work at the office...

By 14:00 I could hardly sit still. It was the same feeling I get before travelling somewhere, anxious and constantly asking myself if I had forgotten to do something. But then 16:30 comes so quickly you hardly notice it and before you know it your last day of work is over and you're being handed a bottle of champagne while your co-workers say mushy stuff that makes you blush ;)

I was indeed given an incredible send-off which included the above mentioned champagne, dinner, a gift certificate for a 1 hour massage (!!!), a gorgeous Kalevala necklace and so many kind words. Thank you all again for the send-off and for all that went into the past year!
Thank you! And do come visit me at the café :)

We'll be back next week on Tuesday the 20th from noon until 19:00! But I'll probably write an entry or two before then, so see you soon!

keskiviikko 7. tammikuuta 2009

So new.. !

Eek! Two days left at my office job, then my career as a café worker will (hopefully) take off! All the paper work has naturally been left until the very last minute, but I am starting to get ideas regarding what to wear ;)

I've crossed over the last countdown week on my post-it note and have begun to clear my desk.

I was just chatting with a friend of mine and said that this whole transition simply feels crazy, to which she replied "yeah.. but it's real". Can't escape that! And I don't want to. I'm looking forward to this but naturally it feels crazy because I'm not sure what it is I'm facing. My daily routines will change completely starting next Monday. What a great way to start the new year... it's exciting... and crazy!

Have yourselves a good 2009!