My good friends in Finland – and indeed in Sweden ( and maybe in Norway ? ) – tell me that mid August / September it’s essential to have a crazy ‘Crayfish Party’. As its name implies this involves getting through a lot of crayfish, as well as a lot of herring, cheese, crisp bread and aquavit, along with wearing funny conical hats.
So to build up the atmosphere, I went along to Kings Cross, passing The Finnish Institute’s new offices.
where I’d heard they’d be actually hunting for those Crayfish in their ponds. I soon came across those ‘hunters’, proudly carrying their catch in a fine ‘Rapumerta’ (Finnish for ‘crayfish net’).
The hunt was in reality for the invasive (American) variety, and the ‘hunters’ had clearly done a good job!
It was a good opportunity to spend a few moments sitting on the enchanting ‘Viewpoint’ and enjoying the view along the Regent’s Park Canal and looking back at Camley Park. Lots of good photos here. The architects were inspired by the Finnish “Laavu”, a traditional shelter intended for temporary residence during fishing and hunting trips. I guess the setting would remind any Finn of their little country summer house – even if there’s no sauna! Viewpoint was commissioned by the Finnish Institute in London and The Architecture Foundation. Viewpoint is designed by a team of emerging Finnish architects Erkko Aarti, Arto Ollila and Mikki Ristola. It’s well worth a visit.
A further interest is the clever graphics in the concrete floor, which are relevant, playful and practical anti-slip. They’re designed by Finnish company ‘Graphic Concrete’ , creators of some pretty impressive works.
The final stop was Scandinavian Kitchen, a homely café in Great Tichfield Street, for the essential party supplies ie those crayfish, cheese, herrings, crisp bread, aquavit – and the funny hats! My thanks to the helpful staff member for getting everything together for me – along with her brief rendering of the crayfish drinking song ‘Helan går’. Impressive!
So here are those essential ingredients – let the party begin!