Friday, January 31, 2014

The Oldest Cafe in Tallinn: Maiasmokk Cafe and Kalev Marzipan Museum Room

If you are like me when travelling who is constantly on the lookout for lovely historical places to have a cup of coffee or tea and elegant hotspots to hangout, then you have come to the right blog!

In Tallinn, Estonia I am sure you will want to visit Maiasmokk Cafe. The cafe is owned by the confectionery company, Kalev and in their branch in Tallinn Old Town, they have a Marzipan Museum Room and a candy shop as well.

The little terrace on the entrance in Suurgildi Plats (a small corner square). The main entrance of the cafe is on Pikk Street, just behind this building.

Kalev Marzipan Museum Room
Website: Kalev Marzipan Museum Room

Adjacent to Maiasmokk Cafe is the Kalev Marzipan Museum Room. The museum is tiny sharing with the Kalev confectionery shop which sells mostly marzipan candies.

Visiting is free of charge and when a crowd gathers, there is someone from the shop who gives a short lecture about the history and making of Marzipan. What is interesting about this museum are two things:

(1) They have samples of different kinds of marzipan designs, from figurines to plates to whatnots, about 200 in all displayed in the museum room.
(2) There is a resident marzipan artist that you can watch while he or she paints the sweet goodies.

The Marzipan shop, all sweets are Kalev’s products.

These plates with embossed design and painting are marzipan sweets displayed in the museum. I am sure you would rather preserve them and not eat them, would you?

The man is giving a short lecture about marzipan to eager tourists.

The marzipan artist in action. I am sure those paint are edible.

The finished marzipan candies. Great to give as coming home presents.

Maiasmokk Cafe
Website: Maiasmokk Cafe

The official entrance of Maiasmokk Cafe is at Pikk Street, but if you entered at the Suurgildi Plats (the corner square) via the Kalev Marzipan Museum, you can as well take a short cut inside through the door in the middle and you will arrive at the cafe.

Maiasmokk means ‘sweet tooth’. I am far from the sweet tooth type, thus when I sit at cafes, I do not come for the bonbons, pastries, candies and cakes. I come for the coffee or tea.

The cafe is unique in Tallinn because it is the oldest cafe in the country and has been left unchanged since 1864. Through the years, the cafe and its building have been handed down to different entrepreneurs and have even gone through company mergers, however, it is important to note that this was the same cafe and confectionery shop that has always been here on this exact same place and who also used to supply the Tsar of Russia marzipans back then.

The design on the golden ceiling. 

Having my cafe (espresso). They always serve it with water.

A cafe that goes back a century ago and managed to survive and kept its tradition and interior design through the years.

This is on the Suurgildi Plats (little corner square). The yellow pretty building is the Kalev Marizpan Museum Room & Confectionery Shop. At the back is Maiasmokk Cafe. There is an outdoor terrace here as well where you can opt to take your snack and drink your coffee.

Travel Period: May 2013
Destination: Tallinn, Estonia

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Kadriorg Palace and Gardens in Tallinn, Estonia

The resident jewel of the Kadriorg Park is of course the Kadriorg Palace and its gardens. This is the grandest palace Estonia has.

Kadriorg Palace | Kadriorg Art Museum
Website: Kadriorg Art Museum

The Kadriorg Palace is a Petrine Baroque palace built for Catherine I of Russia by Tsar Peter the Great as a summer residence for the royal couple. The palace nowadays acts as a museum of art, called the Kadriorg Art Museum and is devoted to foreign art mainly Western European Art and Russian Art. I have a thing with museums if they are only showcasing paintings, but I came here as well for the palace’s architecture and interior design, which did not disappoint.

It was a shame though that there were no flowers in bloom in the gardens. Perhaps I was too early in May? Nevertheless, the gardens still made a lovely impression. They said that they are similar to the Strelna in Russia and Versailles in France.


Perhaps I came too early, the flowerbeds were still sleeping.

The facade of the palace from the side of the garden. The entrance is on the other side.

The other side of the palace is the entrance. There is a fee to visit the palace and museum.

The main lobby and the ticketing office is where the people lined up.

This is what greeted me when I went upstairs, the beautiful baroque ballroom.

The painting on the ceiling.

Lovely details of the columns.

More beautiful and fine details.

The wing of the palace facing the gardens. 

Beautiful chairs, one looks like an art deco swan chair.

Cannot resist to take a picture when there are mirrors everywhere.

There was an exposition about Ilya Repins works at the Kadriorg Art Museum. He is a Russian realist painter. This is one of his masterpieces, Portrait of Elizaveta Zwantseva, 1889.

Painting exhibits and that is a humongous porcelain fireplace.

One of the paintings I like: Port of Tallinn, 1853 by Aleksey Bogolyubov. Oil on canvas.

And another painting that I like: Soldier's Tale by Ilya Repin. Oil on canvas.

Beautiful wood art on the panels of the upper walls.

A view of the ballroom from the upper floor.

Children on a palace and museum tour.

How to get here? For directions, read this entry: Kadriorg Park in Tallinn, Estonia

Travel Period: May 2014
Destination: Kadriorg - Tallinn, Estonia

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