Hannah Bam­bra and Carmen Zam­mit


Fin­land is no­to­ri­ous for its short sum­mers. To en­joy the an­nual burst of good weather, many Fin­nish fam­i­lies have sum­mer­houses by a lake or span of ocean to es­cape to. The unique Scan­di­na­vian aes­thetic is tri­umphed in the bones of th­ese water­side cot­tages, which are filled with jum­bled in­te­ri­ors of fam­ily mem­o­ries and time­less prints. Co-owner of Finn cafe in St Kilda, Laura Win­ter, wanted to chan­nel this feel­ing of “ca­sual, calm and easy go­ing” charm in the venue she man­ages with her part­ner, Mar­cus. “Sum­mer houses tend to be an eclec­tic mix of every­thing, all the things peo­ple don’t need in their homes any­more get brought in and given a new life,” says Win­ter. “Ours has been used over five gen­er­a­tions so you can find any­thing from old Ara­bia pot­tery to Marimekko dresses and linen.”

Finn Cafe ref­er­ences it’s co-owner’s her­itage in sub­tle, con­vivial ways. To draw on the aes­thetic of the fam­ily’s own tra­di­tional sum­mer hide­away, Finn use Ara­bia jam jars as sugar bowls. The main em­pha­sis, how­ever, is not to be an in­trin­si­cally Fin­nish cafe. Per­fectly paired with ar­ti­san roasts from Clark St roast­ers, the menu draws for a range of in­flu­ences.

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