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.