The world’s easiest picnic trip to the archipelago of Sipoo – pick up the delicacies from the harbour!

In the picnic bag there is everything you need, from cutlery, plates, and napkins to even a picnic blanket. The plastic bag containing the utensils also functions as a garbage bag. Water bottles function as a cold insulation and are a great idea as such on a hot summer day.

Text and images:
Kristian Meurman
firstname.lastname@sipoo.fi

Zigzaging between store shelves or conveniently to the archipelago?

When the sun shines from a cloudless sky and the calendar is empty, the last thing you want to do, is spend your day in grocery shops trying to figure out what to get into your picnic basket. In addition, there is always the concern about keeping things refrigerated and thus ensuring healthy food. And on top of that you should bring your plates and cutlery and napkins too.

Should you manage to forget the last mentioned, you find yourself forced to buy mega packs of disposable plates, forks and knives and napkins. Then you must carry these packages around back and forth, even if there would only be four people eating.

Some restaurant owners in Southern Sipoo have developped a takeaway picnic bag that has been designed with deliciousness, ease of use and alimentary safety in mind. The bag can be purchased at På Krogen Restaurant in Kalkkiranta, Sipoo.

The convenient cooler bag is easy to carry

All delicacies, actually everything you need, is packed in a cold storing bag with På Krogen’s log on it. Being a soft bag, it is much more comfortable to carry for instance on your shoulder than traditional Styrofoam or plastic cooler boxes. The bag feels qualitative and sturdy and thanks to the ingenious packing, the delicacies inside stay fresh for a long time.

På Krogen Restaurant's owner couple hands a picnic bag to Municipality of Sipoo Business coordinator Anne Peltonen.
The convenient cooler bag is easy to carry.

The deposit is returned and even your trash is accepted

When buying the picnic bag, you are charged a twenty-euro deposit, which is returned when you return the cooler bag and the picnic blanket. At the same time, you can also deposit your garbage at the restaurant, so picnic trips really do not get any easier than this.

Hearty portions for two to four

The contents of the bag are available for either two or four people. Inside the bag are ice cold water bottles, that function as cooling units. The contents of these are in any case an excellent idea! On a hot summer day, it is easy to forget to keep hydrated! In addition to the water bottles, there are two kinds of salads: green salad with fresh strawberries and a clear coleslaw. For the grill, there is pressed new potatoes with garlic and lovely pork ribs with På Krogen’s secret barbecue sauce. Because both potatoes and ribs are already cooked, it is sufficient to just heat them up. Obviously, the ribs can be toasted to as dark as you wish too.

The potatoes are cooked conveniently in their own aluminium tray and besides a little jerking of the tin there is not really that much more to do.

På Krogen's ribs and pressed new potatoes on the grill.
The potatoes are baked straight in their own tray, whereas the ribs that were removed from the same tray are cooked straight over open fire.

Additional beverages can be purchased too

På Krogen Restaurant is licensed to sell mild alcoholic beverages for takeaway too, so microbrewery beers, ciders and other mild alcoholic beverages can be purchased, alongside non-alcoholic refreshments.

Four hungry adults as a test group

We tried out the four persons’ picnic bag containing:

  • Green salad with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and fresh strawberries
  • Clear coleslaw
  • Lime mayonnaise
  • Barbecue mayonnaise
  • Pressed new potatoes with garlic in an aluminium tray
  • Pork ribs with På Krogen’s secret barbecue glaze
  • Spring water bottles
  • A picnic blanket
  • A selection of separately bought non-alcoholic refreshments

While the barbecue was heating, we enjoyed some refreshing beverages. We had a gas grill, but because everything is already cooked, they can easily be heated in an electric grill or oven too. Certainly, the best flavour would come from a real open fire. Since lunch time was already due a long time ago and we were all rather hungry, this test was not only about flavours but also portion size.

Refreshing summer drink at På Krogen Restaurant's terrace table.
You can add some refreshments at a small additional fee to the picnic bag. We chose some non-alcoholic soft drinks.

Well planned and environment friendly

What you first notice, when you open the bag is how well planned the whole package is. The transportation boxes also function as serving trays and bowls and the bag containing cutlery, plates and napkins finds a new life as a garbage bag. In this way, garbage can be stowed back into the bag, without anything leaking into it. Excess use of plastic has been avoided as much as possible and the cutlery is made out of would, for instance. Therefore they can be burned as can the plates and napkins. Being biodegradable, they can obviously also be composted.

The package is compact and convenient. Nothing too much and nothing to little. The picnic blanket is a really nice feature, although we did not need it this time.

Quickly from grill to table

The potatoes and ribs are cooked – or more exactly heaten – in about the same time, which is in minutes. It is a good idea to give the potato tin a few shakes every now and then. The glazing of the ribs is just perfect. There is not too much of it, to smear up all the place, but enough to flavour and keep the meat moist.

The treats are on the plates in a swoosh and our otherwise talkative team grows silent. The happy chatter comes to an abrupt ending, when there is more important business for the mouths.

The lime mayonnaise gets a round of extra praise. It is at the same time rich enough for the ribs, but still fresh and light on the palate to work as a salad dressing too.

Prepared food from the På Krogen Restaurant's picnic bag.
Convenient boxes work as serving bowls too.

Empty plates tell the most important story

All ingredients are of high quality, the salads are fresh and still the hunger ends up quenched. There is definitely enough food and for a smaller hunger, the salads would have worked nicely as a starter, with the warm courses saved as a main course for later.

Grilled ribs, pressed new potatoes and salads from På Krogen's picnic bag.
There is plenty to eat even for hungrier people, but most importantly, it is all very delicious.

Travel idea:
Late lunch and a whole afternoon of enjoyment in the archipelago

Since everything is freshly made and quality is of the utmost importance, the picnic bag can unfortunately not be bought “straight from the shelf”. However, På Krogen’s owners promise, that a bag orderd on the previous night will be ready when the restaurant opens the next day.

A pre-ordered bag awaits customers who arrive by car – or by bus.

It is simpe and easy to come by bus from Söderkulla centre to Kalkkiranta, where Pörtö Line’s regular traffic ferry leaves for one of Sipoo’s most beautiful archipelago destinations. The island of Norrkullalandet is reached by M/S Sibbe in only fifteen minutes.

Söderkulla – Kalkkiranta – Norrkullalandet vv. by bus and ferry

How?

By bus from Söderkulla to Kalkkiranta and by ferry from Kalkkiranta to Norrkullalandet

When?

Mon to Fri departing at 13:05 from Söderkulla and returning at 18:37 to Söderkulla

How much does it cost?

HSL D-zone bus ticket 2,80 € / direction, ferry Kalkkiranta – Norrkullalandet for free
Picnic bag 25 € / person + deposit 20 € / bag
(the deposit is returned upon returning the bag and the blanket to the restaurant)

How do I do this?

1)
Pre-order on the previous evening at På Krogen Restaurant a picnic bag according to the size of your party. Bags are available for 2 or 4 persons. You can also order the picnic bag by e-mail: kosti@soderkulla.fi

2)
Get on the bus in Söderkulla centre. One of the party should get off at the second to last stop (Kassivikintie bus stop), that is right next to På Krogen Restaurant. The rest of the party can continue the roughly 300 meter long journey down to the harbour.

Kassivikintie bus stop at Kalkkirannantie in the direction of Kalkkiranta harbour.
When you get off on this bus stop, Kassivikintie, På Krogen restaurant is directly to your left. Down to the harbour is just 300 meters in the direction of the bus.

3)
The pre-ordered bag awaits, when you get off the bus at about 13:15 on Kassivikintie bus stop. After paying and picking up the picnic bag, walk the short way to the harbour, where the ferry already awaits. The ferry leaves at 13:30 and does not wait for passengers – unless it is known that someone is literally around the corner. The captain does however not like to wait, having a schedule of his own to follow.

Pörtö Line's ship M/S Sibbe and the vessels captain.
M/S Sibbe departs at 13:30 from Kalkkiranta, it is important to be on time. However, if the captain knows someone is literally around the corner, he can wait a few minutes.

4)
Enjoy a lovely afternoon with delicious picnic treats by one of the many barbecue sites and the fantastic sea views at Norrkullalandet island.

Barbecue site by a sandy beach at Norrkullalandet island.
There are several free to use barbecue sites one on the more beautiful beach than the other at Norrkullalandet.

5)
Return from Norrkullalandet to the ferry leaving at 18:00 for Kalkkiranta, where it returns at 18:15. From Kalkkiranta the bus departs at 18:25 for Söderkulla, where you are back at 18:37.
(Do remember to return the picnic bag and the blanket to På Krogen Restaurant to get back the 20 € deposit.)

Did you know?

It is easy to arrive to Söderkulla for instance from Kamppi and Itäkeskus in Helsinki, from Porvoo and Vantaa and from Tuusula and Järvenpää via Nikkilä.

If you wish to have a more flexible schedule and maybe want to have a refreshing drink at the terrace at På Krogen Restaurant while picking up the picnic bag, a taxi from Söderkulla to Kalkkiranta only costs around 20-25 euros (which is roughly 5-6 euros per person if there are four of you). You can order the taxi via Lähitaksi or by downloading the Taksini app. When using the app for ordering, you can get a fixed price and with a payment card even pay in advance. This is usually even more inexpensive than other methods of payment. Last time I tried this, I only paid just over 16 euros for the ride!

At Norrkullalandet island, you can visit Café Seasong, if you happen to run out of refreshments or feel like having a nice cup of coffee or maybe an ice cream.

 

Links

På Krogen Restaurant
Website only in Finnish and Swedish.
To call the restaurant for service in English, please dial: +358 50 322 8884

Helsingin Regional Traffic (HSL) – Route planner and schedules

Pörtö Line – Sipoon area ferry schedules (pdf)
Schedule only in Finnish and Swedish, the weekdays in the schedule are as below:
Mån / Ma = Monday
Tis / Ti = Tuesday
Ons / Ke = Wednesday
Tors / To = Thursday
Fre / Pe = Friday
Lör / La = Saturday
Sön / Su = Sunday

Lähitaksi Taxi

Café Seasong at Norrkullalandet Island

 

Last modified 30.06.2021