There is the saying that all good things must come to an end, and I am sad to say that my trip is finally over. I am back in London now, but as a last hoorah, a decision helped in no small part by the discovery of a very cheap ticket, I decided on a whim to detour via Helsinki for a flying visit to try Chez Dominique before finally dragging myself home. The visit was so ‘flying’ that I literally stepped off the plane, headed straight to the restaurant and flew out the next day.
With less than an hour between landing and last orders (which coincidentally I barely made), there was no time to check into my hotel before going to the restaurant. In the days leading up to the meal, I had been playing out in my head the embarrassment of turning up to a two star Michelin restaurant with ALL my luggage in tow (a handbag, a large battered wheelie suitcase and a small rucksack) over and over again, but living out the reality was worse. What I hadn’t quite allowed for was the fact that the restaurant has neither a partition nor a sitting area between the doorway and the dining room which would have hidden me from sight, even if only partially. No sirree. This meant that the moment I walked into the restaurant I was in full view of all the patrons who faced the door. “Yes” I tried to explain with my eyes to one particular diner who kept staring at me in astonishment during that one looooong minute before the waitress came to rescue me, “I do know that this is a fine dining establishment and not a hotel. Honest.”