Finnish Church in London
- Tel: 020 7237 1261
33 Albion St, London, SE16 7HZ
14:00 - 21:00
We accept Cash, Credit Cards
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The Finnish Church in London
The Finnish Church in London is a friendly meeting place for Finnish community, friends of Finland and for everyone who is interested in all things Finnish.
We are open daily and offer Finnish Sauna, cafeteria, shop and library for all of our customers. Come and have a little taste of Finland. From our shop you can find Finnish ryebread, salmiakki and Fazer-chocolate. Our Sauna can be booked for private sessions or you can just pop in for communal sessions for either ladies or gents.
For more information visit our website.
Services and Products
- funeral services
- Finnish Cafeteria
- Finnish Shop
Anyway, to the food. The Finnish Church imports a surprisingly large variety of frozen and non-perishable produce from the homeland, much of which was excitingly unfamiliar to me. There was a particularly impressive range of salmiakki, best translated as "salty liquorish", which in fact contains no salt but instead a relatively large amount of ammonium chloride. If you think that sounds unappetising, you're not too far from the truth. I bought a packet and have just tried a couple now - try and imagine the burn of concentrated liquorish mixed with peppermint and salt, in tablet form. They love it over there, Asko assured me. Also on display were a range of Finnish mustard (Auran) to go with the Finnish sausages, which you can grill on the BBQ or boil like hot dogs. I may fire up the BBQ tomorrow and report back on those, but this is what they look like in the freezer:
Also in the freezer section were a variety of Finnish berries, including one called Lingonberry, again completely unfamiliar to me. They look, and taste according to Asko, rather like cranberries, and go very well with the contents of the adjacent freezer - reindeer. Yes, that reindeer - Rudolph and his pals, although if it helps to de-anthropomorphise you can refer to it as caribou. Fry it up with a little water, Asko suggested, and serve with mashed potatoes. I may just do that, although it would perhaps be appropriate to wait until Christmas...
The cafeteria of the Finnish Church serves hot and cold Finnish delicacies, pastries and drinks. Asko recommended something called a Karelian pie, which is a kind of savoury rice pudding surrounded in a rye/wheat mix pastry, topped with egg butter. It was quite lovely - the rice and pastry wasn't anywhere near as weird as I thought it would be, and the egg butter (basically just seasoned hard-boiled egg mixed with butter) was superb.
For a main course, I opted for a plate of fried Baltic herring fillets, served with mash and boiled carrot & swedes. This was hearty, comforting food - uncomplicated in the way that national dishes often are, but full of flavour and texture contrasts. I ate my lunch, washed down with a couple of glasses of homemade lemonade, at a table to the back of the nave of the church itself, surrounded by a good number of healthy looking twentysomething Finns in bright blue SUOMI T-shirts. There are rooms in the building that young Finns working or studying in London can hire out for not much money, and by the looks of things the arrangement is quite popular. It's an attractive, airy building, recently refurbished, and really quite architecturally impressive from some angles (ie. not from outside), so I can see why it would be a desirable option if you were new to the city. Plus, how many youth hostels in London do you know that can boast fresh rice pasties, cinnamon b