VANAI – RED BRICKS AND DREAMS

Vanai Bistro & Bastu is a family business that brings people, food and life back to the Varikonniemi area in Hämeenlinna. This area was known for provisioning the Finnish army and people. Today, a hundred years later, the garage and laundry building of the former canned food factory is an urban meeting place: a bistro, a bar, a terrace and a sauna.

On the shores of Lake Vanajavesi we want to offer each and everyone an unforgettable experience with food, drinks and our mystical log sauna. Here you can enjoy not only the dawns of a new day with a cup of coffee but also the lovely evening hours at a cozy dinner table. Vanai is simply a great place to sit down with family and friends and share memorable moments.

The shore walk next to Vanai is said to be one of the most beautiful landscapes in Finland. It is also only a short walk from the railway station. After you have walked through the first urban park of Finland, the cultural-historical area of Aulanko and the Häme Castle, you will discover Vanai.

Vanai is the heart of the beautiful Asemanranta shore walk. Here you can always savor the fantastic options on our menu, adore the cozy atmosphere and naturally cherish the good company. Moreover, we wish to offer you honest and uncomplicated food and sincere service. This can be achieved every day because of our amazing and professional staff. The red bricks are steeped in history of the Varikonniemi area and you are sure to feel the mystique beneath your feet: according to the Novgorod Chronicles from the 14th century, the mythical city of Vanai was located exactly in this area.

FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD

Vanai Bistro & Bastu is Kaarina’s big dream. She wanted to realize this dream in her hometown Hämeenlinna. She has acquired lots of experience as a chef and a restaurant business professional in various kitchens. Today this gained know-how enables her to offer her customers unforgettable culinary experiences and also an easy-going rendezvous for socializing.

– We use local, fresh and honest products. However, I am rushing about the kitchen only rarely since I want to be able to serve and see my customers in person. The most important thing for me is a happy and contented customer who will return to Vanai time after time.
See you at Vanai! Kaarina Tamminen
restaurant proprietor, co-owner

A MEETING PLACE FOR EVERYONE

The old Mensa premises that are protected by the Finnish Heritage Agency were in need of renewal. This offered an inspiring project where the goal was to create Vanai and turn it into the heart of the Varikonniemi area. The log sauna will also make it possible for local residents to finally take a sauna bath by the Lake Vanajavesi and still be close to the city center. The last manager of the old Mensa canned food factory was acquainted with the entrepreneur family and therefore it was easy to find out about all the historical aspects of the area.

– It has been really interesting to get to know the past of the Oy Sotilassäilyke Ab corporation. I am a former municipal politician myself and I still aim to put effort into developing Hämeenlinna and I hope Vanai with its beautiful appearance, illuminations and lighting will give the locals and all the other visitors and guests great pleasure.

Mauri Iivonen
janitor, co-owner

A NEW LIFE FOR THE OLD

We want to protect the old parts and aspects of Vanai and at the same time highlight its history and culture. We have purchased second-hand dishes and interior design materials that are still in good condition. Recycling and sustainability are values that are close to the heart of the Vanai entrepreneurs.

– I want to give a concrete example of how old items can be not only beautiful but also perfectly usable. There are enough old buildings in Hämeenlinna that have been torn down. We want to hold on to traditions and bring out the real personality of this place.

Anniina Iivonen,
visual merchandiser, co-owner