The legendary, new and improved Palace Restaurant in Helsinki has reclaimed its place among the Michelin-awarded restaurants in Finland. When Palace was in touch with Swedish Note Design Studio, their intent was not to go for trendy interiors – quite the opposite, in fact. They wanted to create a timeless atmosphere that would honor the unique history of the location.
PALACE RESTAURANT'S NEW interiors, approved by the Finnish Heritage Agency, bring a current look to the space’s 1950s modernism. The long, white tablecloths and dark teak veneer work in contrast with dusty rose, dark turquoise and new gems of Nordic design.
The renovation was also an exciting project for the award-winning designers at Stockholm’s Note Design Studio.
“Having spent most of my life in Helsinki, working with Palace has been a humbling experience. We were given a chance to influence the interior of a space I have known since I was a child. I remember my grandfather speaking about Palace and its grandeur. Being given the change to create the new Palace is far beyond what I ever imagined,” says My Degerth, interior architect at Note Design Studio.
Palace Restaurant, which proudly looks over Helsinki’s South Harbour, is a flagship of Finnish restaurant culture and was awarded Finland’s first Michelin Star in 1987. The building, designed by Viljo Revell and Keijo Petäjä, is reminiscent of a ship, both on account of its open sea view and wire balustrade and ribbon windows, inspired by Le Corbusier.
Palace Hotel was built in 1952 to welcome guests from around the world attending the Helsinki Summer Olympics.
Palace Hotel and its connected restaurants were built in 1952 to welcome guests from around the world attending the Helsinki Summer Olympics. Over the years Palace became well-known for more than just its gastronomy; it was also known as a venue where important political decisions were made and luxurious parties were held, even in the company of royals and film stars.
In 2016, the entire building at Eteläranta 10 underwent a full-scale renovation. The facade of the building was restored and Palace Restaurant on the 10th floor was renovated in collaboration with Note Design Studio, architectural firm SARC and Agency Leroy, which was responsible for the brand work. The restaurant reopened in the fall of 2017, piloted by Royal Restaurants.
Seasonal Finnish ingredients are central in the kitchen, led by Chef de cuisine Eero Vottonen. At only 35, the top chef has already gathered quite the CV: he has worked in Michelin-awarded restaurants Chez Dominique, Luomo, G.W. Sundmans and Olo, represented and coached Finland in the respected Bocuse d’Or chef competition and won gold in the Global Chef Challenge and Finnish Kokkien Kokki chefs’ competitions.
In February 2019, after nearly 30 years, Palace finally earned back its Michelin star when the new Michelin Guide Nordic Countries 2019 restaurant guide was published. And it’s not just the restaurant’s Michelin star that’s shining once again – Palace’s historic neon sign is as well. The glowing yellow Palace sign has been restored and raised back up to its spot as the landmark of Helsinki’s Eteläranta.
Restaurant Palace, Eteläranta 10, Helsinki, Finland
Text: Nora Uotila Images: Romain Laprade and Palace