For a long time I have had two dreams. To visit the Maaemo restaurant in Oslo and stay at Grand Hotel. I´ve always said that you have to be careful with what you wish for, wishes may come true. For my 35th birthday I have been invited to one of the best restaurants in world. Yes, the Maaemo ( I cannot wait!) and I just stayed at Grand Hotel. Okay, it wasn´t the Grand Hotel in Oslo, it was a hotel in Viljandi, but it is “Grand Hotel” and I didn´t specify in my dreams which Grand Hotel I ment. So, my dreams have come true. Now I wish for 48 000 euros.
I do not remember the last time I was in Viljandi, I´m not even sure if I have been there at all (I mean visiting the town, not just passing through). I took a bus from Tartu, it is 70 kilometres from Tartu and enjoyed the ride. It´s not too often we take time to look around. A 1h bus trip gave me the oppertunity to take a look at part of South Estonia. From Viljandi bus station it was max 5 minutes walk to the hotel.
I was so surprised that during this first five minutes Viljandi seemed so charming. When you are from Estonia, you know Viljandi has a bit of a bad reputation, at least when I was young(er). It was called a Town-Where-To-Get-Beaten-Up. I really hope this has changed, because it would be such a shame. I fell in love with Viljandi. During the first 5 minutes! It didn´t seem to be a town where I could get my ass kicked.
I wondered on the streets of this cozy little town and before I had realised I had came to my destitation. As this blog is quite new, you probably don´t know that I am facinated by arhcitecture and history, so at the moment I first saw the hotel I knew it was my cup of tea. I googled its history and found out that the building was completed in 1938 and was named Esimene Viljandi Esinduslokaal(‘The First Representative Place in Viljandi’) or EVE. I love classical grandeur and hotels finished to details. I looked around hoping to see Hercule Poirot reading newspaper in the hotel lobby while waiting for Hastings. I probably just missed them…
I was planning on going for a little tour in Viljandi and really take maximum of the “mombie´s day off” (how wonderful it is to have babysitters for a change!) but I suddenly got a work assignment with short deadline, so instead of a mini vacation it became a work trip, but I am not complaining when working conditions are like this.
I locked my self to the room and started working, but to keep my sanity I went for a short walk. I didn´t make it too far, because on the same street there were 2 second hand shops and I LOVE second hand. The prices were good, the clothes selection so my cup of tea. Probably because of Art Academy in town, my sister later said – she may be right, but there was actually something for everyone. From a disco babe to old wannabe hipster like me. For 23,50 euros I got a black dress, pants, cardigan and boots. Note to self: do not throw away old boots before you are sure the ones from second hand are okay. The next morning I found out that the zippers on both boots are damaged, but for 6 euros the boots were fixed in Tartu and now I am happy again.I almost bought a bag for seven euros as well, but it was a fake Mulberry and although I really liked the bag, I felt I am too old for a fake bag. If you cannot afford a real one, at my age you don´t need a fake one.
I was feeling hungry and I know every one recommends to eat at Fellin restaurant, so my choice was to eat there, but talk about bad luck. They had a break from 16 to 17 and it was 16:28, I could have walked around for half an hour, but I thought about the work assignment and headed back to the hotel. For my bad luck also the hotel restaurant opened from 18, but that´s okay I thought. I will work for 1,5 hours and then enjoy a nice dinner as an award. The restaurant looked really nice.
When I next time looked at the watch, it was 6 minutes past nine. Way too late to eat(and the restaurant was opened until 22 anyway). I had totally lost track of time. Such a shame. Especially when I the next morning saw the breakfast. Last time I was so impressed by breakfast at Cru Hotel in Tallinn Old town and you kind of expect good breakfast from a hotel with one of the best restaurants in Estonia, but the breakfast in Viljandi was even better. So I have to tell you the best breakfast I have had in Estonia so far, is at Grand Hotel Viljandi. Sushi and sparkling wine was one thing, but I was mostly impressed by a eggs and bacon. The sunny side up egg was bright yellow and just perfect!
As I was not finished with my assignment last night I had to continue working during breakfast as well. But can you complain with working conditions like this?
After the breakfast I walked to bus station to go back to Tartu, where a “cultural package” with theatre and coctails were waiting for me. I left Viljandi feeling relaxed, although for 90% of the time I had been working. Grand Hotel Viljandi is definately the place where to stay when visiting Viljandi. Either it´s for a romantic getaway or a work trip.