Sleeping in a doll house – different kind of accommodation in Tallinn

We found this beautiful guest house in Tallinn last weekend while making the Tallinn city guide for a travel magazine. It feels like entering a fairy tale in Marta Guest house. And its owner, Mai-Liis is like a poem herself.

Marta guest house Tallinn entrance

Mai-Liis, a former German language teacher bought this house, located two kilometers from Tallinn city center, with her family. The house was a wreck but the young lady saw the potential.

Marta guesthouse owner Mai-Liis

“People here buy a lot with an old house in bad condition, blow up the house and build a new one instead. My aim was to save this old, beautiful house.”
A guest room Marta guest house Tallinn Estonia

Renovating and restoring the old house became Mai-Liis’ hobby. In the beginning she opened one guest room and a bit later the second and third one came. Now there are eight guest rooms with personal touch. In one of them there is an old wooden stove in which you can still light a fire in the winter time for heating and atmosphere.
Marta guesthouse room floor 2 Marta guesthouse room Marta guesthouse kitchen

In this cute breakfast room one can enjoy the breakfast or order a cup of coffee or a piece of some delicious cake.
Marta guesthouse cafeOr several… like us 🙂
Marta guest house Tallinn yard

For sure I am going to stay here on my next Tallinn visit. A wonderful place with just a couple of minutes bus ride from the city hassle.

The price range is 35-55 euros per room/night and 5 euros for breakfast/person. The place has a FB-page as well. And this address is what else than Marta 8 🙂


Fashion in a tiny Portuguese mountain village

In the village of Manteigas, near Serra de Estrela mountain, we found this lovely old wool factory.
Manteigas Portugal

The place had been already closed down when a Lissabon based sales director Isabel Costa and her husband got an idea to revive the prodcution again, now under the name Burel.

They started a production line of traditional patterns along with a contemporary designs. Still the idea was to carry the whole process with the traditional knowledge. A big part of the work is still hand made.
Burel factory Portugal Burel factory Portugal   Burel factory Portugal   Burel factory Portugal Burel factory Portugal   Burel factory Portugal

Now you can hear the voice of the 19th century machines along with the new ones. Everything is still done in small quantities, no mass production here. Isabel designs herself and uses also many Portuguese young designers. While our visit we got the chance to see some new products just about to be launched in Japan fashion weeks.
Burel factory PortugalIf I had more space in my suitcase, I would have been tempted to buy so things in the factory shop. Uzi bought a nice shawl as a gift for his daughter. Lovely to see these kind of places, a mixture of tradition and innovation!
Burel factory Portugal Burel factory PortugalBurel factory Portugal


My favorite dish as a kid was stuffed peppers served with spaghetti and tomato sauce.
Here is a receipt to revive my childhood culinary memory.
The herbs can be changed to any other herb available or preferable. This time I chose the sage that I picked from a mountain in the island of Losinj, Croatia last summer and the Thyme that I collected on a trip to Portugal. It gives the dish an extra personal touch.stuffed paprika ingredients



  • 6 peppers (the long variety)
  • 200 gr minced meat
  • 2dl basmati rice
  • 2 onions
  • 5 clove garlic
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • A can (500 gr) of stewed tomatoes
  • Black pepper
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Spaghetti


  1. Chop onions, garlic, thyme and sage.
  2. Fry the onions, then add the garlic and herbs.
  3. Put aside half of the fried mix.
  4. Add to the other half stewed tomatoes, beef stock, some water and black pepper. Cook the sauce on low heat for half an hour. Balance the taste with a pinch of sugar or some honey.
  5. Fry the meat.
  6. Mix the left over fried onions with the fried meat and rice (uncooked). Add some of the tomato sauce you’ve just made to the blend.
  7. Open and clean the peppers and stuff them with the meat filling.
  8. Place the stuffed peppers in an oven dish, pour the tomato sauce over them and cook for about an hour on 200° C.
  9. Serve with spaghetti.
  10. Bon appetit!
stuffed paprika