Michel — Helsinki, Finland
A somewhat staid Helsinki fixture, traditional dining room König has exchanged its classic identity for the lighter tone of Restaurant Michel. Now featuring a simple menu of brasserie favourites, Caesar salads and Angus beef club sandwiches as well as dedicated seasonal offerings - popular with the chic locals of the city’s nearby shopping district - are in tune with the new interior created by Finish designer Joanna Laajisto. Best known for her coolly understated spaces, a large marble and stainless steel bar takes centre stage, augmenting a low-key colour palette of ash, cognac leather and brass, while Eero Saarinen-designed tulip tables reference Finland’s distinguished design heritage. Evenings see a lively crowd soaking up the downtown atmosphere, while the next morning’s brunch crowd rolls in for the kitchen’s huevos rancheros and jam-smothered pancakes.