24 Apr 2015

Horse helping with the dishes?

When you use your best crystal glasses you don´t put them in a dishwasher, do you?

Of course not! You take the best dish brush, the one made with horsehair... It is soft and tender, but removes lipstick, fingerprints and other stains easily.

A hint: If you drink a lot of tea, you know how cups start to look like in a while -
a horsersehair dish brush cleans your china effectively, but tenderly.

Photos by Riedel and Manufactüm 

Mouth blown quality glassware by Riedel for 250 yrs 
Dish brushes from Manufactum

When rinsing, use as hot water as possible and dry the glasses out with linen towel that does
not leave fibres on them.

Linen is fantastic - it just gets better and better when washing and using it!
The best ones are from a grandmom.

And dont worry - you can use your horsehair ring when doing the dishes! 

Ring Cassiopeia, the original design by Nanna Salmi

If you wish to get yourself the perfect ring to clean your best
Champagne glasses, please, let us konow! Enquiries and orders
also by email


23 Apr 2015

Last, but not least - Veuve Clicquot

Visiting Veuve Clicquot

photos Nanna Salmi

Like said before, each Champagne House is different. Veuve Clicquot defenately gave
a visual experience. What was most impressive?

Was it their signature colour orange? Was it the beautiful, well cared garden? Or was it the lighting in caves? Or the glossy, white ceiling in the boutique? Probably all of them...

The old and modern, pale and bright - there they are, nicely together.

There was a small wine yard where the different types of cutting different vines was shown. 
Grapevine buds were just about to open.

Going down to the caves usually isn´t that interesting: stairs, stairs, stairs. By Veuve Clicquot 
it was like an adventure! The chalk rock walls are beautiful just as they are but here 
the structure, all the marks of chisels from the way back, were lighted quite an impressive way.

What a night club that would be!

There it is, a lonely bottle of champagne, that sunk with Vrouw Maria on October 9, 1771. Vrouw Maria was a Dutch wooden two-masted merchant ship carrying a valuable cargo of art objects and champagne to Catherine the Great of Russia. The ship sank in the outer archipelago of
the municipality of Nagu, Finland. 

In 1999 the ship was discovered by the Finnish divers. 
Read more about Vrouw Maria

The wine masters got an idea! Read 

Back in light! Veuve Clicquot has a champagne boutique where you can shop "necessities" 
like towels, umbrellas, books, biscuits, chocolate and, of course, champagne. 

Veuve Clicquot offered something very special at the tasting, too. We had a great honour to have Cyril Brun, the Senior Winemaker as a host. He offered us a rare possibility to taste the still wines from which the blends are made from.

After that we tasted the ready blend and finally the version with bubbles but still going down to the cellar for four more years. 

This champagne will be available in 2019. Exciting!

Thank you, Veuve Clicquot, for enertaining and educating us! 

So, so much for champagne. For now. 
Thank you foir joining us on this interesting, entertaining and 
delicious journey. 

We continue celebrating the 15th anniversary of the 
nannasalmi collection - but how? 
Will be seen... 

21 Apr 2015

Champagne in Champagne

Photos Nanna Salmi

Less than 30 km from Reims there is one of the most famous centers of Champagne production - Aÿ. The vineyards are located in the Vallée de la Marne subregion of Champagne, and are classified as Grand Cru (100%) in the Champagne vineyard classification.

Visiting Bollinger

The company of Renaudin-Bollinger & Cie was founded on 6th of February 1829 by Athanase de Villermont, the youngest son of a noble family, Joseph Bollinger, German, who had left his country of birth to learn about the Champagne wine trade, and Paul Renaudin, a local man who was fascinated by the world of wine.

Each Champagne House has it's own, interesting history and some specialties that make
each one of them interesting and charming.

Bollinger is the only big Champagne House that still uses oak barrels. Champagne is fermented in oak barrels, it is challenging as the barrel easily gives it´s own aroma to the wine. The barrels are now made in Reims but there is still a carpenter´s workshop where the barrels are repaired. We got to see how the barrels were disinfected with sulfur smoke, washed and dried outside.

Museum vineyard is a small vineyard right next to the main building. It is surrounded by the walls, and here some grapevines are kept safe from certain insects and diseases. Bollinger also tests an old method of planting the vines in groups, randomly, without support, instead of straight lines and wire ropes.

The buildings are absolutely beautiful and the tasting room is like from a fairy tail... 

We got to taste three different champagnes. The Bollinger champagnes have character, elegance and complexity. The backbone of the Bollinger style is Pinot Noir - a demanding and intense grape. 

And of course - James Bond drinks Bollinger.

Bollinger was Nanna´s favorite house.

"I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it—unless I’m thirsty." 
-Lilly Bollinger- 

Visiting Ayala

The next stop was Champagne House Ayala. Outside it was like any other Champagne House: beautiful, historic buildings and nice plantings. Ayala is one of the longest-established Champagne Houses. 

It was founded 1860 by Spanish Edmond de Ayala.

Inside we came into a totally different world: a lot of tradition and history, but also fresh winds, 
black and white, steel vats, production lines - modern, young people at work, 
doing the thing they know best and have passion for!

The House is still independent and family-owned.

Ayala´s style is fresh and elegant - even feminine - but not sweet. Long lasting bubbles fresh you up and you can enjoy their champagnes with sea food or just on their own celebrating any good moment in your life. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are the grapes they use and only 7 g / l of sugar is used in Bruts.

As most of us were women, we were very touched about the fact that the wine master is a woman, 
Caroline Latrive. She continues the tradition of women in the champagne business.

Thank you, Caroline Brun, for a delighting visit! 

Visiting Deutz

The third tasting of the day was in the House Deutz. And again we experienced 
something very different.

House Deutz entertains their guests in the house which has been the family´s private 
house. Our host was Jean-Marc Lallier-Deutz himself.

It was quite breathtaking to sit in the salon, walk through the enormous French doors, into and through the garden to the distillery building. Old times and new times...

Deutz, formerly known as Deutz Geldermann, was founded in 1838 by William Deutz and Pierre-Hubert Geldermann, wine merchants from Aix-la-Chapelle. 

Deutz champagnes are very elegant, ethereal style of wine. 
The Brut Classic is fruit characteristics, whilst the palate is full of biscuit and honey which gives the wine great balance and poise.

Their rosé is also outstanding - it is made only from Pinot Noir, with 8% added as
red wine by assemblage.

Thank you, Bollinger, Ayala and Deutz, for having us. 
We wish you a perfect season 2015! 

Hautvillers - Heart of Champagne (two horses!)

photos Nanna Salmi

On our third day we visited the small village Hautvillers.

Hautvillers is where it all started by Dom Pérignon (1639-1715).
He was the cellar master at the Benedictine Abbey of Hautvillers and started developing the clear, bubbly, cork-popping champagne. He didn't “invent” champagne, but he had a very important role in developing the champagne method. The double-fermented sparkling wine drew also from the expertise and experimentation of other cellar masters at the time. Dom Pérignon is buried in the Abbey.

Hautvillers streets and alleys are narrow and on the house walls you can see wrought iron signs
telling what is undertaken behind the closed doors.

A unique panorama over the Marne Valley and surrounding vineyards.

By the way - can you guess how much a hectare (10,000 m²) of wine field costs 
in Champagne?

It costs 1 000 000 €. A valuable view! 

On our quick visit we found this idyllic, little guest house in the middle of the village, 
B&B La Chevalée, where we had a short sit down on the terrace and a glass of champagne.

Here they had horses! Horses had their lunchtime.

Unfortunately there was no time to get on the back of the horses, 
but we can imagine how it would be to ride through the wineyards and enjoy the incredible views... 

Visit the page 

photo from tripadvisor.com 

If you dream about a riding holiday in Champagne, please, visit these pages for more information:

Hautvillers - we will be back. On horseback...

20 Apr 2015

Celebrating the 15th Anniversary of nannasalmi in Champagne

If you wish to celebrate something - a wedding day, a birthday, a retirement or any anniversary - one of the best ways to do it is to have a glass of champagne. Where would it taste best? Of course in Champagne

Just get on the plane, fly to Paris and drive to Reims... That´s what we did! 

Photos by Nanna Salmi

April is a good time to visit Champagne: it is pretty warm but not too hot, the springtime blooming has started, trees are getting green and there are not too many tourists around.

Reims is a beautiful, historical city, the capital of the region Champagne. The kings were
crowned in Reims and that has a special contribution to the reputation of the city and the wines of the area.

In the area of Reims there are ca. 300 000 inhabitants and most of them work directly or
indirectly in the champagne industry. There are 11 big and famous champagne houses, tens of champagne boutiques, and tens of restaurants and bras series that have built their menus around this noble drink.

It is not possible to visit all the champagne houses as an ordinary tourist. That´s why we travelled with the Wineserver -club. In most of the houses the bookings for the visits and tastings must be done in advance. Now we didn't have to worry any of that, just enjoy.

We started the tastings in the house of Taittinger. Taittinger was established in 1734. That time wines were quite different from today. Modern times started in 1932 when Pierre Taittinger started developing the house with all his energy and passion. The house was sold in between but in 2006 Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger bought it back to the family. He continues the work with his team, son and daughter.

The Taittinger champagnes are based on the grape Chardonnay and they are very living, 
glamorous and delicious. In the decoration of the reception and the 
tasting room you can see a touch of art deco.

The second tasting of the day was at G.H. Mumm

The House G.H. Mumm was founded in 1827 by three brothers, Jacobus, Gottlieb and Phillip Mumm, German winemakers from the Rhine valley and G. Heuser and Friedrich Giesler as P. A. Mumm Giesler et Co. 

P.A. stood for the initials of Mumm senior (Peter Arnold Mumm),
a successful wine merchant from Solingen.

Down to the caves... 

G.H. Mumm is an official sponsor of F1 racing since 2013 and provides the champagne bottles for the podium celebrations after each race. The bottles are stored in these caves and they are delivered to their destination just before the race. 

Tasting room was very light and modern. The back wall was decorated with the bottles of 
still wines. We got to taste five quality champagnes of G.H. Mumm.
The best was yet to come! Each one of us got a bottle of Cuveé R. Lalou 1999 to take 
back home. If you ever get to try that champagne, we hope you enjoy it's 
masculine and elegant taste.

Thomas Lignier hosted the tasting. 

We want to thank both houses for the hospitality and a great visit in the house and caves. 

To be continued. Next time Bollinger, Ayala and Deutz in Aÿ... 

14 Apr 2015

With Kyra

Text Jilla Lappalainen
Photos Sonja Holma

Kyra Kyrklund had her sold out clinic in Ypäjä Equine College in Finland in the end of March, and the media had a chance to meet her there.

A year ago she got the diagnosis of breast cancer and has been waiting for the 1st of April.
"A year ago my doctor said that this will take a year. On the1st of April it is one year from the diagnosis. The treatments are over and step by step I can continue doing things I had to dropp off a year ago. At the moment I ride two horses per day at home. We have now only 12 horses, my husband (Richard White) and I travel a lot because of the work. We have two trainees from Ypäjä Equine College and two permanent employees, but still it is easier with less horses. Some of the horses are our own, some of them are customers´ horses."

The media was also interested in Max. How is Max doing?
"Max is fine! He´s already 20 years old but still the king of the stables. He works three or four times a week and we do GP level movements. Some things he is doing even better than during those years we competed."

What is the secret of his condition?
"Probably because I finished competing with him early enough, before he got broken. I try to keep Max in a good condition, both physically and mentally. We still have to be a little careful with him - we don´t leave the stable with a long rein - he is still very quick in his actions."

Talking about young horses, which are the main things you pay attention in the future dressage horses?
"If we are talking about the yearlings which I go to see on a pasture, I pay my attention to their balance. I also try to find out if a horse easily changes the gallop - which is good - or if it has to take many short, balancing steps between different gaits. Of course a build of a body is important and the family. In the end I trust the breeders a lot."

What kind of a training program you would recommend with a young horse?
"When working with young horses you have to follow their terms. You work with them 2-3 times a week and then they should rest and spend time in a corral. Working with them has to be many-sided and interesting."

Do your young horses jump?
"Yes, they do. Once a week we had a show jumper who worked with all the young ones and they really enjoyed it. A happy horse has the energy to work and it is coopeartive. If there is no cooperation, there are no results either..."

What do you think about the age classes?
"If the training is correct and the horse horse is on the right level, age classes are good. It´s always important to have goals and targets. But if a young horse is not at it's best, you should not compete with it. That might even give the horse a bad experience. Working should not be too hard or difficult. A young horse should not be confronted with too difficult challenges. You can stretch bounderies but if it does not work, you have to take a few steps back. Someone has said that a lazy trainer is the best for a young horse. Young horses don't necessarely get better when riding them a lot."

Do you think the dressage has changed during the years?
”Within the last twenty years we have got a lot of new information about horses and their behaviour, riding has changed into more horse orientated. Earlier we might have thought that a horse denying to work was stupid or stubborn, now we do e.g. act of bending to make sure a horse is not hurting. The perspective has changed.”

Has this have any influence on the working of the dressage judges?
”Yes, I think so. Nowadays they put more attention in the big picture. Earlier, if you entered infront the judges with a gallop but a horse took one step back after stopping, you got four. Nowadays they observe the same situation with a larger scale: How was a gallop, how well a horse was prepared for a transition etc. Still one judge can give four and another one eight. Judging is changing continiously, sometimes more motion, sometimes relaxedness or stronger collecting is more wanted. Charlotte Dujardin's Valegro for example has changed judgind to a softer direction.”

Then, in the end, what is demanded from a good dressage rider?
”Passion”, says Kyra smiling. ”Passion and persistence. You need to know your own body and there are good tools for it, e.g. pilates. You must work a lot. For some riding is easier, but then there is a danger not to do certain necessary things. And then someone not so talented but hardworking rider gets better results."

"The way to rise the level of the dressage is wanting to ride better.” Kyra K. 

If you wish to learn more about Ypäjä Equine College in Finland, please visit their web site: 
Ypäjän Hevosopisto (in English) 

The original interview in Finnish 

Jilla´s own blog (some texts also in English) 

Thank you, Jilla, for letting us to publish this interview in English! 

All the best for Kyra, too. With respect.

"If you do what you have done before, you get what you have got before.
If you want to get something else, you have to do something differently." 
Kyra K.

6 Apr 2015

Wedding with the Friesian Twist

If you think about the perfect wedding what would it take?

Of course your beloved one... Family and friends, beautiful location, good food, champagne... And horses! Horses and carriage would give the day the finishing touch!

If you are located in UK Cumbria, the Lake District, Yorkshire, the Fylde, the Borders & Dumfries, Cheshire or other parts of the Northern England, here is a perfect solution for you!

Black Horses provide a bespoke Horse Drawn Carriage. Their beautiful, magnificent Friesian Horses are trained to the highest standards to ensure they carry out their work with enthusiasm and elegance.

Put them in front of one of elegant, hand crafted carriages and you will not fail to be impressed. One driver and two grooms provide a support car to travel discreetly in front or behind the carriage to ensure a safe route between venues. Can you imagine anything more sophisticated and fun?

Absolutely beautiful and chic, isn´t it? 

Can you think about anything more romantic?

Everybody will enjoy the horses!

You would get some very nice photos, too!

There is one more thing that would make a horse loving couple´s day even better, if possible!
How would you feel wearing a horsehair ring as a wedding band or an engagement ring?

Collect some hair of you dearest horse/horses and have them woven into a smooth, beautiful
ribbon and have all your beloved once with you - all the time...

But back to Cartmel and the balck beauties!

Greenbank Farm is dating back to the 17th century and is literally built into the fellside and commands spectacular views of Cartmel village and the Priory. The farm has been owned by the family for over 100 years but was run by a tenant as a beef and dairy farm until 2006.

The black giants are available for any special occasions, not only weddings. How would you feel about suprising your loved one with a proposal of marriage on a champagne carriage ride? Or, you might have a special anniversary to celebrate or simply want to say ‘I love you’!

It all does not have to be about romance, perhaps you just love the Friesians?
In that case there is an exciting opportunity for Friesian lovers to get hands on experience
of what it's like to ride and / or drive top quality Friesians - you choose! You can also gift an experience.

Greenbank Farm Stud boasts 75 acres of land located just a mile from the beautiful picturesque village of Cartmel in the Lake District.

This location caters to the fine up bringing of horses and offers the opportunity of a lifetime for visitors to enjoy touring the local area too. 


Aren´t they handsome?

Read more about the possibilities and services of the Black Horse Ltd
Like The Friesian Experience Facebook!

Most of these pictures are taken by Sandy Kitching.
From the web page theearlybirddesign.com you´ll find more fascinating pictures:
horses, cats, dogs etc. and read about her work. 

We want to wish all the happy couples a perfect wedding day this spring and
summer - with or without the horses...