Heavenly flight of fancy to Hel

Reel original: first airline and airport commissioned movie
Reel original: first airline and airport commissioned movie
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Travelling to Hel and back isn't most folk's idea of heaven.

But when the destination is, not place of perpetual damnation, rather Finnish capital of everlasting enjoyment, Helsinki's attraction is altogether understandable.

A life-affirming location, its appeal echoed by city university's lead researcher Prof Timo Strandberg, who argues jollies, over diet and exercise, are key to longer life.

"Vacations can be a good way to relieve stress,” he confirms. So, intent on living longer than pasteurised milk, I followed his advice for whistle-stop 48 hours of Fin fun.

Laid-back by day, vibrant by night, the seaside resort boasts green parks and gulf isles, stylish streets and presidential palace, this year graced (word used advisedly) by world leaders US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Approaching almost same level of interest was recent red carpet premiere that drew international media like blogging bees around honeypot of Helsinki Airport.

Fin-tastic: airport hangar red carpet premiere

Fin-tastic: airport hangar red carpet premiere

For this globe-trotter, accurately reputed to attend the opening of an envelope, 2,400-mile round trip to view 13 minutes of film appeared entirely reasonable.

Friends knew better, questioning as White City of the Northerners would colloquially say "Olla kaikki muumit laaksossa" - if I had “all the Moomins in the valley”.

So I disappeared into Finnair.

Fin facts: Finland has 5.5 million folk, 188,000 lakes, three quarters of land forested, three languages and 600,000 foreigners' overnight stays.

Just the business: Sky's the limit in-flight Finnair luxury

Just the business: Sky's the limit in-flight Finnair luxury

And what a transport of delight Airbus business class proved - china cups, fluted glasses and fine dining providing refreshingly civilised change to bucket airlines' unappetising fare.

Cabin location doesn't come much better than Row A Seat 1. Any closer to the cockpit, I'd have been within touching distance of joystick flight deck controls. And nobody wants that!

Finland's flag carrier has for 35 years, partnered by airport controller Finavia, seamlessly connected eastern and western worlds, subject matter of Match Made in HEL movie short.

Master of ceremonies at the exclusive star studded, champers splashed event was silver screen industry heavyweight that is Die Hard 2 & Nightmare on Elm Street 4's Renny Harlin.

Nordic but nice: Anne Bergstedt, sometime Sienna Miller & Charlize Theron stand-in, star of long haul short film, with Chris

Nordic but nice: Anne Bergstedt, sometime Sienna Miller & Charlize Theron stand-in, star of long haul short film, with Chris

The mogul's movies have made more than $1,160,000,000, making him world's 115th highest-grossing director. So paparazzi lens bulbs flashed like runway landing lights on his arrival.

East and West Side Story celebrates this pivotal role as connecting point between disparate cultures, charting perspectives of American author and Korean photographer in equally emotional and innovative measure.

The lead characters' meaningful encounter amplifies all those experienced by visitors to and from this mid-way point between Europe and Asia, imbued with Nordic uniqueness.

The unique production, first of its kind created by airline and airport, is story spanning three continents, dually directed by Young-Wok Paik and Johan Storm, produced by B-Reel Films, team behind Bergman - A Year in A Life.

Famous writer intent on personal privacy is portrayed by Anne Bergstedt, whose past performances include Boardwalk Empire and Black Swan, while snapper equally intent on shining spotlight on her is acted by Jae Hoon, who previously appeared in One Day Maybe.

Where to stay: Hotel St. George is gorgeous. This newly opened luxury bolthole boasts "holistic care for healthy mind, heart and body". Hashtag #momentsaremore exemplifies mantra of attentive staff at Old Church Park location, close to the city's cultural beating heart, whose 148 individually decorated rooms and five suites exude style. Wintergarden restaurant and bar are complemented by Restaurant Andrea, world acclaimed Finnish-Turkish chef Mehmet Gürs' fusion of Anatolian and Scandi cuisine, while on-site bakery beckons with inviting aromas.

Above the clouds: Finnair airbus transport of delight

Above the clouds: Finnair airbus transport of delight

Where to dine: Roster Bar & Restaurant promises to "strip away from formalities of fine dining and rather focus on high quality food, superb service and great ambience". And they succeed in spades. Trio of Chef’s Tables alongside open kitchens allow guests to watch Head Chef Kari Aihinen and his team turn basic ingredients into something special to savour while secreted Omertà lounge provides private bespoke dining experience away from masses. Then there's HopLopster, not '79 hit by The B52's, but world’s first high-end eatery masterminded by kids.

Where to go: Löyly is highly thought of around these parts. And TIME magazine agrees, affording the amazing attraction inclusion in this year's 100 World’s Greatest Places 2018. Named after steam rising from its and country's other 3.3 million sauna stoves, the venue's reputation has similarly soared since its 2016 shoreline construction. A pioneer in both sustainable business and ecological architecture, "wonderful experiences and warm moments" are available, whether within its toasty waters or along sun terraces overlooking beautiful Baltic Sea.

Design District, courtesy of Helsinki Marketing, is cultural melting pot mecca covering areas of Punavuori, Kaartinkaupunki, Kamppi and Ullanlinna, all of which also probably provide winning Scrabble hands. Highlights include Iittala & Arabia Design Centre's amalgam of foremost Finnish lifestyle brands, R/H Market's one stop shop for haute couture women's wear, Kankurit's top drawer textiles and Viaminnet’s light leather jewellery as well as art, craft and commerce combination of expressionism and excellence that is locally lauded Lokal gallery.

Way to go: Finnair flies from London to Helsinki up to five times a day operating both Airbus A350 and A320 aircraft. Fares from Heathrow start from £97 return in Economy Class and £514 return in Business Class including all taxes and charges. For further information and reservations visit finnair.com or call 0208 0010101.

Press posse: world's media checked in for VIP event

Press posse: world's media checked in for VIP event