We arrive in St Petersburg on another sunny day. We are immediately told that the sun hardly ever shines there so I feel lucky and happy already.
It’s still early and I need coffee so our guide Julia takes us to a local coffee house/museum. This turns out to be the oddest little place. My croissant with cheese tasted quite a bit like kraft mac& cheese and the coffee was almost undrinkable. Not the most auspicious start but..
We then were off to our first restaurant filming at the famous Palkin on Nevsky Prospect, St Petersburg’s main street. Our local film ‘fixer’ Arsenio was there to get us set up. It was a beautiful place and we were given a separate dining room for our shoot. After a bit of waiting, odd communication and a bit of frustration I did get to try some very tasty Russian dishes including hare croquettes and the excellent 38.5% alcohol Russian (rye) vodka- Polugar.
This visit was followed by a trip to The Vodka Room along with my husband, Patrick and our 2 friends, Sarah & Brian who were on the cruise as well.
Salted cucumbers, caviar, smoked meat and fish were tasted along with ( I think) 5 vodkas. The favorite seemed to be the horseradish vodka that really made me want a hotdog to go along with it. We left there warm and happy and with gifts from the manager too ( one of those Russian nesting dolls with a bottle of vodka inside.)
We overnighted in St Petersburg and while many took an excursion to the Hermitage that evening we decided to take it easy and be fresh and ready for our next day ( likely to include more vodka)
And so it did.. At Ruskaya Charka, we were given 4 very large shot glasses with different fruit vodkas and my favorite, horseradish while we waited for the dishes the chef was preparing for me.
After the meal we took a ride on the metro and I stopped in to a local farmers market picking up some local cheese and other goodies.
While many visit St Petersburg for the palaces and museums (they are amazing) – I enjoyed eating and drinking my way through it.
This episode will definitely show you the city in a fascinating way- stay tuned
Next up- Helsinki, Finland
All the best,