As promised, I’m in Russia as I write this. We were lucky with the weather this morning – absolutely gorgeous. The sun intermittently shone down through big puffy clouds and a slight breeze blew so even in the sun, it wasn’t too hot. Then a dark cloud rolled in bringing behind it heavy cloud cover. By late afternoon it was raining and grey. “That’s St. Petersburg,” the locals told us.
O my first visit to St. Petersburg, as part of a Baltic cruise, we had nothing but sunshine but I didn’t think is would be polite to contradict the locals.
One of my traveling companions is fond of recalling trips she’s taken in the past, over and over and over again. Still, her memories are interesting and often involve delicious food. After a lengthy description of one particular dish she had when she was in Georgia (Russia, not the US Georgia) we decided to have Georgian food for dinner.
One thing I can say for our local guides, they know where the best restaurants are!
We piled into a lovely restaurant that was all woodsy and warm. We spotted a large fireplace at one end where bread was baking – imagine the aroma! We were ushered up a set of large wooden stairs to the second level – a wide open space with table after table. One of the nicest aspects of restaurants in St. Petersburg is the use of couches rather than chairs and the blankets available to put over your laps – particularly useful and necessary for patio dining. I was looking forward to collapsing into one of those couches but the hostess kept walking so we followed. She led us though this room, up another small flight of steps, down a short corridor, past a corridor that had off it four private dining areas that contained sectional sofas, no chairs, around a low table with a gauzy curtain that offered some privacy. In my quick glance down the corridor I saw a couple. He was reclined on the couch, his head in his dates lap. She was stroking his head lovingly then bent down to give him a kiss.
Past this last corridor was another room, about a quarter the size of the upstairs room we’d first seen. There was a long banquet table, rough hewn wood to match the rest of the décor with chairs to one side an a long sofa on the other strewn with too many pillows. The room was lovely but so isolated. This was where we were seated.
I will have to tell you about the meal and the other Americans we met in my next blog because it’s almost 6am, time to hit the road and I can’t be late!