Marriott Hotel, Moscow 25.8.12
Posted by Lisa Hill on August 25, 2012
Once we were settled in we had a bite of lunch in the one of the hotel restaurants, and I had a manicure in the beauty parlour. Travel is very hard on the nails, and the hard water here has made my hair strangely curly too, so I could easily have spent the whole afternoon being pampered but we took a walk instead.
The Marriott is right in the centre of Moscow, a stone’s throw from the Kremlin and surrounded by dozens of shops and restaurants – including MacDonalds. Compared to the Swissotel, the pace here is positively frenetic, and what’s really interesting is that there’s a whole lot of street life going on underground as well, as we discovered when we took a subway to cross the road. Imagine the Victoria Market underground, and you have some idea. You could spend the whole day shopping there – buying anything from souvenir kitsch to underwear or books and never come up for air!
Today’s Bookish Moment was easy because we discovered Pushkin brooding over a nearby park. We also soon noticed Moscow’s version of London’s blue plaques, large carved images of Moscow’s best and brightest, but alas we didn’t recognise any of the names or faces so they were a bit wasted on us. However I did like the decorations on some of the apartment blocks, which in general are rather gorgeous here. They seem to range in age from the 18th century onwards, and apart from some of the dowdy 1960s ones, they are as attractive as those you might see anywhere else in Europe, but with architectural elements which seem to be distinctively Russian.
We dined out at the Kitezh-Grad on Petrovka St which serves traditional Russian cuisine from all over the country. We wimped out on the bear, because last night’s chef at the Graf Restaurant warned us off it, but we decided to lash out and have some Russian caviar pancakes which we shared over a glass of champagne, and Siberian dumplings with game (minced deer and wild boar). The main courses were so huge that neither of us could finish them but they were delicious: I had venison served in a Hunter’s style with ‘cowberries’ and Tim had wild boar with what we think was burghul and fried apple with a raspberry sauce.
I know the layout for these photos isn’t as tidy as usual, but internet access is free here in the lobby and expensive in the room, and so I’m rushing to finish this so that we can put our feet up!