Happy grilled pork chop

In Snezhinka we came up against our worst dining fear: a menu entirely in Russian. And not a small menu either. 8 pages of Cyrillic stood between us and dinner. Would we starve to death in a cosy cafe, slumping decorously over striped satin cushions and [...]

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A stack of meals on the Baikaler. Fingers crossed they’re nice

The provodnitsa knocked on our cabin door and then slung it open with a wide smile and a cheery nod. If anyone tells you that the Russians are a dour, gloomy people, give them a kick in the shins. You couldn’t hope [...]

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Apple strudel

In late September we strolled down sunny Siberian streets in our shirtsleeves (try saying that after a few Russian Standards). The legendary frozen climate we were expecting had been replaced by a Spanish spring and we stripped off layers of fleece and HeatTech in the marshrutka [...]

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The dining car on the Rossiya The first leg of our Moscow to Beijing train journey kicked off at 9.50pm on the 27th September, when the Rossiya pulled out of the seedy and signage-free Yaroslavsky station with us, remarkably, on it. We did not miss our train! We’d got rid [...]

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Bread at homeMade cafe

On every holiday there is a bar or cafe that you adopt as your home from the strange, alien world you have travelled miles to explore. A little safe haven that strikes a chord of familiarity, where you can retreat when you’re tired of [...]

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Leonard’s bag sat on its own stool at Cafe Pushkin

Cafe Pushkin serves the hautest of haute Russian cuisine to tourists, businessmen, unimaginative husbands who forgot their wives’ birthdays and parties that like to celebrate in a dignified, hushed, expensive sort of a way. We went there because [...]

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Worst pizza ever

Killing Italian cuisine and salting its grave since 1956, Sbarro is one of the few options available to hungry tourists racing between attractions around Red Square. We’d spent a highly cultural morning peering at Lenin in his brutalist marble crypt and then gazing [...]

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Azeri tea

DJ, Leonard and I are standing on a Moscow underground platform and we’re lathered in sweat. The weather predictions for our holiday had ranged from -4 to 26C and thinking that it’s better to be too hot than too cold, we packed for an Arctic Winter. We arrived  to a [...]

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