Here’s a link from a writer friend to a wonderful poem about the Hermitage during WWII. Do have a look. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/47104
We’re on our own here for five days. We’re booked into the Rossi Boutique Hotel. Situated on the Fontanka River embankment, the building was once a private residence and is now a funky hotel whose rooms retain the feel of bygone elegance. Not your standard layout- we climb up stairs and down stairs to get to our room.
We’re a short walk to Nevsky Prospect. Laid out by Peter the Great in 1701, it’s still the heart of St. Petersburg. The city is full of coffee shops, but none rivals the Eliseyev Emporium. The art deco building has been restored to its early glory. As we enter, we’re greeted by a grand piano playing classical music – on its own. Walls are lined with displays showcasing everything from caviar to cheeses to liquors to exquisitely decorated pastries.
We take a seat at one of the red velvet banquets and order hot chocolate and eclairs. The hot chocolate is so thick we use our spoons to eat it. The eclairs are miniature works of art. Note gold dust on the chocolate.
St. Petersburg is a city made for walking – for all ages. We discover Le Pont Rouge – the red bridge – and the very upscale department store of the same name. It’s an art deco gem. Inside is a curated selection of designer fashion. We’re just as impressed by the number of beefy security guys wandering the floors. At least we can afford a coffee in the swanky cafe.
Our big splurge is dinner at Palkin. We’re greeted on the ground floor by a St. Petersburg beauty in impossibly high heels. She leads us up a glass staircase, lighted from below, to the dining room – all 19th century opulence.