St. Petersburg, Europe’s most beautiful city, is my annual cultural ‘fix’ - not just because I am ¾ Russian and my family ties draw me there, but mainly because St. Petersburg is unique amongst world cities in its planned harmony of mansions and palaces, its remarkable history and its incredible wealth of treasures.
It is also an architectural feast, an extraordinary glut of paintings with palace interiors to excite any aesthete. Catherine the Great did not do anything by halves! It was not just her insatiable appetite for sex or cameos but for any quality bulk sale in Europe at the time.
In February, the city’s pastel painted palaces and backdrop of stark, snow laden trees are pure theater, and a troika ride through this fairytale setting elates the mind and spirit.
After gilded rooms and priceless paintings, if I am not at the world-famous Mariinsky Theater seeing the BEST of world ballet, I have dinner at Teplo or revel in the blissful linen sheets of the Astoria Hotel where I have stayed for the last 23 years. I need my gulp of frozen Russian air every year and more!
To see and enjoy all of this yourself, join Tania in St. Petersburg in February 2017, exact dates TBC.