Eat & Drink Europe Travel

Moscow Part II: Discoveries on Food

Moscow1-1499My Moscow trip wasn’t only pretty sights and being touristy; work had to be done too. Luckily, our host picked one of the nicest hotel in town at a good location. They made sure we had a taste of local food as well, something I was equally curious and worried about; I’m quite a fussy eater, so it’s always a mystery if there’s something I like. I’ve grown over most of this and have become quite culinary adventurous even, but I still have my preferences. So follow me and let’s check out Moscow’s hospitality. 

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I stayed at the Baltschug Kempinski hotel, located in the heart of Moscow on the Moskva river, overlooking the Kremlin and the St. Basil Cathedral. The building has a rich history and the facade dates back to 1898. It was the first international 5 star hotel in Moscow, and indeed, the hotel breathes luxury and comfort in a more traditional, classical kind of way.

Moscow Baltschug Kempinksi
The ‘Baltschug’ (as the locals call it) has a spa, various bars and restaurants and very spacious rooms. The striking views are a real feature of the majority of the rooms, although my room looked out on an atrium that was used as a conference room.
Would I have not been here for work where I just need the room for sleep and a shower, I would have asked to change rooms. The rooms are very spacious though, it’s easily double the size of a standard New York or London hotel room, with all features you would expect, starting with a fluffy bed.

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The bathroom was spacious too, I didn’t test the bath, it wasn’t as grand as the one in Shanghai, but I did fit under the shower, which is more important.  The mini bar was well equipped, which means there are always pringles to fall back to, should the local food not be of my liking.

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Russia, being the biggest country in the world, has a very diverse cuisine, so my worries weren’t necessary; there is something for everyone. The hotel had a nice buffet for both breakfast and lunch with tasty food aplenty.

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Some of it was more international orientated, some of it was  a more local flavour.

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Obviously, we didn’t only eat at the hotel. We did a bit more sightseeing on our way to the restaurant on the first night, walking along colourful,  wide boulevards.

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Even though it was still September, autumn had started to show its colours.

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When we arrived at the restaurant for a taste of local food, appetizers were ready to start sharing, varying from Pirozhki (delicious stuffed buns) to vegetables and cheeses.

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I have a fish / vegetarian based diet and I love salads and bread, so this was heaven.

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But the meat lovers were not forgotten either.

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Mushroom season had just started, so I think I had every variety going; mushrooms in a bun, mushrooms with melted cheese, pan-fried mushrooms with potatoes. Luckily I like them, and I felt like I got lost in a mushroom forest. A culinary Russian one at that, not a delirious Amsterdam one.

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(If you look carefully at the picture above, you see my colleague hanging upside down in my wine glass.) I can honestly say that the local Russian cuisine really surprised me, in a good way.

After having checked out the more authentic, local cuisine, we were ready to check out something different, so the next evening we went to the hip and happening O2 Lounge, the rooftop bar at the Ritz Carlton, overlooking the Red Square.

Moscow Part II-red square

This is a very internationally orientated place, with a completely different atmosphere than the nights before; think white, slick, trendy, loungey. This called for a cocktail.

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They had some sharing platters here too, so we just ordered a little bit of everything.
Sharing is caring after all.

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Plenty of wine to choose from, once finished with cocktails.

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A lot of places offer the opportunity to smoke shisha (water-pipe). Tobacco rules in many other countries including NL would not allow for this, but here it’s like ordering dessert. I didn’t try it as it’s not for me, but one of my colleagues seemed to enjoy it.

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Like I said in my first post on Moscow: I thoroughly enjoyed exploring this gorgeous city; our nice hotel and the many lovely food experiences really contributed more to the experience.

I just heard two days ago that the first snow had started to fall this week in Moscow.
It won’t be long before the notorious winter chill sets in, whereas we were walking around without coats just 3 weeks ago. I can only imagine how magical Moscow looks covered in a white blanket of snow. I’ll be Russian to get back there. 🙂

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Moritz
    12 October 2015 at 00:44

    The Baltschug is on my list of the hotels I have to visit for a long time. Your review makes me want to visit it even more. Thanks a lot! 🙂

  • Reply
    Tall Wife
    15 October 2015 at 16:52

    Happy to hear I could be of help! 🙂 It is definitely worth a visit! Have fun! 🙂

  • Reply
    tallfashionadventures
    16 October 2015 at 12:53

    Great overview! Always interesting to explore the food scenes in other countries.

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