Lunch in Helsinki: check! Next stop is St Petersburg!
In about three hours by train you can easily and comfortably reach St Petersburg from Helsinki and I would advice everyone to take the train as you go through some amazing woods and landscape, an extremely pleasant and relaxing ride before arriving in one of the most charming cities I have ever visited.
I fell in love with this city as soon as I got off from the train and every place I have visited it definitely kept up with my expectations. I had a clear idea of what to visit and where to go in terms of museums and historical hotspots and I was certainly looking for the performance at the Mariinsky Theatre, but I have to admit that food wise I had no expectations at all and I am glad to say that I was very pleasantly surprised.
Following our Lonely Planet’s advice, we had lunch in “stolovaya” (canteen): if you like fine dining and fancy atmosphere, you should not go there, if you are instead interested in a authentic dining experience with locals and some traditional and simple food, then this is the sort of places to go. Every canteen gives you the possibility to choose among a few options of warm food, salads, drinks and desserts for a very cheap price, yet the food is really nice. We had borscht every day, both the cold and warm version…delicious!
Another great discovery I made in Russia was…Georgian food. Yes, one day we were hungry and tired after a huge walk and many hours spent visiting the Hermitage (I would need an entire dedicated blog to describe how fantastic is this museum and the Winter Palace!) and we literally entered the first restaurant we found, and I am so glad we did as that was my introduction to such an amazing cuisine. The restaurant is called Baje and it’s a tiny, hidden place not far from the Admiralteyskaya metro station and it’s totally worth a visit.
Here below few photos of some of the food we had during our stay. I hope I will be able to post a few recipes in the near future!