This winter, Belmond Grand Hotel Europe has curated the Cultural Heritage Escape for discerning travellers to immerse themselves in true Tsarist elegance and discover the cultural treasures this enchanting city has to offer.
From a warming gluehwein at the new ice bar made from ice from the home of Father Frost; or an unforgettable Caviar and Vodka masterclass with the world’s only vodka sommelier, to exploring the plethora of museums and art galleries to a glamorous evening in the hotel’s private box at the Nutcracker ballet guests will be spoilt for choice when exploring Russia’s cultural capital this winter.
Known as the ‘Venice of the North,’ St Petersburg provides an inspiring city break just a few hours from London. Steeped in history, Belmond Grand Hotel Europe provides an extraordinary home-from-home experience with a little extra indulgence.
This December, Belmond Grand Hotel Europe will open a pop-up ice bar on the corner of the iconic Nevsky Prospekt, constructed by sculptors from Veliky Ustiug in the Vologda region – the hometown of the Russian Santa Claus – Father Frost. Visitors to the bar (made from ice from the biggest lake in Europe – Lake Ladoga) can warm up with gluehwein and other traditional Russian treats. At dusk, the bar will dazzle guests as its lights illuminate the backdrop of picturesque St Petersburg.
The world’s only vodka sommelier, Alexander Dmitriev teaches guests how to discern different caviar varieties’ nuances pairing the indulgent hors d’oeuvre with the perfect vodka to create the most exquisite taste sensation. Alexander will teach guests the history of Russian vodka, how it was first crafted and—perhaps most importantly—how to drink it without suffering the next day.
CULTURAL INDULGENCE & INTRIGUE
Throughout the winter in St Petersburg, there is a smorgasbord of choice for those looking to immerse in the rich history, heritage and contemporary culture of the city.
During December, The Arts Square Winter Music Festival engages in an interplay of the neighbouring culture hubs around the square, including the State Russian Museum, Mikhailovsky theatre and the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, with music performed by some of the world’s leading musicians.
Running through until January 2019, a series of exhibitions at St Petersburg’s finest cultural establishments is on display including: The Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer: Masterpieces of The Leiden Collection at the State Hermitage Museum; the renowned works by French master of photography Jean-Marie Périer at the Erarta Museum showcasing more than 50 works by the maître, including his cult images of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent and Vivienne Westwood; and a spectacular exhibition at the Russian Museum marks the 200th birth anniversary of the German philosopher, historian, journalist and socialist revolutionary, Karl Marx; located just across the square from Belmond Grand Hotel Europe and on Tuesdays the museum is opened exclusively for guests of the hotel.
A visit to St Petersburg would not be complete without an afternoon at the awe-inspiring Faberge Museum, home to the biggest collection of Imperial Easter eggs by Karl Faberge. Created for the last two Russian emperors, the Imperial Easter eggs are jewel-encrusted masterpieces and monuments to the reign and personal life of Alexander III and Nicholas II. Faberge, goldsmith to the Romanovs, is said to have hosted secret meetings at Belmond Grand Hotel Europe to meet his lover while rival Cartier would follow him around the city to try and scout his jewellery secrets.
A NIGHT AT THE BALLET
In 1886 Johann Strauss, II. visited St Petersburg to perform his latest operetta, the Gypsy Baron, on the stage of the Mikhailovsky theater and stayed at Belmond Grand Hotel Europe. Today, guests can enjoy the best seats at the ballet in the hotel’s private box and throughout the festive season, iconic ballets such as The Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet and Cinderella are the perfect opportunity for an evening to remember.
Or book a table in the hotel’s L’Europe restaurant where Tchaikovsky Fridays celebrate the great Tchaikovsky who spent his honeymoon at the hotel in 1877. A gastronomic feast accompanied by a live orchestra playing timeless melodies by Pyotr Tchaikovsky and a ballet duo performing the White Adagio from Swan Lake.
LIVE LIKE A TSAR
The St Petersburg Cultural Heritage Experience package at Belmond Grand Hotel Europe includes:
● Three night stay including return airport transfers from Pulkovo International Airport to Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
● Daily breakfast
● Special Russian gift
● Guided tour of the Hermitage Museum
● Two tickets to the opera or ballet at the Mikhailovsky Theatre
● One guided palace tour: Peterhof, Pavlovsk or Pushkin
● One set-menu dinner in L’Europe or Caviar Bar & Restaurant
Priced from 28,640 RUB / £334 + VAT per night based on two people sharing. Available till 31/03/2019.