The gilded city
The streets of Moscow are littered with relics from seminal moments in history, from the Empire to the Soviet era, and beyond. This is a city of opulence, luxury, and more. But Moscow is now embarking on a new moment in living history; ushering in a new era of art and culture, all the while maintaining a reverence and respect for the past.
The hearth of Uilliams rests front and centre of the restaurant, breathing life into the casual eatery for more than two decades. Established by the Italian Michelin-trained chef Uilliam Lamberti, the European fusion restaurant (which boasts subtle nods to Russian, Italian and French cuisines) is a small location that packs in serious flavour, in more ways than one. The restaurant is popular with residents, with rustic interiors that wouldn’t look out of place in a country cottage, though the counter stools are always the first to go, as they offer ring-side seats into the action of the kitchen.
Malaya Bronnaya Street, 20А, Moscow, 123104;
Tel. +7 495 650-64-62
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Step inside Caroll’s lair and you’ll find just what kept the infamous white rabbit so busy; lovingly prepared Russian ingredients and traditional flavours, plush interiors and a domed roof offering unobstructed views of the Moscow skyline. Down this rabbit hole, you’ll find offerings from the best of both worlds. Guests can either opt for the 12-course tasting menu, seated atop the city, or browse the gastro bar’s offerings, including a wide selection of fresh seafood and cheeses. The unique downstairs space has a counter section split in two – one part mixology, one part galley, showcasing the skilled team on hand.
Smolenskaya Square, 3, Moscow, 121099;
Tel. +7 495 782-62-62
In true speakeasy fashion, Mendeleev is hidden in plain sight, behind an unassuming black curtain in the back of Lucky Noodles, a 24-hour Chinese takeaway. But that’s the only way this space conforms to any label. Shunning your typical images of easy listening and whisky, absinthe is something of a specialty for the mixologists here. With live jazz and piano performances by weekday and house and techno on weeknights, the understated opulence of Mendeleev is reflected the moment you walk down into the basement space on a red carpet into a room framed by vaulted ceilings, exposed brick, and geometric tiled floors.
Petrovka 20/1, Moscow, 107031;
Tel. +7 495 625 3385
PETROFF PALACE HOTEL
This relic from the days of the Tsar may no longer hold a royal purpose, but it has transitioned seamlessly into the heart of modern-day Moscow. Having served as a military headquarters and a historical museum, the hotel and spa now welcomes guests day in and day out, offering their own slice of Russian royalty during their stay. Housed by meticulously preserved yet unchanged exteriors, the hotel’s interiors boast all the modern luxury comforts you would ever want for.
Leningradsky Ave, 40, Moscow, 125167;
Tel. +7 495 401-76-67
KUZNETSKY MOST 20
Showcasing modern European design at its finest, Kuznetsky Most 20 opened in 2009 with the help of acclaimed Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy. Eight years on from its founding, the concept store, which functions as part shop, part gallery, and part café, now highlights the works of local and international designers, having developed a reputation themselves as a leading name on the forefront of fashion and design trends in the city.
Kuznetsky Most, 20, Moscow, 107031;
Tel. +7 495 623-78-88
Few museums have played as significant a role in modern history as Bunker 42. With the entrance situated on an inconspicuous side street which masquerades as an ordinary military checkpoint, the bunker itself rests more than 160 feet below the ground.
Commissioned by Stalin following a series of nuclear tests, the underground military stronghold was never used in its full conceived capacity. Decommissioned as a command base in 1986 in response to the changing political climate, it is now open to curious eyes looking to glimpse a rare piece of history.
5-y Kotelnicheskiy per., 11, Moscow, 115172;
Tel. +7 499 703-00-77
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MASTER & MARGARITA - MIKHAIL BULGAKOV
Mikhail Bulgakov’s seminal novel takes readers on a journey through Moscow in the 1930s, and Satan’s visit to the Patriarch Ponds in the midst of the Stalinist era. From the phantasmagorical to the theological, the narrator and his confidante, Margarita, battle crises of conscious, ethics, and more.