{take me away № 09 | st.petersburg, russia}



St.Petersburg’s rich history can be found as one strolls up and down every street, and inside every little shop and restaurant; within the grand walls of every awe-inspiring palace, painted in the past, and with every foot that touches upon every stage.


The city is, simply put, brimming with history and sprinkled with endlessly beautiful [and fortuitous] points of culture to take in; and of the endless list of possible places to visit, Peterhof (Petrodvorets), a breathtaking palace also known as the Russian Versailles, The [lavish] Winter Palace, as well as The Winter Canal, and St.Isaac’s Cathedral, are just a few of the must-see sites. Here, tradition is recognized, remembered and celebrated.


And if possible, one must take in a performance or two while visiting, as Russian ballet is known all over the world for exquisite performances, there is luckily, [and nearby] The Hermitage Theatre—just one of the lovely possibilities.


Come away with us, on an adventure in beauty and culture, as we catch a glimpse of the enchanting city of St. Petersburg, Russia . . .




01 | Taleon Imperial Hotel


The exquisite and quintessential Taleon Imperial Hotel is, in fact, the only modern luxury hotel in St.Petersburg built in the XVIIIth century. A relatively smaller hotel, with just 89 rooms, each space has been decorated with its own architecture and design.


One cannot help but stare at the opulent ceilings and intricate floors—indeed, not a single detail has gone amiss; paintings and antiques made of bronze and marble decorate the rooms, and powder rooms feature Villeroy& Boch fixtures, malachite and marble, and finished with signature Hermès towels and dressing gowns by Frette.


In addition to the luxurious rooms and suites, the hotel has one of the most exclusive health clubs in St.Petersburg, offering many fitness and leisure activities.


Set in a most prime location, in the heart of the historical and business centre of St. Petersburg, one is only moments away from the famous State Hermitage Museum, Palace Square, Kazan Cathedral and other beautiful places to visit.


And as an a lovely activity, [during warmer months of the year] water taxis and speed-boats wait at the quay in front of the hotel and offer guests a tour of the city, by water.


02 | The Hotel Astoria


Providing an authentic, five-star experience, the stately Hotel Astoria is nothing short of first-class elegance and luxurious comfort. Capturing the grandeur synonymous with the city’s history, The Astoria offers 210 rooms in total, and from many of the rooms, breathtaking views over the bustling St.Isaac’s Square.


Known for its authentic Russian cuisine, the Astoria offers an exquisite selection of chilled vodkas and the best Russian caviar.


There is also a luxurious spa, complete with a sauna and steam rooms—a perfect place to escape to after a busy day of sightseeing. The Astoria is one of St. Petersburg’s most esteemed accommodations and a first choice for many visitors, worldwide.


03 | W St. Petersburg

Above, the Chapel at Peterhof Palace, just outside the city

As with all W Hotels, The W in St.Petersburg is welcoming, fresh and modern. Made up of clean, contemporary lines with a slight nod to the historical opulence of Russia, the W welcomes guests with bold blocks of color and furnishings that warm the spaces perfectly.


Intricate, diamond-cut lacquered walls, private balconies and courtyard views, 350-thread-count linens and luxe furnishings by B&B Italia, are just a few of the things one can expect, as well as unexpected touches throughout, such the beautiful [& romantic] shadows cast by the Orten’zia Very Very Gold pendant lamp from Terzani, which, coincidentally, was featured here, a few years ago. . .

Above, The Hermitage Museum, “Room 348, St. Petersburg”, photographic work by Andrew Moore

” . . . a modern wonder romanced by St Petersburg’s elegant traditions, where nostalgia meets cutting edge cool in Russia’s historical capital of glamour, fashion, and music.

Above, Eros and Psyche, Letniy Sad [Summer Garden]

Award-winning architects and designers, Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners, conceptualized the design of the hotel, located centrally in the historical “Venice of the North” next to St. Isaac’s Cathedral, The Winter Palace with the Hermitage Museum, and a not more than a short stroll from the spectacular Neva River.




01 | Restoran

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When in St. Petersburg, many enjoying stopping in at Restoran, for authentic Russian cuisine. The atmosphere is light and spacious and welcoming.

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Nothing is too perfect; time-worn surfaces such wood floors and rough plastering, a fireplace, and an old stove with traditional samovars are celebrated and in fact, appreciated, while grand antique mirrors and empty picture frames decorate the refreshingly unpretentious walls.

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And for added charm, numerous little lamps light the place and take one back to the present. One can expect traditional cooking, and in a cast iron pot no less. The menu features include pickled cabbage, cucumbers, and aubergines.

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Named by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the world’s 100 best restaurants—it is quite plain to see why.


02 | Mari Vanna


A secret restaurant of sorts, as there is no large sign outside Mari Vanna to let one know you are in the right place, no hours posted in the window. No, this cozy restaurant welcomes you just as a dear friend’s home might—and even as with a friend’s home, the front door is locked. However, initially odd this may seem, reviews reveal that this unusual place is nothing short of welcoming and wonderful, and this is all part of the plan to make all guests feel at ease and at home.


A restaurant that welcomes couples and families, one can relax and enjoy the delicious food, while children are occupied with colouring books, games and such. The charming, hand-written menus feature authentic Soviet and Russian home cooking.


As an added bonus, if you are intrigued, but unable to make it to Russia, they have opened a location in New York as well!


03 | Palkin

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An experience in aristocratic Russian cuisine since 1874, Palkin is the oldest restaurant in St. Petersburg, and many would say that it is one of the most fashionable. Soaring ceilings, elaborate stucco work, chandeliers and grand pianos intermingle and add to the enchanting atmosphere of days gone by . . .

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In fact, the very same amazing dishes that once graced the tables of Russia’s Tsars and Tsarinas are also served today — a mixture of Russian, European, Seafood, and French, this restaurant is certain to delight even the most particular of guests who visit with a memorable experience.



Above, Russian fashion designer & photographer, Ulyana Sergeenko


Above, from the Carolina Herrera Pre-Fall 2012 runway collection

While winters may be quite severe in Russia, bundled beneath layers of faux fur, cashmere and other such cozy knits, one could hardly mind. Turning to the ever-stylish Russian fashion designer & photographer, Ulyana Sergeenko, and her trademark romantic and feminine style, for inspiration, perhaps warmth and drama may be just the thing when visiting St. Petersburg during the chilly winter months . . .


film star stole in faux fox fur // stitched leather knee boots by chloé // by terry rose lip balm [also available here] // handbag by céline // gloves by madewell // ear muffs // vintage necklace // vintage earrings // stars: one & two

{p.s.} do leave room for a few classics such as a Russian Fabergé egg, Matryoshka dolls, and a classic coat and hat, perhaps!

~ sarah
, haute design

St Pete

p r e v i o u s l y :

* take me away № 01 | perfectly packed
* take me away № 02 | luggage to last a lifetime
* take me away № 03 | tips for buying luggage
* take me away № 04 | vintage & antique luggage
* take me away № 05 | the travel file
* take me away № 06 | an equestrian escape
* take me away № 07 | la maison du chocolat
* take me away № 08 | holiday etiquette


{editor’s note} other fun things : the golden domes of peterhof palace // astonishingly lovely photographs of st. petersburg in the winter, thanks, p! // nested measuring cups // travel sizes for frequent flyers ~ roséline x

{images: it made my heart beat; local ballerinas at the Yakobson Dance Studio in Saint Petersburg, Russia, via behind the curtain via a previous post; coffee; Fabian Corrado; Saint Petersburg, Russia; Josef Hoflehner; Taleon Imperial Hotel; The Hotel Astoria; Tatianna Cotliar by Jason Schmidt for Vogue Russia March 2011 via julicalamode; St.Petersburg, Russia (by rick ligthelm); Josef Hoflehner; Room 348, St. Petersburg”, photographic work by Andrew Moore; eros and psyche by peer.gynt / andrey korchagin; Saint Petersburg, Russia; Restoran; Mari Vanna; Palkin; Ulyana Sergeenko via Brandon Campeaux; the Carolina Herrera Pre-Fall 2012 runway collection photographed by Mimi Ritzen Crawford via Vogue; latte; vodka; pinecones; Fabergé Egg; Matryoshka dolls; no_way! / anya; silenciosa; lip balm; céline handbag}

Sarah Klassen
Contributor, Vancouver

Even as a girl, Sarah spent hours curled up in her home library, exploring enchanting tales, lands to be discovered and explored, intriguing stories, and timeless beauty. What resulted is a lifelong passion for love and authenticity, delightful simplicity and beautiful moments. Educated in design, marketing and English, Sarah’s keen eye and aesthetic allow her to immerse beauty and heartfelt passion into both her personal and professional projects.

29 Notes
  • Just loved your ideas *

  • This is truly a beautiful post! My favorite of the series by far, I just added to my list of must visit

  • Amazing photos of Russia – St.Petersburg, but Moscow is also very beautiful. I was living there for 5 years, great memories…..

  • David and I travel extensively and St. Petersburg is definitely on the wish list of places to see. The architecture…the sheer majesty of the city {from the images here and seen elsewhere} are beyond magical. I cannot wait to experience it with my husband. It seems, no matter the weather, amazing Gorgeous post! Happy Sunday to you all! xx

  • This is gorgeous! I am trying to figure out my next backpacking trip!

  • Great post and stunning images, made me want to go there immediately!

  • *Gasp* I’m totally stunned by the photos… wish i could treat myself with such a luxurious journey!

  • The architecture looks doused with sugar and gilded. The palaces look like they are made of gingerbread. That coupled with touches of romance and modernity make me feel like I am walking through a dream in pictures. I truly like this “take me Away” series. Utterly enchanting! ♦

  • Ever since my dad visited here when I was a little girl, I was mesmerised by the beauty and intermingled by some sadness as well. What an intense place, and these photos are absolutely stunning. I find this post almost moving… what a perfect guide to an incredible city. I will most certainly be bookmarking this!


  • Thank you so much for such an amazing post about my country!!! Pictures are breathtaking!
    I would add Sadco to the ‘where to eat” part (one of my favorite restaurants with traditional russian food).

  • my home country!

  • Wow, gorgeous pics. Thanks for sharing the beauty of Russia – I must add this to my places-to-vist someday!

  • Ahh! One of my favourite cities. Love this!

  • I love this post and definitely will be using the tips on what to do and where to stay and eat during my trip next month. I couldn’t have asked for a better guide to the glamorous side of St. Petersberg!

  • oh, yes please. I just started reading War & Peace, and the characters are so old-world and refined – just how I imagine st. petersburg to be.

  • Could it be even better!!!! breathtaking.

  • Oh my goodness! I went there this summer ( )
    But I would love to see it covered in snow. It is such a magical city. Like adult disney world for those who love art, architecture, culture! will be back. one day! and then, it will be while snow is falling.

  • Ooh!! I want to go!! SO beautiful!

  • An AMAZING post. So many beautiful images and ideas.

  • Absolutely fabulous!! Thank you this is one of my futures destinations.

    xoxo Cecilia

  • This is my favourite ‘take me away’ post yet, Sarah! Breathtaking. You were right to choose it as a destination for December, it intensifies its beauty. xo

  • this is amazing… makes you want to jump on a plane and head over there!

  • Breathtaking!!!!!!!!!

  • Oh, yes. yes. yes. This is so beautiful.

  • I love how much effort and time you put into these magical post.
    These photos and words are gorgeous.
    I’m ready to pack up and go! Especially during this wonderful Winter season…♥
    The ballet in Russia is my dream!

  • This post is spectacular, just spectacular! The architecture and beauty is stunning.

  • That is absolutely stunning- I love all things to do with the Russian Ballet! Wonderful pictures as always.

    xoxo Kathryn

  • Owow, incredible! I visit your blog to be instantly transported away…St. Petersburg looks divine dusted in all white!

  • Really beautiful…had to go over it twice to take it all in.

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