For a taste of Tsarist splendour come to this classical Russian restaurant in the St Petersbourg Hotel just behind Town Hall Square, set in a gorgeous room overlooking the cobbles of an Old Town street. The building has long been used by Russian ex-pats for top-notch entertaining – this was formerly the Embassy – and today this historical tradition continues with a menu ranging from pickled vegetables, bear stew and pelmeni to stewed salmon and beef stroganoff.
rnVodka is of course de rigueur. Part of Nevskij’s charm comes from its intimate dining-room atmosphere, and the whiff of oriental luxury in the cushioned seats and romantic mezzanine tables hidden near the window. Come on Thursday evenings and at the weekend to catch live Russian balalaika music. Waiters wear splendid, old-fashioned costumes.