I’ve never been to Russia. So when a friend invited me to a birthday luncheon at new Russian restaurant Mari Vanna – I had no idea what to expect. Let me tell you, when I walked through the front door my expectations were exceeded!
If kitsch trinkets are your thing, you’ll love the decor of this place (I did, boyfriend – not so much). Inside you feel like you’re in your (Russian) grannies house. Babushka dolls, vintage plates, and old photographs transport you from a cold, wintry London afternoon to a warm, cosy hideaway to while away a sunday.
We ate delicious traditional Russian perogi (light pastries) filled with steaming fresh sea bass, dumplings with mushroom and potato filling, and chicken fritters with salted cucumbers. Those of us with room finished it off with “the best dessert ever” (that’s a quote) with a seven (yes 7!) layered honey cake. Whilst the traditional soft drinks looked like science experiments, they tasted delicious. Don’t be shy – give it a go!
Oh, and no trip is complete without a trip to the loo, a real treat!
Mari Vanna – Knightsbridge, London.
Price range: £30 per head for lunch.