De la révolution d’octobre
Je pensais déjà
Qu’après le tombeau de Lénine
On irait au cafe Pouchkine
Boire un chocolat
The above lyrics are from a 1960s song by the French Gilbert Becaud. The premise is that Mr Becaud is in Moscow with a tourguide (Nathalie), who is speaking of serious things like the Bolshevik Revolution and Lenin’s tomb. Typical love-struck male, all he can think of is taking her for hot chocolate at a fabled Cafe Pushkin. Hearing the song, Muscovites scratched their heads, wanting to know where they could find said imaginary cafe. This, according to its website, was the encouragement needed to open the real Cafe Pushkin, where we took refuge last Friday after a long Kremlin-wander in the snow.
I one hundred and ten percent recommend a visit – you will feel like you’ve stepped into the pages of Anna Karenina. The interior is gorgeous, with plush red seating and a beautiful wooden bar filled with old rustic artifacts. The staff apparently speak pre-Soviet Russian – if only I could appreciate the difference! We decided it would be more cost-effective to go for lunch, and we were seated immediately sans-reservation.
Common in Moscow is the ‘business lunch’, which is what we asked for, and consisted of 3 courses for 750 rubles (£15). No complaints on the service, though our whole lunch ended up taking a couple of hours – lovely for our purposes because we weren’t actually on a time pressured ‘business lunch’ anyway.
I was so looking forward to an authentic Russian meal, and I was over the moon with my selections – they were hearty, and tasty, and delicious, and OH NO I AM SALIVATING AT THE MEMORY!! Definitely the kind of food to heat up the insides after a day of frenzied sight-seeing. So many things on the menu I wish I could’ve tried – next time, for sure!