FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE: Mari Vanna
The latest outpost of cult Russian fine restaurant Mari Vanna is a welcome and whimsical addition to Mayfair, wedged in between the luminous Bulgari Hotel and One Hyde Park. Named for the folklore tale in which Vanna invited travellers in for restorative, hearty food, this is a new take on the farm-to-table provenance-led movement. We fell in love with Russian food when in St Petersburg last summer organising a wedding at the Catherine Palace, but are delighted to see such fine Russian dining translate to glossy London surroundings. Expect rich Borsch, pies, stacks of blini served with gravadlax, wild mushrooms or caviar, Veal dumplings, proper Chicken Kiev (nothing stands between QEconfidential and a good 1970s throwback with an authentic twist) and of course, Vodka. Lots of Vodka. The interiors are beautiful too, in a ramshackle treasure-trove way stuffed with tapestries, antiquities and tchotchke – literally stepping into another world.