Sunday, September 29, 2013

Art Nouveau Luxury

 Yeliseyevsky's Food hall, officially known as Gastronome #1 (or delicatessen #1 in some reports) though no one calls it that, has survived in opulent luxurious style since 1901. A mansion designed in neo-classical style for Yekaterina Kozitskaya, widow of  Catherine the Great's state secretary,  the building dates back to  the 1790's when it was a private home.
St Petersburg millionaire Grigory Yeliseyev purchased the mansion in 1898 and spent three years renovating to create his emporium of  food and wine specialties.
Caviar, vodka and a dizzying array of prepared dishes from beet salads to sushi temp shoppers with very deep pockets while tours of school children wander through to marvel at the elaborate decor.
A true survivor,  Yeliseyevsky's has steadfastly maintained an elaborate selection in the height of luxury through a revolution, shortages, and even nationalization and today offers a brief glimpse of a Russia that used to be or an emblem of the new glamocracy.

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