Heading south-east from Helsinki after our night of sky-watching, we arrived in Moscow faster than you can say borscht. In desperate need of caffeine, we asked a few English-speaking locals for their recommendations. Kafe Pushkin, open all day every day, was the obvious winner – although we did have a little trouble locating Тверской бул. 26А.
Several new friendships later, we arrived at the doors of the house that once belonged to a Russian nobleman and is still brimming with antiques in its new incarnation as a restaurant. The service was terrifyingly formal, but the maître d’ didn’t even raise an eyebrow as he took my fake fur coat away to ‘rest’. I was tempted to try the millet porridge with pumpkin, but thankfully came to my senses in time to order the ‘crunchy pancake rolls’ instead. Leroy had blinis au caviar, to mark the occasion. Not for the first time I realised there may be an advantage in speaking French.
The Kafe Pushkin coffee worked its magic, and we spent the rest of the day exploring the Moscow Metro and people watching. That may sound an insane use of our time there, but just take a look at this station – it was almost impossible to narrow it down to one.