Archive for May, 2009

May 24 2009

In search of the perfect brunch

Published by under Misc,Russia

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It’s hard to overstate the importance of a good brunch. It sets you up for the rest of the day, particularly after a heavy night the night before. It’s what’s on the collective minds of our friends at Gecko 3 when they entreat us to join them for a Jazz Breakfast.

Wherever you live, you need ‘places. And so we’ve always had our habitual brunch venues. Edinburgh spoils you for choice; Ryan’s, Indigo Yard or the City Cafe will all sort you out. In Cape Town it was either the Barnyard Farm Stall or the River Cafe at Uitsig. Twickenham? Arthurs on the Green, converted from an old Victorian toilet. Wimbledon? Tootsies, of course. But here in Moscow, we’ve struggled a bit.

Hemingways was the obvious choice for a while, until its sad demise. Same goes for Volkonskiy Kaiser on the old Arbat. The Starlite is pretty good, and LPQ’s great for pastries and pretending you’re in Europe. But nowhere’s quite hit the spot yet.

Until, perhaps, today.

Enter Kitch Kock – ??? ??? – on Petrovka. Achingly trendy bar / club by evening (David Lee Roth/British anarchist punk/80′s late night MTV goes velvet rope exclusive, says BlackBook), unlikely brunch venue by day? Perhaps. But the new ‘New York-style Brunch’ came highly recommended, so nothing ventured …

And it works. Comfy sofas, good staff, superb decor, and Cuban jazz playing as we arrived. You couldn’t be anywhere else but Moscow. In a good way. Oh, and the food? If the rest of the menu’s as good as the breakfast burritos, you’ll know where to find me on a Sunday afternoon.

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May 10 2009

Welcome back, Phil Turner

Published by under Misc

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One of my blogging colleagues from my H&K days, Phil Turner, is back in the saddle.

Phil’s previous blog was a combination of rock ‘n’ roll, storytelling and internal comms in neat, bite-sized chunks, which I enjoyed from beginning to end.

Phil’s new blog is here. And now that I’ve suitably bigged him up, we shall expect great things.

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May 01 2009

Cultural learnings of fast food for make benefit beautiful nation of Russian Federation

Published by under Misc,Russia

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DOMODEDOVO AIRPORT – I remember when my hometown in Surrey got its first MacDonalds. I must have been about twelve or thirteen. No-one really knew how it worked, so they had staff on hand to explain the simple three-stage concept of fast food:

1 – Go to counter, get your food.
2 – Sit at a table.
3 – Eat your food.

Not all that difficult once you’ve got the hang of it.

Unfortunately, here at Domodedovo Airport – and in the burgeoning Starbucks, Costa Coffee and Mickey D’s all over Russia, the order appears to be 2, 1, 3. Which just doesn’t work.

Right now, for example, half the tables here at CoffeMania are occupied by people with no food (or coffee). Including several where children have been left, bereft of both company and sustinence, to mind the bags while their parents go to the Duty Free.

Half the customers with coffee, on the other hand, are standing around or squishing, like us, four people onto two chairs, because there aren’t enough free tables.

Do the math, people. It takes roughly as long to queue for your food as it does to eat your food. There’s enough tables for everyone, if only you’d stop occupying them for twice as long as you have to.

Ah well. I’m off to Barcelona for a week.

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