A Travel & Lifestyle Blog

Mari Vanna, Knightsbridge

Welcome to a real life dollhouse!
It feels great when you get so excited about going to a new restaurant that you sound like the kiddies, in the Euro Disney ad: "Mummy, mummy I can't sleep, is it time to go yet?"
That was me on the morning of our visit to Mari Vanna.
So, imagine my grin as I walked into this Knightsbridge townhouse, full of knick-knacks of a bygone era.
impressive hub of the house
Flickering lights coming from the main parlour, through the stained glass wall had me almost convinced that once you enter the room, you step back into Dostoyevsky's era. Childhood reminiscences from all the books I used to read? They are the best!
setting for larger parties; can't you just see all of your girlfriends gathered around this long table, chatting and giggling?
For a couple of years now, my partner and I have been trying to find a good Russian restaurant in London. We love trying out  food from around the world (one of the benefits of living in London) but this type of cuisine was missing from our string of culinary pearls. We even resorted to asking Russian friends but the reply has always been..."for authentic food, I go back home to my mother's kitchen". Well, until now that is! 
traditional honey layered cake, blinis with smoked salmon, cabbage piroskis and hering on beetroot;afternoon tea with a russian hint!
The entrance is narrow but it opens up to a staircase adorned with a massive chandelier; not the ultra sleek,posh style though, but rather the old, familiar and grand at the same time. There are shades of pinks, peaches, light blues and creams everywhere and the dozen chandeliers hanging above most tables, are mixed with traditional floral lampshades and quirky old sofas, armchairs and hundreds of cushions. Cosy, comforting and relaxing in other words! The waitress even opened the big armoire behind us to reach for glasses and tea, just like your great aunt would do if you went to visit! 
We tried jasmine tea;
the fragrance was amazing, so fine and powerful at the same time...I could have sat there sipping tea and nibbling on layered soft honey cake for hours. I got a lecture from a Ukrainian friend as to why we only had tea! "when I go to Mari Vanna I have three mains", she said. Well all right, we'll go back then! 
there isn't a corner in this house that hasn't 
been adorned with cute ornaments and colours.

4 comments

  1. After reading this, I can't wait to go and try this place. I think I'll pop in tomorrow for Sunday tea with my friends!! Is it child friendly?

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    Replies
    1. I take my kids all the time, I think downstairs is better if you have young children.

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  2. Beautiful place!

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