St Valentine’s à la russe
On February 14th everyone in Moscow is going to be buying flowers and planning a romantic dinner for two. At Passport Magazine we decided that the whole day has to be devoted to romance.
What he plans for Valentine’s Day:
8am: He says to her: “Darling, this morning we’re not having cereals like we normally do. I’m taking you somewhere special.” He takes her for breakfast to Hédiard.
11am: He sends an e-mail to Eric le Provos at Cuisine 31 confirming his order for dinner that evening. Eric confirms the menu:
- Escallopes of foie gras with pears and ginger chutney, lovers toasted bread
- Whole sea bass de-boned and roasted
- Baileys mousse
11:30am: He confirms his order for the bouquet of flowers.
11:45am: He reminds her boss about the deal they had that she is taking the afternoon off.
12:15pm: The flowers are delivered to her office. There is a card inside: “Look out the window at 2:30pm. The man in the uniform, standing next to the long black car, is waiting for you. You have the afternoon off. I fixed it with the boss. You are now in my hands. It must be love… What do you think?”
2:30pm: The limousine takes her to the spa. They give her the full works.
3:30pm: His personal assistant calls him during a meeting to say that the handmade candles he ordered a few days ago from St Petersburg have arrived in the office.
4:20pm: He comes out of a meeting and remembers that he has to call the concierge company about the dacha - not to forget to have the caviar out on the table when they arrive.
5:30pm: The limo brings her to the Savoy Hotel, where he meets her for drinks in the cocktail bar.
6:15pm: The limo takes them to the New Stage of the Bolshoi, where they take seats in the parterre for the premiere of a new ballet by Christopher Wheeldon.
7:15pm: While they are watching the performance the driver of the limo goes to pick up the candles from the office.
10pm: The limo takes the two of them to the dacha outside of Moscow. The concierge company has really gone to town. The fireplace has been lit; the table is set; the champagne is on ice.
10:45pm: She tells him that he’s been doing alright so far; but who is cooking this evening? He says: “I’ve been in the kitchen all day.”
10:48pm: Right on cue Eric le Provos and his team from Cuisine 31 arrive with dinner. They unpack the bags, decant the wine, and then they leave our lovers to themselves. Everything is clearly labelled and it takes him only 10 minutes to prepare his Valentine’s gourmet dinner for her.
11:10pm: He serves the hors d’oeuvres. With a smile he says: “I made it myself.” Midnight: He says to her: “I just have one more surprise. Keep your eyes closed.” He places all of the candles around the bathroom and lights them.
12:05am: He proposes to her: “How about a bath?”
What she plans for Valentine’s Day:
7:30am: She wakes him up and says that she is taking him for breakfast to the Hotel Baltschug, with its views across to the Kremlin.
1pm: Her company courier delivers a card to him. Inside it reads, “Happy Valentine. I called your boss; she’s giving you the afternoon off. My driver will pick you up at 2:30. He knows where to go.”
2:30pm: Her driver takes him to the Sanduny Baths. He is given a private room. He has a Russian sauna; they beat him with eucalyptus leaves. He has a haircut, a manicure, a pedicure and a massage.
5:30pm: Her driver has picked her up and taken her to meet him outside the Sanduny Baths. “I like the way your hands feel” she says when he kisses her.
6:30pm: The traffic is terrible, and it takes them forever to get to the Red Bar, but it is worth it.
7:40pm: The view from the 27th floor is fantastic. They are looking across at the towers going up in the new Moscow City. She says that she likes the idea of a galaxy level apartment in the Moscow Tower.
9:50pm: She says to him, ‘How about an early night?”
Hédiard: 7 Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya Ul.; Tel.: 913-7713. M. Barrikadnaya
Hotel Baltschug Kempinski: 1 Baltschug Ul. Tel.: 230-5500 M. Novokuznetskaya
Flowers: Au Nom de La Rose: 1/5 Prechistenskiye Vorota. Tel.: (909) 945-6990
Limousine: LimoTour: 93A. Profsoyuznaya St. Tel.: 109- 4773
Spa: Thai Spa 7 Colours. 36 Rublevskoe Shosse, Bldg 2. Tel.: (915) 160-8279
Sanduny Baths: 14 Neglinnaya St., Bldg. 3-7. Tel.: 625-4631
Candles: Baltiisky Candle Factory: 10 Kolomyazhsky Pr., St Petersburg. Tel.: (812) 325-4649. www.artcandles.ru
New Stage of the Bolshoi: 1 Teatralnaya Ploshad. Tel.: 250-7317
Concierge: Apple Concierge Tel.: 780-8600. www.apple-concierge.com
Cuisine 31: 31 Leninsky Prospect. Tel.: 540-3851/52. www.cuisine31.ru
Red Bar: 23a Naberezhnaya Tarasa Shevchenko, 27th Floor Tel.: 730-0808