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Archive for March, 2011

GRAND PALACE

Phone: 449 9411; Nevsky pr 44; 11am-9pm; metro Gostiny Dvor
For once the rather uppity title is deserved – this glittering centre created for St Petersburg’s new rich shopping classes is both grand and palatial. You’ll see big names such as Max Mara, Dior and Lacroix here, not to mention the best free toilets available in the city.


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GOSTINY DVOR

Phone: 110 5200; Nevsky pr 35; о 10am-10pm; metro Gostiny Dvor
One of the oldest shopping arcades in the world, built in the mid-18th century, Gostiny Dvor (the Merchant Yard) has for the past decade been going through a gradual and much-needed restoration and repainting of its exterior, which is finally drawing to completion. Inside, the place retains a largely Soviet feel, although the smarter fashion outlets on the 1st floor are definitely an improvement. Downstairs Gostiny Dvor’s endless corridors of counters selling everything from stereos to furnishings remain the order of the day.

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DOM KNIGI

Phone: 325 6696; Nevsky pr 62; metro Gostiny Dvor
The stalwart of the city’s bookshops is Dom Knigi, which for years was one of few places in the country to sell a good range of literature. In the midst of relocating to better but less atmospheric premises on Nevsky pr at the time h of writing, its original location in the former Singer building will be missed by the local |f literati, although its more fearsome shop assistants may well be happily forgotten.

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DETSKY MIR

Phone: 312 7245; Bolshaya Konyushennaya ul 29
Come here for the city’s best selection of toys, clothes and games. Now very Westernised and stocking Harry Potter and Lego rather than the arguably more charming Russian toys, although some of these are still available.


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CHOCOLATE MUSEUM

Phone: 327 3693; Nevsky pr 17; 11am-9pm
The name is something of a misnomer, as this is a shop and the aim of its displays are to make you salivate and get your cash out (to good effect judging by the crowds). The amazing chocolate designs (including a bust of Lenin in white chocolate for R3000) are worth a look, although only employing black doormen (geddit?!) is a typically Russian idea of humour that will misfire with most Westerners.

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CHAYNY DOM

Phone: 571 2784; ul Rubinshteyna 24; metro Dostoevskaya
This excellent shop sells every possible variety oi tea as well as a range of accessories from tea strainers to teapots.


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CANALI

Phone: 571 5473; Nevsky pr 16; metro Nevsky Pr
Look no further for your super smooth Italian shirts and suits. Canali dresses some of the most dapper men about town and its luxurious Nevsky premises just a short stroll from the Winter Palace is suitably beautiful.

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BALTIISKY KHLEB

Phone: 331 3220; Vladimirsky pr 19; metro Dostoevskaya
Srangely enough despite the name (‘Baltic Bread’), this is a British bakery. The main outlet is in the Vladimirsky Passazh shopping centre, where you can pick up fresh bread, cakes and even ready-made sandwiches on the run. You can take away or eat in the small cafe area provided.

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ANGLIA BOOKS

Phone: 279 9294; nab reki Fontanki 38; metro Gostiny Dvor
The city’s only English-language bookshop has large selection of contemporary literature, history and travel writing. It also hosts small lit and photography displays, organises book leadings and generally is a cornerstone of expat life here. An excellent shop well worth a visit.

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505

Nevsky pr 72; 10am-11pm; metro Mayakovskaya
Excellent range of CDs, DVDs and computer games; and the added novelty of being able to handle the goods yourself, albeit while being watched by about 14 security guards at one time and then having to pass electronic gates to leave which always seem to go off whether or not you’ve stolen something.

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