Cultural Tour of Russia

Fountains of Peterhof

In September, The Arts Society Shrewsbury travelled to St Petersburg for an eight-day break to discover the art and culture of Russia. Organised through Travel Editions, the group says it was a very memorable holiday with each day having a special highlight. Chairman Yvonne Bridgeland reports back.

‘The programme was packed and included walking tours of the city to explore its architecture, visits to famous museums, historic properties and art galleries such as the Hermitage, Mikhailovsky Palace and Yusupov Palace. We also visited the historic city of Novgorod. We were accompanied by a tour manager from Travel Editions and an outstanding Russian guide who explained what we saw and filled in her personal social history too. One of the highlights was the Faberge Museum at the Shuvalov Palace and another was Pavlovsk, the former hunting lodge of Catherine the Great. The moment the fountains sprang into life at Peterhof was another high spot of the trip!

Each day we sampled different local food – such as the Napoleon Dessert made with 16 layers of crisp pastry filled with custard cream and enjoyed Russian Folk Lunches, other traditional recipes and several vodka tastings! In addition, we watched the ballet and enjoyed classical concerts with Travel Editions organising a lovely surprise on the last evening when, in the amazing banqueting hall of the White Column Room at the Yusupov Palace, we enjoyed a chamber concert of opera arias sung by a male quartet.

We would thoroughly recommend St Petersburg to any group with an interest in arts.’