Tea for Two: 5 Top Tea Rooms in St. Petersburg
Tea has occupied a special place in Russian culture since the 17th century, when it was gifted to Tsar Michael I by the Mongolians. It quickly became the warming beverage of choice among Russian seeking to colonise the icy Siberian region and has been a staple in Russian kitchens ever since. Today, over 80% of Russians drink tea every day.
Fancy getting a taste of Russian tea culture? Here, we round up some of St. Petersburg’s top spots for enjoying a cup of tea. From five-star afternoon teas to hipster cafés, there’s sure to be something here that you’ll love.
Just around the corner from our St. Petersburg Language Centre, you’ll find the Singer Café perched on the second floor of the Dom Knigi bookstore. It has an impressive tea menu, a great selection of sweet treats and classic Russian dishes, and while it’s not the cheapest café in town, the breath-taking views of the Kazan Cathedral across Nevsky Prospekt more than make up for it. The perfect place to tuck into a new book.
Address: Nevsky Prospekt 28.
In the Rotunda Lounge, you can enjoy afternoon tea just like they did 100 years ago. Situated in the historic Astoria Hotel, it has stunning views of St. Isaac’s Cathedral. You can take your tea alongside a buffet of homemade blini, meat pirozhki, finger sandwiches and sweet treats. And, if you want to be really decadent, you can splash out on a glass of Champagne or serving of caviar as well. Afternoon tea is served from 3-6pm every day, and prices start from 1,900 RUB.
Address: Bolshaya Morskaya Ulitsa 39.
Oh! My Tea is a hipster café and tea shop on the Griboedov Canal and a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre. They offer over 30 varieties of Chinese tea (and an impressive selection of coffees), all made in front of you at their “tea brew bar” and served in a glass decanter with a wine glass. The entire experience gives you a very modern twist on traditional Russian tea culture.
Address: Griboedov Canal Embankment 43.
Another swanky option if you’re looking for something special. Sitting into a light, airy atrium within the five-star Four Seasons Hotel, you can listen to harp music while you choose between the ‘Tsar Tea Time’ or ‘Lion Palace Tea Time’ afternoon tea options (the former comes with a glass of Champagne and blinis with salmon caviar, while the latter comes with scones). Tea is served from 3.30-6.30pm every day and prices start from 1,850 RUB.
Address: Voznesensky Prospekt 1.
For something a world away from the traditional afternoon tea experience describe above, you can’t go wrong with a visit to this tea room. The venue is a psychedelic double-decker space filled with cosy chill out nooks, cushions and hammocks. The bar serves a huge selection of teas and is manned by a “tea master” who presides over the “tea ceremony”. And there’s shisha, live music, film screenings and other events that go on well into the night.
Address: 7 Liniya Vasil’yevskogo Ostrova 40.
So there you have it: five of the best tea rooms in St. Petersburg. If you’ve been to these, or any other tea rooms, we’d love to hear your experiences. Just leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.