Saint Petersburg


My perfect day in St. Petersburg: David Wilkinson


David Wilkinson, Executive Director of the Au Pont Rouge department store, told us about his relationship with St. Petersburg.

Do you remember your first visit to St. Petersburg?

Vividly. An overnight train from Moscow with salmon blinis and lemon tea. Arriving at 7 am on a Saturday in December 2008. Or did I drive from Moscow?

Has our city given you something or, perhaps, taken something away from you?

Given: the view from the roof of Au Pont Rouge, the opportunity to lead an inspiring team and business! St. Petersburg is outstanding, providing easy access to leading art, culture, music, theatre and sports events.

How do you prefer to spend your free time?

Au Pont Rouge deserves love and energy. The store is the science and creation of a unique retail experience. And it is RIGHT here RIGHT now in the heart of St Petersburg; you do not need to travel to Milan or Paris. Weekends normally involve art, coffee and the cinema.

Is there anything without which you could not imagine St. Petersburg? And why?

It would be difficult to imagine the city without cupolas, bridges, trams and water. There is water everywhere. People walk in this city.

What would your perfect day be in general and in our city in particular? Could you suggest an ideal description of a day in the Northern Capital from your point of view — for example, where to have breakfast, lunch and dinner, what to see and listen to?

Breakfast at Jerome. Coffee at Double B Neva at the end of Moika. Read for an hour, a Russian classic — Dostoyevsky or Pushkin. Visit Erarta. It provides context. Lunch: a snack at Hamlet & Jacks or Coffee22. Walk on the Fontanka. Movie at Angleterre. Visit the Hermitage bookshop at Au Pont Rouge. Dinner at Tartarbar — the best culinary/food experience for me in at least in a decade — original, thought-provoking and affordable. Music is nearly always Underworld or Bowie. One day I might tell you why.

What would you recommend people to take away with them as a souvenir of the Northern Capital?

What is our budget? An original Raketa “Yalta” watch, made nearby in a real factory by real people. A small painting from the gallery at Au Pont Rouge with a unique scene of the city — we can even gift-wrap it for you!

What aspect of St. Petersburg’s character, in your opinion, does the Au Pont Rouge concept reveal? Who are your customers?

The concept reveals the outstanding vision of one man: a real investment in the future, whilst acknowledging and respecting the past. Our customers are contemporary, modern, global citizens. Our customers are not defined by age or marketing demographics. For example our most loyal customers include a leading artist (35), a designer (27) and a retiree (71). You can access the Au Pont Rouge brand at many different levels.

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Where St.Petersburg

August 2019

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