Saint Petersburg


My perfect day in St. Petersburg: Antoni Gascon


Antoni Gascon, Director of Retail Operations at Outlet Village Pulkovo, told us about his relationship with the Northern Capital.

Do you remember your first visit to the Northern Capital?

I discovered St. Petersburg for the first time in 2014, when I started travelling to this amazing city to visit the construction site of what today has become Outlet Village Pulkovo. And I have to say that I immediately fell in love with this amazing city, but especially with its people.

Has your relationship with the city changed in any way?

Since that first visit I have been coming here several times a month and I kind of feel like it is a third home to me. St. Petersburg reminds quite a lot my native city of Barcelona. Both cities are located by the sea, are extremely welcoming and open to foreigners; they are cities of art and music. Cities with amazing restaurants. And cities where you can just walk and walk without getting tired at all because their beauty just makes you want to discover more.

Is there anything in St. Petersburg that you could not imagine the city without, or without which it would lose much of its charm?

I could never imagine St. Petersburg without the River Neva and its sights. I just think that it’s one of the most beautiful sights in the world. I could spend hours walking along both sides of the river admiring the beautiful palaces and crossing its unique bridges. Even though a lot of people say that White Nights are the best time to walk in the city, to me all four seasons are magical in St. Petersburg. And probably fall is the most special to me. In that period of the year I feel the city is bohemian, melancholic, artistic and extremely beautiful.

How would you imagine a perfect day in general and in our city in particular?

Early breakfast at the hotel and then I’d go out to feel the city! Walk along the Fontanka, then cross the Panteleimon Bridge (an awesome and romantic view!) and walk along the River Moika. I would cross to walk by the Mikhailovsky Park and finally arrive at one of the most incredible and amazing churches you could ever imagine. And you know which one it is!

Where would you prefer to have breakfast, lunch or dinner?

I am not a big fan of breakfast unfortunately, but I always have it at the Indigo Hotel. That is where I always stay when I visit the city, and actually the breakfast there is quite amazing. Really top quality! Then sometime during the day I would always try to stop at “Pizza 22cm” in Zhukovsky Street. They cook the most amazing Neapolitan pizzas that you could ever eat outside Italy! And actually, that’s one of the reasons why we decided to convince them to open at Outlet Village Pulkovo. So now my colleagues, customers and I can also enjoy their pizzas! The evening would start at the “Na Vina! Bar & Shop”, where I would share a bottle of a nice Catalan red wine with my work colleagues. For the dinner I really like “Polny Ballet”, where they serve amazing Russian fusion cuisine that you can’t eat anywhere else, because their menu is just unique. Their desserts are just to die for. This is really a MUST in the city!

What are the first things you show friends who are visiting the city?

Of course, the Hermitage. It’s what my friends always ask to visit. They are always extremely impressed by its richness, beauty and scale. Then I always surprise them with other spots in the city which they get fascinated about.

Do you have favourite museums, galleries, theatres and concert halls?

I love opera, so the Mariinsky Theatre is one of my top places, not only in St. Petersburg but in the whole of Russia. Needless to say, the quality of its performances is just outstanding! I also really like the Faberge Museum. I think it’s one of those not so crowded places where you can still admire nice art and unique pieces as well as having a 5pm tea in their cozy café.

Have there been any outstanding musical, artistic or gastronomic discoveries in St. Petersburg in recent years?

Speaking of modern music I prefer jazz. On spare evenings I enjoy going to a jazz bar in Belinskogo Street — “The Hat”. As for gastronomic discoveries I was really impressed by the Moscow-Peking luxury restaurant, where I have tried unique Chinese dishes. Actually, it was precisely that which inspired my team and me to create a restaurant with the same cuisine and quality in the Outlet Village. Welcome!

Where St.Petersburg

August 2019

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