Insider Guide

Natali Leskova's Guide to St Petersburg

Looking at this petite girl with a big smile, it is hard to guess that at the age of 26 she is the creative director of a successful brand of clothes, a designer, a stylist, a project manager, a photographer, and also a mother of a baby boy. Natali founded her brand in 2011, when she was a student at the St Petersburg Stieglitz Academy of Art and Design. After an internship at the Domus Academy in Milan, she started to sell her designs using social media. Today, she has her own creative team, an online store and a showroom in St Petersburg. The main inspiration for her collections has always been St Petersburg where she was born and grew up. The prints with the views of St Petersburg have become her brand identity. Natali Leskova's girl is feminine and sophisticated yet her looks are always relaxed, airy and trendy at the same time. When she doesn't travel for a runway show or a fashion presentation, she explores St Petersburg and takes pictures which end up on her beautiful clothes. Don't miss Natali's new showroom on her favourite Petrogradsky Island in St Petersburg.

Natali Leskova shares with us some of her favourite spots in St Petersburg and explains why everyone should visit her favourite city in the world at least once.

What is it that you like so much about St Petersburg? 

​The architecture, the water, and the sky. I really love walking along the embankments, and watch the rivers, the canals and the houses. And the sky, it’s so peculiar in St Petersburg! This city is my true inspiration.

Tell us more about your designs, and how you came with the idea to print the views and landmarks of St Petersburg on your clothes?

​The main idea for my seasonal collections ( Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter) is St Petersburg. I try to share with people the beauty of my city, its architecture and its mood through these collections. I don’t want to make postcard views, I like to show the famous places in St Petersburg from a new angle. The first collection was created thanks to the beautiful photos that me and a friend of mine who came to visit me in St Petersburg took during our long walks around the city.

What are your favourite places in the city? 

​Zayachy Island. You can come there in any mood, and for any reason: to enjoy the sun on a beach, to dream, or to make plans while sitting on a bench and enjoying the views over the Neva River and the Strelka on Vasilyevsky Island, to walk with your children, to meet friends, to drink a cup of coffee and eat a dessert in Koryushka, to climb on the bastions or even take a helicopter tour! 

​Favourite neighbourhood in the city?

​As for today, my favourite neighbourhood in St Petersburg is Petrogradsky Island (or Petrogradka as we call it here). I’m very lucky to live and work there. Petrogradsky Island is where they started to build St Petersburg.

Favourite place for a walk? 

My favourite places change depending on the season and my mood. I really love walking in this city. One of my favourite routes is to walk from Petrogradsky Island, cross Troitsky Bridge towards Mars Field, then along the Moika River to the New Holland Island, and then along the Kryukov Canal towards Fontanka until I get to the Summer Garden. But the best (and must-do) routes are the river routes. There’s something special about St Petersburg when you see it from the river, and it’ll certainly be a memorable trip!

Best coffee pitstop?  

​The best coffee is brewed in a building where I live, in Prego Coffeeshop. Another must-go place is Bolshe Kofe in Alexandrovsky Park. I also enjoy going to Double B (love their coffeeshop on Kronverksky Prospect).

Favourite breakfast spot?

Best breakfasts in St Petersburg are served at Four Seasons Hotel, and also at Charlie and Mickey&Monkeys restaurants. Many of my friends also recommend CoCoCo restaurant although I haven’t made it to breakfast there yet. Also, I personally love having breakfast at Pryanosti & Radosti restaurant on Posadskaya St.

Best place to grab a quick bite? 

​Bushe Patisserie and Volkonsky Bakery.

Where do you like to go for drinks?

 Bar 8 on 8 Lenina St. on Petrogradsky Island.

Where do you go for dinner with friends? 

​To RED for burgers, to Pizza 22cm on Zhukovsky St., to Duo Gastrobar, and Ryba na Dache when I want to escape the city.

Best date spot in St Petersburg? 

​Go to a theatre, and then to a nice restaurant such as Terrasa, Percorso, or a floating restaurant Volga-Volga.

​Favourite places with great views of the city? 

​Restaurant on the top floor of Kempinski Hotel (apart from amazing views they have super delicious desserts). Also, the roof terrace of W Hotel, and Makaronniki restaurant on Petrogradsky Island.

Best place with Russian cuisine?

​CoCoCo Restaurant in W Hotel.

Best place to stay in St Petersburg? 

​My all-time favourite hotel is Four Seasons. They have luxurious interiors, great service, and perfect location. Ask for a room on the top floor overlooking St Isaac’s Cathedral. I also like Kempinski Hotel on the Moika River, it’s located in a really lovely area.

Best date spot in St Petersburg? 

​Go to a theatre, and then to a nice restaurant such as Terrasa, Percorso, or a floating restaurant Volga-Volga.

​Favourite places with great views of the city? 

​Restaurant on the top floor of Kempinski Hotel (apart from amazing views they have super delicious desserts). Also, the roof terrace of W Hotel, and Makaronniki restaurant on Petrogradsky Island.

Best place with Russian cuisine?

CoCoCo Restaurant in W Hotel.

Best place to stay in St Petersburg? 

My all-time favourite hotel is Four Seasons. They have luxurious interiors, great service, and perfect location. Ask for a room on the top floor overlooking St Isaac’s Cathedral. I also like Kempinski Hotel on the Moika River, it’s located in a really lovely area.

Favourite local products?

I love Losevo dairy products, they’re delicious! I'd normally buy bread at Volkonsky Bakery, and for sugar fix I usually get a bar of chocolate made by Krupskaya Factory. Anyone visiting St Petersburg should go to the legendary Pyshechnaya on 25 Bolshaya Konyushennaya St. for their titanic doughnuts.

Where do you go to exercise? 

The Neva embankments are perfect for jogging!

Favourite park in the city? 

Sadly, I don’t go there very often but I really love the quietness, the beauty and the unique vibe of Oranienbaum Park.

Which is your favourite spot for a picnic?

The Field of Mars and the beach by the Peter & Paul Fortress.

Best place(s) to escape the city? 

I always prefer the North. I love the beaches along the Gulf of Finland, in the resort area. I hope that this summer is going to be warm and sunny, I’m really looking forward to a beach holiday north of St Petersburg.

Your must-do list for those who travel to St Petersburg for the first time?

The Hermitage is the absolute must. I’d also recommend the magnificent Russian Museum, the new Fabergé Museum, St. Isaac’s Cathedral (both the interior and the viewing platform on top), Kazan Cathedral on Nevsky Prospect, the fairytale Church on the Spilled Blood built on the site where Emperor Alexander II was killed in 1881. Another amazing museum is located in a former palace of Yusupov family on the Moika river.

Don’t miss old Pyshechnaya café on Konyushennaya St., it’s a legendary place selling the best doughnuts in St Petersburg! Also, you should definitely walk along the rivers and canals, go on a picnic to the Field of Mars or to the beach by the Fortress of Peter and Paul (or, ideally, to both places), stroll along the Bolshoy Prospect on the Petrogradsky Island and explore the Tauride Garden and the Summer Garden. In the evening you should go to the Mariinsky Theatre or the Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theatre, they often have amazing performances.

​There’s a superb bookshop on Nevsky Prospect located in a magnificent Singer House with a glass tower. Definitely visit New Holland Island, it’s changed so much in recent years (New Holland is due to reopen on 27 August 2016 - TG). Cross the Palace bridge towards Vasilievsky Island, there’s a lot to see there! And don’t be scared and explore the territories further from the centre - go to the Gulf of Finland, visit the Yelagin and Krestovsky Islands with their beautiful parks. And if you have time go to Peterhof, Oranienbaum and Pushkin. 

 

Natali Leskova's new showroom is located on 16 Voskova St., Petrogradsky Island, St Petersburg. The entrance to the place is from Sablinskaya St. The showroom is open Mon-Sat 11am-8pm, call or email Natali in advance if you're planning to come on Sunday.

Tel: +7 965 001 35 10, +7 931 256 41 85
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Natali's Top Places In & Around St Petersburg

The Russian Museum

4 Inzhenernaya St.

Fabergé Museum

21 Fontanka River Emb.

The Yusupov Palace

94 Moika River Emb.

Kazan Cathedral

2 Kazan Square

St Isaac's Cathedral

4 St Isaac's Square

Summer Garden

 

Tauride Garden

 

Krestovsky Island

 

Zayachy Island

 

Oranienbaum Estate

48 Dvortsovy Prospect, Lomonosov

Mariinsky Theatre

1 Theatre Square

Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theatre

65 Fontanka River Embankment

Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace

1 Voznesensky Prospect

Kempinski Hotel

22 Moika River Embankment

Percorso Restaurant

1 Voznesensky Prospect

The Tea Lounge

1 Voznesensky Prospect

Bellevue Brasserie

22 Moika River Embankment

W Rooftop Terrace Restaurant

6 Voznesensky Prospect

CoCoCo Restaurant

6 Voznesensky Prospect

3 Kazanskaya St.

Volga-Volga

Terminal on Petrovskaya Embankment

Pryanosti & Radosti Restaurant

3 Malaya Posadskaya St.

Korushka

3 Peter & Paul Fortress, Zayachy Island

Makaronniki

16/2 Dobrolyubova Prospect, 7th floor

Charlie Restaurant

54 Griboedova Canal Embankment

Duo Gastrobar

8A Kirochnaya St.

Bar 8

8 Lenina St.

RED. Steak and Wine

51/9 Bolshoi Prospect

Pizza 22cm

45 Zhukovskogo St.

Wolkonsky

15 Nevsky Prospect

Mickey & Monkeys

27/26 Gorokhovaya St.

Double B

18 Millionnaya St., 11 Rubinshteina St.

Bolshe Kofe

Grotton in Alexandrovsky Park next to Peter & Paul Square

Caffe Prego

5 Divenskaya St.

Pyshki Doughnut Café

25 Bolshaya Konyushennaya St.

Bouché Bakery

7 Malaya Morskaya St., 10 Vosstaniya St.

Fruktovaya Lavka Fruit Shop

12 Malaya Konyushennaya St., 35 Bolshoi Prospect

Ryba na Dache

Sestroretsk, 41st km of Primorsky Motorway

Respublica Bookshop

3/54A Malaya Sadovaya St., 98 Bolshoi Prospect

Podpisnie Izdaniya

57 Liteyniy Prospect

Au Pont Rouge

73 Moika River Embankment

Cosmotheca

73 Moika River Embankment (Au Pont Rouge)

Molecule Perfume Boutique

5 Kazanskaya St., 147 Nevsky Prospect