A few of my favourite things, for spring-cleaning and perking-up. Made in Russia


By Anna Jackson-Stevens, PR specialist

My first trip to Moscow was in March 1991. Any romantic notions associated with cultural characters and their creators were dispelled by greyness and heaviness: sky, snow, Stalin buildings, dripping icicles turning to daggers, then to mush then to puddles.

Actually I barely remember first impressions because the fun times that followed overshadow them: midnight swimming in the pool on the site of Christ the Saviour Cathedral; cartwheeling down Tverskaya to celebrate a gastronomic feast, which cost the equivalent of £5 for three; camping in a forest near Voronezh to avoid a dezhurnaya asking after my papers to mention but a few…

The mood in Moscow may not be quite as mischievous today but the exchange rate is almost as appealing for visitors and the urban landscape is definitely jollier. However, even the most positively strung may feel challenged during the thaw months. Beyond a vivid imagination and developed sense of humour I recommend the following pick-me-ups to brush away the winter cobwebs, all made in Moscow:

Little Joys by Anna Slavutina are exactly that and her workshop reminiscent of scenes in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Earrings with names like Flora, Wings and Flower Buds remind us that summer’s on the way.  http://www.slavutina.ru

Charisma Fashion House for flirty day dresses in marine stripes and pretty polka dots. I’m tempted by their figure flattering sheaths in a range of soothing blues.  http://charismafashion.ru

No need to crawl the walls while sheltering from the elements – be bold! Add a splash of colour and adventure to your home with graffiti art by enigmastyle at http://artorder.ru

For aesthetic and aromatic pleasure, Fragrant Roses are so seductive. But how to choose between Prince Jardinier, Lolita Lempika and Lady Killer? http://fragrantrose.ru

Put a pep in your step with a beret on your head. Garin, specialises in male millinery which looks just as jaunty, should it happen to be swiped by the lady in your life! He does in fact offer a range for her too and will custom make to deliver within one or two days. Call the man behind the label Sergei, direct on 8 926 728 1958

As Anna Karenina said: “Spring is the time of plans and projects.” Time to move on!