NEVER EVER WAS THE GRAND HOTEL Europe more popular than it is today. It is constantly ranked among the top of the top.
‘The mind wanders back to the early days of this restaurant, when the staff used to be Tartars and men only, never women. The Tartars were perfect servants with a great reputation for their soberness, cleanliness, honesty and diligence. The great composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, who dined at the Europe one day in July 1877, was among those who appreciated the Tartars’ worth. He got married on 6 July and arrived in St Petersburg to introduce his wife to relatives. ‘We put up at Evropeyskaya,’ he wrote to his brother. ‘Very good, even luxurious.’ Unfortunately, it was not to be a happy marriage: ‘She is loathsome to me in every sense of this word,’ he said about his wife soon afterwards. After a few months the marriage broke up. Although in his opinion the hotel was ‘too central’, and perhaps reminded him of his wife, he stayed there again in June 1886. This time Tchaikovsky met the ‘King of Waltz’ from Vienna, Johann Strauss, who was visiting St Petersburg with his wife Adele.’
From our book Grand Hotel Europe