Four Seasons StaircaseAfter two centuries one of the most exclusive residences in St. Petersburg “House with Lions” originally built in the elite neighborhood of the Winter Palace has been reborn as the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg. The beautiful 19th century palace property is located next to St. Isaac’s Cathedral and both buildings were designed by the architect Auguste Montferrand. The historic fashionable address was immortalized in Alexander Pushkin’s 1833 poem “The Bronze Horseman”, which lends a romantic Russian aura to the glamorous new hotel featuring futuristic hospitality amenities, including accommodations, dining and drinking concepts, event spaces and the city’s most sumptuous spa.

New-built, high up in Peter’s Square
A corner mansion then ascended;
And where its lofty perron ended
Two sentry lions stood at guard like living things,
And kept their ward with paw uplifted. –Alexander Putin 1833

B.C.FourSExtLongshot“Years of meticulous restoration and perfecting of the guest experience are setting the stage for a new era of style and luxury in St. Petersburg,” says Christopher Norton, who is President – Europe, Middle East and Africa for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

B.C.FourSeasonsMoscow13Dining at the hotel offers guests a sampling of Russia’s rich culinary history, along with European and Asian cuisines, representing the celebration of a new chapter at Four Seasons House of Lions.

B.C. 4th picThe Tea Lounge, styled as a winter garden filled with trees and flowers, is where guests will find traditional Russian specialities and modern interpretations of old favourites. Beef Stroganoff is revisited, layering the richly sauced meat over truffled mashed potatoes. Caviar – the “Tsar’s favourite pearls” – is served with traditional condiments and blini. Afternoon Tea is distinctly Russian, including sweets ranging from pistachio financier to opera cake and vatrushka. The Tea Lounge is open daily for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner.

Xander Bar, Named for Tsar Alexander I, who reigned at the time of the palace’s construction, offers Zakuski (appetizers) served with dozens of the finest Russian and international vodkas, along with vodka tasting. The caviar menu includes Prestige Cuvee Cristal Champagne, created by Louis Roederer for Tsar Alexander II in 1876.

Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace will reveal Sintoho, a fresh take on Asian cuisine named for Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong – just three of the destinations inspiring its cuisine. Included is an open sushi counter that sets the tone for eclectic menu choices paired with classic cocktails, sakes, beers and teas. Private events are welcomed in their teppanyaki grill room.

Later this year, Michelin-starred Executive Chef Andrea Accordi will take guests on a journey through his Italian homeland at Percorso. “Every country cooks the same ingredient differently. To be successful in the kitchen, it’s important to understand this.”

With stunning views of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Percorso will feature such creations as Chef’s own strozzapreti, with Mediterranean seaweed, clams, calamari and tuna; and his anatra, spit-roasted duck with citrus glaze and cherry and pink pepper compote. Private dining opportunities are available, including a private host consultation with the Chef on a bespoke family-style Italian menu, paired with selections from Percorso’s international wine cellar.

In late 2013, Four Seasons will open the city’s most intimate spa enclave. The Luceo Spa will offer eight treatment rooms – including a deluxe couple’s suite with private lounge – a salon, 24-hour fitness centre, and a glass-topped year round pool. Luxuriously appointed changing rooms each feature an experience shower, dry sauna and steamy Russian-style sauna, complete with birch branches to invigorate the skin.

Families visiting Four Seasons will also find much to welcome them, from special in-room surprises for the children to babysitting services when parents wish to go out on the town. Reservations: Call +7 (812) 339 8000 or Visit

Executive Chef Andrea Accordi
Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace, St. Peterburg, Russia
Crispy Potato Mille Feuille and Octopus Grazzetto

Recipe (4 servings)
Ingredients for Poached Cod Fish:
4 pieces of cod fish fillets cleaned. salt & pepper to taste, 2 cups (500 ml) olive oil1 garlic clove, ¼ cup (60 ml) fresh thyme

1. Season the cod fish with salt & pepper.
2. In medium pot, bring olive oil, garlic & thyme to 145F (62C).
3. Carefully add the cod fish and cover with oil. Cook 7 minutes and place on paper tower.

Ingredients for Octopus Guazzetto: ¼ cup (185 ml) plus 1 tbsp (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided,1 cup (250 ml) chopped spring onion, ½ cup (125 ml) chopped parsley, ½ lemon zested, 1 tsp (5 ml) sweet paprika, ½ cup (125 ml) chopped carrot, 4 cloves garlic crushed, 1-1/4 (800 G) Octopus cleaned, ¼ cup (185 ml) plus 1 tbsp (15ml) white wine, 8 cups (2 L) chicken stock, salt & pepper to taste, ¼ cup (60 ml) fresh thyme, 20 live clams, 20 live mussels, 20 razor clams, 1 tbsp (15 ml) finely chopped chives

1. In a large pot heat half the extra-virgin olive oil and add spring onion, chopped parsley, lemon zest, paprika, carrots and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes and add octopus.
2. Add white wine and chicken stock, then season with salt & pepper.
3. Bring to boil and simmer for 2 hours until the octopus is soft and tender. Remove the octopus from the stock (reserve stock) and cut it into small pieces. Set aside and keep warm.
4. Place 2/3 cup (180 ml) of octopus stock in small pot. Bring to a boil and reduce the stock by half. Remove from heat and very gently add the remaining olive oil. Use an immersion blender to ensure the sauce will be light and creamy. Keep sauce warm and set aside.
5. Steam clams, mussels, razor clams until open, about 30 seconds. Remove the meat from the shells. 6. Mix together the octopus sauce, octopus pieces, clams, mussels, razor clams and chives. Set aside and keep warm.

Ingredients for Salted Cod Brandade:
3 tbsp (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil, 1 spring onion, chopped,  7 oz (200 g) salted cod fish, rinsed in water and cut in small pieces. ½ cup (125 ml) plus 1-1/2 tbsp (25 ml) fresh cream, ½ cup (125 ml) cooked and mashed potatoes.

1. In medium pan, heat olive oil with spring onion and garlic. Cool slowly without browning. Add the salted cod and cream.
2. Cook for approximately one hour at very low temp, stirring every 5 minutes.
3. When the cream is reduced and thick, add potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes.
4. Whisk for 1 minute until brandade is fine and creamy. Set aside and keep warm.

Ingredients for Zolfino Beans:
1 cup (250 ml) zolfino beans soaked in water over night (or use navy beans), 2/3 cup (80 ml) plus 1 tbsp (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, ¼ cup (60 ml) fresh basil pesto, salt & pepper to taste.

1. Boil the beans in salted water for 2 hrs, drain the beans and transfer into food processor. Add olive oil, pesto and season with salt and pepper.
2. Blend to form a fine puree. Set aside and keep warm.

Ingredients for Garnish:
16 potato chips, 12 pieces dried cherry tomatoes, 12 chervil sprigs, Espellette pepper (or red pepper).

Method for Assembly:
1. Place Zolfino bean puree in the center of the plate, add cod fish on top together with potato mille feuille.
2. Drizzle the Brandade around the cod, along with the Octopus Guazzetto and garnish with cherry tomatoes, chervil and a pinch of espellette pepper.


by Bonnie Carroll