Dinner at Mari Vanna London

It is a tough call picking my favourite city to visit.

Smetannik at Mari Vanna London

Of course it's hard to top New York, but when it really comes down it I have to say that I just love London.

Read about my last trip to NYC here

As it is very close to Dublin I go quite often, so much so that I have a favourite restaurant and a favourite bar, and of course a favourite place to shop! 

Tempting as it was to stick to the usual spots this time we decided to branch out and try somewhere new.

Mari Vanna London

I booked Mari Vanna in Knightsbridge on the recommendation of a friend, the same friend who had recommended the amazing White Rabbit restaurant in Moscow so I knew it was a fairly safe bet.

View from the White Rabbit Moscow

Mari Vanna is a Russian restaurant serving food cooked to the style of "the Russian grandmother you always wished you had". 

Mari Vanna photo credit: ltstatic

The decor of the restaurant focuses on Russian nostalgia with its old school photographs, Matrioshka dolls, newspaper cuttings, candles, and chandeliers. In fact this restaurant is worth visiting just for it's interior alone!

Mari Vanna photo credit: ltstatic
When it came to the menu we weren't quite sure what to order. I debated trying the traditional Borscht soup but I am not the biggest fan of beetroot so instead we ordered dumplings to share.

I also didn't know what Pierogi was so I ordered one of them as well. Turns out they are puff pastry parcels filled with your choice of either mushrooms, pork, or potatoes.

Mushroom Pierogi 

The starters were all excellent and they were washed down nicely with Mari Vanna's own infused vodka. 

I went for the gooseberry vodka and my dad who is far more adventurous than myself tried honey and horseradish infused vodka!

Rather funnily mum who stuck with a plain vodka, tried to order tonic to go with it which turns out is a big no no, and she was promptly ignored each time she asked.

Unfortunately we weren't quite as adventurous with our main courses sticking to salmon, rack of lamb, and roasted duck leg!

Rack of Lamb

All were very tasty but I think next time I will try a more traditional Russian main course as well!

Pan Fried Salmon

When it came to dessert time my parents politely declined stating they were "far too full" and "oh no I couldn't possibly eat another morsel" so I braved looking like a glutton and ordered the Smetannik.

Smetannik is a Russian cake made with sour cream. I know that sounds dodgey but it was DELICIOUS! The layers of cake were moist and the berries and the tangy sauce complemented the cake perfectly. 


Amazingly my parents magically regained their appetites and helped me devour the cake in about 1 minute flat.

Cherry Vodka

After one final shot of cherry vodka served complimentary with the bill we all left Mari Vanna full and happy. 



  1. I love the interior very traditional. I think I would have been very drunk having vodka though. The starters and mains look lovely but the star of the show had to be the Smetannik dessert wow Lucy x

    1. The dessert was so delicious Lucy, I would easily go back just for tea and cake!

      Ash | Liakada

  2. I love the london scenery! You are so inspiring! Thanks for posting this!


  3. I like the sound of pierogi - your poor Mum having to drink neat vodka ;-)

  4. Looks like a great night
    Lovin this kind of family bonding

    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin | Snapchat: bandwagonchic

  5. "The Russian grandmother you wish you had" I am convinced! The place is unique!!
    Dora www.bangsbang.com

    1. Such a good line isn't it? It is worth a visit!

      Ash | Liakada

  6. I have never eaten at a Russian restaurant before! I would have been on my ear after the vodka shots. The interior looks amazing! I lived in London but was so broke over there, I could never afford fancy places to eat out! X


    1. The infused vodka shots were delicious, very easy to drink.. possibly to easy to drink perhaps haha

      Ash | Liakada

  7. I can totally see why you love London. I'm dying to go myself, so I appreciate you sharing all of your photos with us. And that food... delish. Happy Holidays.

    Kia / KTS

  8. This looks incredible!!!


  9. Oh wow, that decor is lovely!

    Corinne x

  10. The food looks so yummy ♥


  11. I love the restaurants you dine at - the food always looks beyond delicious! Have a lovely weekend (when we get there!). :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

  12. Such a breath taking photos! This place looks amazing! it seems like you had a wonderful time! thanks for sharing :)

    xx Jamie| Love Peace and Shimmer

  13. Ash, that dessert at Mari Vanna looks absolutely fantastic - I still haven't tried this place, must go, love the decor! NYC and London are my 2 favourite cities too! Of course, I have a bias to London as it's home but your Times Square pic has made me so excited to be returning there next week!

    1. It is definitely worth a visit Shikha! I hope you have a wonderful time in New York I am very excited to read all about it!

      Ash | Liakada

  14. Wonderful place and food!