Rus Eng

Francois-Xavier Hotier

our new insider about his hotspots in Moscow

In Focus

Moscow Never Sleeps! Incredible city. On one hand Moscow is a source of atomic energy, on the other hand, it takes all of your energy! Only if you live here you can understand what I mean. That’s why it’s like love & hate: you tell about what you love in Moscow, then you say what you don’t like. It’s a passion. When I am in Moscow for a few weeks in a row, I get nervous, I need a rest out of the city and visit friends at dacha, or more often fly to France and wherever else out of Russia. And when I am too long out of home (meaning Moscow), I just want to fly back to this mineral city. But what is sure is that after 15 years in Moscow, I have become a Moscovite!

My area

I am a fan of the «Dom Na Naberejnaya». I live in this famous “haunted” house. This place is like a fortress, with its towers facing the river, surrounded by water, dominating the island. The island is a patchwork of what Russia is made of: the Soviet Red October and the trendy Digital October, the little monastery with its golden bulbs near the Bar Strelka, the ex-factories transformed into galleries, restaurants and discotheques… From my windows in the early Friday & Sunday mornings I can see nuns working in the garden of the monastery while people walk the embankment just out of after-parties… I hope that no “affairists” will destroy these brick buildings and transform this pumping heart of Russia into “elite” apartments or “fancy” commercial galleries…

Find an inspiration

Biking through the Museon and Gorky Park in summer… Walking slowly around Patriarch Ponds on Sunday after breakfast… Watching the view from my windows and sipping a glass of wine… Bar Strelka or bistrot Normandie-Niemen with friends…


I am a fan of Bar Strelka, any time of the day. It’s quiet, with the right people, quality of food & service have always been stable & good, simple cuisine and excellent chefs, at the right pricing. For years it has been my favorite place in town. When I don’t want to have dinner at home, then I go there. I also enjoy the Normandie-Niemen, on Blagovechensky Pereulok, very French! Customers there are true France & Russia lovers, everybody knows each other and chats freely, moving from one table to another with a glass of wine in the hand.

I like these small & cosy restaurants where I feel good, where there is a real chef in the kitchen putting his personal touch to the cooking, where the waiters like their job and can talk about the menu and wines. I don’t enjoy too much these big “trendy” restaurants, where you go to be seen and watch others, these restaurants are for me like a “business case”, they do not have a soul. They could be amazing in terms of design or location, but you go there to spend your evening on your iPhone. Something there is fake… You know what I mean?

Best breakfast in the city

I have simple & classical tastes, so I Love Cake or Brownie for large American breakfasts on Sundays, Correas for their generous early brunch with friends and their kids, or a real Parisian “croissant aux amandes” (almond croissant) in Volkonsky with a double expresso.


Garage museum of course! The other museums are too well-known, there are in tourist guides. Garage is a meeting point for the new generation. If you go you’re looking forward to joining the young & happy crowd, you want your future to be cool, free, creative, and spontaneous.