122 230 at one of St Petersburg’s treasured historic monuments, the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, following in the footsteps of ` Debussy, Gorky and Strauss. This miracle of an hotel is a restored reincarnation of the former Europeiskaya, opened in 1875, and thus St Petersburg’s oldest hotel. Within an aura of aristocrat- ic ambience you will enjoy five-starred, white-gloved service and sophistication. Just barely off the bustling Nevsky Prospekt, St Peters- burg’s Champs Elysées, and minutes from the Heritage Museum and Winter Palace, the Grand Hotel Europe could not be more central, both in location and spirit. It has character in plenty, as might be expected, and oozes history in every detail. Once a gleaming symbol of the City of the Tsars’ prosperous days as Russia’s capital from 1712 until 1918, once again the hotel is the pulse of a reawakened city: the ele- gant Grand Hotel Europe Caviar Bar is the rendezvous of choice, and the prestigious L’Europe restaurant offers a level of luxury and fine dining not often seen. It is in L’Europe on our first evening that we shall start our celebrations in style with a delicious six- course gourmet dinner beneath the exquisite Art Nouveau stained-glass ceiling, enjoying timeless classical music by the great Russian composers (and perhaps even a live performance). On the following day, after an exquisite break- fast we shall have the day to ourselves to enjoy at leisure until it is time for our pre-theatre dinner at the Grand Hotel Europe, prior to the ballet. On the To see the Mariinsky Ballet dance ‘Swan Lake’in St Petersburg is a magical experience