Love, Lust and Laundry – the TIP is branching out

19 Nov

Whilst sitting in a bar this evening, which shall not be mentioned for fear of accusations of corruption and bribery, The Editor had a thought. Some even believe she was inspired. Inspired by a Russian man – only 20 years old – challenged even, at the ripe age of one quarter of century.  Comfortably seated in her big fat man’s bar stool, he gently demanded she give him tips on where to bring a girl on a date. Not an expat girl (which would have surprised the masses considering the non existence of this social class in the Moscow class ladder), but a Russian girl. Flattered (it does indeed get you everywhere), the TIP has decided to dedicate a review section to the wooing of women, all women residing this side of the iron curtain. Please remember, however, if you are already a male passport holder of an English speaking nation, it is easier to wave the said document around in a crowded bar rather than to go to the trouble of reading this.

This could be you

General TIPS concerning Russian women and Russian tradition:

The TIP staff have been around long enough to form a generally unbiased opinion of sexual attractions in the capital east of the border. Working exclusively with Russians for the past year, they have had the chance to ask some pretty inappropriate questions (by Russian standards) as to relationship rules, dating, and gender roles, more often than not met with “it depends on the person.” Slightly less than 365 days of headbutting the Russian wall of mutism, we have slowly started to unravel the tangled world of love, lust and laundry in the Federation of ze Rossia.


How it works on the first few dates: you are men, in Russia, you buy the drinks (for her, not her 5 friends she has brought along for the ride, and if she expects this, review your standards, we beg of you), the food and whatever general refreshment she may require. Always have a lighter and compliment to hand, just in case, and always conduct her to the her home. For the utmost class, you must do this by car, the metro and a long walk in the snow is obviously option number 2, which is generally inevitably accompanied by freezing winds and patches of ice.


If it gets serious: you will still be expected to do all of the above, plus change the light bulbs, wash the car and generally be the “man” about the house. Apparently it is acceptable therefore to expect them to be the “woman” about the house. Require perfect turnout of your future wife (because this is where it’s leading), cooking, cleaning and ever other predetermined role attributed to the second sex. Remember that you are still expected to finance the relationship, and if she doesn’t want to accomplish her duties, suggest hiring a pretty young philipino girl to take over these duties. If she really wants equality, you will also split all the bills down the middle too.

The warning signs

If he's doing it, it must be legal

The warning signs: As mentioned above, refreshing hordes of Russian women is not among your duties as a male, only supply the lady of interest with sufficient attention and material goods (Iphones, Bentleys and furs not included).

If you are in a typical expat hangout (Katie O’Sheas – Papa’s Place – Silver’s – Chesterfield – Hot Dogs – in no particular order), the rule of thumb is simple: if she is way too hot for you, (e.g. you Shrek, her Cameron Diaz), no matter how interested she seems, she probably is… It’s a sad thought indeed, being realistic, expats in Russia generally earn far better than decent wages, especially by Russian standards. This has bred 2 new species in expat bars of the capital: working girls and passport hunters. You might get hit with the bill just as you are getting hot under the collar, be unsuspectingly “roofied”* and cleaned out whilst slumbering quietly in your flat full of high tech gadgets. These are unfortunately all true stories the TIP staff are happy to share if you have the chance to meet us one day.

There is one final recommendation for all you romance seekers, try not the expat bars for the reasons above, they are unfortunately mostly frequented by the above mentioned women. If you want a real Russian girl, try the popular Russian cafés and restaurants – but most of all, learn a bit of Russian too. 

And just for the girls, if you are lucky, you might even be able to snag yourself an authentic Russian Rambo

Russian democracy in all its glory


And if you are really bored, check out the intelligent blog which brought us this photo: Hotties Head of State , Putin Poll


*roofied: when someone spikes your drink without your knowledge



11 Nov


Giving something back to Russia

Russia has given us a lot – a visa, a job, a home, a smattering of the language and a love for pelmeni – and more globally bribery, corruption, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Pushkin, Lenin, the KGB, beautiful women and the Red Army.

it’s time to give something back to Russia

Russia has a reputation for scandal and a penchant for corruption. Let’s not forget the December 2010 St Petersburg “charity” for sick children debacle which left the children without a kopek. Instead, the proceeds financed the VIP guest stars and their VIP section without which the concert would not have happened and children would not have got their hopes up about curing their cancer.

Do differently in Moscow – It is happening right here, right now, from 7pm at Booze Bub – 5min from Chistie Prudy metro, at Potapovksiy Per. 5, Потаповский пер. д.5


They can promise and prove that all proceeds will be donated to the charities represented (Orphanage 59, To Russia With Love, Podari Zhizn) thanks to the help of a certified international accountancy firm which has donated their services to the cause. These charities help sick and orphaned children this side of the border. It will cost you a mere 444 rubles and 44 kopeks to give something back to the land which has given us so much.

What will you receive in exchange for your monopoly money:

– that warm fuzzy feeling

– the chance to win some prizes with the ticket you receive in return (if that’s what rocks your boat)

– some free food

– cheap books (proceeds go to charity too)

– business and social networking with the who’s who of the expat community

– special prices on drinks, some free rounds

– the chance to meet The Editor of your favourite blog

Now if you still need convincing after this, email us, the TIP Team also specialise in exorcism, drop us an email. All the info can be found below, and we have added in some extras for you wisdom seekers.




BOOZE BUB, the review:

It’s snowing – it deserves a post

8 Nov

First snow of the year people, cover up if you haven’t been doing so already, bust out your boots and slip on your thermal socks, it’s time to appreciate Moscow for what she truly is: the capital of Russia!

All winter neophytes be excited, be prepared, it just gets prettier – and colder – from this point on. It’s time to start dreaming about snow drifts and Red Square ice rink, slippery streets, beef stroganoff and strong vodka. This is what it’s all about.


According to my favourite Russian students, it is not winter yet, I don’t believe them. As soon as the temperature resides stubbornly at zero or below, it is officially Christmas time – and will remain so until April. The TIP team are enormous fans of the winter wonderland – last year to celebrate their arrival in the land home to Siberia, they stumbled around like bumbling idiots in one of the many local snow drifts. 


Over the next few months, you are in for a treat, the city turns white, and brown (chemicals on the road), the river and canal freeze over, the imported workers battle relentlessly and fruitlessly against the onslaught of frozen water. You will come to love the metro like your own home, a harbour from the biting gusts of wind, the jets of hot air at the exit/entrance of each cafe will feel like absolution from God and if you have the chance to still be awake at midnight, you will be greeted by the dull hum of the Russian winter – the TIP’s favourite soundtrack to the season.


Need to know – well everybody knows the basics – good coat (the longer the better), good shoes, a good hat, good gloves, a good scarf but more importantly, good face cream. The greasier the better, it will stop your face from peeling, because, hopefully that will be the only part of you exposed! For those who fear the ice, no fear, the TIP has already prepared a guide to our favourite city. Check out the link at the bottom of the page.


And just to remind of this forthcoming winter joy or to entice you into enthusiasm, this is what awaits you!


The TIP Guide: Moscow for Pedestrians (and the brave)

TIP Service Announcement – Blog Map

8 Nov

Attention - Service Announcement


Okay people, the TIP may be a publication teaming with know-how  and a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. However, we do admit some shortcomings in the sphere of social networking and blogging. We are currently trying to make every article more accessible to you, and until we have figured out a way to post the names of them under the category title on the right, we have compiled directions to all your favourite info:

Doing It In Moscow – the crazy, the random, the pub crawl overview, the interview, etc

Life Outside Of Moscow – housing reviews of other cities, which we have no time to compose at the moment.

Russian Cuisine – cooking Russkii style for all you gastronomical neophytes, easy borsch, easy plov, easy food for easy people

The Clubs – where to dance until 6 am

The Pubs – where to sit and drink until 6am

The Grub – restaurants, pubs and clubs offering food to the starved expat

TIP Service Updates – The Editor regularly broadcasts updates and apologies to virtual crusaders

The Bulletin – when you are really really bored

Uncategorized – posts not yet reorganised


If you, too, would like to know more, donate an Android Tablet and we will do our best to help you find your way around Moscow in the winter.

Rock’n’Roll Bar – Indulge Your Bad Habits

7 Nov

“Don’t confuse Rock’n’Roll bar with the brothel next door”

Rock’n’roll bar was the bar to celebrate the closure of the TIP Editor’s 25 years of life experience, and celebrate we did. 2 days of heavy drinking had anaesthetised the TIP TEam to the effects of alcohol poisoning, engorged livers and pasty faces. 1 Sunday, 2 aperitifs and 1 litre of wine later, we briefly emerged from the Beverly Hills Diner to turn right – into the next bar – not the brothel which is in between – Rock’n’Roll Bar. From the first visit, the team was smitten and have returned many times since, generally sometime mid evening  to just before midnight. There is a reason for this – scroll to the food and drinks section to discover the crown jewel of this little gem.

” If you see some people feeling up the walls straddling the outhouse doorframe, don’t panic, they are looking for the non-existant light switch.”

Rock’n’roll Bar electrician

What to expect: Rock’n’Roll bar is actually quite classy. Upon entering and the usual opening-of-the-bags ritual led by every Russian bouncer, you are greeted to a stylishly decorated bar. How is this different to usual? Well the bar stools are padded (a bit) and all the wood used in the carpentry of this fair establishment is not pine varnished, but a deep mahogany (colour), coupled with dimmed lights which could potentially even turn a frog into prince charming.

“These guys know what they are doing. “

Anon, successful person who knows what they are doing

Once inside, the only question to ask yourself is “where are the toilets?” This is evidently indispensable to a good night out. Turn back and walk all the way to the entrance and hang a left, you will find the unisex waterclosets waiting for you. Even the bog lights are dimmed which can be a bit confusing the first time. If you see some people feeling up the walls straddling the outhouse doorframe, don’t worry, they are looking for the non-existant light switch. As soon as you have zipped up, come back to the bar and have a gander around the corner, you will discover the other half of the counter, a dance floor and plenty of room to accomodate your friends and family. Here they play a mixture of radio rock’n’roll, the occasional Jimmy Hendrix and all those 90’s songs that we all harbour a secret soft spot for. The joy of this bar, and a few other select places, is how openly they embrace what we could never admit to liking west of the border. The clients range from international photographers – not the really famous ones of course, to the unpretentions down-to-earth fun loving 25 year old Russians.

Beverages and refreshments: The TIP has very honestly never eaten in there, but many patrons seem to enjoy their repast which covers the general spectrum of Moscow bar menus (salads, pasta, soup, grill) which are served in stylish dishes (if you like this sort of thing).

Drink: The menu is similar, if not nearly identical to that of Cuba Libre at the bottom of the Chistie Prudy pond. Cocktails from 200rub minimum, cheapish and less cheap beer – nothing to write home about – BUT !! there is one key detail to this bar – detail which we love and we suspect you will too. Sunday to Thursday, the Rock’n’Roll bar has a very special offer. 20 cocktails for 1000rub. For those who don’t want to do the maths, that is 50rub/cocktail. The cocktails are good and all made from scratch in front of you. It will take about 10-15 minutes, but you can admire them hard at work, sweat pearling on their brow from shear effort. You can choose to receive an assortment of fancy shots and cocktails. Our recommendation is to choose the assortment the first time and then, either learn the names or just get an assortment on your next trip again. We also recommend ordering these for a maximum of 3 people if you really want to have a party. By the time you will have finished, you will be joining the other customers on the dancefloor, boogeying down – and even better, the next day, you will only have a vague recollection of this.

The service: the bar tenders are lovely, and not too hard to get a hold of. There is no adverse reaction to stuttering and grammatically incorrect Russian. In fact, they will generally respond, or try to in English without a sign of impatience or distaste. They will even tell you if your order will be 5mins late!

Conclusion: The TIP could never turn down an invite to a place which offers a great selection of cocktails for great prices with great staff and moreover, a mere 5min walk from Turgenskaya and Chistie Prudy.

Where: Just after Beverly Hills Diner (1 Sretenke Ul.) on Rozhdestvenskii Bul’var

Metro: Chistie Prudy or Trubnaya

Check out their website:

Check out their facebook:

The Beverly Hills Diner – America Without A Visa ?

6 Nov

Have you had your lifetime dose of pelmeni? We have an answer to your winter SAD that does not include borsch.

America Without A Visa – Beverly Hills Diner

– Girls with pompoms, boys with milkshakes – and burgers to boot! –

Olivia Newton-John

The Beverly Hills Diner is a 5min trot from the Chistie Prudy/Turgenevskaya metro – a hop, a skip and a jump away from what been referred to as “one of the best burger places in the city” – being from the land of potatoes and cabbage, I am quoting the most knowledgeable people in this area: Americans.

Tasteful, as to be imagined in Beverly Hills, the diner is a kitch 70’s style – which is a fun change from the usual wooden tables and chairs. It’s a bit like walking on to the set of Grease – you find yourself distractedly wondering if John Travolta had secretly opened this place to relive his vocalist hayday, before he went all Tarantino, with suits and silly dancing with Uma Thurman. Now close your eyes. Do remember that song, from Pulp Fiction, where they twist together with Uma – well that is the type of music they play here. Honest-to-god good old American tunes that will have you thigh slapping and finger tapping in no time. This will keep you occupied whilst waiting for service at peak time.

What to expect: on each table you will find an interesting array of napkins, sauces, and a non descript contraption that for all intents and purposes, looks absolutely useless. As it happens, there are 3 buttons at the bottom of this thing. One to call the staff, one to get the bill and the other one to cancel the call. This is all very fine and dandy but here at the TIP, being slightly childish, with a touch of ADHD, after 2 attempts at pressing the right button and enough arm waving to attract a scout for the special Olympics, I pressed on all the buttons, many times. Life went on without me. It wasn’t that important because they give the menu when you sit down so you have some reading to do – the choice is phenomenal.

Had enough of Moscow this week?

Working too hard?

Not working hard enough?

Splash some cash in the diner, the patent red and white leather booths will make it feel

like a well deserved pre- Christmas treat. 

Food and drinks: the food menu is huge – huge enough that the whole wait was spenting head scratching over what burger to have. They also offer a vast array of salads, sandwiches, bagels, hot appetizers, mexican food, soups, vegetarian food – all American style , this is like the ultimate comfort food hang out. Had enough of Moscow this week? Working too hard? Not working hard enough? Splash some cash in the diner, the patent red and white leather booths will make it feel like a well deserved pre- Christmas treat. We both opted for the Gourmet Burger – which allows you to choose 2 of 4 ingredients (cheese or blue cheese, or bacon or something else) on top of the rest of the burger set up. Incidentally, we both chose bacon and blue cheese sauce – of course – and a bottle of wine. Yes, wine in a diner, Californian wine too. You can also choose a very large glass of “soda” or an even bigger milkshake – they have about 12 flavours to choose from! Average meal is going to set you back 500rub, a milk shake about 250rub (tbc, all the menu on their website), 1ltr of drinkable Californian red wine 1000rub, cheese cake 250rub.

The service:  

Peak time: The wine arrived – it was not a bottle but a litre – much to our amusement considering it was a Sunday evening and a long day of work was waiting for us. The burgers were some what long in arriving but a polite member of staff came and apologised for the delay. The burgers arrived without bacon but with american cheese. Again, the same member of staff, upon careful examination of the claim and my fingers in the blue cheese sauce, agreed and returned with a bacon blue cheese burger. I would have liked the American cheese in there too – but we got what we ordered so they are forgiven.

Not Peak Time: like Wednesday at 4pm. This is the time to go and get some work done – it is very quiet and the staff will attend to you with all the due attention expected of an American Diner. Drinks arrive promptly and food is the usual waiting time – the bill may even be faster than usual.

The bonus: every 30min or so, all the female members of staff are obliged to bust out the pompoms and do a ridiculous dance routine – entertainment points were definitely acquired. Imagine 7 waitresses in halloween costumes bopping around with pompoms – only 5 know the routine the other two waving their arms around and making no attempt to mimic their colleagues – creating what can only be described as a joyous rainbow of desynchronized two stepping. Yeah Baby!

So, America Without A Visa? Don’t know, the TIP never got that far – But it gets a thumbs up, we just wish they had corndogs!

Where: Сретенка 1, Sretenka 1

Metro Chistie Prudy

Check them out here:

TIP SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT – important information

6 Nov

Following a certain amount of ruckus concerning some TIP reviews, The Editor in Chief has prepared this special service announcement. The latter feels that a brief and concise description of the TIP’s mission may help readers understand what they are about here, in the TIP Office.

Attention - Service Announcement

The TIP Blog mission:

The TIP staff bring the readers the best and the worst of Moscow, they go forth and review.

The conclusions, which entirely based on experience in the said establishment, can be positive or negative.  

The TIP team has never and will never receive any financial compensation for these services.

It is, of course, unfortunate when an establishment receives a less than glowing review. The Editor suggests one of two solutions:

1 take the review with a pinch of salt

2- reflect constructively on the considerations brought to light by the TIP and use them as building blocks for a brighter future.

Kind regards,

The Editor In Chief