Our Woman in Minsk

This short ‘postcard’ article appeared in The Times.





Eat here

Rakovsky Brovar, in the former Jewish Quarter, serves Belarusian home-brew inside a rustic ‘hunting lodge’, complete with mounted stag heads.



Must do

A full promenade down the length of Independence Avenue, taking in the imposing grandeur of the Palace of the Republic, the monolithic war memorial in Victory Square and the ever-popular circus.

Victory Square in Minsk



Taking photos of the President’s Palace, the Ministry of Defence or the KGB building – unless you are hankering after a look inside.


hammer, sickle and stars decoration inside GUM department store in minskTop shop

GUM department store – gilded in its original Soviet marble, not to mention golden hammers and sickles.


big wheel in Gorky Park MinskA to B

The city is easy to navigate on foot – all sights are centrally located – but it’s worth taking the metro (12p a ride) to admire the beautifully decorated platforms.


IMG_0047Insider tip

Go to the ballet or opera, now being staged in the newly renovated Opera House. Tickets are available from the underpass kiosk in front of McDonald’s, with seats in the front stalls costing about £3.