Wizz Air Moves Base to Kiev’s Zhuliani Airport

Wizz Air

I recently wrote about the new routes between London and Eastern Europe and subsequently I received some rather exciting news from Wizz Air.  The first Ukrainian low-cost airline is moving its operations from Kiev Borispol to Kiev Zhuliani, as of 27th March.  The move will make a huge difference to passengers as this airport is located just eight kilometres from the city centre and is conveniently served by public transport.  The new airport will also be more efficient, allowing Wizz Air to continue offering truly affordable fares.

I think there has probably never been a better excuse to book a trip to Kiev!

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New Airline Routes to Ukraine, Germany, Croatia & Macedonia

Wizz Air

Last week Ukrainian airline, AeroSvit, the biggest in the country, launched its new route between London’s Gatwick Airport and Kiev.  The airline will be flying five times a week to the Ukrainian capital, catering for both leisure and business travellers.  It is hoped that once travellers land in Kiev they will visit other regions such as Frankovsk, Lugansk and Odessa.  It is expected that around 65,000 passengers will fly from Gatwick to Kiev this year on the new AeroSvit route.

Since BAA sold Gatwick Airport to to Global Infrastructure Partners it has gained no less than 18 new routes including airberlin flight to Hamburg and Nuremburg.  easyJet has also launched a new route from London Gatwick to Zagreb this year – the airline’s third route between London and Croatia.

However, Wizz Air attempts to maintain its premier position as the number one airline carrier from London to Eastern Europe, this year opening a new route to the Macedonian capital, Skopje.  This brings the number of Wizz Air routes from London Luton to the region to 23.

So, it looks like if you want to travel to the region there’s never been more flexibility!  Long may it continue!

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Swissôtel Expands into Ukraine for 2012

When I stayed in Kyiv (Kiev) there was no doubt about it, there was a distinct lack of accommodation and a great deal of opportunity for some of the major hotel brands.  So I was pleased to hear that Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts is building a new deluxe hotel in the Ukrainian capital, scheduled to open in 2012.

The future Swissôtel Kiev will form part of the “Sky Towers”, a mixed use development comprised of twin towers of 34 and 47 storeys.  Sky Towers is located in Peremogy Avenue, centrally positioned close to Kiev city centre and the main train station, and is comprised of hotel facilities, serviced residences and offices.  The Swissôtel Kiev is anticipated to welcome guests for the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship and features 513 guestrooms and suites, 14 serviced residences, 4000m of conference space, as well as a 3000m spa.  Business travellers and independent tourists alike will enjoy a selection of dining experiences ranging in selection from the fine dining restaurant to the all-day restaurant Café Swiss, as well the lobby lounge and a contemporary bar.

Kyiv Swissotel

If you plan on visiting Ukraine in 2012, make Swissôtel Kiev the place to stay!

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Fashion Week Focus: Style from Kiev SS11

The Orthodox Church in Ukraine may have tried to scupper Kiev’s Spring Summer 2011 Fashion Week but their efforts proved unfruitful. Check out our favourite style and looks from the catwalk below…

Day 6: Olena Molchanova

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Колекція: Fresh Fashion: Олена МОЛЧАНОВА / Olena MOLCHANOVA

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Ukrainian Roasted Vegetable Stack Recipe

When I was in Kiev a few years ago I went to eat at Khutorok, a paddle-boat steamer-come-restaurant.  The charming decor was accompanied by even more charming staff and food.  It was by far the best meal I had in Kiev.  I ordered veal, wild rice and roasted vegetables.  The presentation was faultless and the vegetables were impressively stacked.  I remember sitting there thinking that I’d never be able to re-create that but last weekend, as part of a meal I cooked for my family, I foolishly thought I’d give it a go! Although it was a hassle, it looked amazing and I was really pleased with my achievement!


1 aubergine

2 courgettes

Handful of fresh thyme and rosemary (use dried if you can’t get fresh)

3 garlic cloves

150ml rapeseed oil

4 red peppers, roasted, skins removed and sliced into discs

2 white onions, sliced quite thickly

Sprinkling of paprika for presentation purposes


Slice aubergine and courgette and place in a dish

Blend the oil together with the garlic and herbs

Drizzle oil over the aubergine and courgettes and leave to marinate for at least 3 hours

Ukrainian Roasted Vegetables

Heat a griddle pan, when hot, place the aubergine, courgettes and sliced onion in pan using marinate as oil

(Add more oil to pan if needed)

Ukrainian Roasted Vegetables

When all vegetables have a nice charred colouring across them, set aside

Put aubergines, courgettes, onion and sliced red pepper into a dish and heat in oven for 15 minutes on 180°C

Arrange vegetables on top of each other

Sprinkle paprika over the plate to decorate and serve

Ukrainian Roasted Vegetable Stack

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Bulgakov’s The White Guard at the Lyttelton Theatre, London

The White GuardUp until the 15 June 2010, the (National) Lyttelton Theatre in London is showing Bulgakov’s play The White Guard…

In Kiev during the Russian Civil War, the Turbin household is sanctuary to a ragtag, close-knit crowd presided over by the beautiful Lena. As her brothers prepare to fight for the White Guard, friends charge in from the riotous streets amidst an atmosphere of heady chaos, quaffing vodka, keeling over, declaiming, taking baths, playing guitar, falling in love.  But the new regime is poised and in its brutal triumph lies destruction for the Turbins and their world.

NT Associate Howard Davies directs this major new production, featuring a fantastic NT ensemble cast.

Captioned performance: Wednesday 12 May at 7.30pm
Audio-Described performances: Friday 21 May at 7.30pm, Saturday 22 May at 2.15pm (Touch Tour at 12.45pm)

Tickets from £10

Running Time 2 hours 40 minutes (including interval)

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Royal Tokaj Wine Company

There are two drinks for which Hungary is most famed: Unicum and Tokaj. I detest the taste of Unicum. When the King of the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared that it was ‘unicum’ or unique, he was right. Actually, many East European tipples do have a similarly distinctive and herbal taste but this is quite frankly, truly revolting.


Tokaj, on the other hand, is perfectly pleasing. I am not normally a huge fan of dessert wines, but the Royal Tokaj Blue Label from the Royal Tokaji Wine Company 25cl, from Waitrose, £10.99, is by far my preferred choice. I particularly like to enjoy it with plum dumplings, a traditional Hungarian dessert (the recipe of which I will post soon!)

The bottle is small and perfectly formed.The glowing amber tone is beautiful and reminiscent of autumnal leaves; its taste is warm and rich.As I said, this wine is enjoyed with desserts, such as the traditional plum dumpling, and is perfect for cold evenings in.

However, for me, it reminds me of the warm summer morning breeze in Lvov. After arriving at 7 AM on an overnight train from Kiev, having been mugged (not violently thankfully), my travelling companion and I got horribly lost and spent three hours wandering the streets desperately trying to find the main boulevard. At 10 AM we finally reached the main squares and, more importantly, the boulevard which boasts many restaurants serving fantastic Ukrainian cuisine. We settled in a restaurant for a few hours and, looking at each other, believed, despite it being 10 AM, considering our ordeal, it was not too early to begin drinking fortified wine. This particular bottle of Tokaj tastes similar to what I consumed on that day in Lvov and so reminds me of a pleasing, satisfying time, combined with an incredible sense of relief.

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