Russian Easter Traditions at The Merchant’s Yard, London

Kulich at the Merchant's Yard
Kulich at the Merchant’s Yard

Triple kissing and the giving of eggs as presents are distinctive features of celebrating Easter in Russia. On the first day of Easter people marvel at sunrise early in the morning and predict weather for all of the summer. People put on new clothes as a symbol of new life, a tradition that goes back to the early Christians who were baptised at sunrise on the first Easter day. After the end of Lent, it is acceptable to wear bright and colourful clothes, especially red. It is believed that the gates to heaven are open during Easter week and everybody who dies during this time goes straight to heaven.

The Imperial Kulich is a traditional Russian Easter cake. You will need a lot of eggs, butter and sugar so that the cake remains fresh for a long time. A special 1-1.5 cubic litre, tall cylindrical form, made from aluminium is used for baking the kulich. Forms are washed over with butter and half-filled with dough. The finished Kulich is decorated with sugar frosting, candied peel, nuts and sugar, with a rose placed on top to add the final finishing touch.  Kulich, pashka and painted eggs can all be found at the Merchant’s Yard this Easter.

Easter Eggs at The Merchant's Yard
Easter Eggs at The Merchant’s Yard

The Easter breakfast is an important ritual in Russia, bringing all the family members together around a beautifully-decorated table for a sumptuous feast. The Lenten fast is broken by first eating the eggs bless in church. Kulich and pashka are then divided up and then the family can proceed on to other dishes.

The Merchant’s Place, 41 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, London SW3 1NX

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The Merchant’s Yard: New Russian Deli, Knightsbridge, London

When I received an email a few weeks ago regarding the opening of a new and luxurious Russian deli in Knightsbridge I was literally thrilled.  Russians are renowned for feasting, from the medieval banquets of Ivan the Terrible to the elaborate political dinners of the communist era.  The Merchant’s Yard deli certainly celebrates this grand Russian tradition.

Owner, Julia Flit, has created a venue for opulent feasts and celebrations, providing shoppers with key Russian ingredients, in addition to an intimate space, ideal for small parties to be introduced to traditional fayre.  The shop contains everything from caviar to beetroot, staples in every Russian kitchen.

The Merchant's Yard, Russian Deli

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The Merchant's Yard, Russian Deli Facade, Knightsbridge, London

The Merchant’s Yard beings the opportunity to try authentic Russian homemade food that the capital has long lacked.  Finally, there is a venue doing real justice to the recipes of established customs, as well as more contemporary interpretations.  While every member of staff is on hand, ready to assist shoppers with every possible question.  Their own enthusiasm for the food is quickly very clear.

What you can expect:

The Deli Counter: Food prepared daily for eat-in or take-out including organic salads, freshly baked breads, cakes, pastries, coffees and teas.

The Grocery: For produce to enhance any table setting including cheeses, organic olives, homemade vegetable dishes, spirits, beers and Russian vodka, Moldavian and Georgian wine.

To Order: Recommendations from the Merchant’s Yard chef, for your own personal needs, when there is no time to cook for guests at home.

Dinners: Every third week of the month, for ten to 12 people, a seasonal menu will be prepared based on the traditions and customs of Russia; enhancing your appreciation and understanding of a style of cooking rooted in history.

The Merchant’s Yard

Purveyors of Russian Foods

41 Beauchamp Place

London SW3 1NX

Tel: 020 3144 0072

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