In the very center of the city, in the middle of the Vladivostok Arbat, newly arrived guests were surprised to discover the classic English tearoom Five o’clock. The owner, Barry Adamson, born in the ancient town of Bolton and longtime Vladivostok resident, can often be found behind the counter in the afternoon. He likes to personally serve the guests. Barry and his Russian wife, Anna, opened this tearoom in 2007 and immediately won the hearts of Vladivostok residents: delicious pastries, friendly prices, a cozy interior and the ability to imagine yourself, if not the queen of Great Britain, then at least the hero of a (beloved in Russia) British film, where everyone is constantly drinking tea.
For a Russian, Five o’clock is one of the first connections with England. It’s funny, but Barry says that now in England the ceremony of classical Victorian Five o’clock has become more a tourist attraction or a ritual for the elite; ordinary people perceive a tearoom as a part of everyday life, such as a bakery. So, perhaps for the residents of Vladivostok the Five o’clock tearoom means a bit more than it does for the average Englishman. We love jolly old England, although we are generally familiar with it only from books and films.
Employees of Five o’clock start their day at 6:30 in the morning so that by 8:00 fresh pastries are ready for the first guests. This is one of the few places in town where you can have an early breakfast, so the place has morning regulars: office workers who then return here for lunch and stop in after work to grab something tasty to go. In between the waves of white collar customers, the place is filled with students, pensioners, mothers with children, artists, housewives meeting to chat over a cup of tea, tourists...
The tearoom’s main product (besides, of course, a large selection of teas, including, even rare in our area, Lapsang Souchong) is baked goods which are prepared using classic English recipes: scones, muffins, cakes, cookies, pies, and tarts. It is difficult to recommend something specific here. Everything is delicious. But it should be noted only that the author is fond of a few items rarely or never-seen in other cafes. Chocolate muffins with mint, caramel and banana cake, cat-tongue cookies, puff pastry with chicken, Red Velvet cake, and an extraordinary English cherry pie (baked only on weekends — and this is a reason to wait for the weekend!).
For those who manage to resist temptation, the tearoom also serves quiches and salads.
When asked why the Englishman chose to live Vladivostok, Barry answers simply: “I like this city.” And the city likes Five o’clock.
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