On Friday evening I had the pleasure of attending a lovely event hosted over at St. Petersburg Trade House store in Manhattan. St. Petersburg is a Russian bookstore that on top of books also sells souvenirs, jewelry, clothes, tea sets and other wonderfully colorful and Russian-inspired items. Hence the event which involved tea and pastries served by Besteas, a traveling tea party service, presentation of jewelry from Kira Koktysh Jewelry New York, and various fashion racks and finds that you could peruse from the St. Petersburg store itself.
Look at this pretty tea, sandwiches and pastries stand from Besteas! It made me feel like I was in the middle of an afternoon picnic in a park instead of being inside a store on bustling 5th Avenue.
Seeing bubliki (those round, bagel-looking pastries) amongst the more traditional tea snacks like macaroons and sandwiches made me feel so happy and incredibly nostalgic. Bubliki are a staple of a Russian tea party because their texture is so hard (harder than a British biscuit) that you have no choice but to dip it into tea if you ever hope to eat it without chipping a tooth. I spent countless afternoons sipping tea and dipping bubliki with grandmother when I was growing up in Russia.
There were two different iced teas available to try: black tea and jasmine green tea. I liked both, but the jasmine green tea was the best jasmine tea I’ve ever had. Granted, I’m quite addicted to jasmine green tea. I always have a pack at home ready to brew, and whenever I’m by a bubble tea place I never get anything else except jasmine green tea with honey. But this iced jasmine green tea was really quite different. Refreshing, but also full of deep, earthy flavors that I can only assume were other herbs like bergamot and sage, and a hint of a sweetener that wasn’t overpowering at all.
With a full cup of tea in my hand I had plenty of opportunity to browse the store and the beautiful jewelry stands by Kira Koktysh Jewelry New York. Kira’s work incorporates traditional organic earth elements with modern materials. Drawing inspiration from natural elements (the sea is a very popular theme in her designs) as well as mythology, Kira’s designs are elegant, enchanting, and quite unlike anything I have ever seen before.
Kira’s latest upcoming collection called Poetry Without Words is perhaps a favorite of mine. It’s inspired by Ancient Chinese landscape paintings and features Chohua Jasper & Swarovski crystals mosaic Gold-filled earrings. Chohua Jasper is also known as the Chinese Painting Stone and it comes only from the Lijing River in China. Chohua Jasper stimulates the heart. Because of it red accents, it promotes the fire energy in the body and enhances vitality and love. Chohua Jasper is a sacred stone of the heart.
“Poetry is painting without form, painting is poetry with form.” Quote from, Kuo Hsi, Northern Sung Landscape Painter.
I find the name for the collection so fitting—every piece of jewelry is visually whimsical like a line from a haiku or buddhist poetry. Just looking at the photos makes me want to take a tome of Buddhist poetry that I have lying around at home and read poems while sipping hot, green tea.
I love visiting St. Petersburg’s store because it’s so vibrant and cozy and full of beautiful curiosities. Check out these dazzling matryoshkas.
St. Petersburg regularly hosts events like this one and you can follow them on Facebook for updates. Come for the delicious snacks and stay for beautiful jewelry and fashion!
Disclaimer: This post was done in a collaboration with Kira Koktysh Jewelry New York. I don’t collaborate with brands I don’t like and I love Kira’s work. Give her jewelry love over on Facebook, Instagram, or over at her website at KiraKoktysh.com