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New pubs: John Donne/Jean-Jaques
Ross Hunter

he twinned bistro and pub complex ‘Jean-Jaques’ and ‘John Donne’ are among the high spots of the west end of Moscow’s social scene, on Tverskoi and Nikitsky Bulvars. Great news for social drinkers and eaters: the family now boasts a third pair of twins. Handily placed right next to Taganskaya Metro (Brown, Violet and Yellow lines), 30m from the exit, towards the city, the distinctive red and black decor brightens up the theatre district. Inside, your jovial host and his friendly bilingual staff offer a warm welcome. If in doubt, ask for Victor, who will look after you.

It is a tasteful place. There is a splendid selection of the finest British, Irish and continental beers, and a positive archipelago of poetry islands adorns the place mats. Beers, stouts and lagers include the finest from Belhaven, Fullers, Old Speckled Hen, Greene King and Heineken, as well as a decent top shelf. IPA and London Pride are good choices, but keep clear of the Greene King Abbot Ale – leaving more for me, thank you. Prices are reasonable, the food menu is developing, and more sport channels keep appearing on the two large screens.

The owners and guiding lights, Dmitry and Marusya Borisov, have rare flair to match their vision and commitment. Their aim is to attract an even mix of expats and locals with a comfortable ambience backed up by quality service. It seems to work. Six branches serve Moscow, St Petersburg and Yerevan, and they hope to double this number in key capitals worldwide. They are often to be seen enjoying the company of their customers, most of whom are regulars

A very welcome addition. See you there!

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