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Russia Grand Chapitre

Moscow, September 6-8, 2012

Moscow’s first Grand Chapitre

After a year of planning, the 11th Grand Chapitre of the Bailliage of Russia was held for the first time in Moscow.

With many International Grand Chapitres being held in the month of September and the challenge of visas for foreign visitors, the Moscow Bailliage was pleased to show the many international guests that came why we love our city.

We were thrilled to have Mohamed Hammam, Member of the Conseil d'Administration from Turkey, as our guest of honour to preside over the Induction Ceremony.  Mohamed was accompanied by his wife, Maria. They were hosted by the Bailliage of Moscow at the Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow. Henri Everaars, Bailli Délégué of Russia, and his wife, Tatiana, were also guests of the hotel. Other international guests travelled from the Bailliages of Canada, China, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Singapore and the USA.

For the guests that arrived a day early, a private dinner was arranged in the Baltschug Kempinski Library – a dining room which is said to have the best view in Moscow. Dinner was hosted by Gerhard Mitrovits, General Manager of the Kempinski and Bailli of Moscow.  After dinner we were treated to stunning fireworks over St Basil’s Church.

The Dinner of Welcome on the Thursday was held at the Hotel InterContinental’s Chekhonte Restaurant. Executive Chef Oleg Chesnokov prepared a modern twist on some classic Russian dishes from his open kitchen.

Following dinner guests were chauffeured through the streets of Moscow for a grand tour of the city at night.

Friday’s activities included a tour of one of Russia’s national symbols, St Basil’s Church. Expert tour guides helped attendees understand the complex history of this beautiful landmark.

This was followed by a tour of Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery where the likes of Anton Chekhov and Boris Yeltsin are buried.

Lunch was served at The Soho Rooms overlooking the Moskva River. Executive Chef Laura Bridge provided a selection Asian influenced dishes that pleased all the guests. A side trip to the Dorogomilovsky Market was a surprise to most on the tour as they were amazed at the variety, quantity and quality of the produce available in Moscow. The afternoon ended with a short tour through the stunning Metro system. Many of the interiors of the Metros have murals, bronzes and mosaics of the history of the former USSR. 

The evening was concluded at the Ritz Carlton “CaviarTerre” where executive chef Nicolas Courtois presented a buffet of Russian, Georgian and Uzbek delights. Guests were greeted at the door by members of the service brigade in traditional Russian costume to the sound of traditional Balalaika music. Shots of Vodka and vodka snacks prepared the guests for the evening of traditional fare. 

The following morning, inductees and guests were bussed to Tsaritsyno Palace for a tour and the Induction Ceremony. Members from both St. Petersburg and Moscow were delighted that the ceremony was taking place in such a famous palace.

The Grand Chapitre concluded on the Saturday evening in the brand new Ballroom of the Hotel Baltschug Kempinski. The dinner was based on a historical menu from Catherine the Great’s era and concluded with a stunning dessert from Hediard Moscow.

Once again the guests were treated to an outstanding display of fireworks over St. Basil’s Church. Commemorative tea cup sets were presented to each guest as a memento from the Bailliage of Moscow.

Thank you to our visitors and members, to the several establishments we visited and above all to the Hotel Baltschug Kempinski for making Moscow’s first Grand Chapitre a great success!

Lois Gilbert