Editor’s letter 

This edition is our first anniversary and to celebrate we invited a stellar team of writers to report on their travels. From film director and actress Renata Litvinova, to author Yuz Aleshkovsky, three-times Olympian champion Natalia Ishchenko, top lawyer Genrih Padva and, adding an international dimension, chef Alain Ducasse. 

We have explored the world’s deepest lake, Baikal, eternally wonderful Florence, popular Turkey and investigated Burma which is just opening its tourist doors. The Nishiki market in Kyoto, the best beauty salons in Lon­don and racy Rio de Janeiro are put under our microscope. 

The only thing missing: a trip to Mars. The robot Curiosity has landed there so it can only be a matter of time before we send our correspondent! 

We’re not the only ones celebrat­ing: St. Petersburg’s miX restaurant is 18 months old, TV presenter Tatyana Laza­reva threw a birthday party in New York (from where she reports), Nuit Blanche art-project will take place in Paris for the 10th time, American Condé Nast Trave­ler turned 25, the Lucien Barrière hotel chain becomes a centenarian... and Moёt & Chandon has real cause for a champagne celebration – 250th anniversary in Russia! 

Congratulations all round!

Alla Belyakova