This magnificent central Riga mansion encapsulates Latvia's turbulent 20th century history.
Between the wars, it was the home of Emīlija Benjamiņa, a newspaper magnate, patron of the arts and one of Europe's richest business women. The communists deported Benjamiņa to Siberia in 1941, then the Writers' Union moved into her house, and later key events of the 1980's independence movement happened there.
Today it is an upmarket hotel, but the sweeping staircases, marble and wood-paneled interior belong to another age. A stained-glass portrait of Emīlija and her sister has miraculously survived, as well as a Venetian chandelier she shot a champagne cork through at one of her legendary parties.
Set in two sumptuous halls,Benjamiņš restaurant serves surprisingly affordable international cuisine - if you're really broke, have tea by the fireplace. Don't be shy, the staff are very welcoming.
Entree:Oven-baked pumpkin cream soup with pumpkin seeds, chili-sun dried tomato oil and golden brown brie baguette croutons
Main: Oven baked sea bream fillet with Vierge sauce
Dessert: Chocolate fondant with black currant sorbet and fresh berries
Drink: Dom Perignon Prestige Cuvee Brut Vintage.