Georgian Museum of Fine Arts and Art House – The Place to Meet
Tbilisi counts a history of many centuries.
There is plenty to see and to do in Tbilisi, but in addition, there are a number of ‘must-visit’ places in the heart of the Georgian capital. The Georgian Museum of Fine Arts and its extension Art House – The Place to Meet are certainly at the top of the list.
Shota Rustaveli Avenue, the main artery of the city, is incredibly eclectic, bringing together a 19th century and modern style. While walking along this avenue, a building with interesting architecture and a huge eagle perched over its entrance is impossible to miss: this is the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts. The museum has a multifunctional complex called Art House which, aside from welcoming locals, always has its doors open to international travelers, too, offering them an incredible gastronomic experience and pleasant surprises.
GEORGIA TODAY sat down with David (Datuna) Aladashvili, a famous Georgian pianist among the most loyal guests of the museum and Art House, to learn about his experience and discover all the ‘treasures’ of the venue.
We met at the MUSEUM CAFE, one of the jewels of the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts, where the dominating white walls and chandeliers ideally balance the bright furnishings, posters of outstanding cinematographic works and a wonderful palette of sweets and pastries. The beauty of the environ is completed by an airy terrace overlooking the stunning Kashveti Church of St. George, the frescoes of which were painted by the brilliant Georgian painter Lado Gudiashvili in 1947.
“First let me say that I really can spend the entire day at the Art House,” says Datuna. “In general, I come here early in the morning and start my daily routine working out at the in-house FIT CLUB,” he says, highlighting the excellent infrastructure of the fitness club in Art House, where guests can benefit from facilities of sky-high standards and the service of professional trainers.
“The swimming pool on the rooftop with an amazing city view is a real treasure, as it is almost impossible to find such a spacious outdoor pool in the center of Tbilisi so ideal for relaxation. There’s also a Finnish sauna on site, perfect for speeding you to health.”
The founders of the Art House had the importance of nutrition for a healthy lifestyle very much in mind when launching the multifunctional complex, making sure POOL CAFE came ready to serve guests a wide assortment of healthy food, including fresh salads, wraps, detox cocktails and smoothies, to enrich the organism with the necessary proteins and vitamins for boosted energy and positivity.
Membership of the Art House’s FIT CLUB has a number of other benefits too, including a 10% discount at all the venues found in the Art House and four-hours free parking in the three-story carpark, big enough to house up to 200 vehicles. The latter is certainly a special experience, as in Tbilisi it is a real miracle to find a parking space.
Datuna continues telling us about his day at the Art House:
“After a morning at Fit Club, I always try to spend some time at the museum, which brings together nearly 3500 outstanding works of Georgian painters, each a source of inspiration,” states the pianist. Like all world-leading museums, the Museum of Fine Arts also houses a gift shop, giving visitors the chance to purchase some nice souvenirs and a boutique MRKT.COM of Georgian Fashion Designers.
“PUBLICA, the new American bar-lounge at Art House, is a special place for me, as a year ago we started a tradition called ‘PUBLICA TALKS’, where we launched more than 10 evenings for music and culture enthusiasts, and gave a new life to the history of this building,” says Datuna with enthusiasm. “In the 19th century, it was the hotel ‘Orient’, the favorite gathering place of the most outstanding Georgian public figures, including painters, poets and musicians, who spent entire nights here creating the history and culture of the country.”
Currently, Publica integrates different zones for reading, painting, working or even playing piano, and welcomes everyone to use them free of charge. Publica also serves as an ideal venue for numerous exclusive events.
PUBLICA CAFE represents a real gastronomic celebration and offers an impressive menu of mouthwatering dishes and often treats guests by broadcasting major football matches and screening outstanding works of world cinematography.
Georgia is famous for its cuisine and it is no surprise when our conversation with Datuna Aladashvili moves on to focus on the Art House’s eateries.
“KHARCHO is a fantastic Georgian restaurant, boasting a wide range of traditional Georgian dishes and offering a unique experience through the special touch and fusion of traditions with a sprinkle of modernity. Georgians enjoy the novelties in traditional cuisine, while the gourmet pleasures provided at Kharcho are a real discovery for foreigners,” says the interviewee, picking out his favorite dessert, the “ESMA CAKE,” which is made of Georgian pelamushi. “It was inspired by the prominent Georgian painter and poet Esma Oniani, who through her remarkable works left a priceless legacy to the Georgian people. Pelamushi was one her favorite sweets.”
The Art House is a diverse complex and therefore does not limit itself to only local cuisine: European dishes are equally terrific here.
“My friends and I enjoy BRASSERIEBUVETTE at Art House very much. I can state for sure that this is the only French restaurant of such a high level on the Georgian market right now. It offers the best cocktails, of which I love the Buvette Smash,” says Datuna, nothing that the pleasant and super comfy atmosphere is ideal for holding various business meetings.
Brasserie Buvette also integrates a wine cellar, where guests have an opportunity to enjoy a glass or two of fine wine.
We then ask Datuna how important it is in the contemporary busy world for different facilities to be integrated in the same area.
“When I was doing my studies at the Juilliard School in New York, all the venues were located close to each other, much facilitating life there. Art House reminds me of those days spent in New York, thus it has a special meaning for me,” Datuna tells us. “It’s a perfect place for me, as I can play piano at Publica and practice, eat, work and exercise, as well as hold meetings here.”
The Museum of Fine Arts and the Art House are certainly a new statement in modern Georgia, as they bring together numerous facilities, from thrilling eateries to a museum and business meetings in the CONFERENCE HALL. Through its smart design, each of the venues found in the building represents a new dimension, offering an unforgettable journey for visitors of all tastes. Here, you can delve into art and keep fit and healthy at the same time.
Located in the very heart of the Georgian capital, it is also highly recommended as a starting point for discovering Tbilisi, as, surrounded with a number of significant sights, it blazes a path into the endless and stunning history of the ancient city.
Address: L. Gudiashvili St. 18
Sh. Rustaveli St. 7
Tel: 544 44 45 44
Art House – The Place to Meet
By Ketevan Kvaratskheliya
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