The Dining Room
In 1842 a special "dining room" and an open marble terrace were annexed to the east front of the palace. The annex was connected with the earlier part of the building by an impressive lancet arch. Nearby, in a recess of the wall, the statue The Madonna and Child (1844) by Ivan Vitali can be seen.
The Dining Room was usually used for private meals in a narrow circle; not infrequently persons from the Imperial family's closest entourage were invited.
In the centre of the Dining Room stands Her Majesty's Own Service for twenty-four diners produced in the late 1820s - early 1830s at the Imperial Porcelain Factory and the Imperial Glass Works specially for the Cottage Palace. The service includes snow-white porcelain articles of simple and austere forms, crystal glass vessels with diamond-faceted decoration and glassware of ruby, cobalt, opal and emerald colours. Originally consisting of 530 items, it was replenished in the course of the nineteenth century. In 1831, in addition to Her Majesty's Own Service, special "Gothic plates" were produced for the Cottage Palace and their number was also permanently growing. In 1843 a large number of objects made of uranium glass came to the Cottage: decorative vases, guéridons, plates, wine coolers of unusual green colour shot with gold.
The walls of the room are embellished with paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky. Noteworthy among them is the large-scale painting View of Constantinople at Sunset (1846). Also displayed in the room are pictures by masters of the "Italian genre" - Pimen Orlov, Timofei Neff and Sokrat Vorobyev. Of special historical interest are three panoramic views by Theodore Gudin featuring the Alexandria Park at different times of day. They were commissioned from the artist by Nicholas I in 1841.
Usually the Small Reception Room functioned as the place where courtiers and maids of honour were waiting for the Empress's orders.
The room was decorated in the middle of the nineteenth century in the Neo-Rococo style, which revived the mid-eighteenth century Rococo shapes a century later. The corbels are used as supports for a small but valuable collection of porcelain statuettes created in the nineteenth century after models by the famous eighteenth-century masters Johann Kandler and Michel Victor Acier at the Meissen Porcelain Factory. They show ladies and cavaliers engaged in conversations or making music as well as amorous shepherds and shepherdesses.
On the pedestal stands a bronze bust of Alexandra Feodorovna cast in 1841 by Piotr Klodt from Christian Rauch's model of 1826.