Darmstadt is a city in Germany founded in 1330 in the southern part of the Rhine area. The name translates into intestine city hence its association with dining. Most Russians who had the means used to travel abroad for holidays and Tolstoy himself had been to Europe twice.
Though Tolstoy was a landowner and had a large estate with many servants, he had a different outlook that suggests liberalism. He seems to have gotten this ideas from his visit to Europe and meeting with Victor Hugo, the french author of Les Miserables. He even build schools for his serf's children, a thing unheard of among most Russian landowners of those days.