Pole to Pole
Day 31: Novgorod
Edward Ranenko has offered me traditional Russian hospitality at the Correspondents Club tonight. He wants to treat me to crayfish and samogon - home-made vodka that he brews up in his garage.
He assures me: 'Mine is only the best. With samogon you have no headache in the morning'.
Dinner is laid out on the most remarkable table I've ever seen. It's ten feet long, carved in an irregular outline, varnished and stained the colour of raw meat. The surface is engraved and from the centre of the table rears a horse's head with a brass harness of bells attached. It is, Edward tells me, the work of Vladimir Grebenikov, a father of five and a great and unappreciated genius. His fantastical designs are evident in the rest of the decoration - intricately worked chairs and elaborate lampshades the size of Roman breastplates. The whole effect is as if someone had gone berserk with a Black and Decker.
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- Series: Pole to Pole
- Day: 31
- Country/sea: USSR
- Place: Novgorod
- Book page no: 68
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