|Inside The Hermitage|
|A view of St Isaacs from our hotel|
The food was wonderful. Our late breakfast seemed to cover lunch, but in the evenings we shared our time between Botanka in the west of the city and Idiot in the East. Both are vegetarian/vegan restaurants and it was easy to find plenty to eat. We were excited to sample Russian borsch due to our shared love of Prince Charles' Duchy Originals Beetroot soup and it didn't disappoint - utterly delicious. We also developed a new love of vodka when drunk neat with no ice and brought some home with us.
At the airport we spent our last roubles on these tiny dolls. They are meant to represent us. For once I am taller.
I arrived home to a lovely half-term week: the children in the midst of recreating a 3D Hogwarts from the contents of the recycling box, the garden being overhauled by my husband and a flurry of room changes that somehow means that I have donated my sewing desk to my daughter as it was the only desk that would fit in her new (and tiny) room, so now I must try and carve out a new space to work. But before that my priority must be making my little boy some curtains that are not pink. And you know how much I love to make curtains**.
* My sister's editorly opinion was that she would have happily wittled away at least 300 pages of this book. My own view was that I love the characters so much that I would have happily had a further 200 pages of poorly written bilge added on to keep them alive in my head for a little longer, however, even I would admit that it's not a literary masterpiece so if that kind of thing bothers you then please don't take my link as a recommendation. After spending many happy hours in St Petersburg playing the who-would-play-the-characters-in-this-book-if-it-were-made-into-a-film game we were delighted to discover on our return that it is actually already being made into a film to be released next year. We settled on absolutely no-one as the result of our game as the lead is impossibly handsome, strong and tall and yet refined at the same time, and we decided that he could only exist as a figment. I can't wait to see who the film makers thought was suitable for this role.
** Not at all. And in my desklessness, this will take place at the dining room table.