Slovenian Cuisine tipped by the BBC!
We were delighted to read yet another positive article about Green Slovenia.. this time on the BBC website, praising the amazing food options we have here..
Quite rightly the article spends a lot of time on Slovenia's wonderful Michelin starred chef Ana Ros and you can read all about her in the BBC article "What is Slovenian Cuisine?"
We have had guests book 3 months ahead to make sure they could eat at her restaurant Hisa Franka.. of course, they absolutely loved it!
We would just like to add a few extra thoughts to the article from the perspective of foreign people living here for almost a decade in the most beautiful country in Europe..
The article explains a couple of key points very well.. how Slovenia is surrounded by countries with completely different European food cultures and how the food here is grown so locally in completely different climatic regions.. so there is a huge amount of top quality fresh local seasonal ingredients for local chefs to use!
But no country is defined by just one chef, so we want to make sure you realise there are LOTS of very good restaurants all over Green Slovenia and from what we have seen and tasted, many are quietly going about their business, applying the very same simple principles to produce the fantastic end product, that is now getting truly recognised around the world..
Ana quite rightly mentioned in the article that you should go find these sensational local restaurants and give them a go and in that spirit.. just on the other side of Kobarid, the pretty little Alpine village near where Hisa Franka is located, we have a favourite local family restaurant to visit, whenever we go to the upper Soca river valley..
Jazbec (Badger) restaurant is in the tiny village of Idrsko next to the busy main Kobarid road, but all this is forgotten as you sit on the terrace with a view of the unmistakeably stunning Mt Krn (2,244m) and the Julian Alps.. and tuck into the special menu of the day!
So back to that main Question.. What is Slovenian Cuisine?
Simple answer.. it is just like Green Slovenia.. all that is good about Europe in one small accessible package!!
In our humble opinion you need to get out into the mini regions and the countryside where the local food actually comes from to discover the beating heart of Slovenian cuisine and the passion that local people have for food..
Look around when you are here.. You will notice colourful bee hives, herb gardens, fruit trees, vegetable allotments and vineyards EVERYWHERE you go in Green Slovenia.. and seriously.. how can you go wrong preparing a meal when the ingredients are so local and fresh!
Every change of season, we see local people everywhere picking dandelion leaves from the fields for salads, mushrooms from the unending forests, flowers from the meadows to make herbal tea and growing all their own vegetables..
SO SLOVENIANS KNOW ABOUT GOOD FOOD!
We deliberately set up Lipizzaner Lodge in the very best location for guests to zoom off and visit all the best bits of Green Slovenia in day trips, but, in truth, we couldn't have known, but now we do, that we were right in the middle of the best and most varied area for Eating Out too.. how lucky is that!
So much so, we have a little guide in each room telling our guests about each of the 17 completely different local restaurants that we recommend within a 5 -15 min drive of the Lodge!
There are plenty of others, but we would only recommend restaurants to our guests that we (like you as foreigners in Slovenia) would eat at again and again..
At home, you would think nothing of jumping in the car to drive 20 mins across your home city to have a nice meal and that is exactly what you can do around here to get the most fantastic choice of local cuisine!
And you can add another 5 sensationally good restaurants just 20 mins around the corner from the Lodge in the Vipava Wine Valley..
We would go as far as to say the Vipava Valley is the very best place to have a meal in Green Slovenia and for us, pound for pound & penny for penny the best restaurant in Slovenia overall for ambience, service, food and value is Theodosius, in a little village next to Vipava town, run by our friend Gregor. (the main photo at the top of this page is of the Theodosius terrace)..
We met him several years ago when he had a share in one of the fabulous Vipava restaurants that we still recommend to guests, right in the centre of Vipava old town next to a river spring, where trout jump up from the crystal clear water at dusk to catch flies as you sit on the terrace!
But he was determined to have his own restaurant and so he moved his young family to a big house nestled into the mountain side, overlooking the vineyards of Vipava and the pretty village of Vhrpolje . Theodosius is next to the stone cross that recognises the epic battle where two Roman brothers clashed in the Vipava valley and Thedosius won with his smaller army and the help of a miracle to instal Christianity as the main religion of Rome.
We kept faith in Gregor in his new place as our preferred "go to" top tip for a special meal out for Lodge guests and the feedback has been nothing short of sensational.
We know how hard he has worked, have seen how he has constantly added little improvements to the restaurant interior and outside terrace and is constantly changing the local menu with the seasons.. We are so happy he and his wife have put together the perfect restaurant package..
For every Gregor or Ana Ros, there are so many other dedicated, methodical, friendly, creative and talented chefs here in Green Slovenia, putting their own touch onto the simplest recipe of all.. seasonal, locally grown food prepared with passion and imagination.
There is probably one more important final ingredient to add to the perfect equation here and that is Slovenian wine..
Slovenia has 7 individual wine regions making completely different and often unique wines.. the Vipava Valley has native Zelen (Green), Pinela, Rebula and unique cuvees & Orange wines made by fantastically passionate, dedicated and flexible winegrowers.. special people just like the amazing chefs..
So imagine a Green paradise where the food on your plate is grown in the field next door and the wine in your glass is squeezed from the grapes in the same valley and you will be dreaming about Green Slovenia!
"So can I cook Slovenian food at home?".. NO CHANCE! It is exactly the same as for Slovenian wine.. you need to come here, discover and try it for yourself!
We have an "Eating out" section on our website, where you can find out more about all the restaurants we particularly love around here and in the Vipava valley and a few more really special ones we found on our travels around Green Slovenia..
And we have a lot of French guests who we know love Slovenian cuisine and are very surprised about how good Slovenian wine is, so we did a whole page, just in French for them about Slovenian Food & Wine.. bon appetit!
The fantastic thing about Slovenia is there are really good restaurants all over the place, so wherever our guests go off exploring, we usually have a good eating tip for you!
So we will wish you "Dober Tek!", which means, "have a good meal!" in Slovene and could well be one of the the most accurate Slovene expressions to sum up your holiday here!!