The new Zinfandel restaurant yesterday welcomed celebrity guests, food and wine buffs and members of the media to the resplendent Oleander outdoor terrace of the Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb. The occasion? The launch of the restaurant's exciting new menu, masterminded by talented and well-known head chef Ana Grgić. The presentation on arrival of red fruits – watermelon, strawberries, raspberries – accompanied by cocktails and champagne made for the perfect summertime welcome. After a short address of the audience by representatives of the hotel, including Grgić herself, attendees were invited to sample some of the new menu's offerings.Goose liver truffles and homemade breadBeef tartare, prepared freshly before the diners A beef tartare, expertly made before the eyes of diners, formed a part of the first course served, which also included rich truffles made with goose livers. Main courses available to try included a wonderfully tender and slightly smoked fillet of Pag lamb, served with roasted carrots, plus a creamy, pale risotto.The smoked lamb fillet from Zinfandel's new menu A chef prepares risotto on the terraceA great selection of wines was served with the mains, leaving not much room for the plentiful desserts which included panna cotta and various inventive chocolate creations. In her audience address, Grgić explained that her new menu was constructed with sustainability in mind, as well as the reduction of food waste. As well as the new summer à la carte menu, Zinfand
The most famous artist of the Surrealist movement is currently being exhibited at the Rector's Palace in Zadar. The exhibition, entitled Surreal Worlds of Salvador Dali, is the largest ever showcase of his work in Croatia and contains over 200 of Dalí's paintings, graphic sheets, sculptures, tapestries and reliefs plus other items of ceramics, glass and even Dali's famous Mae West sofa. Salvador Dalí was born in 1904 in the town of Figueres, close to the French border, in Catalonia, Spain. He studied art in Madrid during the early 1920s where he earned an early reputation for his work and for his unusual, Bohemian and out-of-time manner of dress. While studying in the city, he also befriended peers such as writer Pepín Bello, the filmmaker Luis Buñuel and poet Federico García Lorca, even striking up an association with one of his idols, Pablo Picasso, while visiting Paris. His early work took inspiration from classical painters like Raphael, Bronzino, Francisco de Zurbarán, Vermeer and Diego Velázquez, Dali even going so far as to grow a flamboyant moustache, similar to the latter's. But, he was also inspired by more current and avant-garde modes of expression, such as the Dada and Cubist movements. Slowly, as his style began to become more fully formed, he would combine these influences under the banner of the new Surrealist movement. During its formative years, the Surrealist movement was centred in Paris and Dali went to live in the city himself. Presided over by a self
Located between the city of Rijeka and the island of Krk, the beautiful Kvarner seaside town of Bakar has been a significant Croatian port for thousands of years. Its several castles, old fortifications and architecture dating back to medieval times attest to its importance, the Romans, Venetians, Italians and Austro-Hungarian empires all having fought over its ownership. And well they might have done.Shielded from the wildest waves by its secluded position in a huge bay, Bakar is not only the best kind of place for a port, it is one of the prettiest. Beyond the green hills which surround the town lie fantastic nature, like the natural phenomenon of Ponikve and the 15km long walking trail around it, plus the Risnjak National Park and scores of fields prettily bordered by ancient drystone walls. Such a beautiful territory might have been worth fighting for back in the day, but today Bakar is relatively quiet and blissfully free of the summer throngs found elsewhere.However, on Saturday 13 July the fighting returns to Bakar as they host the annual reenactment of the last unsuccessful Venetian attack on the town. One of the most famous events in Kvarner, the celebrations boast canon fire, street food, a supremely festive mood and fireworks above the bay, with the event programme full of options from early in the day. And we have an invitation for two to attend.Bakar Tourist Board has prepared a gift package which includes the chance to watch the battle reenactment and theatrics
British filmmakers Matthew Somerville and Dan Mccrum have embarked on an exciting, ambitious project exploring the river Sava, from Croatia to the countries of the Balkans once united in former Yugoslavia. The documentary travels on a 990km route along the river with Sava as the protagonist, voiced by famous Croatian actress Mira Furlan (The Abandoned, Lost, Babylon 5). With a pronounced poetic edge, the movie takes the viewer on a geopolitical journey along the longest river of former-Yugoslavia, a dividing line between empires and the final frontier of the European Union, exploring its environmental problems and the increasingly fractious relations between these once connected states. The filmmakers are incredibly close to reaching their crowdsourcing goal - 97 percent there, in fact. They need to meet the $6,250 target in order to buy a boat to allow them to traverse the winding contours of the Sava and finish six years of production on the feature-length documentary. 'We live in a world that cultivates forces of hatred, fear and warmongering' said Mira Furlan, explaining her involvement in the film: 'In such a world, a project like Sava present a ray of hope. It reminds us of the force of nature that cannot be tamed by humans and their politics of violence. The river stays above all division and serves as a clear lesson, a lesson that we, humans, seem unable or unwilling to hear. As a citizen of the former Yugoslavia, a country destroyed by murderous politics, I see th
The 440-year-old city of Karlovac celebrated its birthday milestone last night with a pyrotechnic bash in the city centre, featuring flaming bonfires and a kaleidoscopic display of fireworks. Revellers gathered along the bridge and the banks of the Kupa river to gaze at the firework display, synchronised with the six-pointed star of the city centre, first designed in 1579. The ‘Stellar Summer’ festival celebrates the city’s 440 birthday on July 13. Very few cities in the world can recount their exact birthday, making the event rather unique to Karlovac. Hosted by the Deputy Mayor Andreja Navijalić, Karlovac welcomed thousands to view the spectacle. The programme of birthday celebrations called ‘Stellar Summer’ is far from over, with an array of performances left to see until the big Summer Waltz on July 13. All events are totally free to attend, and showcase some lesser-known traditions and cultures from Continental Croatia. You can experience hot air balloons floating over the city centre. Or if you're interested in getting technical, join the walks through the balloon dome between Friday 28 -Saturday 29 June. On June 30, the 22nd International Folklore Festival sees theatre and dance routines from all over the world take to the stage, including dance academies from Beijing, Mexico and Ukraine. You can watch the first day from Karlovac’s beautifully decorated main stage in the basketball court in Šanco. The festival spreads across the whole week across differ
Friday 14 June sees the start of a full weekend of culture, sport, music, gastro-treats and fun in the sunshine as the city of Bjelovar holds the Terezijana event, its annual celebration of the city’s birthday. Taking place over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it is the most important cultural and public fixture in Bjelovar, drawing all of the city’s inhabitants onto to streets as well as visitors from all over Croatia, Hungary and even further afield. There are a limited number of cities in Croatia which know the exact date of their birthday. The city of Karlovac is one and Bjelovar is another. Former Habsburg ruler Marija Terezija, after whom the event is named, commissioned the city’s construction in 1756, it is said following encampments by her military forces in the area. This birth and its military roots are celebrated annually at Terezijana, with the city offering the largest re-enactment of ancient military at the event. On the Saturday of the event, a huge procession of authentically-costumed soldiers representing the Croatian and Hungarian divisions of the Hapsburg army will parade through the city, their number exceeding some 350 participants. On Sunday, the event’s final day, the grand re-enactment continues with a parade representing the departure of the Empress from the city. However, not all of the city’s impressive choreography will be historical; over the course of the weekend there will be over 1000 motorcyclists taking part in a race through the region, som
That's a wrap on Time Out Zagreb! On sunny Friday afternoon, the Time Out team held a celebration of the new 208-page magazine at the Croatian National Theatre. In a room of exquisitely painted frescoes, radio presenter Katarina Moškatelo hosted the event with guest speeches from Zagreb Tourism Board director Martina Bienenfeld, HNK intendant Dubravka Vrgoč and Ognjen Bagatin, CEO of Bagatin. Time Out's editor (er, me) Justin McDonnell and head of video Ashley Colburn also presented their thoughts and greetings to the audience. The 208-page magazine is a celebration of all things summer in Zagreb, and the only guide you need to get around the city with hundreds of restaurant and bar reviews as well as features on art, music and cutting-edge culture - and a special section dedicated to healthcare and wellness. People spilled out onto the sun-drenched patio afterwards, enjoying fabulous canapés and drinks. National broadcasters HRT and RTL were there capturing the action, as well as Zagreb's TV station Z1. Check out the highlights from Time Out Zagreb's launch party below.
Croatian wines have been awarded seven gold medals at the 2019 edition of the world’s largest wine competition. The Decanter World Wine Awards were recently held in London and saw over 17, 000 wines from over 50 countries tasted. Croatia's total of medals included 55 silver medals and 77 bronze medals. The 7 Gold medal-winning wines were required to score over 95 points out of 100 in the judge's taste tests. This year's Croatian Gold medal winners were Damjanić Clemente 2016, Fakin Malvazija Istarska 2018 (the 2017 vintage is pictured above), ATC Gran Teran 2015, Rossi Malvazija Istarska 2018, Anđelini Malvazija Istarska 2015, Vina Laguna Festigia Malvazija Vižinada Riserva 2015 and Vron Bod Plavac 2012. Except for the Vron Bod Plavac, all of the Gold medal-winning wines are from the Istria region. These successes follow hot on the heels of Istria's wins at the International Wine Challenge which were also held in London earlier this month.
Chilly weather, rain and grey skies have characterised this month in Croatia, from the inland capital to the coastline. If you've thought this weather is colder, greyer and wetter than the usual spring showers in May, then you're not alone. Meteorologists have proclaimed this May to be the coldest in the last 30 years - and the third coldest in the last 70. Aside from being the chilliest month on record for three decades, it's also the wettest month since May 1954. Across the coast, beaches look empty and deckchairs unused as tourists shelter from the hurtling rain. This May, a month normally dominated by sunshine on the coast, has also seen the lowest amount of sunshine hours - 60 percent compared with the month's historical average. The rainy spell doesn't seem to be going away, either. The outlook for this week is pretty dreary - with the possible exception of a sunny Saturday. The weather forecast suggests clearer skies and warmer temperatures may return towards the end of next week.
To those in the know, Bjelovar-Bilogora County in central Croatia is responsible for some of the best white wines made in the country. Celebrating this local bounty and the traditions involved in its production, wine exhibition and fair Vinodar returns this month for its 21st edition. The week-long event will feature professional lectures, field workshops, professional wine grading, round tables dedicated to wine production and vine and grape preservation. A wealth of wine will be available to try plus traditional products including cheeses and preserved meats which compliment the vino. As always, the event will also hold a rich musical programme and its final three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, incorporate the Bjelovar-Bilogora County Fair of Traditional Products, at which local producers will showcase wares including honey, kobasice, kulen, pršut, cheese, brandies and liquors, traditional crafts, souvenirs and handicrafts.Cycling tour of Bjelovar-Bilogora County winemaking region, pictured at the 2018 Vinodar This year, there will be multiple events attached to the festival, including a wine tasting and gastro-walking trip centred at Castle Janković and a 40km bicycle tour (pictured above) of the region's winemaking areas. The broader Slavonia region, of which Daruvar is a part, is extremely famous internationally for its production of the Graševina white wine variety, which will feature at the event. However, perhaps less well known and less traditional to the regi