In my opinion the term ‘a sense of community’ is often overused these days, or used flippantly, without real regard to its true meaning. The new ‘Taste Radol’ca’ project however truly does justice to the term and is an exemplary example of how to bring a community together. In these tough economic times when many business are struggling for survival and competing with their rivals just to stay afloat, the ‘Taste Radol’ca’ project offers a fresh approach and more than a glimmer of hope to residents, business owners and visitors to Radovljica and its surrounding areas – collectively known as Radol’ca.
‘Taste Radol’ca’ was created with the aim of uniting local restaurants and producers of local food to showcase the best of what Radol’ca has to offer. In doing so the project is also suporting the local community by using only food sourced locally. Eight restaurants are included in the project and, during the month of November, each is offering a specially prepared 3 course meal for a fixed price of just 13 euros. Although this is the first year of the project, the response so far has been so positive, it is hoped it will become an annual event on the Radol’ca calendar.
So on a chilly, drizzly Wednesday evening last week, myself and a group of others invited guests, including national and local media and the Mayor, were treated to an evening of food, wine and entertainment. I must say it was one of the most memorable evenings I have experienced since moving to Slovenia. Throughout the evening I sat beaming with pride at being able to be part of such an event and in the recognition that Radol’ca has so much to offer; the historic old town centre, unspoilt nature, endless hiking and cycling routes, great restaurants with talented chefs and a wide cultural programme including concerts, festivals and other events.
The event was held at Gostilna Kunstelj, one of the participating restaurants, which is located just before the entrance to the old town centre. The photos below (apologies about the quality, admittedly not my best effort – can I blame the fine wine?!) illustrate the evening’s events. The menu comprised a combination of some of the menus available at the different participating restaurants. More information about the project and the menus can be found here – http://radolca.si/okusi-radolce/?utm_source=Turizem+Radovjlica+newsletter&utm_campaign=cab59b0d31-Newsletter_Radolca&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4ed8fe76d2-cab59b0d31-24187013
We started in the wine cellar where schnapps and the new honey beer, Zlati Ol, was available together with canapes.
We then moved upstairs to the restaurant for the first course – smoked tongue, smoked trout, beetroot, horseradish and wild garlic sauce – produced by Joštov Hram.
This was followed by a clear soup served with a trio of filled pasta – produced by Gostišče Tulipan.
The next course comprised sulec, a kind of salmon, filled with caviar and krvavica, akin to black pudding in a filo parcel – produced by Vila Podvin and Gostilna Kovač.
There followed a dish of capon with red cabbage, cream of corn, barley with vegetables and a curd cheese and pear roulade – again produced by Vila Podvin and Gostilna Kovač.
And now to my favourite part – dessert! Linhartov cukr, tarragon icecream (believe me, it works!) served in a brandy snap basket and chocolate cream – produced by Gostilna Lectar and Hotel Lambergh. And to finish chocolate orange cake pops – produced by Gostilna Kunstelj – at which point I too was ready to pop!
Each course was accompanied by a specially chosen wine from the Dolc vineyard in the Bela Krajina region of Slovenia. I’m not usually much of a wine drinker and far from a conoisseur, but on this occasion I must say their Chardonnay and the Laški rizling were right up my street being a tad on the sweet side. The other wines were the Metliška črnina and Pankrt.
The owner of Lectar, Jože, was also on hand, together with the other musicians, to provide entertainment on the harmonica and double bass. All in all it was a fantastic evening and if you live in the area, or are visiting, I would thoroughly recommend visiting a least one of the participating restaurants and supporting this worthwhile project.
We had our fair share of inclement weather this week. On Monday there were hurricane force winds which ripped through the valley causing significant destruction, particularly in the forests and villages along the length of the Karavanke range, from the villages of Begunje to Žirovnica. Locals recall it as being the worst such occurences since 1985. The following day, when I attempted to walk up to the peak Smokuški vrh, above the village of Smokuč, it was sad to see so many beautiful, old trees torn down, some of which had literally been ripped up by their roots, and I had to abandon my walk as the path was simply impassable due to the sheer number of fallen trees. We also saw the first glimpse of snow this week, though thankfully it didn’t quite reach Radovljica as had been predicted. All week the forecasts had been saying the snow line would be at around 400m above sea level, Radovljica is just under 500m, but in the event it turned out to be at around the 700-800m level. A lucky escape – though I’m sure all the snow lovers in Slovenia wouldn’t agree with me about that!