Pljukanci in creamy mushroom sauce

August 14, 2013
Pljukanci in creamy mushroom sauce

I enjoyed this dish so much at Monte Carlo that when I went back, I talked the recipe out of chef, Adriano. Please note these are very rough quantities – just getting the ingedients list from Adriano was a challenge; quantities were even more problematic! Most often, the amount was ‘a little’ or ‘just...
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Holiday homes – Yugoslav style

August 12, 2013
building-house--sepia

Today Croatia is a popular destination for foreign, second-home buyers looking for a place in the sun. Holiday homes are a new relatively idea to many of us coming from northern Europe, but not to most Croatians. For many Yugoslavians, under a communist government, a second home by the sea or in the countryside...
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Montraker: three nights of rock & food delight!

August 8, 2013
Wishbone Ash at Montraker, Vrsar, Istria

Music festivals are a big thing at the moment, but oh dear, aren’t they expensive – and as for the weather …! Sad to say, but the UK (and Holland, Germany, Denmark… well, most of northern Europe) really doesn’t have a reliably warm enough climate to enjoy an extended season of outdoor, music festivals....
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Monte Carlo – a dining gem in the making

August 7, 2013
Monte Carlo's lovely terrace, Vrsar, Istria

For our third night at the Montraker rock festival, Natalija suggested we visit Monte Carlo. There’s been a Monte Carlo restaurant, on and off, for a long time – often of dubious quality – and the restaurant had been closed for several years. It re-opened this spring with a new dynamic team and Natalija’s...
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Srdela – the place for a fish feast

August 6, 2013
lunch is ordered at Srdela, Vrsar, Istria

Vrsar is a seaside town with an active fishing port, so no visit would be complete without tasting the fruits of Istria’s sea – but where to go? “Srdela,” said local expert, Natalija. It was the second night of our visit to the Montraker rock festival (Director of Vrsar Tourism, Natalija, is one of...
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Fancita – Vrsar’s best kept culinary secret

August 5, 2013
Lunch at Fancita, Vrsar, Istria

“Where should I eat in Vrsar?” I’d asked local, Natalija. “Fancita,” was the prompt reply. “They have a dynamic young chef, Paolo, and produce some of the best food in town. I’ll arrange you a table.” We were in town for the Montraker rock festival (Director of Vrsar Tourism, Natalija, is one of the...
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Bring the kids to Istria!

July 26, 2013

Holidays: not many of us get to try before we buy. But that’s exactly what journalist, Marianne did. On a short press visit, she loved Istria so much that she brought her family back on holiday and chose to stay in our house in Brnobici!  Former deputy editor of  Marie-Claire and Telegraph regular, Marianne...
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My Istrian Recycling Saga

July 18, 2013
Box with a few of my bottles needing recycling in Istria

A simple trip to the bottle bank becomes an epic journey, but along the way I discover how rubbish recycling works in my small corner of Istria. “I’m going to the recycling bins on the way to the shops,” I said, eyeing up the overflowing box of bottles and cans threatening to take over...
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History brought to life – Istrian style

July 10, 2013
marksman in Iustitia, Porec, Istria

Istria has loads of history and folk tales, and each year Istra Inspirit brings these to life with a series of events. Running from pre-history to the 1920s, these interactive shows recreate key moments in Istria’s history and mythology. All are performed in the relevant locations and include a meal, tailored to the period....
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Venice and Istria – a perfect combination

July 1, 2013
Venice seafront at St. Mark's square in early morning

Venice and Istria make a perfect two-centre holiday. Only three hours apart by car, or a ferry ride across the Bay of Venice, it is easy to combine the magic and bustle of Venice with the tranquillity and seaside charm of Istria. I fell in love with Venice over thirty years ago. We were...
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Picturesque Porec

June 25, 2013

Discover the past with Istriana Jones

May 2, 2013
Istriana Jones in his element!

Istria is a land full of history. Perhaps surprisingly, it was far more densely populated in the past than it is today, and the remains of vanished villages, Neolithic settlements, Stone Age caves and Roman ruins are dotted all over the landscape. You just need to know where – and how – to look....
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Rovinj: Istria’s coastal gem

April 6, 2013
A dramataic view of Rovinj in Istria, from the sea

Kovaci’s transformation

April 6, 2013
house & barn in Kovaci, Istria after restoration

Just a few before and after shots to highlight the transformation in our Istrian property, before and after restoration. The photos are mainly of the house and garden, as there was something to photograph before hand. With the barn, the place was so full of junk it was impossible to get in and there...
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Outside – a restoration photo story

April 3, 2013
trenches for water near the pool in Kovaci, Istria

While a holiday home must be lovely inside, outside is just as important – if not more so. It’s where guests will spend most of their time, so I wanted it to be special. Little did I realise how much work this would entail.  Also see: The restoration tale continues with the house Downstairs and Upstairs, and...
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