Kozlović Winery : Momjan : Istria

Kozlović Winery : Momjan : Istria

Kozlović winery is one of the best-known wineries in Istria. The family has been producing wines since 1904, and today, the winery is run by its fourth generation. We are lucky that it’s about twenty minutes from our house and so we can visit at less busy times – because during the months especially, this winery can be extremely busy and often, you will need to pre-book a table/seating area.

As well as being a renowned winery, this destination in the north of Istria, is also a fabulous eaterie. Although not a restaurant, it does serve fantastic charcuterie boards – either meat or veggie. These sharing boards are substantial and are packed with locally made cheeses, breads, olive oil and other seasonal delicacies. We rarely eat meat and so can’t comment on these boards, but every time we’ve been, they look very popular.

Spring-time at Koslovic. The perfect place to sit out on the terrace and watch the world go by.

Even in the winter, this winery is set up for outdoor eating and drinking, as there are now fire pits and outdoor wood burners, as well as big blankets to wrap around yourself.

However, if you find it just a bit too chilly, but don’t want to miss out on the Koslovic experience, there is some indoor seating, too, as well as the opportunity to purchase some of their fine wines. We always seem to return home with a few more bottles than we anticipated. Just can’t think how this happens…

 

Nuvolette : Cole & Son

Nuvolette : Cole & Son

In a previous post I wrote about our desire to eradicate the parts of internal walls which have not been plastered and are still the original Istrian stone. Some people would love the walls, but as the years have gone on, I have to say my love of exposed stone – albeit now painted white – has waned and I am craving smooth, plastered walls. Some will be painted (probably white again), and for others we are considering pigmented plaster. But for the living room walls, once all is smooth, I am looking back to the beautiful wallpaper we had in our house in West Didsbury, when we renovated it,

This beautiful repeat pattern paper is Nuvolette, by Cole & Son, and is a dramatic cloudy sky mural by the Italian artist Piero Fornasetti. Unless you are an expert at wall paper hanging, I’d recommend that you do what we did, and get in a professional to hang it. The striking design is supplied in a set of two rolls, with the pattern repeat being 80cm. I was informed this mean a straight match between roll A to roll B and a half-drop between roll B to roll A of next set…

See! Told you a professional is your best bet.

The overall effect is absolutely stunning, especially if the wall to be covered is quite a large area. We used it on one feature wall only, with ceramic bulb drop pendants in front of it, and it was very dramatic. I really do miss this wallpaper now that we have moved, but I think it may make a re-appearance, once the walls in the living room are all smooth and plastered. It’s definitely not the cheapest wallpaper, but it’s very strong and sturdy and I think if you love it, there’s little chance you’ll be wanting to change it quickly. I do wonder if it is still hanging in our West Didsbury house…

San Servolo Pizzeria, Buje, Istria

San Servolo Pizzeria, Buje, Istria

San Servolo is a well renowned independent craft brewery in Buje, in northern Istria, producing excellent beers and pale ales. I’m not a beer fan, but have been known to have a bottle or two of the gorgeous red beer, so that’s a recommendation in itself. As well as the brewery, if you are a fan of all things meat, they have their own steak restaurant. If you fancy a spa experience, why not try the Beer Spa? Yes, this really is a thing. And to further add to the experience, since lockdown, a fabulous wellness campsite has opened. Forget soggy tents – this is a five star rated family, premium or luxury pitch, some with a private hydromassage bathtub.

Image credit : https://sanservoloresort.com/wellness-camping

Image credit : https://sanservoloresort.com/wellness-camping

Even though we live less than 20kms from this resort, we have tried to stay a number of times, to enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation, but it’s so popular, it always seems to be fully booked. Never mind, though, we’re not ones to be put off and we’ll keep on trying. What we have experienced however – on more than one or two occasions – is the new pizzeria. As expected, it’s top notch and way, way above the standard of most of other pizzerias we’ve eaten in. It’s contemporary in its interior design, with glass sliding doors, opening out on a balcony over the pool and a terrace with additional seating to the side. Attention to detail is on point. There’s nothing that doesn’t seem to have been thought about, from the wall art to the menus to the lighting. Staff are perfect – knowlegeable and friendly, but not over the top, and cool, but not so cool as to be off-putting.

Image credit : https://sanservoloresort.com

Image credit : https://sanservoloresort.com

But the stars of the show are the pizzas. They really are exceptional – by far the best we have had so far in Istria, and I’d go as far as to say they are up there with the best we’ve had in Italy. Very thin bases and light on the toppings. Not in a measly kind of way. In the way that shows that they know how to create a fantastic pizza. The menu is not extensive – which is always good because you know then that the food is fresh, not frozen – but it’s excellent. There are traditional choices such as Margherita, Bufalina, Napoletana, Quattro Formaggi and Capricciosa, along with more unusual pizzas from the Gourmet selection. These include Pera e Gorgonzola, the San Servolo and the Mortadella. Often, a special is on the menu – we’re not huge meat-eaters at all, but the Beef Carpaccio was once tried and given a huge thumbs up.

The pizzas are quite filling, so in order to leave room for a dessert – again, only two or three are ever on offer but they beyond delicious! – we pass on the starters and opt for the olives. These are just amazing – big, fat juicy green olives and salty black olives, in a chilli marinade. And, served warm. If you’ve never had a warm olive before, you don’t know what you’ve been missing!

Bufalina Pizza, San Servolo

Bufalina Pizza, San Servolo

Christmas Special - Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese & Caviar

Christmas Special – Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese & Caviar

Tuna, Red Onion & Black Olive Pizza - San Servolo

Tuna, Red Onion & Black Olive Pizza – San Servolo

Tiramisu - San Servolo

Tiramisu – San Servolo

San Servolo Pizzeria, in its contemporary surroundings, and modern menu, is very good on price, too. When we first visited, we expected to pay more than we would in a “normal” pizzeria – as we used to back in the UK. But that’s not case here – or Italy, either. Every bill we’ve had has been comparable with other places we eat at – and all, are much less expensive than we ever paid back at home. So, excellent food, in beautiful surroundings – you also get to see the sun setting over the Adriatic – at a very fair price. What more could you ask for?

Image credit : https://sanservoloresort.com/pizzeria

Image credit : https://sanservoloresort.com/pizzeria

Autumn in the Garden

Autumn in the Garden

Although it seems like no time since the long, heady days of summer, we’re well into October now and only a week away from the clocks going back an hour. Usually, we’ve had the wood-burner lit by now, and our logs delivered. But not this year. Since early April, we’ve had pretty glorious weather, but along with that, we’ve also very little rainfall, so the garden has struggled at times, despite regular watering. Flowers haven’t bloomed for as long as they normally would, and there just hasn’t been the intensity of colour that we usually have, when we have our normal rains. But, one thing that is definitely happening now, is a bit of a garden resurgence.

Temperatures are still relatively mild – low to mid twenties, most days – and we do seem to be having rain some nights. And, what we’re seeing now, is that a lot of plants which are normally finished by this time of year, are springing back into life. Or, plants which have been pretty dormant, are now growing and blooming. This time of year is usually when we’re packing up the garden, emptying pots, clearing up leaves etc and it always makes us a bit sad, as things start to look a little bleak. But, not this autumn…

Passionflowers winding up & over the shed, and blooming.

Passionflowers winding up & over the shed, and blooming.

Blooming passionflowers.

Blooming passionflowers

New strawberries.

New strawberries.

Tiny lemons.

Tiny lemons.

Emerging squashes.

Emerging squashes.

Nasturtiums & pansies growing through the cracks and stones.

Nasturtiums & pansies growing through the cracks and stones.

Courgettes still growing.

Courgettes still growing.

Towering cosmos, grown from a seed.

Towering cosmos, grown from a seed.

Pink dahlia bloom.

Pink dahlia bloom.

Crimson dahlia flower.

Crimson dahlia flower.

White dahlia flower.

White dahlia flower.

Burgundy dahlia flower.

Burgundy dahlia flower.

Colourful cosmos flowers.

Colourful cosmos flowers.

Pink cosmos.

Pink cosmos.

Flowering purple hearts.

Flowering purple hearts.

Dahlia blooms.

Dahlia blooms.

Tall cosmos.

Tall cosmos.

Yellow cosmos.

Yellow cosmos.

Mimosa already beginning to bud.

Mimosa already beginning to bud.

Seeing all of this colour, so late, in the garden, is making me very hopeful that winter may not seem quite as long as it often does. And that before we know, spring will have returned…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six Years On…

Six Years On…

Looking back over photos taken when we came out to view the house in Istria, and stay over as guests of the owners, has been a real experience. I can remember, obviously, what condition the house and garden was in – pretty awful, to be fair! – but as we live in the house full time, and have therefore lived through the whole renovation project, it’s sometimes easy to forget what we have actually achieved. So, this week I’ve been recreating the original photos, so that I have a visual record of what six years on looks like…

We had a vision for the stone house we viewed, for the second time, in October 2016, and this helped us to see through the condition it was in. We knew that this was a fantastic opportunity to take on a new challenge and a new direction, and so we went for it. We think that we have really brought this house back to life – but there’s still more we want to do. And that’s the challenge for the coming months. As much as we’re delighted with what we’ve achieved so far, if we can accomplish our latest vision, this house will really become something else…