Saturday, August 21, 2010

Olive Oil v Grapeseed Oil

Croatia Online - Olive Oil

Friends and regular readers will know that we are just as fervent about Croatia’s olive oil as the country as a whole. We learnt  more about true “organic” produce in Croatia, in just a few years, than in a lifetime in the UK.

However, as many know, the word “organic” is being reinvented in a western Europe that has lost most of the natural tricks that many of our Croatian contemporaries take for granted.

In our travels around Suffolk we stumbled upon Shawsgate vineyard and winery and the discovery process there made us wistful for a few weeks in Croatia - coming soon we hope!

You can read about that on sister site Suffolk Online but the thing that surprised us most was to hear that grapeseed oil may be even better for health than olive oil. Is this something that Croatian’s have discovered and are keeping to themselves or do they prefer to use the seeds for rakija (or more accurately lozovača – grappa, the grape form of the fruit brandies generically known as rakija), or is it a fallacy?

See our earlier postings below for more information on some of what’s best about Croatian wine and olives:

Croatia Online - Gold Medal Winning Wines

Croatia Online - Solta The Island Of Olives

Croatia Online - Liquid Gold

And let’s hope our Croatian pals can answer the question and let us into this secret. Alan of Secret Dalmatia, this sounds like one for you!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

World Music Through All Ages

Croatia Online - Klapa Libar

Klapa Music is a big part of Croatian culture and we’ve written many a time about it. In it’s pure form, unaccompanied male voices singing in harmony, it’s about the essence of Croatian life – the sea, love, heartland and much more. It’s hard to go anywhere without stumbling upon an impromptu performance, and for the best that Croatia has to offer there’s the Omiš Klapa Festival (see recent posting on Omiš)

We were fortunate enough to stumble on Klapa Libar at an early stage – an innovative group that have taken the genre into the 21st century. A few drinks too many one night, when some of the band members were a little bored with singing the same old songs at another traditional celebration, they decided to liven it up a little by setting the folk to rock. The rest is history and Klapa Libar combines tradition, style and, harmony in a seamless way to deliver moving musical performances that translate into all languages.

We were stirred to revisit Klapa Libar after a similar experience in England, where we found two young people bringing traditional and classical music back to life. thus preserving and enhancing it. Read about them on Suffolk Online. Find out more about Klapa Libar on their Facebook Site

Hotel Slavija, Split

Croatia Online - Hotel Slavija


It would be hard to find a more historic and central hotel in Split if you tried. The process of continual improvement continues apace and since our review for Time Out Croatia written earlier in the year (extracts below), progress continues under a very proactive new style of management. As we mentioned then, history comes at a price as UNESCO continue to supervise the works around the Roman Spa in the basement. Though historically significant, this Spa is not available to guests, so it is perhaps with some relief that visitors to Hotel Slavija have access to modern wellness facilities via a special arrangement with a nearby partner, complete with door to door transport.

That, the magnificent views from the newly refurbished terraces (pictured), a revamped reception area, broadband and a location right within the Diocletian Palace walls help to make Hotel Slavija unique. Its three star status also gives it the edge on value compared to the central four and five star hotels, with a single room at €91 to €112 and a double at €111 to €140, rates varying according to the season. Triple and family rooms are also available and it’s worth paying that little extra for a unique view from the terrace - €134 to €162 for a double and €148 to €176 for a triple. Check out the website Hotel Slavija for various discounts depending on length of stay or visits that avoid the popular Friday and Saturday nights.


Hotel Slavija

Buvinina 2 (021 323 840/fax 021 323 868/

Modernisation has seen all 25 rooms fitted with showers and a TV. The new restaurant and lift have had to be put on hold until some new archaeological discoveries relating to the Emperor Diocletian’s thermal baths have been appropriately dealt with – an occupational hazard of improving venues in the city core.