The weather was the talk of the town this week, but this time for the right reason as temperature records were once again shattered with parts of south-east Slovenia basking in temperatures of 27 degrees, which in March is unusual to say the least. Here in the alpine region of Gorenjska, the temperatures didn’t climb quite that high, as is to be expected when there are still metres of snow in the high mountains, but did reach around the 20 degree mark, which was pure bliss while it lasted. The weekend brought a return of the rain, and with it lower temperatures, but its officially spring now so things are looking up.
My week flew by in a whirl as I was quite busy with translating work, meaning several early starts and late finishes, which left less time than I would have liked to make the most of the clement weather. I did however (of course) manage to squeeze in a few short bike rides and am looking forward to many more in the months to come and will of course be blogging about them, and my hikes too.
The week, the first of three Chateau Dinners (Grajska vecerja) took place at Lambergh Chateau in the village of Dvorska vas, near Begunje na Gorenjskem, just a few kilometres from Radovljica.
The history of the Chateau, part of the Lambergh Chateau and Hotel, dates back as far as the 11th century and was at one time, in the 16th century, owned by Count Lamberg, hence the name. It was completely renovated in 1531 in the Renaissance style and the latest renovation, in 2011, ensured its original appearance was preserved, along with the modern touches required to bring it into the 21st century.
It has to be said that the Lambergh Estate didn’t have the most auspicious of starts when it opened a few years back and has since endured a period of closure and several changes of ownership. In the past there was some scepticism about its future but its great to be able to report that the new owners seem to have finally found the right formula and the right team, and for the past year the hotel has been flourishing, often running at full occupancy. It is also a very popular wedding venue and has become an important part of the community. More information about the Estate, and the next Chateau Dinners, on 25th April and 16th May, can be found here – http://www.hotel-lambergh.com
The Chateau Dinners are open to both hotel residents and non-residents and take place monthly. The menus are seasonally adjusted and comprise 4 courses, with matching (and plentiful!) wine. On this occasion the wine was provided by the Sartori Estate from the Primorska region of Slovenia, near the town and port of Koper, and diners were also kept amused by the running ‘will they/won’t they’ entertainment provided by Urška and the noble Tonček, as seen below. As well as accommodation and the restaurant, the chateau also houses an intimate wedding chamber, which, together with the small restaurant, makes the ideal venue for smaller group celebrations.
Oh, and of course I must mention the delicious food which didn’t disappoint. Lambergh is also one of the 7 restaurants that participate in the Taste Radol’ca project ( http://wp.me/p3005k-8s) and will also be appearing at the forthcoming Chocolate Festival in Radovljica. Talking of which, as probably the world’s biggest chocoholic, I’m on countdown to the Festival already – just 20 days to go!!! More information about this year’s Chocolate Festival in Radovljica can be found here – http://www.festival-cokolade.si/
Woops, back to the aforementioned food, I got sidetracked by chocolate again……. To started we were served a courgette carpaccio with tomatoes and fresh goats cheese. Next came a gratinated scallop with saffron risotto. And for the main courses deer medallions wrapped with pancetta, potato blinis – which were seriously melt in the mouth and I could have eaten a whole plate of them alone – and a sprout wrap filled with mushrooms and gorgonzola.
And for dessert, an almond parfe with chocolate truffle and berries – need I say more! The food was delicious, a treat for the eyes and the palate and I’m looking forward to the next one already!