The Tastes of 2017: Food & Wine Luxury Trips

Our team has picked their top destination for culinary travel in 2017: Croatia. If you are a food and wine connoisseur looking for something a little striking and out of the ordinary then we suggest you try a trip to the Istrian region of Croatia. Your taste buds will revel in a journey of discovery.

Istrian Food for the Gods

As long ago as 537 AD the Roman statesman and writer Cassiodorus commented that in Croatia,

“…patricians lead the lives of gods…”

We strongly feel that for those who travel to the country in search of gastronomic excellence this divine experience is still attainable.

The cooking revolves predominantly around seafood (gifts from the realm of Poseidon) and truffles (foraged from the shady depth of Hades). Rosemary, laurel, basil and thyme, all of which are associated with holy offerings to the gods, are used in abundance to endow each dish with that polyphony of scents and tastes that give diners a taste of heaven.

The Scallop Festival in Novigrad

There is only one time to visit Istria if you hunger the ultimate in shellfish excellence: early June. The Novigrad scallop is considered to be one of the best in the world, and this weekend celebration is the perfect time to sample the region’s superlative cuisine at a giant table measuring dozens of metres which is set up in the port of Mandrač.

The restaurants and local konoba also join in and feature their best scallop and shellfish dishes on their menus.

Istrian Wine

When it comes to the drink of the deities, the Istrian region excels in equal measure. From the crisp Malvazija whites to the highly drinkable Teran (a favourite tipple of Casanova himself), you’ll be in for a treat. We encourage the oenophiles among our clients to try a new experience and sample supa, a jug of red wine that is uniquely mulled with sugar, olive oil and pepper. Traditionally this is served with a slice of toast to dip.

If you are looking for that tidbit for your next dinner party conversation we highly recommend having a taste of the typical Istrian spirit, biska. Associated with the regions around Buzet and Hum, this brandy is made from mistletoe and is reputed to have aphrodisiac qualities. It will make a great story for your friends back home.

Recommended Hotel

Whether you want to be in Novigrad for the scallop festivities or you are simply exploring the region’s indigenous cuisine, the Hotel Nautica is the perfect base for your culinary adventure.

We have always been impressed by their commitment to the luxury experience and their successful application of this to all aspects of their guests’ stay. The novelty of the nautical-themed interior design is charming; the spa is the epitome of indulgence; and the top class marina location lends glamour to the whole property.

Our clients who have eaten at the Restaurant Navigare have also commented on the hotel’s gastronomic excellence with its sumptuous à la carte menu. If you’re set on discovering the regional cuisine then you’d do well to start here. The head chef prepares traditional dishes using local ingredients in an open kitchen as you watch.

There are infinite destinations we can recommend for a gastronomy holiday that will tickle your tastebuds. The Istria culinary landscape is just one of our highlights. Choosing favourites for 2017 generated heated discussion among our team so if you want to find out which destinations were also top contenders then give us a call.