Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.
There are iconic restaurants in Dubrovnik, and then there is Nautika! The city's most prestigious dining establishment, known for its fine cuisine, stunning views, and elegant ambiance. Nautika is situated right by the historic Old Town of Dubrovnik, offering breath-taking views of the Adriatic Sea and the city walls. Its prime (with a capital P) waterfront location provides a picturesque backdrop for a memorable dining experience.
I haven’t been to Nautika Restaurant for a long time, so I was looking forward to revisiting what for many is the benchmark for high-end eateries in the city. And I wasn’t disappointed. Nautika just has that feel, from the grand entrance to the welcoming and elegant staff to the incredible position. Nautika offers a sophisticated and romantic atmosphere, making it an excellent choice for special occasions or romantic dinners. The restaurant features both indoor and outdoor dining areas, allowing guests to enjoy the sea views and Mediterranean breeze.
One thing that will catch your attention straight away is the service. This is the BEST and most professional table service in Dubrovnik, and quite possibly in the country. They seem to have an army of waiters and serving staff. You don’t even really need a menu, the staff are on hand to recommend dishes and wine pairing. “If you plump on the lamb for main course I would maybe suggest the beetroot carpaccio which is served with cheese cream, marinated vegetables and walnuts,” said the waiter. Not something that I would normally order but it was extremely refreshing and a great choice.
Main course was a celebration of lamb. “They are cooked at 60 degrees for 40 hours,” explained the waiter. And this gave them texture like butter. Lamb Dalmatian-Style – with purple cabbage, crispy chickpeas and onion marmalade. Just delicious.
Due to its exceptional location and reputation for gourmet dining, Nautika Restaurant is considered one of Dubrovnik's upscale dining establishments. It's advisable to make reservations in advance, especially during the tourist season, to ensure you secure a table with a view. Yes, make a reservation, the view is just as delicious as the food. And I didn’t even get round to the wine, the wine list is basically a book! Without a doubt they have more wines on the list than any other restaurant in Dubrovnik. Again ask the staff for help as far as pairing is concerned.
Truly an experience, a dining experience like no other. Whether you decide on a light lunch or an elegant evening meal you will truly have the meal and experience of your life. And I won’t wait that long to visit Nautika Restaurant again.
Luka Modrić would fulfil a great wish of David Beckham by joining him in Miami to play alongside Messi.
As reported by Mundo Deportivo, it seems likely that Luis Suárez will join Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba, and Sergio Busquets at Inter Miami this January. The question is whether Luka Modrić will do the same at the end of the season. Beckham's desire is to add the Ballon d'Or winner from Real Madrid to the team, who isn't getting the playing time he would like under Carlo Ancelotti and might consider traveling to Miami to play alongside Messi.
The fact is that, given the fantastic competition in Real's midfield, Modrić won't have all the minutes on the field. However, it remains uncertain whether Inter Miami will have enough room in their salary cap if they decide to bring in both Suárez and Modrić, especially since Modrić would be joining in the middle of the MLS season, which begins in March.
Messi, Suárez, Alba, and Busquets, all members of Barcelona's great squad from the last decade, would fill 40 percent of the allowable player salary cap, an institute that is prevalent in American professional sports.
Nestled in the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea, the island of Lastovo is a hidden gem in Croatia's Dalmatian archipelago. Known for its natural beauty, rich history, and unspoiled charm, Lastovo remains a well-kept secret among travellers seeking an off-the-beaten-path destination. With its picturesque landscapes, vibrant culture, and serene atmosphere, Lastovo offers a unique and enchanting experience for those who venture to discover its treasures.
A Natural Paradise
One of Lastovo's most captivating features is its untouched natural beauty. The island is a part of the Lastovo Archipelago Nature Park, which ensures the preservation of its pristine landscapes. Lush green hills, pine forests, and vineyards dominate the interior of the island, while a rugged coastline dotted with secluded coves and crystal-clear waters surrounds it. Adventurous souls can explore Lastovo's wild side through hiking and biking trails that wind through the island's captivating terrain.
The sea around Lastovo is a diver's dream. The island's underwater world is a protected marine area, boasting a diverse array of marine life, colourful coral reefs, and underwater caves. Diving enthusiasts flock to Lastovo to explore its underwater wonders, making it a top destination for both beginners and experienced divers.
A Glimpse into the Past
Lastovo's rich history dates back centuries, and the island is dotted with historical sites that bear witness to its storied past. The charming village of Lastovo, also known as the Lastovo Town, is a well-preserved example of Venetian architecture. Its narrow stone streets, ancient churches, and quaint squares transport visitors back in time.
The Lastovo Fortica, a Venetian fortress perched on a hill, offers panoramic views of the island and the surrounding sea. One of Lastovo's unique traditions is the Lastovo Carnival, which is recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. This colourful and lively event, held each winter, features traditional masks and costumes, along with music, dance, and a sense of community that celebrates the island's rich heritage.
A Haven for Relaxation
Lastovo's unhurried pace of life and tranquil ambiance make it an ideal destination for those seeking relaxation. The absence of large crowds and bustling tourist areas allows visitors to truly unwind and escape the stresses of everyday life. You can spend your days lounging on quiet beaches, sipping local wines, or strolling through picturesque villages where time seems to stand still. The island's local cuisine is a delight for food enthusiasts.
Fresh seafood, locally grown vegetables, and homemade olive oil are staples of Lastovo's gastronomic offerings. Be sure to try a traditional fisherman's stew, and pair it with a glass of Lastovo's renowned wine.
Getting to Lastovo
While Lastovo's seclusion is part of its charm, reaching the island is not as challenging as you might think. Ferries and catamarans connect Lastovo to the mainland and other nearby islands, making it accessible from Split and Dubrovnik. However, it's important to check the ferry schedules in advance, as they can vary depending on the season.
When you visit Lastovo, you're not just embarking on a journey; you're stepping into a world where time slows down, and the beauty of nature and history unfolds before your eyes.
The eleventh edition of the event "Trganje" will take place on Sunday, September 24, 2023, starting at 3:00 PM in the vineyard and tasting room of the Ivo Karaman family farm, located in Pridvorje.
Konavle celebrates the grape harvest with this event, aiming to promote this wine-growing region, preserve traditions, and cultural heritage. All visitors, led by the Konavle women and men in traditional attire, will have the opportunity to actively participate in grape harvesting and processing. Grapes will be processed in the traditional way, with a special involvement of the female audience who will, as in the past, crush grapes with their feet to make wine. The program will be enriched with games, music, and a traditional snack.
At Dubrovnik Airport, on Friday, September 22, 2023, on the IBERIA IB 3156 flight from Madrid, the two millionth passenger of the year, Leticia Gonzalez, arrived.
She was warmly welcomed by the hosts of Dubrovnik Airport, including the Director of Dubrovnik Airport, Viktor Šober.
In collaboration with their sponsors, they presented her with gifts: Dubrovnik Airport gifted the lucky passenger a gift voucher worth 500 euros for the purchase of plane tickets and a Dubrovnik Pass for two people. ALH Hotel Dubrovnik Palace offered two nights in Dubrovnik for two people, and the restaurant "Kopun" Dubrovnik provided a gift voucher worth 100 euros for a dinner for two.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković held a significant meeting with Mathias Cormann, the Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), marking a pivotal moment in Croatia's journey toward OECD membership.
During the meeting, Mr. Cormann presented an unbiased and realistic economic overview of Croatia. This in-depth review encompassed Croatia's current economic landscape, the progress achieved through reforms in recent years, and offered insightful recommendations for future reform directions. These recommendations are aimed at benefiting not only the Croatian economy but also the lives of its citizens. All of this, of course, is under the backdrop of Croatia's ongoing efforts to gain OECD membership.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Plenković underscored the importance of this economic review, emphasizing its objective nature. He elaborated on how the recommendations provided by the OECD are aligned with Croatia's strategic and foreign policy goals. He firmly believes that Croatia's accession to the OECD will enable the nation to continue its pursuit of ambitious reforms that will ultimately enhance the well-being of its people.
The OECD, an organization uniting the world's 38 most developed nations, has been in close cooperation with Croatia for several years. During this time, Croatia has demonstrated unwavering commitment to critical reforms and sustainable development, resulting in significant growth and an improved standard of living.
Mathias Cormann commended Croatia's progress and dedication, lauding it as an inspiration not just for the OECD but also for Western Balkan countries. He emphasized Croatia's role in sharing experiences and actively participating in various initiatives, notably those related to green transition. Cormann expressed eagerness for continued collaboration, predicting that Croatia's accession to the OECD would not only foster growth and development but also benefit the entire Croatian populace.
As Croatia embarks on its journey towards OECD membership, this critical economic review, paired with its commitment to further reforms, demonstrates the nation's determination to advance its economic, political, and social well-being. Croatia's strategic direction aligns with the OECD's principles, promising a brighter and more prosperous future for its citizens and the region at large.
We caught up chef Kristian Galov from Restaurant Nebula to discover his kitchen secrets and where his passion for cooking comes from. There is no doubt that je is one of the rising stars of the culinary world in Dubrovnik and with his hard work and creativity it is easy to see why. The menu is impressive and really highlights the love that has been poured into it.
What is the concept of the restaurant?
Well the best description of the concept of the restaurant is that we are showcasing the Mediterranean cuisine in a modern style. We do this by using locally sourced products and create meals in a modern way. My goal is that when guests come and eat at the restaurant that they truly taste the quality and freshness of these home-grown ingredients. We have a relatively short menu and we focus on the fact that guests can enjoy meals that are made to order. I would say that the freshness of the products leap from the plate.
Was it challenging to create your short menu?
Yes, it was a challenge because we have a menu for lunch and then a menu for dinner. When I was creating the menu I really wanted to highlight the meals that we have, but at the same time offering guests a good choice. We have interpreted some classic Croatian, or rather Dubrovnik dishes, in a contemporary way. For example, we used octopus and sea bass, typical seafood dishes for this region, but we have prepared them in a fresh manner. It is always tough to cover a wide variety of food in a short menu, but on the other hand it is a guarantee that the ingredients will be fresh.
What feedback do you receive from guests to the restaurant?
I have to say that all the comments we have received have been very positive. Quite a few guests love the quality of the beef steak and they are quick to praise us for that. On fact that meal is quite a complex one with lots of segments, but it seems that hard work is paying off. We have had a few times when guests have asked to see the chef, and it’s always nice to get their observations. It is always nice when someone pays you a compliment.
Where do you get your products from?
We work with a range of local suppliers. It is extremely important to us that these suppliers are locally based. This can sometimes prove a test but when you are determined to do something then it is easier. All our vegetable, fish and meat suppliers and producers come from this region. In fact, we sometimes don’t have a meal on the menu because we can’t get the quality of local ingredients we require. But I think it is better that we take it off the menu for that day rather than use less quality produce.
On a personal level, what is your favourite meal?
I do tend to eat Dalmatian influenced meals. For example, prawns in a garlic and parmesan sauce, I think that really is a great combination. Pasta and risotto are also on my favourite list. And I have taken this love into the kitchen. For example, when guests order risotto they have to wait around 20 minutes as we make everything from the very beginning. The same with pasta, we only use fresh pasta, and always cook it to order.
Where does your passion from cooking come from?
When I was a young boy I used to stand next to my grandmother and watch her cook. I can remember always asking questions and making a note of the ingredients and indeed the method she used. I always used to say when I was young that I would be a chef when I grew up. You could say that my grandmother started my journey and then I was lucky to work with some excellent chefs in my early career who really helped develop my style. Food and cooking really is my passion and even when I am not in the kitchen I am learning, reading and tasting food.
A recent study conducted by Eurostat, the European Union's statistical office, has shed light on the work habits of EU citizens, revealing that Croatians are working above the EU average when it comes to weekly working hours. The data from 2022 provides insights into the diverse work schedules of European nations and showcases how Croatia compares to its neighbors and EU peers.
According to the study, Greece tops the list of EU countries with the longest working hours. Greek citizens between the ages of 20 and 64 work an astonishing 41 hours per week on average. Poland closely follows with an average of 40.4 hours, while Romania and Bulgaria record 40.2 hours.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Netherlands emerges as the nation with the shortest total working hours, with Dutch citizens working just 33.2 hours per week, indicating a different approach to work-life balance. Germany and Denmark also maintain shorter working weeks with averages of 35.3 and 35.4 hours, respectively.
Croatia, on the other hand, positions itself in the middle of the spectrum, with an average of 39.6 working hours per week. This places Croatia and its neighbor Slovenia just above the EU average of 37.5 working hours per week, showcasing their commitment to their jobs and careers.
These findings underscore the diversity of work habits and work-life balance across the EU and emphasize Croatia's position in the context of working hours within the European Union.