Sunday, 21 October 2018
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

The European retail chain PEPCO from Poland which offers shoppers clothes for the whole family as well as wide range of household products will soon begin operations in Croatia.

PEPCO began operations in Poland in 2004, and has since recorded great interest from customers with the business expanding into Central and Eastern Europe. Apart from Poland, PEPCO currently operates in several Central European countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. The retail chain employs more than 9,000 people with more than 700 stores in Poland and more than 1,000 stores all over Europe.

"We are very pleased to be in Croatia next year with buyers getting a chance to visit our stores. The Croatian market opens up great opportunities for our brand and we hope that we will pave the way for other countries in the region’", said Marcin Stanko, the director of the Operations for Central and Eastern Europe.

PEPCO is planning to open the first store in Zagreb in early April 2017, with the first workers being employed early next year. During the first three years of its operations in Croatia, the brand plans to open about 50 stores throughout the country mainly in cities with over 10,000 residents thus creating around 400 new jobs. We can therefore expect a PEPCO store to be opened in Dubrovnik in the near future.

The popular European retail chain has already won numerous awards in the retail sector - the Forbes Diamond award and the Good Brand and Quality of Service Award.

A few days ago the Financial Times (FT), the respected international daily newspaper on business and economic news, published a few encouraging lines about the Croatian economy.

The article reads that in the six years period from 2008 to 2014 Croatia's economy contracted and its recession was rivalled only by that of Greece among its European peers.

‘’But Croatia’s tentative economic recovery has continued to strengthen in 2016, despite the collapse of its short lived coalition government after an acrimonious six months and the country’s second election within a year’’.

The European Commission forecasts that the country will have a 1.8 percent increase in GDP in 2016 primarily thanks to the tourist sector, which now accounts for about a fifth of Croatia’s output. The commission also predicts that the unemployment rate in Croatia will drop below 15 percent next year.

‘’Following September’s elections there is also tentative hope that the next government may keep a grip on public spending and tackle administrative barriers to investment. That is ambitious given the tendency of Croatian politics to obstruct economic reform. But some people have guarded optimism’’, concluded the Financial Times.

Those tourists who booked their holidays in Dubrovnik in the middle of October this year probably couldn’t have dreamt that they would be swimming in the Adriatic and sunbathing all day. Even though we have almost two months left until Christmas Day Dubrovnik is still in summer mode.

Temperatures today in the region touched 25 degrees and the sea temperature is around 21 degrees.

However if we are to believe the weather forecasters today’s warm sunshine could be replaced by wind and rain tomorrow. Although the longer term forecast shows stable and warm weather from this weekend up until the end of the month.

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British low-cost airline EasyJet (U2 / EZY) in its announcements for the summer timetable 2017 strengthened its Dubrovnik – Edinburgh line. In addition to this year's 2 rotations per week every Tuesday and Saturday, it introduces an extra, third rotation a week every Thursday. This timetable will start on 22 April 2017, with all three rotations per week – writes Avioradar.

Excatly one month before the start, the programme of Dubrovnik Winter Festival was presented by the mayor of Dubrovnik Andro Vlahusic and his associates.

- It's not easy to create new value in a city that cherishes tradition. People call and ask when the Winter Festival will start. We have received all the required permits, and now we're just waiting for the end of the competition for small houses on Stradun which is opened until October 28th. This year we will have free public transport within the city in the evening again. The novelty is that we'll have free parking in the harbor and a free opened bus from Gruz to the City. There will be more decorations in Lapad and a space between Sponza and cathedral will be particuraly horticulturally decorated. There will be a non-commercial content, but let's leave that as a surprise. As for the cost, all this is a part of regular work of utility companies. Decorative lighting will cost up to half a million, the cost of gardeners will be around 200-300 thousand and little houses will pay for themselves. We have decorative lighting from last year, Teddy is here, we just have to prepare him - announced the mayor of Dubrovnik.

Public institution in culture, Dubrovnik Summer Festival, will be a big part of the Festival. Director Ivana Medo Bogdanovic said that the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, as part of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival, will spend max half a million kuna.
- I'm happy that Dubrovnik Summer Festival will help in the organisation of the fun and culture programmes that are not directly connected with the Summer Festival – added Medo Bogdanovic.

Head of the Entrepreneurship, sea and tourism departament, Vlaho Margaretic, said that children will be able to enjoy the fun fair and ice skating in Gruz just like last year.

This year's event theme will include the story of Robin Hood, because the filming of the movie 'Robin Hood: Origins', about this medieval hero is expected early next year. Dubrovnik Winter Festival will run from 19th of November until the beginning of March 2017.

 

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British stars from the bands Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Eurythmics enjoyed the beauty of Dubrovnik at the exhibition ''Midsummer Scene-Elsinore in Dubrovnik'', placed in London. Croatian Embassy in London is hosting an exhibition of photographs that brings a touch of magic Dubrovnik summer. The exhibition was made by the British artist Bari Goddard, and it shows the most beautiful moments of the Midsummer Scene Festival. It will be opened until November 18th.

Numerous guests at the opening were greeted by Croatian Ambassador Ivan Grdesic, while the Croatian actor and producer Philip Krenus thanked the visitors on behalf of the Midsummer Scene Festival. Author of photos Bari Goddard greeted guests with a song, accompanied by Steve Maguire, a former member of the group Eurythmics. The opening was visited by Holly Johnson too, the lead singer of the popular British pop band Frankie Goes to Hollywood as well as the singer Adele Andersen, which took a break from preparing for three shows that will soon take place in London. The exhibition was also visited by Pinkietessa Pinkie, designer and famous performer, Diane Goldie, which has designed Bari's costume especially for the exhibition and the British model and designer Lee Sayers. The beautiful photographs of Dubrovnik enjoyed were enjoyed by Gary Roost, famous British stage actor and Philip Parr, coordinator of Shakespeare festivals in Europe.

The next, fourth Midsummer Scene festival will be held in Dubrovnik at the end of June 2017. The festival attracted the attention of the audience and critics with an unforgettable scenery of Dubrovnik City Walls. Last year's success, the play Twelfth Night, directed by Helen Tennison, was included in the main repertoire of the Vienna English Theatre in prime-Christmas period where it be performed daily, except Sundays, running from 7th of November to 22nd of December and then it travels to Bermuda. That's the confirmation of quality and also the start of spreading and increasing of the Midsummer Scene festival, which has distinguished international character from the beginning.

Midsummer Festival Scene is a project of the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, produced by Brilliant Events Dubrovnik and Honey-tongued Theatre Productions Ltd. London.

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Ford has released a promotional video for the new SUV model that is entirely filmed in Croatia.

A short film Le Fantome has two lead roles: the new Ford Edge SUV and Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, who some may remember from the series of James Bond (Casino Royale).

Tense film directed by Jake Scott brings a story of the man starting a new life and it shows various attractive locations on the Croatian coast. It's a great commercial – for Ford and for Croatia too.

Looking to catch a bite to eat in Dubrovnik, not sure which restaurant is a winner and which is a sinner. Well most tourists jump onto Tripadvisor to check out if the eatery in front of them is hot or not. So in this week of the Good Food Festival in Dubrovnik we have been inspired to trawl Tripadvisor for the top five restaurants in Dubrovnik. Thousands of reviews on this social platform can’t be wrong...can they?

In fifth position on our Dubrovnik Restaurant countdown is the Oyster & Sushi Bar “Bota.” Located in the heart of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik the best way to describe Bota would be a fusion of Dalmatian cuisine and sushi, yes it sounds strange but it works. With 1,055 reviews and 726 as either excellent or very good the guys at Bota are obviously doing something right.

“This restaurant is absolutely recommendable, very friendly Service, the food was fantastic. We followed the recommendation from Tripadvisor and I am pleased to confirm, that it was a great choice!” – Hania - Germany

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Bota in the heart of Dubrovnik 

In at fourth position on our Dubrovnik Restaurant countdown is another sushi bar, this time Shizuku. Based in Lapad Shizuku is the number one sushi restaurant in Dubrovnik, we would have to agree with Tripadvisor on this one. Reasonable prices, great menu and friendly service make this Japanese owned eatery a worthy entry in the top five. And with 308 reviews on Tripadvisor and with 220 ranked as either excellent or very good they top of the sushi tree.

“We went to this restaurant twice while visiting Dubrovnik. The food is very tasty! The quality of the fish is very good. Especially the eel and ikura. The teriyaki chicken was very good too and a generous portion. The service is excellent, very friendly and HUNKY waiters!! Book first as it gets busy and is popular with locals!” – Steven – UK

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Sushi at Shizuku 

In third place in our Dubrovnik Restaurant Countdown is Villa Ruza, or Villa Rose in English. As far as location is concerned this has every right to be placed high on Tripadvisor, in fact in our opinion it has by far the best location of the top five on Tripadvisor. At the end of a spit of land on the picturesque island of Kolocep Villa Ruza is a great choice for fish and local specialities. With 602 Tripadvisor reviews and 493 excellent or very good reviews they are an island delight.

“We had two wonderful nights here on our stay on Kolocep - the views, the wine and the food were all amazing!! You must try the tempura prawns for starter - probably the best I have ever had The staff were wonderful, in particular Valentino, nothing was too much trouble, we were given free deserts both evenings” – Dawn – UK

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Glorious views from Villa Ruza 

Or silver medal winner, the second placed Dubrovnik Restaurant on Tripadvisor, comes another island eatery, the Lacroma Restaurant on Lokrum. An imaginative menu in glorious surroundings has quickly made Lacroma a hit on the Dubrovnik restaurant scene. Our top tip is to try the semifreddo for dessert, it is sweet heaven. And with 277 either excellent or very good reviews from a grand total of 293 reviews on Tripadvisor the staff at Lacroma has really nailed it.

“Lacroma, heaven on earth! It is the place that catches your attention as soon as you step on the magic island of Lokrum. Not only that it is one of a kind among the island's restaurants, Lacroma competes with one of the finest Restaurants in Dubrovnik” – Monika – USA

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Lacroma on Lokrum 

And the winner, break out the champagne, spark up the fireworks and wave the flags. We aren’t really surprised but the winner and the best restaurant in Dubrovnik in our Tripadvisor countdown is (drum roll please) Pantarul. Much deserved position for this eatery in the Lapad suburb of Dubrovnik. In a relatively short period of time it has set the benchmark for dining out in Dubrovnik. It isn’t located in the best position, far from it, but you won’t even notice where you are eating, the food is exquisite. From a whooping 1,052 reviews an impressive 753 are either excellent or very good. Pantarul, or fork in English, is deservedly the king of the castle in Dubrovnik Restaurants.

“Excellent food and wine, fabulous service, reasonable pricing. The food was outstanding and our waiter was just perfect - friendly, knowledgeable and non-intrusive. It's easy to see why this place is the no.1 Dubrovnik restaurant among the many average, tourist-driven rubbish there is around. I wholeheartedly recommend this place” – Nicole – UK

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And the winner is...Pantarul 

Mostly clear

16°C

Dubrovnik

Mostly clear
Humidity: 56%
Wind: NE at 28.97 km/h
Monday
Cloudy
12°C / 22°C
Tuesday
Partly cloudy
16°C / 23°C
Wednesday
Partly cloudy
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Thursday
Sunny
13°C / 18°C

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