A Guide to Hvar’s wildflowers – Spring edition

I’ve been inspired this spring to get outside and learn more about Hvar’s plantlife. I see local folks using flowers and leaves in  drinks, in cooking, as insect repellants, balms and of course to flavour various rakijas! At the same time, we’ve also been watching a wonderful Croatian TV series called Lovac na bilje, which…

Vrboska diary – a painter’s view

It’s fun to take my sketchbook along on a walk instead of the camera, although it doesn’t half slow down progress! But what I lose in distance covered and numbers of images, I gain in terms of the quality of the scene imprinted on my memory. Places that I’ve sat and sketched are much more…

Layered petals and sugar

Homemade rose syrup – the Dalmatian way

The roses are in bloom early this year, so I thought I’d get started on the rose syrup. It seems a shame to waste all those fragrant petals! I’ve made it for the past couple of years and I love adding it to summer desserts, and making rose cordial on a hot afternoon. In Dalmatia,…

In through one door… and out through another

The word for a door in Croatian is vrata, which comes from the old Slavic word vorta. It’s always plural, in the same way that trousers or pants are in English. And vrata means both the opening, and the object we use to close it up. Now that may be a wooden door, glass door or wrought-iron gate, inside or outside, in the house or garden or field – vrata covers all types.