As part of the celebrations in the run up to Croatia’s accession to the EU on 1st July 2013, the British Croatia Business Club (BCBC) is hosting a couple of exciting events this week!
On the 23rd & 24th May – this coming Thursday and Friday – they will be hosting a Croatian Products and Services Fair, which will be the perfect opportunity to sample and purchase Croatian food and drinks – whether that’s something you’re trying for the first time, or something you know and love well! This fair, the first of its kind in the UK, will see a number of well-known Croatian companies gather together to showcase their wares, with over thirty companies taking part. Well known names such as Croatia Airlines, Croata, Jamnica, Maraska, Paprenjak and Podravka will all be appearing, amongst many others. The Croatian Products and Services Fair will take place in the Battersea Arts Centre in south London, a wonderfully historic venue – built in 1893 – that’s been host to many important events over the years.
The Fair will be open to the public from 11am to 7pm on both Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th, and entrance is free. Do register your attendance for the fair via firstname.lastname@example.org as every fifth entry will win a prize!
If you’d like to celebrate in some additional style and glamour, the BCBC is also hosting a wonderful Gala Dinner on Saturday 25th May, also at the Battersea Arts Centre. The four course dinner – a Croatian menu, of course, created by Croatian and British chefs – will be accompanied by a fine selection of Croatian wines. There will also be a full entertainment programme featuring both Croatian and British artists, as well as a raffle and auction with some exciting prizes – the proceeds of which will be going to the Croatian charity, Anima Caelestis. Popular TV personalities will introduce the evening, and a welcome speech of distinguished British and Croatian guests will also take place.
Tickets cost £45 per person (£30 concessions), which includes the four course dinner and a limited selection of wine and soft drinks. There’s only a few tickets left, so do be quick to snap one up! They can be bought online via the BCBC website at www.bcbc.org.uk/fair.html.
10am – 7pm, Thursday 23rd & Friday 24th May 2013
Croatian Gala Dinner
6.30pm – 10.30pm, Saturday 25th May 2013
Battersea Arts Centre
Avid readers of the UK’s Sunday Times Style Magazine may feel like not a week (or rather, weekend) goes by without some kind of mention of Croatia amongst the pages. Whether it’s something to do with summer (that includes a bit on festivals in Croatia), hedonistic lifestyles (festivals in Croatia) or something on what the cool young kids are doing these days (festivals in Croatia), the country almost always gets a mention. (Festivals in Croatia. Oops. An extra one snuck in there.)
This weekend, events took a sudden turn for the…not so good. A piece about foodie clubs (it’s what the cool young kids are doing these days – yeah, I dunno either), featured an inset box that listed a food-based “You Know You’re A Grown-Up When You…”:
Heyyyy Sunday Times Style Magazine, what gives?!? What’s with the snarky tone? Let’s face it – you can barely move these days for newspaper and TV coverage proclaiming the wonders of Croatian food, from truffles to oysters to wine to stews to the super-strength fruit and herbal liquers to pastries and cakes, with there even being love for the pizzas and ice cream you find in the country. (Don’t laugh til you’ve tried either – preferably both! Though not at the same time.)
However, on a more serious note – “Croatia never quite took off”? Ow. BURN, as some might say. Someone was clearly having a bad day, seeing as they just got this so very wrong. I think they might need to liaise with their colleagues from the Travel pages where – again – not a weekend goes by without some kind of mention of holidays in Croatia. (Only a few weeks ago, Croatia had three entries in the Travel section’s “25 Top Holidays for 2013″ in the Eastern Med, offering up advice for visiting the island of Lopud, a cycling holiday in Istria, and culture in Zagreb.
Nevermind, Sunday Times Style Magazine. Just make sure normal service is resumed soon.
I look forward to reading more about Festivals in Croatia in an upcoming issue.
Anyone that’s been to London’s Borough Market recently might have come across a stand selling a very good variety of Croatian food products, from oils to jams to cakes (such as smokvenjak – fig cake), as well as the classic Ajvar (a kind of relish made from red peppers that can be used to accompany dishes) and Paski sir (sheep’s cheese from the island of Pag). The stand is run by D’Issa, who import and distribute top quality Croatian food delicacies and wine in the UK.
I popped along this afternoon to take a look myself (and, judging by the crowds, I think everyone else in London decided to come to the Market too!) and brought home a little haul of Croatian goodies to enjoy over Christmas! Take a look at the photo below – as you might note, I couldn’t stop myself from opening up the sheep’s cheese to try before I snapped away. (Which I’m glad I did – the cheese is very delicious and pleasantly mild. I don’t think it will last long…)
Do pop along to Borough Market to take a look yourself – alternatively, check out D’Issa’s product range and more about them on their website www.dissa.co.uk.