Ed Thomas at his bar, the Amedea

The half-Croatian bar an hour from London

We were recently contacted by a very friendly chap called Ed who, we are very happy to hear, runs a half-Croatian bar called Amedea in Whitstable, Kent – only about an hour from London. Intrigued, we had to learn more about the bar (named after his grandmother!), how Ed came to set it up, and about his family and travel experiences in Croatia.

1) What is your background, and whereabouts in Croatia are your family from?

Hello! My name’s Ed, I’m half Croatian and Amedea is a bar named after my grandma/Nona. Amedea and my mum’s side of the family (the Croatian side) mainly live around Kanfanar which is close to Rovinj in Istria.

Ed Thomas at his bar, the Amedea
Ed at Amedea
Ed Thomas & Grandma Amedea
Ed, his Nona Amedea, and his partner Abbie

2) How have you come to run a Croatian bar, and such a bar in Whitstable? Do you have any previous experience in hospitality?

I do not know is the short answer! Amedea has been a dream that I’ve been far too optimistically chipping away at for about 6 years that has somehow happened. Whether it was forcing myself to put in a very amateur planning application, Googling ‘how to do a flood risk assessment’ while having a barbecue, or editing my proposed floorplans on Microsoft Paint before work, this whole journey has very much been ‘I really, really don’t know how to do this, but I’m going to have to, and just hope that no one complains… Or even better, it might work!’ I’ve grown up in Whitstable and it’s a lovely place. The residents are all interesting people who always seem up for giving a unique new business a try. 

I had no real bar experience before this and it’s also my first business (so yes my mama was worried!), I just know the Croatian way to host people from my experiences with family over there, and eating/drinking out. I’ve lost count of the amount of times Amedea herself, my aunties or my cousins have shouted ‘EDVUD! JESTI!!!’ at me – even if I’ve just eaten an enormous 3-course meal! I must admit, I used to find this quite scary when I was younger. 

To say Croatian people always put their guests first doesn’t do them justice, their hospitality is incredible. Hopefully, when customers visit Amedea Bar, we can help share that experience, and transport them to Istria too! My mamina Suzi and my sister Saskia work here too, which is important with any independent Croatian business – family. My dad… Well, let’s just say he’s one of our best customers. I really want to say thank you to the other staff that work here too. Although not Croatian (British, French and German actually) they carry the place flawlessly and always make me look good. Front of house smiles go a long way!

The Amedea Bar, Half-Croatian Bar in Whitstable
The exterior of Amedea
Croatian flag at The Amedea
The Croatian flag flies proudly at Amedea

3) Have you spent time in Croatia? What’s your favourite spot in the country? (If you can narrow it down to just one!)

I’d always visit Amedea and other family in Istria at least once a year…until Coronavirus. In 2016 I spent a month travelling down the coast visiting different places, which I would love to do again! My favourite (other than Istria of course) would have to be Makarska. Seeing those cliffs really took my head a while to compute, I’ve never seen anything like those before… And then directly below them, a cute little church on a town square. That place is so unreal and beautiful, and I haven’t even mentioned the sea yet! 

4) What kind of Croatian products/specialities does Amedea offer?

Well, I think most importantly, we of course sell Smoki peanut puffs! Other than that, we’ve got Graševina, Plavac, Postup, Babić and always Malvazija on the wine list. We’ve got loads of spirits including Medica and Šlivovica, but beers have been a bit harder. So far I’ve managed to get Ožujsko and San Servolo in cans and bottles, but I’m still battling to get a Croatian beer on draught… It’s harder than it sounds! And last but not least, we sell Paški sir (sheep’s cheese) and pršut (cured meat) on our food boards – which go down really well with visitors whether they’re familiar with them or not. 

Croatian spirits at the Amedea
A great selection of Croatian spirits!

5) (I know you’ve unfortunately been subjected to lockdowns in the past year…) but do you have many Croats in England as guests? How do non-Croats enjoy the Croatian products?

Surprisingly, yes. My mum has lived in the UK for 30 years and has never seen so many Croats here until I opened the bar, they’ve really come out of the woodwork! I’m pleased to say that when Croats do visit Amedea, they tell me their experience was genuine, which really means a lot.

It seems our non-Croat customers have been really enjoying the experience too, and some of our reviews have brought a tear to my eye! The people that come to Amedea pretty much all seem to be genuine, interesting, and most of all, nice, which is something money just could not buy. It really helps that Croatia has become such a well known holiday spot over the last few years too because it means more customers can relate. Only this month, I sold a Whitstable resident some Croatian goodies so she could recreate her holiday in Hvar for her husband on Valentine’s day! 

The wine list at the Amedea
The wine list at Amedea, next to the Kanfanar coat of arms
Živili with a painting by Amedea
More drinks at Amedea – and a painting by Nona Amedea

6) How have you/your bar found lockdown?

Well, it’s obviously been very tough, but a combination of a good landlord and the government grants has meant we’ve kept our heads above water. It also helps that Amedea is still a fairly new business, as it means I’m very used to living on a shoestring budget anyway!

The good news is, summer’s now in sight along with the end of lockdown. Being at Amedea this summer is going to be great and I’m really excited, especially now that the hard part’s out the way and we can fly the Croatian flag proudly again. Although something I’m certainly not looking forward to… Croatia vs. England in the Euros. ‘It must be win/win for you Ed!’ – No, it’s actually a horrible game to watch and for some reason, they always seem to play each other! My family and I just don’t like either side to lose TOO much.

But for the record…

I always support Croatia! 

Thank you so much to Ed for answering our questions. We certainly can’t wait to visit Amedea!

Be sure to check out Amedea online for now at and in-person once lockdown restrictions in England are over! We are sure Ed will give all of his guests a wonderful welcome!

Amedea, The Half-Croatian Bar
3 Oxford Street

Gruhak - Flying High

Croatian band Gruhak at London’s 100 Club on 27th March

Those in London who are interested in enjoying a bit of rock – Croatian style – may be very pleased to hear that new young band Gruhak are to perform at the 100 Club on Oxford Street on 27th March 2013.

Gruhak at the 100 Club in London

With elements of Led Zepplin, The Doors, Pink Floyd and The Who, Gruhak are the first Eastern European band that compose their own music and lyrics for English speaking audiences. Having previously achieved cult status on YouTube – they were voted as “The Best Ever Classic Rock Cover Band” in 2010 – they are now branching out with their own material, which will be featured at this promotional concert in London. Their album ‘Make A Stand’ has also been very well received in the UK music press, acquiring a number of top mark reviews.

Tickets for the gig cost £13.50, and can be purchased online at

In the meantime, check out the band’s official website where you can stream songs from their album, or join the mailing list to get updates on future gigs, albums and free downloads. They also have a Facebook page – – which is a great way to keep in touch with the band.

Do also check out their YouTube channel – – for live performances of the band’s own material, as well as some of their twenty famed live video covers. These videos really showcase their extraordinary live music talents.

For a limited time only (until 27th March 2013), Gruhak’s UK fans can download some material for free! The exclusive download link of ‘Make A Stand’ – Gruhak’s first album of their own material – is at, whilst at there’s audio of their famed music covers.

Gruhak - Flying High

Spread the word about Gruhak, and come enjoy their music at the London gig!

7.30pm – 11pm, 27th March 2013
100 Club
100 Oxford Street

Zagreb’s Museum of Broken Relationships comes to the Tristan Bates Theatre in London!

Museum of Broken Relationships

In just under a month’s time, the much talked about Museum of Broken Relationships from Zagreb will be presented at the Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden, London. Winner of the Kenneth Hudson Award for the most innovative museum in Europe in the European Museum Awards 2011, the Museum displays items donated by people from around the world that symbolise or have had significant meaning in a past relationship.

This summer, the exhibition will be displayed in two venues in London – at the Tristan Bates Theatre and at 38 Earlham Street, both in Covent Garden – and will feature objects from the permanent collection, as well as new donations. The Theatre has also commissioned several artists to create original work inspired by items donated meaning that the exhibition will also be accompanied by some wonderful events featuring music, visual art, drama and interactive live exhibits.

Artists featured will include, amongst others, Booker Prize-winning novelist and poet Ben Okri; agony aunt, writer and broadcaster Imra Kurtz; Zimbabwean-born vocalist and musician Eska Mtungwazi; the Guerilla Dance Project, who mix inventive choreography with social interaction; story-makers Firehouse Creative Productions; and photographer Peter Bennett.

Events taking place during the exhibition’s run include a special First Date Night, with the exhibition open only to couples to their first date; a Ceilidh; Midnight Puppetry; an Outdoor Cinema Screening and much more.

As mentioned above, the Museum is looking for new donations to add to this summer’s exhibition. A unique opportunity to be part of the award-winning exhibition, you can find full details of how to donate here. Donations will be accepted up to 8th August, with select items put on display. Items will be displayed anonymously and cannot be returned.

The exhibition will be open Monday to Saturday 10am to 10pm, and on Sundays 10am to 5pm. Tickets cost £3.50, and are valid for repeat visits within one week of purchase.

Full details of the Museum of Broken Relationships at the Tristan Bates Theatre can be found at

Tristan Bates Theatre Presents The Museum of Broken Relationships
15th August – 4th September 2011