Publié le 15/10/2020

Slovenia: a Green Destination,
a Thousand Traditions (Part 1)

French culinary photojournalist Anne-Claire Héraud leads us through the picturesque Slovenian countryside on her quest to find influential figures in sustainable cuisine. Tucked in the upper reaches of the town of Idrija, Kendov Dvorec is a welcoming hotel that captures local culture, craftsmanship.

Slovenia: a Green Destination, | a Thousand Traditions (Part 1)

The Marija na Skalci chapel, a celebrated pilgrimage site deep in the leafy Slovenian landscape.

French culinary photojournalist Anne-Claire Héraud leads us through the picturesque Slovenian countryside on her quest to find influential figures in sustainable cuisine. Tucked in the upper reaches of the town of Idrija, Kendov Dvorec is a welcoming hotel that captures local culture, craftsmanship.

In its 2020 Travel Guide published earlier this year, The New York Times called Slovenia “arguably the world’s most environmentally conscious nation” *. Its capital, Ljubljana, received the European Green Capital Award in 2016, an annual honor bestowed by the European Commission. The following year, it became the first country to be officially certified as a Green Destination.

Idrija, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to the planet’s second-largest mercury mine. It is also the birthplace of Slovenian lacemaking and culinary arts. Though the destination can boast of its technical sophistication, the Kendov Dvorec Hotel, built in 1377, gives local know-how pride of place. This typical Slovenian residence, cradled between alpine peaks, crystal-clear rivers, and the Karst Plateau, offers a warm, welcoming, harmonious family ambiance.

The restaurant serves comforting cuisine with ingredients sourced from the surroundings. The dishes are paired with the best wines from the country’s neighboring winegrowing regions. The smell of baking bread and potica – the traditional Slovenian delight cooked by Chef Franci Pivk – pervades every corner of the house. Fly fishermen angle for marble trout on the lovely Idrijca River that flows through the 800-year-old village. The hive buzzes busily to produce the delicious honey that will flavor the sheep-milk breakfast yoghurt, courtesy of the farm’s sheep. Kendov Dvorec is the promise of a rejuvenating getaway, a place so peaceful it seems that, here on these grounds, time has come to a standstill. 

Welcome to Kendov Dvorec, an historic hotel built in 1377.

On the road to Na Krnicah Farm

At Na Krnicah Farm, farmers produce a variety of Slovenian cheeses, such as Krnčan made from raw cow’s milk.

Aromatic plants and flowers from Hiša Zelišč’s garden will be turned into delicious herbal teas served at Kendov.

Hiša Zelišč is an herbalist in the town of Idrija.

Chef Klavdij Pirih picks apples from the orchard to make the apple juice served at the hotel.

Learning about Slovenian beekeeping with Stefan Pirih, who watches over the hotel’s beehives and honey production and whose son is the chef at Kendov’s restaurant.

The lovely rolling hills of Idrijske Krnice.

Smoked trout, cream cheese, marinated zucchini, and olive bread.

Trout from the Trebuščica River, onions, fennel, and parsley served in the dining room’s soothing atmosphere.

Idrijski žlikrofi (potato dumplings), an Idrija specialty, here served with a venison fillet.

Mashed potatoes, olive oil, and fish fillet.
The sommelier takes great care in choosing the wines – Slovenian, of course!

Bobbin lace is a tradition associated with miners’ wives, who mastered this craft to compensate for the lack of income.

The hotel guest room, with its utterly cozy feel of yesteryear.

At Kendov, potica, Idrija’s pastry specialty, comes in a delightful homemade savory version with onions and walnuts.

Kendov Dvorec’s manager, Helena Pregelj Tušar, take great care to nurture the establishment’s local roots. Here, she hosts a sheep-milk cheese tasting with local producers.

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