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Slovenia through the eyes of Quintessentially, the only global lifestyle club

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Miodrag Spahić - Dec 26, 2021

8 min

Our members value their time greatly, so they appreciate a reliable partner who takes care of organizing their daily routine, vacation gifts for family members and business partners, someone who will always direct them towards the best restaurants, the latest offerings in the field of wine culture, and who will be able to advise them on their medical or educational needs.

Over the past year, we have seen a growing demand for various experiences, both for members themselves or for their closed-knit circle of family and friends. The main focus is on active leisure, health and well-being. The global pandemic of COVID-19 has only accelerated these trends, and the new rule is that activities can also be carried out in the virtual world, from the comfort of your own home.

On the other hand, a significant share of inquires still refer to the organisation of travel, access to curated events, shopping for prestigious items such as Hermès handbags, gaining membership of various elite clubs such as Annabel’s London Club, Vogue 100, 1880, Grace Belgravia, 5 Hertford Street, and so on.

With the “New normal”, the world of luxury has narrowed – there are fewer flights, lower passenger occupancy on planes and fewer spectators at sporting events like Wimbledon, Roland Garros and the Champions League, as well as at concerts and operas. Where and how members want to spend their holidays has also changed, as there has been a significant increase in villa and yacht rentals, as cleanliness and isolation has become more important, in addition to privacy. However, there is also increasing interest in membership of the most exclusive business clubs in Milan, London, and elsewhere.

The pandemic has also changed educational trends. There is now increased interest in enrolment at the world’s best universities and in other educational programmes, such as music courses with the best foreign mentors. The same applies to various culinary workshops.

Shopping habits have also changed, with members today asking not only for luxury items created by prestigious brands, but increasingly focusing on the products of young designers, home fitness equipment and other products or services that beneficially affect their health. There has also been an increase in demand for nutritionists and other medical services.

Given all of the above, Quitessentially Adriatic has shifted its focus in Slovenia to boutique locations where people can escape urban life and avoid mass tourism. The first such destination is Goriška Hills (Goriška brda), which is certainly best known for its centuries long history of the production of excellent wines. They offer their visitors beautiful scenery, the opportunity to visit many renowned wine cellars, taste excellent wine, meet friendly and very hospitable people, and enjoy beautiful accommodation. A villa with a pool is a great choice for everyone who cherishes the quality and privacy of the property. In a villa like this, you will experience Goriška Hills in its true and traditional colours.

Villa Vita, located in the village of Vipolže, in the wine-growing heart of Goriška Hills is an excellent starting point for exploring the area. Take a moment to relax in the outdoor massage pool, with its million-dollar view of the wine-growing district and mandarin grove. Like some of the world’s most ambitious restaurateurs, Tomaž Kavčić, the master chef from the Zemono Mansion (dvorac Zemono), decided to open another establishment – the simpler, but no less excellent, boutique restaurant in the Villa Vipolže.

Hotel Gredič, located in a renovated 16th-century castle in Ceglo, the centre of the Goriška Hills wine-growing area, and only 250 metres from the Italian border, is also worth mentioning.  To fully experience the Hills, one night is just not enough. Take your time and try the bubbles of the Slovenian wine rebula, which has been matured in the most beautiful cellar of the Hills, served in spectacular thin-stemmed flutes, while you lounge in the ambience of padded pastel blue coulored chairs and beuatifully set traditonally tables.

You should not leave Goriška Hills without visiting the Klinec Inn in Medana, which combines the traditional local hospitality of Aleksa and Simone, with the offer of a modern family restaurant – organic wines from their own cellar, the gourmet enjoyment of seasonal, locally produced food and the chance to experience the picturesque and rich landscape of Goriška Hills.

In addition to all that pampering, there are also a wide range of activities available to guests. One of them is fly fishing. The Soča Valley, one of the most famous fly fishing areas in the world, is home to the elusive Soda trout. The River Soča originates from under the mountains in the heart of Triglav National Park and creates one of the most picturesque landscapes in all of Slovenia. It is best known for its emerald colour and deep pools, in which the elusive Soda trout is hidden. The tributaries of the River Soča also offer excellent opportunities for fly fishing, and each of them has its own character and peculiarities. We offer our members a variety of fly fishing experiences, tailored to every desire and every need. Whether it’s a classic half-day fly trip or an all-day adventure in a pristine canyon, whatever you choose will certainly refresh your fly fishing skills.

After a morning of fly fishing, head for a great lunch in the town of Most na Soča, or opt for a more elegant evening at the Pikol Lake Village, which lies right next to the natural lake at the very bottom of the Vipava Valley. Pikol is also an excellent starting point for exploring other tourist attractions. Pikol Lake is really something extraordinary. In Goriški Museum, Pikol is described as the ultimate care-free destination. The water fairies around the lake are thought to have created this romantic setting. The Gašparin family has offered the very best in seafood for decades, and Pikol remains one of the best restaurants in Slovenia.

The next destination is Kobarid. Far from the hubbub of the modern world, in a quiet location on the slopes of Mount Kuk, heaven awaits you, where you will forget about everyday life and become one with nature. Members are recommended to visit Nebesa, as it boasts luxurious views of the Krna and Kanina mountain ranges, the Soča Valley and Friuli as far as the sea. In winter, you can observe the snowy landscape from the warm shelter of the cottage, through panoramic windows that extend from floor to ceiling.

In the southern part of Primorska, a visit to the Sečavel salts pans is mandatory, and for lunch or dinner we recommend one particular restaurant in Korta. In only a few years, Hiša Torkla has become one of the best inns in Slovenia and certainly one of the most beautiful restaurants in Slovenian Istria. The pandemic has freed up some time for Andreja, which she has used to elevate her knowledge as a sommelier, while Sebastjan has thrown himself fully into the baking of bread following traditional recipes, as well as ensuring a focus on preparing and selecting the best meat, which he cooks over the fireplace.

If time allows, a tour of the Karst region is not to be missed, which may not seem to promise many diverse attractions at first glance; however, once there, you will quickly change your mind. We suggest visiting the various underground caves, among which are the famous Postojna Cave and Škocjanska Cave. A guided tour of the river canyon impresses every visitor, which, of course, boasts one of the largest underground canyons in the world, as recognized by UNESCO. This is followed by a tour of Lipica and an insight into its long tradition of horse breeding. Seeing up close the white beauty of these thoroughbreds is really special, proving why a trip to Karst is always a good idea. Karst offers a lot and it is up to you what you want to exprience – from the classic and simple, to the luxury and modern. We advise visiting Špacapan’s house  (Špacapanova Hiša) in Komno, which can confidently be counted among the best family restaurants. Its charm lies in its combination of modern and traditional Karst dishes derived from family recipes, while at the same time the menu flirts with modern cuisine. The food here is accompanied by top-notch “noble drops” and wines from other nearby wine-growing districts.

Villa Fabiani in Štanjel, one of the oldest settlements in the Karst region, was first mentioned in 1402. It is a prestigious mansion, a charming Italian villa that was described in the novel Murva Fabianijanijevih, and which owes its ambience not only to the design by the architect, Fabiani, but also to the centuries-old protected muberry tree, the rose gardens and Pikolita vineyard. It is Mediterranean, but Karst. Laid back but active.

At the other end of Slovenia, in Dreče Vrh in Dolenjska, Posestvo Pule makes for a memorable gourmet trip. On the estate, they take advantage of the natural features and follow the concept of “farm to fork”. Everything you eat will be of fresh and of the highest quality. There are nine exclusive wooden houses bearing the names of some of the women who have marked the history of the Anderlič family. All the suites feature natural materials and a unique fabrication process, giving each of the houses their own personal touch. For a cozy feeling, the fireplace is always stocked with fragrant wood and sweet surprises, while the beauty of nature awaits you.

All those visiting Dolenjsko must also stop at Otočec and have lunch or dinner at Manca and Rok Vovko’s restaurant. The Vovko Inn, which has already established itself as one of the best restaurants in the region, focusing mainly on seasonal dishes, while vegetables from the home garden are also enriched by the produce of the nearby forests, such as Porcini mushrooms and chestnuts.

Gostilna Vovko
Photo credit @Sašo Barantin

Gostilna Vovko
Photo credit @Dean Dubokovic

Finally, we cannot fail to mention the very special experience offered by the boutique butcher’s shop BioSing in Ribnica. Their products cannot be found in ordinary stores, and their tasting menu offers a very special experience. The owner, David, is himself one of the greatest masters of his craft.

We could go on and on listing all the beautiful destinations that await you in Slovenia; we are certain that you will find the most beautiful stories that this wonderful country has to offer precisely where you least expect them.

QUINTESSENTIALLY

Quintessentially is the world’s leading luxury lifestyle group. The beginnings date back to 2000, when a small London office offered concierge services, and since then the company has grown into a global group with offices in 40 cities around the world. The services we offer to high-net worth individualsare proactive and satisfy even the most refined tastes, including last-minute restaurant reservations, travel arrangements, access to private parties, chartering a private jet, advice on the purchase of art, assistance in sourcing luxury and rare products and wines, simply fulfilling our members’ most unusual wishes. Quintessentially Lifestyle can offer access to the inaccessible and turn make the seemingly impossible a reality.

Lara Ham, Founder and CEO at Quintessentially South East Europe
Photo Courtesy of @Romeo_ibrisevicc

Speak to our Membership team today on:

[email protected]  or +385 1 7776164
quintessentially.com

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