a spot of lunch in Vipava

We consistently tip the nearby Vipava Wine Valley as the very best mini region for Visitors to sample the wonders of Green Slovenian Cuisine.. 

But we challenge you to find someone you know who went on hols to Green Slovenia.. (if indeed you know someone who has been lucky enough to explore here).. and simply ask them if they eat out in the Vipava Wine Valley during their Slovenian adventures..

They will most probubbly stare back blankly at you, maybe even in a mild panic, wondering why you are not asking them about that pretty lake with the church on the island or the cave with the train or the cute capital city.. whilst trying to compute how on earth you know about a wine valley they had not heard of!

a simple yummy gnocchi dish..
a simple yummy gnocchi dish..

 

Well, now you do know, so let's make sure you don't make the same blooper when you do finally visit Green Slovenia!

However good the marketing is for lovely Ljubblyljana, "green city", "food city" and all the other jibberjabber.. it is a plain & simple fact that you absoutely cannot look out of the restaurant window there in the big smoke and see where your food was grown and certainly not where your wine was produced..

looks like a traditional Slovenian Crem Schnitta, but this Vipava Valley mascarpone version will surprise and delight you..
looks like a traditional Slovenian Crem Schnitta, but this Vipava Valley mascarpone version will surprise and delight you..

 

Well, that is precisely what you can do in the Vipava Valley.. and many other relatively unknown & secret Green locations around here too..

AND this is pretty much the secret of Green Slovenian cuisine, which makes it so amazing, unique and delicious..

Simple & seasonal locally produced food / wine, prepared with imagination, tradition and a big spoonful of the LOVE contained in sLOVEnia, the only country in the world with LOVE in the name and boy oh boy, could we do with more LOVE in the world nowadays..

this picture does not do justice to the tenderness of the meats and deliciousness of the veggies..
this picture does not do justice to the tenderness of the meats and deliciousness of the veggies..

 

Why are we so sure this little wine valley is that good for eating out?

Well, from our own behind the scenes experiences, visiting and getting to know many of the restaurant owners in the Vipava Valley and quite frankly, being overwhelmed by their passion for the food and wine here in one of Slovenia's 7 wine regions.

We have absolutely no hesitation recommending our guests zip the short 20 min motorway hop from the Lodge into the Vipava valley for an evening meal.. Or to stop off on the way back from multiple day adventure round trips from the Lodge to the waterfalls and gorges along the Soca River, the Red Karst Teran wine regionthe Upper Vipava ValleyUnesco protected Idrija or the Gorica Brda wine region, to name just a few possible destinations!

Fantastic old trees, in the summer this terrace is packed with tables..
Fantastic old trees, in the summer this terrace is packed with tables..

 

But most importantly, it is our own guests who consistently tell us how good the food is there too.. that is about as good a recommendation as you can get folks and what it is all about at the end of the day! 

We even get guests who insist on returning to the SAME Vipava restaurant for another tasting during their stay, despite our attempts to be fair and mention the other amazing possibilities in the Valley.. and who can argue with that?!

OK, so we have already written some blogs to help you build up your knowledge about and confidence in the Vipava Valley, tipped by Lonely Planet a few years ago as one of the TOP TEN SECRET DESTINATIONS in Europe.

slices of local seasonal kaki fruit in panne cotta..
slices of local seasonal kaki fruit in panne cotta..

 

In our Vipava Restaurant Cluster blog, we focussed on a really special conglomeration of top, top local restaurants within a buzz of a Bee's wings from Vipava Old town.. All close enough to the Lodge for us to recommend them in the private Guest Restaurant Guide that we reserve for our own guests..

In another recent blog we introduced the Slovenian tradition of Osmica, which takes place in the Vipava Valley & other local wine regions, allowing visitors to taste unique local wines and farm products directly AT THE FARM or the VINEYARD!

delicious homemade pasta creation..
delicious homemade pasta creation..

 

So wash your hands and tuck your napkin in, cos now we are just gonna ramp up the pressure on you to add the Vipava Valley into your Holiday Menu wish list for a meal out with yet another little blogette about eating out in this magical wine valley!

This is another joyful swish of the camera celebrating just a couple of those Vipava Valley restaurants we eat out at last November, giving you a peek through the keyhole to see some of the dishes you might miss, if you don't make time to visit this pretty valley!

 

Sivi Caven Restaurant, upper Vipava Valley..

So we were driving the 1hr 50 min trip to Venice airport with some extra hours in our pocket.. the most direct, quiet and pretty route from the Lodge is through the Vipava Valley and then joining the main Italian motorway to Venice just past Trieste..

A major tip to explore the Vipava Valley is to GET OFF the main motorway that whisks most visitors directly and too quickly through it and take the far more beautiful local road instead..

this is a view of the main road, but nothing could be further from your mind here..
this is a view of the main road, but nothing could be further from your mind here..

 

This is the main road that existed before the motorway was built and connects ALL the villages going all the way from VIPAVA to NOVA GORICA, just 40km long..

We hopped off the motorway at Adjective (don't be scared by the real name of Ajdovscina) and joined this quiet main road towards Nova Gorica, stopping off in POTOCE, one of those many pretty little villages dotted along it..

a simple but fantastic mushroom soup on the terrace at Sivi Caven..
a simple but fantastic mushroom soup on the terrace at Sivi Caven..

 

Here at the end of the village you will find one of our favourite little local restaurants called Sivi Caven, named after the Caven mountain (1,242m) that towers over this central upper part of the Vipava Valley.

There is a large open car park opposite the restaurant, but just be a bit careful crossing the road as like we said, the restaurant is at the end of the village and some cars are still speeding in..

Sivi Caven is such a fantastic, relaxed place to try really local Vipava Valley food.. You might sense an Italian feel to this part of the world, but this is a destination where Italians flood over the border too, to try the very special local Slovenian food!

Tortelini stuffed with chestnuts and a local chanterelles..
Tortelini stuffed with chestnuts and a local chanterelles..

 

We have always eaten outside on the sunny terrace facing the road, but this time on a sunny November day, we went inside and were pleasantly surprised to find such beautiful decor and detail!

There is never much point looking at a menu in the Vipava Valley as the staff love to explain what local goodies they have on offer for today, so just go with the flow, be entertained, chill and maybe choose something you might not have tried before.

It is PERFECTLY OK to order whatever you want here, you do not need to have a starter, main and dessert if you do not want to or do not have time and so we took a main course and dessert. If you just want a soup, then no probs!

a typical Vipava Valley restaurant has style, colour, anticipation and warmth..
a typical Vipava Valley restaurant has style, colour, anticipation and warmth..

 

Several Vipava wines are ONLY found here in the valley and nowhere else in the world.. so why on earth would you want to try anything else! One of us had a recommended glass of unique Vipava wine and the driver was offered delicious home made grape juice. 

We ordered the home made tortelini in two different styles stuffed with autumn chestnuts and drizzled with the most amazing sauces.. we needed all the bread on offer to mop up and leave the plates clean! 

long outdoor terrace at Sivi Caven..
long outdoor terrace at Sivi Caven..

 

 

Krhne Restaurant, Vipava Old Town..

It was an easy off season birthday meal decision to go visit Erik at KrhneVipava old town, one of the Vipava Cluster retaurants we so often tip to our own guests to go eat at.

twists of wild garlic, delicious local meats & cheeses on this Vipava Slovenian Tapas board..
twists of wild garlic, delicious local meats & cheeses on this Vipava Slovenian Tapas board..

 

Krhne is located right in the centre of the old town and inside it is like a huge cellar with doors out to a terrace next to one of the 7 fresh, crystal clear river springs pouring out of the mountain side forming the mighty Vipava river, (another of the massively unknown and unexplored Green Slovenian secrets for visitors), which then flows all the way down the centre of the valley into Italy, joining the uberstunning Soca river and then out to the Adriatic sea..

Depending on your holiday time or family grouping it might not be possible to go to a specific vineyard and do some wine tasting..

part of the decor at Krhne..
part of the decor at Krhne..

 

So by visiting one of these Vipava restaurants this is another excellent way to get to know some local wines in the hands of real local wine experts and Erik is certainly one of those!

Each course is created from local seasonal ingredients and accompanied by a unique local wine, maybe a Pinella or a Zelen or a Rebulla.. wines you can pretty much only get here in Green Slovenia!

first starter..
first starter..

 

We had course after course of Vipava inventions, with fresh local vegetables, meats and home made pastas. Totally delicious and we took some photos to show you!

This is a meal you cannot rush, so best to book ahead and leave plenty of time to really, really enjoy what is seasonal and which local wine best accompanies the dish.

seating inside at Khrne has a warm wine cellar feel or you can sit outside by the river..
seating inside at Khrne has a warm wine cellar feel or you can sit outside by the river..

 

 

We still cannot quite believe our luck that we can get to the Vipava Valley so quickly and easily from the Lodge.. It is like visiting a completely different, but familiar part of Europe, but just 20 minutes drive!

There are so many fantastic restaurants in all shapes and sizes in the Vipava Valley that our guests could easily eat out every day of the week there at a different one every day!

But then what about all the other amazing local restaurants really close by here in the secret Brkini mini region, the Teran Red Karst, the Coast and our own Green Karst region??

So in our humble opinion you should schedule AT LEAST one tasting of Vipava Valley cuisine or better still, try to sneak in a second one too!!

Email: info@lipizzanerlodge.com

Address: Landol 17, Postojna 6230, Slovenia

Phone: +386 5620 3443
Mobile: +386 40 47 0239 or +386 40 37 8037

SLOVENIA Weather