For a long time now things have been bad, and strange at best, for travel, tourism and hospitality in Slovenia and beyond. Back before the masks there were big plans for 2021, with the country set to enjoy the spotlight of the title European Region of Gastronomy for the year, along with the wider attention that goes along the 6th month presidency of the EU Council. But we do at least seem closer to the end than the beginning, and fun times without restrictions could be back again, with impromptu trips, visits and activities a natural part of life as the rules fall away or are simply ignored.
Photo: JL Flanner
Which is a roundabout way of saying we don’t want to jinx things by saying Ljubljana’s baaaack or get all overheated, just that the good folk at Ljubljana Tourism are back with another “November Gourmet Ljubljana”, bringing more life to a traditionally quiet time of year and easing the city into the month-long, annual attraction that’s December. The project is a joint campaign of hospitality service providers, hotels, food producers, wine makers, brewers, distillers and public institutions.
So there’s a full month of activities and events, from the simple turn up and enjoy good food and drink to the more hands-on workshops. Together the varied program presents not only Ljubljana as the natural showcase for the best of all the varied regions of Slovenia have to offer, but also the more local delights specific to the city and it’s surroundings, as well as it’s role as a hub, attractor and connector with the broader region, with guests from around Europe.
Some of the speakers - see the details here
There are seminars and workshops, tasting events, themed meals and five-day cooking courses. There’s a series on meat and a class on confectionary, how make mini sweets and sweet snacks. There are also gin, beer and wine events, with the focus of the latter being Martinovanje on 13 November, the national coming out party for new wines and a great way to spend a day buzzed, culturally enriched and fortified by nibbles and sips in the company of others. See it all and make plans at the website..
Martinovanje some years ago
Rounding out the first week is the latest edition of the European Food Symposium. Originally scheduled for March but postponed for obvious reasons, it’s being held from 6-8 November and will bring an international collection of speakers and practitioners to the city. There’s a lot going on, including a Gourmet Ljubljana Crawl and Adventure Dinner. You can learn about the symposium and its exclusive events at the official website.
Luka Košir in the kitchen, making the dish at the top of this story. Photo: Marko Delbello Ocepek
Whether your interest in food and drink is limited to grabbing a sandwich while sipping a beer or talking to a grocer about the terroir of their carrots, you’ll find something to make you happy during the month of delights that starts today. What’s more, your venue for such pleasures will be the always charming, easy to navigate and difficult to spend a fortune in Ljubljana.