Beyond ajvar, burek and ćevapi: building your kafana cred with must-try offal and regional dishes

While Serbia and the Balkans come nowhere near Italy in purism about food and food related customs (aka culinary fascism), there are certain things that are not done, and certain other signs that signal to you that you are in the presence of a true gastronomic veteran. For example, one of the main tells that you are a non-local in Serbia is ordering ajvar in … Continue reading Beyond ajvar, burek and ćevapi: building your kafana cred with must-try offal and regional dishes

Terra, Kikinda: How a local artist used home turf to create a world’s best terracotta art collection

As a twenty-something third year student at Belgrade’s art Academy in 1960s, Slobodan Kojić dreamt big. A Kikinda native, he envisaged creating an art colony which would make use of his native city’s clay pits – which powered the city’s brick and roof tile industry – so artists could create majestic, grandiose works of terracotta. The use or clay in the arts in what is … Continue reading Terra, Kikinda: How a local artist used home turf to create a world’s best terracotta art collection

Montenegrin roadtrip: Tito’s villas, best lamb roasts in Grahovo, castles and monasteries

Even with the current petrol prices, the best way to enjoy Monetnegro is by car. There is stunning scenery almost literally wherever you look, you can see many unexplored places, you don’t have to rely on public transport (although scenic rail is still notoriously unreliable) and/or get stuck in the usual tourist haunts all of which, after a few days, become a bit stale. Furthermore, … Continue reading Montenegrin roadtrip: Tito’s villas, best lamb roasts in Grahovo, castles and monasteries

Beyond splavs and Ada: how to spend your Belgrade summer

After two lousy years of the pandemic, now there is a potential world war threatening to sour our „špricers“. However if the years of turbulence taught us anything, it is that it is important to make the most out of a lousy situation, something that Belgrade always excelled at. While most of the guides will send you to swim in Ada, eat in Skadarlija or … Continue reading Beyond splavs and Ada: how to spend your Belgrade summer

Hidden Belgrade (66): SIVilisational decline

For a very long time, SIV, for me, was just a drab government building. While I passed it fairly often, unthinkingly, on my regular walks between old Zemun, much like the whole of New Belgrade – with the exception of Sava Centar – it was unremarkable, melding into the grey mass of what I (and many around me) termed as “uninspiring socialist architecture”, something that … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (66): SIVilisational decline

Belgrade to Novi Sad on Soko express

Train travel used to be the stuff of nightmares in Serbia. While I was in highschool I remember packing up lots of food for a 90km train ride to Novi Sad, while any attempts to venture further – to Zagreb and Budapest (both about 400km away from Belgrade) – were day-long out trips in crappy trains that stopped in crappy stations. I n a lot … Continue reading Belgrade to Novi Sad on Soko express

Pokretači #135 Staša Tončev iz 21grams o balkanskoj duši u Dubaiu

Straša Tončev je pokretač 21grams – izuzetnog restorana balkanske hrane u Dubaiu koji je uspeo da dovede dušu naših protora na ovo zahvetno tržište. Pričali smo o nagradama koje su ona i 21grams uspeli da osvoje, pokretanju posla u stranoj zemlji i tome šta je duša naše hrane. Beleške Lokacije 21grams u Meyan Mallu kod Jumeriah beach-a i u TimeOut Marketu kod Burj Khalife Tekstovi … Continue reading Pokretači #135 Staša Tončev iz 21grams o balkanskoj duši u Dubaiu

Expo 2020 Dubai: Hits and Misses

For a tourist, who is not a jet setting merchant or businessman, an Expo is a mix of Disneyland and the Olympics – both of which I love. Despite my enthusiasm for both, xpoO in Dubai was my first and, overall, it was a great experience – especially given the Emirati penchant for pomp. Although Dubai’s contribution to the world of invention and collective imagination … Continue reading Expo 2020 Dubai: Hits and Misses

Sticky post

Karafindl: The Nutshell Times Good Kafana Guide

Given that the culinary scene in Serbia not only expanded, but changed sufficiently to attract the interest of Michelin guides, a few friends and I lamented the receding prominence of good Serbian kafanas on the culinary landscape. Yes, this is probably overly nostalgic and curmudgeonly, however once one hits a certain age, has had the chance to taste enough varied dishes and has been overcharged … Continue reading Karafindl: The Nutshell Times Good Kafana Guide

Vrnjačka Banja: Remembrance of Things Past

Driving down to Vrnjačka Banja, on a hot July day without a working AC in my car, like we did in our Lada in 1990s, was my Madeleine moment. I was there only once before – with my maternal grandparents in May 1990 – when they decided to christen me on the sly to avoid my atheist father’s protestations, which made that trip have an … Continue reading Vrnjačka Banja: Remembrance of Things Past

Brussels: Belgrade of the Benelux

For a long while I only considered Brussels as a transit city, a sort of a non-place that no one really stays in, and thus not exactly offering anything to a visitor. My first, very brief, visit was on a post-high school tour of Europe, as my friends and I were visiting storied cities that “we should not miss” – actual destinations like Florence, Rome, … Continue reading Brussels: Belgrade of the Benelux

#96 Dragiša MIjačić o tome kako je Via Ferrata Berim transformisala Ibarski Kolašin

Dragiša Mijačić i InTER su uspeli da kroz Outdoor In od Ibarskog Kolašina naprave tursitičku destinaciju izgradnjom via ferrate Berim, jedne od najdužih i najuzbudljivijih u Evropi. Pričali smo o razvoju Severa Kosova, turizmu posle 2020e, kao i uzbudljivim avanturama koja vas čekaju kad se uputite put Zubinog potoka. Beleške Outdoor In i Dragiša na Twitteru i Facebooku Moj putopis sa Kosova Via Dinarica Interesuju … Continue reading #96 Dragiša MIjačić o tome kako je Via Ferrata Berim transformisala Ibarski Kolašin

Hidden Belgrade (57): Friends in need… or how Czechs and Slovaks shaped Belgrade

In the past few years much is made about Serbia’s alliances, whether old (albeit tumultuous) ones like those with Russia and France and or relatively recent ones with China and the UAE. Despite many memorial events in the past few years related to 80th anniversary of the start and 75th anniversary of the end of WWII, it is remarkable that no one decided to mark … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (57): Friends in need… or how Czechs and Slovaks shaped Belgrade

Serbian South by South-West: Exploring Uvac and Prijepolje

I often passed through Nova Varoš and Prijepolje on my way to the Montenegrin coast as a kid. While it is from Užice (or some would say Ovčar Kablar gorge) that the landscapes in Serbia turns truly majestic, I never stayed much, rushing towards the coast around Budva or towards Nikšić, where my family hails from. This year, of course, there was no trip to … Continue reading Serbian South by South-West: Exploring Uvac and Prijepolje

Pokretači #83 Tomislav Ivanović (Vinopedia.rs) o domaćem vinarstvu nekada i sada / Beograd

Gost je Tomislav Ivanović, jedan od najvećih poznavalaca domaćih vina i istorije domaćeg vinarstva. Tomislavov blog Vinopedia.rs je osvojio Millesima Blog Award 2016 za najbolji evropski blog o vinu i gastronomiji, dok je njegov projekat “Svetski Dan Prokupca”, koji se obeležava 14. oktobra svake godine privukao pažnju što domaćih poznavalaca i proizvođača, što svetskih vinskih ekeprata kao što je Jancis Robinson.  Pričali smo o tajni … Continue reading Pokretači #83 Tomislav Ivanović (Vinopedia.rs) o domaćem vinarstvu nekada i sada / Beograd

The Green and Pleasant Land

On May 12, 2016 I left the UK to return to Serbia. I spent amazing time in the UK studying, working and getting to know this lovely country and its great people, taking the time to do thinks like hiking around the dramatic coast of Cornwall, roadtripping around the Cotswalds and checking out its elegant gothic village churches (and a pub or two). Anyhow, here … Continue reading The Green and Pleasant Land

Warrior Posing

Ever since the debates about current or imminent “fascism” and “antifascism” (or Antifascism™)  became popular again, I came to think about my grandad, who as a committed communist before WWII and then a partisan during it would probably have more to say than those engaging in these debates now. He was a bit of an oddity as a bourgeois lawyer/communist in Nikšić, a town in … Continue reading Warrior Posing

Hidden Belgrade (49): Along Belgrade’s Central Rail Line

In the past few years, it was becoming increasingly difficult to find quiet places to walk and chill in central Belgrade, places where you could feel completely outside of the city and see nobody. One of my favourites was (and still is) the path along the abandoned railway which goes from Dunav Stanica all the way to Belgrade’s former central railway station. Ever since the … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (49): Along Belgrade’s Central Rail Line

Semana Santa, Granada 2014

Ever since I first visited Granda in 1998, that city had a special place in my memory, alongside Rome (and later: Naples, Rio and Delhi), as a truly a magical place (to use the most rote description possible). In my memory, at least, even the worst moments I spent in those places (and also Rio and Delhi) are likely to be better than the best … Continue reading Semana Santa, Granada 2014