Dinner at A l’Art Bled – Vila Istra

This is a review written for Trip Advisor

This was the most inventive and memorable dinner I have had in many years. A good dinner is not just about sitting down and eating; it is about the whole experience and the company.

Dawn and I arrived a little early – no problem a cold glass of Slovenian Champagne with mint “from the garden” was our welcome as Dejan asked whether we preferred to sit inside or out. We were briefly tempted to sit inside the stunning 1878 Austro-Hungarian house on the edge of Lake Bled, but it was a warm sunny evening so we sat outside on the veranda overlooking the lake.

Miha the chef came out to talk to us about what he had been preparing. A proper conversation about food, ingredients, and source.

Dejan talks in detail about each wine on the list; there is an emphasis on Slovenia – a country which produces some excellent award winning wine, but like much else about Slovenia, not well known, or at least not known well enough. Miha came to the table at each course to tell us about what he had prepared. His ingredients included flowers and herbs from the hotel garden, and mushrooms from the surrounding forests. After the main course we invited both of them to join us for a glass of wine. We talked about food and dreams and ideas. This was a table for dreams and plans as the sun set behind the Slovenian Alps.

Dejan brought us a glass of the best desert wine I have ever had – I tend to avoid desert wines – and local pear brandy. I should have taken notes – I’ll have to go back to find out what they were.

Expensive? Not compared to any northern European city restaurant with such high standards of cooking, welcome, presentation.

By the end of the evening we were exchanging email addresses and links to Facebook pages and promising another visit. It can’t come soon enough.

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