Time for coffee
“When should we get coffee?” or “We should grab a coffee.” In Slovenia this is the sound of an invitation for hanging out with friends and acquaintances or for having an informal business meeting or a date. When people meet “for coffee,” they really do spend time drinking it until early afternoon. Slovenians love Italian cappuccino and espresso or espresso with cold or warm milk. Enjoying just a single cup of this dark drink, we can spend an hour sitting outside cafés on especially warm days, discussing business, politics, and sports, and complaining about our neighbours. You haven’t truly experienced Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, if you haven't mixed with the locals and sat on the embankment of the River Ljubljanica in the centre of the city, while people watching. The locals like to meet there on Saturday mornings after visiting the famous Plečnik’s Marketplace, where they buy fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, cheese, and other local specialities, and on Sundays after taking a stroll through the flea market.
Fancy a sweet?
Slovenians love sweets, so it is customary to also order a piece of cake or another dessert with coffee. There are countless cake shops in Ljubljana and in other places in Slovenia, where excellent ice creams are also served. In the warm part of the year, make sure you taste the iced coffee in places like Cacao, Zvezda, Fétiche, and Lolita. In 2015, Lolita’s ice cream was named the best ice cream in the world. The interior also impresses visitors, as it was nominated for the prestigious Restaurant & Bar Design award given by the Royal Institute of British Architects. There, you can find impressive items made by one of the most recognisable Slovenian industrial designers in the world, Nika Zupanc. Her cherry-shaped lights can also be noticed at the popular restaurant AS Aperitivo, which is mostly frequented in the afternoon or the evening. In Slovenia, during this part of the day, coffee “turns” to wine and various culinary specialities.
Enjoying good company and the sound of the waves
Not only in Ljubljana, but also at the Slovenian coast, visitors can find pleasant gathering places for people of all ages, who instead of coffee order one of the many excellent Slovenian wines – also used to accompany dishes made from local ingredients. In Izola, your breath will be taken at the Manzioli bar where you can be served with a Slovenian speciality – orange wines. In Koper, taste the more modern version of traditional Istrian-Mediterranean dishes at the Capra restaurant. In Portorož, don’t miss the culinary offerings at the hotels Kempinski and Life Class, and be adventurous in Piran, where you can find refreshment in a maze of streets or at the Prešeren Embankment, where there is a variety of restaurants. Slovenians spend many summer nights dancing at live concerts in Portorož or at the Alaya Club on the beach.
Something special for music lovers
You can also meet friends and acquaintances at various cultural events spread out throughout the year. In addition to established cultural institutions such as the Slovenian Philharmonic, which has a history stretching back more than 300 years, Cankarjev Dom, the largest cultural centre in Slovenia, the opera houses in Ljubljana and Maribor, and various museums and galleries, we also visit festivals. Slovenia is the land of festivals offering a multitude of events, among which the largest, oldest, and most important, the Ljubljana Festival, stands out, as it hosts many world-renowned names in classical music and dance.
Dress to impress
You will notice that Slovenians also like to focus on their appearance. To fully enjoy all of these opportunities on the social calendar, we also like to dress up. Most shopping options are in Ljubljana, where Slovenian fashion designers also offer their creations. Brands, such as Akultura, Draž, Almira Sadar, and Cliche have been around for about 20 years. The creations of other Slovenian designers can be found in the concept stores Zoofa and Pentlja Concept Store.
Slovenian designers dress global stars
Slovenia has excellent designers. The creations by Peter Movrin, which are worn by global stars such as Lady Gaga and Bjork, will take your breath away. Nataša Čagalj, who studied at the renowned Central Saint Martin's school in London, dresses stars and everyday people alike. After working for prestigious brands such as Cerruti, Lanvin, and Stella McCartney, she became the creative director of Ports 1961. Lara Bohinc, a graduate of the Royal College of Arts, also worked for big names in the world of fashion, such as Gucci, Cartier International, Costume National, Julien Macdonald, etc. Today, she owns an incredibly successful brand of jewellery, fashion and home accessories, and her famous clients include Kate Moss, Rihanna, Madonna, Cameron Diaz, and Sarah Jessica Parker. Samantha Cameron, the wife of the former British Prime Minister, was given a Bohinc bracelet by Michelle Obama. A few years ago, Lara Bohinc was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Slovenians are also proud of another lady from the fashion world. Marjeta Grošelj, who has been designing iconic handbags for women for over 50 years, is a true Slovenian fashion legend.