Slovenia House
Slovenian Gostilna
Gostilna Menu
Recipes from the Slovenian Kitchen
Slovenian Wines are all the World in Miniature
Slovenia at the Olympic Games
Free Cake

The vintage, friends, is over
And here sweet wine makes, once again,
Sad eyes and hearts recover,
Puts fire into every vein.
Drowns dull care
And summons hope out of despair.

Spet trte so rodile,
prijat'lji, vince nam sladko,
ki nam ozivlja zile,
srce razjasni in oko,
ki utopi
vse skrbi,
v potrtih prsih up budi.

Thus begins Slovenia's national anthem, written by the greatest Slovenian poet, France Preseren (1800-1849).

In this benevolent spirit, we now invite you to the Slovenian Gostilna in the center of Olympic Sydney.

Situated at the crossroads of various European cultural currents, Slovenia developed its own tradition of hospitality, gostoljubnost. From this term came the name for a house where travellers could stop to quench their hunger and thirst and find shelter for the night. The gostilna is a house where guests are welcomed and hospitality rules. An old Slovenian proverb says, "Life without holidays is like a long road without a gostilna."

The Slovenian gostilna

The Slovenian gostilna had its doors open wide, and still today it is a place for the friendly gathering of people who come for the good food in the middle of a long working day, to converse, or to celebrate under its roof some personal or family holiday. As once many bargains were made under its roof, today many business decisions are still crowned around its tables. Life ran according to its own rules in the gostilna. The normal care for the guest was devoted primarily to his or her well-being, which means that for the guest, the gostilna was always a good substitute for the comforts of home: good food, good drink, a friendly word, and pleasant surroundings. The everyday rhythm was varied by events to which the gostilna gave its own stamp: the singing of Slovenian songs, the playing of the accordion, cultural and political meetings, weddings, baptisms, wakes . . .

Today, the modern gostilna means a warm welcome and an offer that combines the heritage of traditional Slovenian hospitality with the requirements of modern diners. The modern menu offers dishes from the traditional environment as well as a cosmopolitan range of modern favourites.

An integral part of the gostilna concept is linked to the culture of drinking, since while not disowning beer, Slovenian gostilnas have brought back the custom of drinking water, brandies, and wine with meals. Connoisseurs will appreciate the Epicurean model adopted by Slovenia's wine culture, which is based on the principle of small but good-and if possible, the best.

Slovene Cuisine

Slovenian cuisine is composed of various regional and local cuisines that slowly developed on the basis of the natural assets of the area and the influences of neighbouring culinary traditions: Mediterranean, Alpine, and Pannonian. The western influence brought more pasta and vegetables into Slovenian cooking. The influence of Viennese cuisine, first known to Slovenian townsfolk and subsequently spread to rural kitchens, brought breaded and pastry items, while the Pannonian influence added spicier flavours. All these influences were only additions to the authentic components of Slovenian cooking that were dependent on economic and, of course, climatic conditions. Slovenian farm food certainly contained great amounts of cereals and legumes with large amounts of fiber and other healthy ingredients. All these are returning today to the offer of the good Slovenian gostilna, which has never disowned roast pork, venison, or other game either. Today, there is an increasing selection of seafood, and in some places even river crayfish are returning to the kitchen. The offer of struklji is truly immeasurable, with over three hundred recipes for serving in soup, as side dishes, or as desserts. And while we are speaking of rolled dough garnished with the most varied fillings from walnuts to tarragon, we can't overlook the potica that is familiar to every region of Slovenia, not to mention the prekmurska gibanica from the easternmost part of the country. In any case, we mustn't forget the traditional meals na zlico ("on the spoon"): stews, sour soup, ricet (a thick barley soup), and buckwheat kasa (groats). In winter, the Slovenian gostilna served the very popular pork sausage and other preserved pork items, meat from the home-fattened pig, buckwheat zganci, sour turnip, and sour cabbage. Recently, there has been a revival of the formerly common serving of white, red, and green asparagus in the spring, and suburban gostilnas in particular are cultivating asparagus in their own gardens.

Slovenian Gostilna - gostilna

Some of the traditional delicacies from the Slovene kitchen.

Good cooking and good will

More about highly developed epicurean wine culture