Saturday, 28 October 2017


After a long month of difficult times coupled with holidaying in Croatia as well as moving into a brand new home I am finally back ready to share some of my latest dining experiences and some brand new recipes. What better way to start this next chapter than with a return to an old friend. Last year we visited Mandrac on Lopud and instantly fell in love with the amazing setting, friendly laid back staff and most importantly, the incredible food. Would they be able to work the same magic 12 months later when we visited again this September?

Lopud is just under one hour away by ferry from Dubrovnik and as soon as we stepped off the ferry at the small port of Lopud we already remembered why we had chose to come back here for a second year. It's quiet, beautiful and the people are so friendly; it felt like we were returning to see old family and friends. This year we stayed in Villa Biramisa, a set of apartments located directed above Mandrac that we spied the year before. They are owned by Robert and his family who were always on hand to help us if we needed it. The apartment had everything we needed as well as an amazing view from our our little balcony. Worth (the very small!) price alone.

So after checking in and unpacking all of our bags we just had to to head straight downstairs for a spot of lunch in Mandrac after an early morning  travelling over to the island by ferry. We just couldn't wait any longer to return to our favorite place to eat! Mandrac is Croatian for a small jetty where boats are docked in the crystal clear Adriatic and this is the view that greets you as you take a seat outside to look at the menu. Obviously with the glorious weather that is often found this part of the world, an ice cold bottle Ozujsko is the way forward and as I poured it out into a glass I knew that things hadn't changed from last year. I couldn't wait to get stuck in!
Island life is incredibly relaxed and slow paced and after our hectic month we were certainly in no rush to leave this little piece of paradise. If you are in a rush then this is not the place for you and the top of Mandrac's menu's even tell you this in black and white. With such gorgeous surroundings I'm not sure why you would want to leave in a hurry unless you are on one of the many ferry tours that land on the island every afternoon. Don't worry if you are starving though, Croatian restaurants have a tendency to always provide you with a little basket of bread and oils with each meal to tie you over whilst you wait for your first course and Mandrac's sesame seed crusted crumpet-esque slices are scrummy.

One thing that we got very accustomed too whilst on Lopud and Croatia as a whole was a Greek salad. Vegetarian food can be very hard to come by with a lot of it being Italian due to Italy's proximity. This isn't is a problem though when the quality of the ingredients are so good. Mandrac's Greek salad is a delightful little bowl of fresh green leaves, plump black olives and vibrant red tomatoes that not only sing from the dish as you look at it but also dance around your taste buds as you take your first bite. The chunks of feta cheese are the star of the show though, So crumbly and creamy, I would be happy to just be presented with a block of it on it's own with a knife and fork. 

Being a country with many islands and a stunning coast line it will come as no surprise to see that fresh seafood features on many menus throughout the region. The "Catch Of The Day" will be seen in many places which is great as you never know what treats are going to await you when you visit a restaurant. Our server couldn't tell me the English name for the whole fish that I ordered from the fridge in Mandrac's window but I didn't care as it was amazing. So fresh and with a gorgeous charred skin from the BBQ, the moist white flesh of the fish just fell from the bones, so much so that I lifted the fish's bone away from the fillets in one whole piece. Served simply with a load of buttery garlic potatoes, it was a reminder of how amazing the fish on Lopud is. I was well ready of another week of dishes like this!

With lunch well and truly enjoyed it was time to go and take a wander along Lopud's seafront to see if everything else had remained the same on this sleepy little paradise like how good the food in Mandrac is. I knew for certain that we would be back here again before the end of our holiday. The atmosphere was still relaxed, the setting divine and most importantly the food remained top notch. Uncomplicated and simple is all you need when the produce is so fresh and seasonal like this. Mandrac may just well be my favorite place to eat in the whole world and whilst I want it to remain my little secret, I still want them to be a success and so here I am recommending to you again that if you should ever find yourself with an opportunity to visit the island of Lopud that you do yourself one favor and visit Mandrac. It's marvelous! 

To learn more about Mandrac you can visit their Facebook page by clicking here and if you are looking for somewhere to holiday next year then I highly recommend Villa Biramisa which you can find more information about by clicking here! Treat yourself and book an apartment for a little break away next year; I promise you won't be disappointed! 

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