London is simply buzzing. And it’s not just the Olympics.! There are zillions of tourists – lots of mums and dads and their children – unfortunately lots looking like they have just spent the day on one of those boats (Maiden in the Mist as I recall) at Niagra Falls – with those plastic macs! Since the weather has been like the monsoon or the tropics – one minute a downpour then blue blue skies.
Which is a bit like my experience today – when things go wrong they go so very right! I went out this morning on my way to Edinburgh and came back via Slovakia! The people who organise the Edinburgh Festival which has visitors from more than 100 countries interested in film, international art, literature, the fringe and so much more organised a brunch at Scotland House on Pall Mall this morning – the full works (porridge, smoked salmon & scrambled eggs, berries and more!). More about this in my next blog tomorrow – but you must go to Edinburgh!
During the Edinburgh event I realised that I had left my business cards at the Institute of Directors nearby during the excitement of the evening before so my colleague and I decided to pop in and see if they were still there – passing by the soldiers who are policing various events such as in Horseguards Parade, a youth orchestra and all the stuff going on for the bike race.
Who should I bump into but the lovely Slovakian lady from last night who remembered my name and invited me and my girlfriend in to the Slovakian food and wine tasting….well we were there for about three hours! Slovakia, like many countries, is using the Olympic Games as an opportunity to showcase what it has to offer, particularly by way of tourism and culture.
Our chefs from Slovakia pictured above
And while we were there everyone got every excited by the bronze medal which was won by the Slovakian shooting champion Danka Bartekova. It was so great to be there and experience their enthusiasm…
And now I can’t wait to go to Slovakia. Mainly because the people are so friendly – one Brit affecionado told me that its a bit like the UK used to be 30 years ago – ie people are polite and kind!
Gabriel Kollar, the sommelier from the Elesko winery
Firstly though I must mention the wines….well ….I am a wine snob (or slob) and we were privileged to a tasting after the cookery demonstration of wines from Elesko – www.eleskotrading.sk. I could not fault one of them and they are as good as anything I have tasted from France, Spain, Italy or the New World. We tried sparkling, white, red and rose from grapes such as chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, Gewürztraminer, and more. The mountains in Slovakia are perfect for white and not so good for red and rose is becoming increasingly popular there. I can’t give you exact prices but Gabriel tells me start at 5 euros which sounds cheap to me.
Slovak wines – note the empty bottles!
To find out more about visiting Slovakia www.solvakia-travel.com