IN THE EPISODE – Sunday British tour
Lazy Sunday morning. Stretching in the bed is not only allowed but desirable. Still, I get up earlier than I usually do. It’s sunny outside, it’s cold, and the city is pulsating. It would be a shame to sleep in on such a lovely day – it’s going to snow soon anyway, they say, so I’ll finally find time for all those books that have been waiting patiently by the bed from summer, collecting dust. I will dust tomorrow.
I pick Ivana up, and on our way to Britanac, we stop at Ilica 63, for a coffee at Nik’s. The name of Nik Oroši is well known to all coffee enthusiasts since his Eliscaffe is a conceptual café offering guests (as the name clearly indicates) only that – coffee. As of 2009, it has also been a coffee roaster, offering only high-end coffee taste, nothing less, nothing more. Shame on me; never have I stopped for coffee there before, and even though it looks, well, pretty dowdy (especially from the outside), I see some interesting faces. I meet my school friend so the whole experience is all the more jolly. We are cold – because we’re standing outside, though, in the street, where they placed pillows (do wash the windows once you get the chance, pretty please) for our kind: the smokers. Eliscaffe (Eli is Nik’s older son to whom he dedicated his café) is the first coffee place where smoking was not allowed. When we order our coffee, the waitress asks if she needs to bring sugar. Nik argues (and you can see it written on the little cups in which they stuff the bill) that coffee here should be consumed on its own – without sugar. We ignore non-smoking and non-sweetening, us anarchists, we keep freezing, but the coffee is delicious (a bit more sour that the one we’re used to), the day is still sunny, and Filip is a load of fun:-)
Frozen as we are, we move on. Only about twenty meters down the street, at one of my favourite squares in Zagreb – Britanac – a cult antique fair is held every Sunday. It’s something like Hrelić, except that the antique:junk ratio is 80:20. You can find amazing things, and each tells its own story. I am drawn to a gorgeous golden-green liquor decanter set that, as I am informed, dates from the 1950s/1960s.
The prices are also a bit more “serious” than at Hrelić, so the saleslady values it at 300 HRK. I think I’ll manage without it, and I have to restock on my home collection of regional schnapps first anyway (where are you, old friends?). After that, I find and desire the following: a German hunter’s knife (looks like a sword to me) from 1850 for 1800 HRK; a wooden horse for the collection of my Ina – it isn’t much of an antique, but it’s not expensive either (100 HRK); a silver bracelet made of amber; a silver mirror for 4500 HRK (!!) – now that was really wow.
However, I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t spotted a crazy coat amid the sea of artwork. Oh, weakness, thy name is woman! Denver blue with golden print, genuine leather, straight line, a bit above the knee. – Five hundred kuna and it’s yours – the saleslady convinces me, telling me it was smuggled from Italy. It was originally a Versace, but its lining was changed – I don’t want to know why, and it doesn’t really matter because it’s marvelous and special. I hate to part with it, and we move on.
Right across the street, back at Ilica 73, Sherry’s Wines and Bites bar found its home. For the lovers of fine wine (and their offer is more than impressive) and tasty evening and after-work snacks, Sherry’s is a familiar spot because, before it came to the city center, it gathered its faithful gastro-clientele in a smaller locale in Trešnjevka. Apart from a peaceful oasis amid the flurry of the city (they have a maaarvelous backyard with amusements for kids, who can “cook” on a small stove or shop for fresh fruit and veggies – made of plush), this cool bar has expanded its offer of meals and brought two top chefs, Italian Gregorio Mannucci and Marko Alilović (whom you know from Boškinac), who come up with petite, yet cute daily menus, depending on what they find on the market.
On Fridays and Saturdays, they combine fish delicacies such as greater amberjack or grouper, whereas Sundays are a treat for meat lovers; their mainly evening menus were freshened up with lunches and brunches. Cool. We stopped by for a glass of Malvazija and a taste of chicken liver with caramelized onions, cream of purple vegetables and apples (yum!), and a finger food platter that increases your appetite and entices your palate to wish for more. A great plus of this restaurant-bar is the fact that on weekends it opens until 2 in the morning, which finally gave Zagreb a place that will save you from hunger after midnight (warm dishes until midnight; salads, platters, and deserts until closing) and won’t reduce you to ćevapi. Way to go, Sherry’s – way to go, Zagreb!
Malvazija made us warm enough so I see past the parking prices that have again gone up (8 HRK/h) in the garage in Ilica and continue with joy through my day, which is – since it’s not even 1:30 p.m. – still ahead of me. I’ll sleep some time later.
Photos: Matea Roščić, Sherry’s Wines and Bites
Translation: Nevena Erak