The Column with Simone B. Michielen: Quiet night, heading East again!


It seems that this year is my year to discover and travel to the Eastern part of our lovely Slovenia! Already on my list since last year, a visit and degustation menu at Tri Lučke, of which I met the owner two years ago during a JRE dinner in Celje. Near Krško, and as a fully integrated Dutch woman in Slovenia, that 2-hour drive is far away from home. It seems that the corona crisis and the lockdown that was part of it has the funny side effect that almost every trip feels like an expedition at the moment, quite funny, as there were days I didn’t even blink when I had to drive 1500 km every other weekend. How things can change… But the East beckoned and so did Tri Lučke. Scrolling their website I found a perfect offer: a degustation menu with wine pairing I was longing for, with an overnight stay in a room or apartment and breakfast the next morning. No more hesitation, I packed my bag and the dog and off we went!

Another promise I made, was to visit Tanja, a Belgium (yes, almost Dutch – but the better half) woman who has a bar where she serves over 50 different Belgium beers. In the cutest little village Podsreda, never heard of it, surrounded by nature and a castle on top of a hill, she has managed to run this bar called “Pure” and even successfully organises beer tastings. Goed gedaan Tanja!

I was, again, surprised by the beauty of the landscape and the little road that took us through the vineyards to Tri Lučke was a perfect choice. As was our idea to go there! What a beautiful place on a location that was already recognized as such in the last century. The three lights, as the name says, are seen all the way from Krško. In 2016, so really only a few years ago, the place was completely renovated, but clearly with love for the history and love for hospitality. You can feel it. Every step you set there, every detail, everybody you meet, it all fits.

With our sleep-over, we could not only enjoy the delicious food from the kitchen but also taste the mostly local wines served with it. I like that. Surrounded by vineyards I want the wines to be local. Aren’t we lucky in Slovenia? We have such a beautiful range of wines that our sommeliers hardly ever have to serve anything from across a border.

Talking about going local! Back to the food, at least on that part I have some knowledge. The chef told me he added three new dishes and I think he did a great job. The starter with the raw veal had for my taste a little bit too many flavours at first, so it took some effort to find the essence of the dish and the beautiful taste of the veal. But all the plates looked like little pieces of art and the balance of the menu was good. We had a great dinner and a wonderful evening.

I wish more restaurants around Slovenia will start to offer package deals like this one. A long time ago it was common in the Netherlands during low season to be offered a free night after a degustation dinner with wine pairing, and only an additional price for breakfast. I loved it then and I will certainly love it again now and I am sure I will not be the only one!