Happy 10 Year independence day, kosovo
February 17th will mark the 10th Anniversary of Kosovo's independence. Located between Albania and Serbia, Kosovo is the youngest country in Europe, with the youngest population. This may not be a city you have thought of visiting but it may just surprise you if you do ...
Location :- Prishtina, Kosovo
Stay :- The Hotel Garden
A weekend of Albanian hospitality, love & laughter,,,
Greeted by both the Albanian and Kosovo flags on entry I felt more like a VIP than a weekend guest - to say the staff were helpful, friendly and welcoming would be an understatement, but the hotel’s restaurant ‘The Garden Open Kitchen” experience was something else.. now I’ve eaten in a lot of amazing restaurants across the globe but if you’re looking for a great culinary experience in Pristina then eating at the Garden Open Kitchen is a must. The open plan decor is classy and a foodies dream with the open kitchen and chefs on view making the experience a true culinary visual delight. The food influenced by Greek, Italian, and Turkish cuisine; we were treated to a sampling of some of Kosovo’s finest.
Albanian food is fresh & flavorsome with seafood, feta cheese, vegetables; the dishes are a fusion of typical Albanian and Mediterranean cuisines with a fine dining twist all cooked with love.
First up was a selection typical Albanian starters such as Homemade “ajvar” which is made of roasted or cooked peppers. Depending on the capsicum content in bell peppers and the amount of added chilli peppers, it can be sweet (traditional), piquant (the most common), or very hot. Ajvar can be eaten with bread or as a side dish. Ours was mild and tasted a little sweet, not only was it delicious but an amazing starter (our vitamin C count was topped up). Red peppers are a staple and in abundance here - traditionally they were harvested and preserved for the rest of the season...
We were treated to a selection of dishes including delicious risotto, fresh green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette but the real culinary hit came when the mains arrived .. For all you pescatarians, the fish dishes are amazing and the salmon is an absolute must - I can honestly say (and this is a pretty big statement) ... the Chefs salmon was genuinely the best I’ve ever tasted .. It’s worth coming to Pristina just to sample this salmon - and whilst it was amazing, sadly it has set the bar to another level and possibly ruined my experience of salmon anywhere else.
Albanian Kosovars definitely know how to have a good time, their warmth cuts through an incredibly cold winters - people are incredibly warm and welcoming and the service from start to finish was impeccable ..
Now, coffee is what Kosovars also do really well and since there’s nothing better than the smell of freshly ground coffee Pristina is top of the list for that and they definitely have their cafe culture down. I love cafe society and Pristina definitely has it and whilst there are dozens of coffee shops, hands down for me the Soma Book Station is head and shoulders above the rest .. the ambiance and eclectic decor makes you feel immersed and super cultured ! Their service, atmosphere and coffee is on point.
3 Must sees :-
1. The Cathedral of Saint Mother Teresa in Pristina
The Cathedral of Blessed Mother Teresa in Prishtina is a Roman Catholic cathedral. In 2007 the Government of Kosovo approved plans for the building. The cathedral is dedicated to the Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary, Blessed Mother Teresa. It was inaugurated on 26 August 2010, the hundredth anniversary of her birthday, before construction was completed.
2. Newborn Monument
The Newborn Monument is a typographic sculpture and tourist attraction in Pristina, Kosovo. It is located in front of the Palace of Youth and Sports, and was unveiled on 17 February 2008, the day that Kosovo declared independence from Serbia.
The first five years of independence, the monument letters were yellow. It became cool to write your name on one of the letters. When Kosovo celebrated their fifth year of independence, the seven letters were painted into the colours of all the flags of the countries that recognises Kosovo. Since then, every year, the statue changes in other colours. Rita Ora gave the symbol of Kosovo independence world fame when it featured in the Shine ya Light video.
3. The Skanderbeg Monument
Also known as Gjergj Kastrioti Skenderbeu, was built where The Mother Teresa and Skanderbeg bulevard meet, in the center of Pristina, which is a tribute to the Albanian hero who fought off the Ottomas in the fifteenth century. The statue was designed by Albanian artist Janaq Paco in 2001.
The Hotel Garden - Pristina