My two princesses are beginning to question my sanity.
Their Christmas experience has been mostly limited to the island so far, a delightful non-commercial zone where the tree in the main square goes up 10 days before Christmas, and where there is very little of the insane commercial buildup weeks before as exists back in the UK.
So when I took them to the UK last week, they were incredulous as to why these crazy English were going so nuts about Christmas in November. It was everywhere. I tried to explain, and I think they understood. And then.
“Mum and I are going out tonight. We are having a special Christmas dinner in Vrbanj.”
“But it is still November, Daddy. You English are really strange…”
I blame the Scots of course. Followers of Total Hvar will be aware of the small ethnic group in the middle of the island. The Scottish Vrbanjites speak a language which is only intelligible to themselves, but once a year, we make the effort to communicate, with the help of copious amounts of alcohol, for what is one of the top nights of the year. A Scottish Christmas Dinner at the wonderful Quaich Experience in the heart of the town, where owners Mick and Chris open their doors to a few friends and deliver a Xmas culinary delight, including haggis, which lives long in the memory. As they are heading home a little earlier this year due to an imminent grandchild arrival, our dinner was brought forward to late November.
This year’s guestlist included Amanda and Chris from Hidden House in Stari Grad. Chris is probably the leading cocktail expert in Croatia right now, and he was soon being put through his paces.
The lovely Josipa from Me and Mrs Jones was clearly enjoying a night away from serving food and being a guest instead.
There was time for Pete and Annie to enjoy some friendly banter and a good chat before dinner.
The Quaich is an old stone house which has been totally renovated by Mick and Chris, and is filled with Scottish warmth and love. Almost time for the first course in the cosy downstairs kitchen.
A veritable feast, one of the finest meals you will find on Hvar.
No party would be complete without The Professor, of course, seen here in duet with hostess Chris. He was in fine voice, as ever, and looking pretty sharp in his gold waistcoast.
Indeed there were some quite stylish outfits around the table, modelled here by Amanda and Annie.
Pick of the bunch, though, was Ms. Eco Hvar, who looked at though she had come straight from Woodstock. Great effort, VG!
Some of the leading lights of boutique hospitality on central Hvar. Hidden House and the Quaich Experience.
A popular and traditional aspect of Scottish Vrbanjite culture is the after dinner sing song, where guests are divided into teams of two, and tasked with performing a song with lyrics provided and the background music. The results are mixed…
Plenty of enthusiasm. Some teams worked in perfect harmony.
The clear winner (hey, this is my blog) was a stunning rendition of Sinatra’s Something Stupid by Bradbury and Crosbie. I would post the video, but we are in negotiations with a major record label for our first deal.
As Chris’ cocktails and other concoctions began to hit the spot, things started to hot up. The Professor was getting some serious competition from hostess Chris and Annie in energetic mood.
A fabulous evening which ended at some point, but not sure I could quite pinpoint when. The lovely hosts, Mick and Chris, one of the most hardworking and hospitable couples on Hvar. Thank you once again for an amazing night.
Want to learn more about the Quaich Experience? I can’t promise you the full Christmas dinner, but for genuinely warm Scottish hospitality, it is hard to beat. Visit their website here.