Cooking Chapbook

Notes from my kitchen in the D.C. area & beyond

Tag: Croatia

Cafe Spanjola, Croatia


By Friday, I’m ready for an escape. Here’s a place I’d like to beam myself back to … sipping coffee at a fort on Hvar Island, Croatia, on a breath-taking October afternoon.

The view from Spanjola fort on Hvar Island, Croatia

The view from Spanjola fort on Hvar Island, Croatia

We spent one afternoon in October last year climbing to the fort that overlooks Hvar Island, off the coast near Split, Croatia. The view was spectacular, and as we were in Europe, espresso awaited us at the top.

The path up to the fort switch-backs past spiky plants and vendors selling local lavender sachets. The terrain felt a bit like Arizona, until I would look back down to the glimmering Adriatic Sea.

Walk up to Spanjola fort, Hvar Island Croatia

Walk up to Spanjola fort, Hvar Island Croatia

At the peak, along with cannons and a museum …

Cannon overlooking the Adriatic Sea

Who would ever fire at such a serene scene?

… you’ll find a cafe …

Spanjola fort coffee shop

Spanjola fort coffee shop

… where you might consider stretching out into a chair and ordering a coffee. I’d recommend with cream, which might be a sweet surprise.

Two coffees at Cafe Spanjola

Two coffees at Cafe Spanjola

“Cream” in Croatia often translated to whipped cream. We sat and sipped and marveled at the fort, the view, the beauty of the Dalmatian Coast, while the sun blazed down on the canopy above us. I’d love to go back …


View from Hvar Island, Croatia


In Europe, coffee as art

I never quite got coffee in the States.

I didn’t get the cheap cups at 7-11 or the communal coffee pot in the newsroom or the “first coffee” period in business school. (I tried to do the coffee thing then, really tried, out of some duty to the “process,” and ended up switching to green tea after headaches ensued.)

In Europe, though, I have fallen madly in love with cappuccinos. They are delicious. They make my head buzz happily and productively. I crave them. Sitting in a cafe for a few hours with a book or my sweetheart and a warm cup filled with rich espresso and delicious cream is heaven. Bliss for 2.50€.

And I never fail to be delighted if  my cappuccino comes bedazzled with art.

These three beauties came from a breakfast in Croatia.


I wondered how one creates such prettiness, a question YouTube promptly answered.

Watch a barista make a bear and a leaf in this video. I really can’t wait to get a bear on my coffee.