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Kunstelj restaurant and pension

 

From homemade sausages to "grizika" cake pops

Top-quality traditional Gorenjska cuisine, served with youthful flair.

Not far from the former gates of medieval Radovljica stands a charming inn that has been attracting guests for more than a century and a half. The owners have changed over time, but the name and charm of the Kunstelj inn remain to this day.

By the end of the 1970s, most of the crops needed to prepare food in the inn were grown on the farm next to the estate. Every year, when they stored their potatoes in the inn’s cellar, grandma Jerica would say with satisfaction: “The potatoes are in the cellar. We won’t go hungry now!” Today, a vegetable and herb garden thrive in this area.

rolled dumplings
Photo: Kunstelj restaurant and pension archive

Lunch was great!

More than fifty years ago, this is what the then president, Josip Broz Tito, wrote in the commemorative book after lunch, where he enjoyed homemade sausages, sauerkraut and “Cviček” wine. Even back then, the inn was known as a place of entertainment, cultural events and a popular gathering place for locals.

Today, the Kunstelj homestead is run by the fourth generation of the Štiherle family. It was taken over by daughter Maja, married to Buden, who brought youthful flair and new ideas to the Kunstelj inn. She preserved the tradition of cooking healthy and local dishes, while simultaneously developing new menus and original events.

A special experience that the Kunstelj inn offers today is a VIP picnic. It is also the only inn in Radovljica where they serve a traditional Radovljica breakfast. This includes an egg omelette with herbs and cracklings, sausage in pastry, homemade cottage cheese, honey, butter, fresh homemade bread, apples and apple juice, as well as coffee and tea.

At the Kunstelj inn, they prepare homemade dishes from fresh seasonal and local ingredients. From venison salami with fragrant homemade bread, traditional light cheese dumplings called “štruklji”, veal liver and freshly butchered pork in the winter time, to excellent trout from a nearby fish farm, along with buckwheat porridge and local vegetables.

Kunstelj is also known for its excellent homemade desserts and innovative “grizika” cake pops, which has become a self-designed protected brand. “Grizika”, instead of “lizika”, which means lollipop, is a dessert made of sponge cake topped with honey, cream and chocolate.

chef Maja Buden
Photo: Žiga Intihar, Kunstelj restaurant and pension archive

Meet the chef

Inventor of the "grizika" cake pop

The kitchen in Kunstelj is run by the boss and chef, Maja Buden, representing the fourth generation of the family, who oversees the culinary offer of the Kunstelj inn.

Maja Buden is also a first-degree sommelier. She attended catering high-school and catering college, and later graduated from a business college, majoring in tourism.

In the kitchen, she swears by fresh local ingredients and pure flavours.