Treat Your Loved One to a GrasovKiss on Valentine’s Day

With what seems like an eternal recession upon us, it is of little surprise to hear that many couples are planning on spending their Valentine’s night at home.  However, I think this is a far better option!  Normally, venues are crammed full to the brim and prices are unfairly increased.  Plus, at home you can choose exactly what you want to eat or drink.  Talking of which… this year why not whip up a GrasovKiss cocktail using Grasovka Bison Grass Vodka?

GrasovKiss Cocktail

It’s the perfect Valentine aperitif and it’s quick and easy to make, simply follow this delicious recipe…

Ingredients

2 oz Grasovka Bison Grass Vodka
1 oz raspberry syrup
¼ oz lemon juice
Dash of apple juice
Dash of lemonade

Serve over ice in a highball glass and for that extra romantic twist, float a rose petal on top or garnish with a few raspberries

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Grapplesovka – Polish Apple Vodka Cocktail

GrasovkaLast week on the 21st of October apple enthusiasts celebrated National Apple Day (who knew?!).  I’m sorry to say I let this one pass me by, but I was interested to hear that to celebrate National Apple Day premium vodka brand, Grasovka, created the perfect autumnal cocktail, the Grapplesovka.

The seasonal cocktail is a blend of Grasovka, a Polish bison grass vodka, and cloudy apple juice. The bison grass infused vodka offers an aromatic, fruity base, making it the perfect partner for English apple juice (and is one of my personal favourites).

So I decided to try it out at home.  It was certainly easy to make and it was a wonderful refreshing wintery drink.  Here’s the recipe:

– 25 ml Grasovka
– Cloudy apple juice
– A wedge of fresh apple
– Ice

Pour measured Grasovka into a high ball glass over cubed ice. Top up glass with ice cold cloudy apple juice, and finish with fresh slices of apple.

Grasovka Vodka, RRP £18.95, is available from www.drinksdirect.co.uk

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Side Dish for September: Polish Potato Cake Recipe

Poland and most of Eastern Europe tend to opt for grain dishes, such as kasha, to accompany most meals.  However, Poland does use some potato and these potato cakes are really easy to make.  The small discs are tasty, crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.  Here’s my recipe…

Ingredients

450g mashable potatoes

50g butter

1 small white onion

45ml sour cream

3 eggs

25g plain flour

25g breadcrumbs

Instructions

Boil the potatoes until cooked, strain and adding half the butter, mash until smooth

Fry the chopped onion in the remaining butter until soft and add the sour cream

Blend the onion mix if you want a fine texture, if you prefer a bit more crunch add straight to the potato

Mix well and add two egg yolks to the potato mixture

Add the flour to the potato mixture

Polish Potato Cake

When everything is well combined form small balls then fold flat onto a well-oiled baking tray

Polish Potato Cake

Beat the remaining whole egg and glaze the cakes

Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the cakes

Cook on 180°C for 30 minutes or until golden brown

Polish Potato Cake

Serve as a side dish to a main meal

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Polish Sailing Ship Fryderyk Chopin Drops Anchor By Tower Bridge

Chopin Ship

Tomorrow, the sailing ship Fryderyk Chopin, the world’s second largest brig, will cruise up the River Thames and at 11am will moor at St. Katherine’s Pier for ten days, each packed with events devoted to her namesake, the great 19th century Polish pianist and composer. Live concerts, performances and presentations taking place aboard and around the sailing ship will be based on the themes that embody the true Polish spirit: passion, youth, music, love, romanticism, freedom and creativity.

Chopin Ship

This message will be expressed through the universal medium of music and dance and conveyed by a group of enthusiastic young Polish students who will arrive aboard the ship as Ambassadors of modern Poland.  President of the Polish Tourist Organisation, Mr Szmytke will be in London to offically launch the Chopin celebrations in the UK. The event will start at 2pm aboard the Fryderyk Chopin, in the presence of representatives of London boroughs, the Director of the Mayor’s Thames Festival and VIP’s from Poland and the UK.

Every day, there will be visits aboard the ship for the public, with the young crew acting as guides.  Other Chopin events staged in London between 3 and 12 September will include: breathtaking shows by dancer, interactive sessions for the public, including painting mock pianos and erecting a statue of Chopin using umbrellas and bowler hats and classes in Poland’s national dance, the Polonaise.

The events will be part of the Mayor’s Thames Festival, starting on 11 September. Poland’s presentation will take place in five marquees situated in the New European Village 2010 in front of the Royal Festival Hall. The Polish National Tourist Office will also be joined by partners from several regions of Poland.

The ship’s voyage is part of a Europe-wide project, launched in June 2010 by the Polish Tourist Organisation, to commemorate the 200th birthday of Frederic Chopin. It has addressed wide audiences across Europe, highlighting Poland’s cultural and artistic achievements and showcasing Poland as a modern country with strong roots in the common cultural heritage of Europe.

The ship will dock on 3rd September 2010 at 11am

Information about the Chopin project can be found at www.chopinthecourse.com/en-gb

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PNTO at London’s Thames Festival

Polish National Tourist Office at Thames Festival 2009
POLSKA at Thames Festival 2009

The Polish National Tourist Office has announced that it will once again be taking part in this year’s Thames Festival in London. The famous annual event held between Westminister Bridge and Tower Bridge takes place on 11 and 12 September this year. Polish stands will be located opposite The Royal Festival Hall. The PNTO will be joined by partners from the Wielkopolska region (the home of Poznań) and the Pomorskie region (the home of Gdańsk among others).

This year, during Thames Festival there will be celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Chopin’s birthday. To mark the anniversary the tall ship “Fryderyk Chopin”, which has been sailing around Europe promoting Poland since mid June, will sail into London. From 3 September Chopin will be in London, where it will stay until 12 September.

Many attraction and activities are planned including: the construction of a bust of Chopin using country-specific components like umbrellas, Polonaise dance classes with an attempt to beat the Guinness world record, classes and lectures devoted to Poland and Poles.  However, all these wonderful events are open to everyone, whether of Polish decent or not!

For more information on Poland visit www.poland.travel/en-gb

For more information about the festival visit www.thamesfestival.org

For more information about the Fryderyk Chopin ship visit www.chopinthecourse.com/en-gb

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OFF Festival Katowice 2010 Line-up

From 5th to 8th of August Katowice will become the capital of good music by hosting the OFF Festival Katowice 2010.  OFF Festival is more than just a selection of interesting alternative music from around the world, it’s also a great opportunity to get a better taste of what’s going on on the Polish scene. Potty Umbrella, We Call It A Sound, Newest Zealand and many more.  Check out the line-up below…

Thursday, August 5th – Hipnoza Jazz Club

21.30 – 23.00 Matmos (USA), Ecstatic Sunshine (USA) – IBC* – sold out!

Dolina Trzech Stawów

FRIDAY, AUGUST 6th

mBank Stage
14.00 – 14.30 Hotel Kosmos (PL)
15.00 – 15.30 Potty Umbrella (PL)
16.10 – 16.50 Kim Nowak (PL)
17.50 – 18.40 Voo Voo plays “Snopowiązałka” (PL)
19.40 – 20.30 The Horrors (UK)
21.40 – 22.40 Lenny Valentino (PL)
00.00 – 01.10 Tinderstics (UK)

Leśna Stage
14.30 – 15.00 We Call It A Sound (PL)
15.35 – 16.05 NP (PL)
17.00 – 17.40 19 Wiosen (PL)
18.50 – 19.40 Something Like Elvis (PL)
20.40 – 21.30 Art Brut (UK)
22.50 – 23.50 The Fall (UK)
01.20 – 02.20 100% Raekwon (USA)

Trójka Offensywa Stage
15.00 – 15.30 Newest Zealand (PL)
16.10 – 16.50 Cieślak i Księżniczki (PL)
17.50 – 18.40 Toro Y Moi (USA)
19.40 – 20.30 Black Heart Procession (USA)
21.40 – 22.40 Efterklang (DK)
00.00 – 01.10 A Place To Bury Strangers (USA)
02.30 – 04.00 Joker feat. Nomad (UK)

Eksperymentalna Stage
15.35 – 16.05 Tin Pan Alley (PL)
17.00 – 17.40 The Psychic Paramount (USA)
18.50 – 19.30 Baaba (PL)
20.40 – 21 30 Szelest Spadających Papierków (PL)
22.30 – 23.30 ZU (I) – IBC
01.20 – 02.20 Trans AM (USA)
02.50 – 03.50 Fennesz (AUT) – IBC

SATURDAY, AUGUST 7th

mBank Stage
14.00 – 14.30 Paula i Karol (PL)
15.00 – 15.30 3moonboys (PL)
16.10 – 16.50 Pustki (PL)
17.50 – 18.40 Muchy (PL)
19.40 – 20.30 Archie Bronson Outfit (UK)
21.40 – 22.40 Hey (PL)
00.00 – 01.10 Dinosaur Jr (USA)

Leśna Stage
14.30 – 15.00 Manescape (PL)
15.35 – 16.05 Plum (PL)
17.00 – 17.40 Mitch And Mitch With Their Incredible Combo (PL)
18.50 – 19.30 Apteka plays “Menda” (PL)
20.40 – 21.30 Tunng (UK)
22.50 – 23.50 Mew (DK)
01.20 – 02.20 Lali Puna (DE)

Trójka Offensywa Stage
15.00 – 15.30 Nathalie And The Loners (PL)
16.10 – 16.50 FM Belfast (IS)
17.50 – 18.40 Pink Freud (PL)
19.40 – 20.30 Mouse On Mars (DE)
21.40 – 22.40 A Hawk & A Hacksaw (USA)
00.00 – 01.10 Radio Dept. (SE)
02.30 – 04.00 Digital Mystikz (UK)

Eksperymentalna Stage
14.00 – 14.30 St James Hotel (PL)
15.35 – 16.05 All Sounds Allowed (PL)

17.00 – 17.40 Tides From Nebula (PL)
18.50 – 19.30 Prawatt And Mirna Ray (PL)
20.40 – 21.30 These Are Powers (USA)
22.30 – 23.30 Lachowicz (PL)
01.20 – 02.20 Zs (USA) – IBC
02.50 – 03.50 Wiliam Basinski (USA) – IBC

SUNDAY, AUGUST 8th

mBank Stage
14.00 – 14.30 Let The Boy Decide (PL)
15.00 – 15.30 Ed Wood (PL)
16.10 – 16.50 Pablopavo i Ludziki (PL)
17.50 – 18.40 O.S.T.R (PL)
19.40 – 20.30 Shearwater (USA)
21.40 – 22.40 The Raveonettes (DK)
00.00 – 01.10 The Flaming Lips (USA)

Leśna Stage
14.30 – 15.00 Bipolar Bears (PL)
15.35 – 16.05 Pulled Apart By Horses (UK)
17.00 – 17.40 Lao Che (PL)
18.50 – 19.30 Casiokids (NO)
20.40 – 21.30 No Age (USA)
22.50 – 23.50 Kryzys (PL)
01.20 – 02.20 Anti-Pop Consortium (USA)

Trójka Offensywa Tent
15.00 – 15.30 Indigo Tree (PL)
16.10 – 16.50 Happy Pills (PL)
17.50 – 18.40 Bear In Heaven (USA)
19.40 – 20.30 Dum Dum Girls (USA)
21.40 – 22.40 The Very Best (MW/UK)
00.00 – 01.10 Kucz/Kulka (PL)
02.30 – 04.00 Darkstar (UK)

Eksperymentalna Stage
15.35 – 16.05 Kyst (PL)
17.00 – 17.40 The Tallest Man On Earth (SE)
18.50 – 19.30 Niwea (PL)
20.40 – 21.30 Damon and Naomi (USA)
22.30 – 23.30 Tune-Yards (USA) – IBC
01.20 – 02.20 Shining (NO)
02.50 – 03.50 Philip Jeck (USA) – IBC

*Inspired By Chopin

For more infomation visit 2010.off-festival.pl

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STS Fryderk Chopin Sets Sail from Szczecin

Chopin's Grave, Paris
Chopin’s Grave, Paris

Last week STS Fryderyk Chopin set sail from the Szczecin Seaport to promote Poland in several European ports over the next few months.  The project is organised by the Polish Tourism Organisation and commemorates the 200th anniversary of Frederic Chopin’s birthday. The artist may be considered one of the ambassadors of the Polish culture in Europe and one of the most recognised Poles abroad. Chopin’s works and life are related not only to Poland, but the whole Europe. Under the project the sailing ship “Chopin” will visit seaports in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom. A number of events are planned in the ports all aimed at promotion of Poland, including its tourist and historical values, cultural and artistic events, encouraging foreigners to visit Poland and presentation of Poland as a EU member state and a country which is active in many fields, including artistic, educational, scientific fields and with great cultural heritage. The cruise is attended by students of tourist universities, selected during recruitment and obliged to actively participate in the events and communicate project ideas. Examples of activities at ports include construction of a bust of Chopin using country-specific components (e.g. in London – umbrellas, France – wine bottles), Polonaise dance classes with an attempt to beat the Guinness record, ballet, classes and lectures devoted to Poland and Poles, open for all event participants.

The arrival dates are as followed:

Ystad June 14th

Malmo June 17th

Copenhagen June 18th

Stockholm June 23rd

Karlskrona June 28th

Hamburg July 2nd

Aarhus July 7th

Lubeck July 9th

Rostock July 13th

Kiel July 16th

Amsterdam July 22nd

Brugge July 26th

Antwerp July 31st

Ostenda August 5th

Brest August 14th

Nantes August 19th

St Malo August 26th

London September 3rd

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Midsummer Night at Wianki Festival, Krakow, Poland

Krakow Wianki FestivalThe Polish city of Krakow is getting ready to celebrate Midsummer Night in style in just over a month’s time.  The ever-popular Wianki Festival will mark the occasion on 26 June this year as Cracovians acclaim the summer solstice with parties, special events, bonfires and the symbolic floating of wreaths or wianki or the Vistula River.

The festival traces its roots to a peaceful pagan ritual where maidens would float wreaths of herbs on the water to predict when they would be married, and to whom. By the 19th century the tradition had become a festive event and it continues to this day.

As well as the official floating of wreaths, there will be musical performances, dignitaries’ speeches, fairs and fireworks by the river bank opposite the imposing but beautiful Wawel Castle. Poland’s top pop stars will be joined by international acts including British band Kosheen to complete a day (and night) of celebrations.

To find out more about Krakow’s Wianki Festival and the importance of midsummer go to www.wianki.krakow.pl/en

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Great Masters In Warsaw

Royal Castle in WarsawThis summer a selection of paintings by Dutch masters is open for the public to see and enjoy in Warsaw. Famous “Lady with an Ermine” by Leonardo da Vinci, and the “Landscape with the Good Samaritan” by Rembrandt van Rijn, and dozens of paintings from the collection of Dutch masters of the Princes Czartoryski Museum in Krakow can now be viewed at the Royal Castle in Warsaw.

The exhibition is accompanied by beautiful arts and crafts from Europe, and the Middle, and Far East. Presentation of these masterpieces in Warsaw will allow completing the renovation of the building of the Princes Czartoryski Museum in Krakow (30 September 2010).

Due to the exceptional nature, the exhibition is presented in the exhibition halls on the first floor of the castle. The tour was designed so that you can also see Rembrandt’s paintings “Scholar at the desktop” and “and the “Girl in the picture frame” belonging to the collections of the Royal Castle It is therefore a unique opportunity to see in one place all the Polish Rembrandts.

For more information go to www.warsawtour.pl

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Polish Treats at Dobry Smak in Aldershot

It’s always nice to come across a specialist store doing well, particularly one that specialises in Eastern Europe. The Dobry Smak store in Aldershot stocks a wide range of Polish goodies, all types of food, drink and even media.

Dobry Smak, Aldershot

Here’s a quick look at what you can pick up

 

Dobry Smak, Aldershot
Selection of beer
Dobry Smak, Aldershot
Selection of Polish cakes
Dobry Smak, Aldershot
Polish magazines
Dobry Smak, Aldershot
Polish sausages and meats
Dobry Smak, Aldershot
Polish teas
Dobry Smak, Aldershot
Vodkas and other spirits

Dobry Smak, Station Road, Aldershot, Hampshire, UK

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