Plečnik’s tea and honey gingerbread biscuits, then a visit to the Plečnik House

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In May you can literally follow your nose through the city. Across its urban landscape, Ljubljana maintains a balance between the green and the built-up.

And in the month of May, green often also means flowering and fragrant, to the delight and joy of visitors and the local bees.

On 20 May we celebrate World Bee Day, and in the magnificent garden of the Plečnik House in the heart of Ljubljana’s Trnovo district, just behind the church, the bees buzz with particular enthusiasm.

Photo: MGML

The Plečnik House was, of course, where the famous architect Jože Plečnik lived and worked. The master architect was a great admirer of the industriousness of bees. His garden was a place of relaxation and inspiration. He laid it out with flowerbeds, bushes, tall trees, a rockery, a bench, and little paths. He also designed an original apiary, especially for his garden. Standing on a cylindrical concrete base, it gives the impression that it grows out of the ground, while the garden continues on undisturbed beneath it.

For a quarter of a century, Plečnik’s housekeeper Urša Luzar busied herself unobtrusively with ensuring that the architect and all who entered his house and garden felt at home. The domestic atmosphere was undoubtedly helped by the unique tea made from a select blend of herbs which she prepared for the architect and his friends. Plečnik took his tea unsweetened, but he would offer his guests, honey, from his own beehives as a sweetener for theirs.

Today, we can taste this famous tea ourselves and experience the new dimensions of Plečnik’s Ljubljana. A cup of Plečnik’s tea gives off the fragrances of fresh mint, sweet anise, decisive sage, mild thyme, and gentle oregano . . . for all the beautiful and transcendental thoughts that occur to us as we sip. We will accompany the tea with gingerbread biscuits made with local honey, to round off our experience of honey-scented Ljubljana in May.

Plečnik’s tea and honey gingerbread biscuits are available for purchase at the café of the National and University Library. The tea is also sold by select specialist shops around Ljubljana.

Hint: when exploring the honey-themed pleasures of Ljubljana, visit the house and garden where the famous architect Jože Plečnik lived and worked

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