croatian summer

August 28, 2011  in inspiring places, news


I have been holidaying in Croatia since I was born. My mother is originally from the capital city Zagreb where my grandmother still lives. As soon as school in England finished for the summer my brother and I would head off to spend the holidays there.

We still return almost every summer to the small fishing village on a little island in the Adriatic Ocean where the sea is beautiful and clear, the food is simple and delicious, the cicadas chirp noisily all day and the stars shine brightly all night in the deep black sky.

My grandfather bought a barren, rock-covered plot of land almost fifty years ago and built a little one-room holiday home which has been added to over the years. There is no internet access (we only had running water connected a few years ago!) so it feels like a real holiday.


croatia window



The food is amazing. Fresh fish, bought directly from the island’s fishermen that morning as they unload their catches, are delicious cooked on the wood barbecue. Olives grow everywhere and the local families all make their own olive oil. The fig trees in our garden are covered in the most deliciously sweet fruits that you can pick and eat straight from the tree. And everyone grows huge, juicy tomatoes – perfect simply dressed with a little salt, homemade olive oil and vinegar. Heaven.

fresh figs


I’ve always made things whilst there and over the last couple of years we have been updating our little holiday home too. I’ll be posting photos of some of the things I’ve been up to whilst on holiday so do pop back soon. Hvala (Thank you!)

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  1. tinajo says:

    Sounds and looks lovely! 🙂

  2. I know this and been there :)).A lot of inspiration.
    So that is why you have that name :)).
    Greetings from Slovenia!♥

  3. Iris says:

    Thank you for these summery images on this rainy Dutch day!
    x Iris

  4. Nathalie says:

    Hvala za prekrasne slike 🙂 What a great inspiration!

    – Nathalie

  5. Ana says:

    Wowza! From those pictures, your hols beat a damp English bank holiday!

  6. Lovely pictures.
    My daughter’s best friend is in Croatia visiting her grandmother this summer. How lovely to hear about such a wonderful a place.

  7. Megan says:

    I visited Croatia about 5 years ago and fell in love with it’s distinctive natural beauty. These images are amazing. I can almost taste the figs, smell the ocean and feel the warmth of the sun! Thank You Sania

  8. I’m determined to holiday there next summer. Spent lovely few days in Rovinj last year
    Also enjoy reading your posts and being inspired by such great images
    Thanks Heather

  9. elisa says:

    glorious, what a wonderful yearly trip to make. my children would love it there. do you swim there? i have a dear friend whose heritage is croatian, it’s one of those gems i’d love to visit x

    • Sania Pell says:

      Hi Elisa, yes we do. The sea is at the bottom of the garden so we dip in and out all day (you can just about see it in the olives photo). It is absolutely beautiful, clear and warm most of the summer. And my 4 year old little girl learned to swim without floats this year! x

  10. Jo says:

    Wow! Looks lovely from your photos! Thank you
    Jo x (love your book by the way)

  11. geisslein says:

    The Adria is sooo wonderful! I would love to travel again now…I´m definitively not ready for fall :-/

  12. Michelle says:

    I was just in Croatia for the summer and it was absolutely amazing. You have captured the most beautiful photos and I might start squatting in your holiday home. It is amazing.

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Sania Pell freelance interior stylist London.

Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, art/creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 20 years, and is well known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for architects and property developers. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.

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