(P) Conacul Grigorescu – Slow food guesthouse in the future UNESCO Global Geopark “Land of Buzau”, opened after 10 years of renovation
Conacul Grigorescu is a small private, family-run venue near the mud volcanoes, in the Buzau Valley. The abandoned mansion from 1930 was renovated step by step with local craftsmen and local building materials over a period of 10 years. Today, the location offers 5 apartments in separate houses, slow-food dinners with local products, executive team building, and excursions to the nearby Dealu Mare wine region or to the future UNESCO Global Geopark Land of Buzau.
Conacul Grigorescu was bought in 2011 by Juranda and Thorsten, a German Romanian couple. Thorsten Kirschner is born in Germany. He travelled around the world – Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe – working as a development consultant for international donor organisations, like the German development cooperation GIZ or the European Union. His job brought him to Romania in 2009. His wife Juranda, who was born in Bucharest, returned to her home country with him having left at the age of 18. The couple originally met in Paris, where Juranda had been living for many years. Juranda is an economist, but she has always had a great passion for cooking.
After visiting the Buzau area, where Juranda’s family comes from, both decided to start a new chapter in their life. In 2011, Thorsten and Juranda bought the abandoned Grigorescu mansion and founded the company Terra Carpatica – a new company that Thorsten and Juranda do not refer to as a business, but as a “sustainable lifestyle concept built around culinary topics.” Renovation and construction of the retreat took 10 years, especially with a lot of attention to detail. Most of the construction was managed by the owners themselves, building materials and furniture were recycled. For example, 80-year-old wine barrels were used for wooden floors and dining tables.
Offer for guests and corporates
Today, the mansion is the family home and head office of Terra Carpatica – a slow food provider and producer of homemade preservatives. The location is an insider tip for guests who like culinary experiences and a family atmosphere. The location provides four apartments in the newly built Wallachian style country houses Casa Noelia and Casa Sophie (annex of Grigorescu Mansion) and one apartment in the newly renovated “Grandmother’s house”. The total capacity is 18 persons.
Conacul Grigorescu has no restaurant open to the public, but for guests and private groups, a slow food 3-courses dinner is offered. The menu is established on a daily basis, depending on available fresh products from the region and own production. Vegetarian or special allergen-free menus are available upon request. The garden and orchard of Grigorescu mansion provide the majority of the products used for private events and artisanal food production: herbs, spices, tomatoes, aubergines, plums, and many more. Everything is grown organically and without artificial fertilisers. Other products including meat, come directly from local producers.
In the autumn and winter season, special culinary weekends are offered that include wine tasting or truffle hunting in the nearby forests. For those who want to learn more about local products and Romanian fusion cuisine, Juranda is offering cooking classes. During the season, there is an outdoor pool and pool bar serving local drinks to guests.
For companies from Bucharest, day tours are organised that includes the rental of a meeting room, a slow-food lunch, a cooking class or adventure activities such as rafting on the Buzau River.
Tourist attractions in the region
The Buzau region offers many opportunities for wine tasting, culinary experiences, or hiking. The Dealu Mare wine area starts in the nearby village Zoresti. The future UNESCO Global Geopark “Land of Buzau” will shortly open the new visitor centre GeoGate that offers 3 D tours for the whole family. The main attractions of the Geopark are the mud volcanoes, the salt mountains, the living fires, the amber museum, or the cave churches.
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