The "Torlashka sreshta" offers bel muzh, made from the milk of an endangered sheep breed
The guest house is located 10 km away from Belogradchik
If you want to try bel muzh, vizit "Torlashka sreshta" in the village of Varbovo next to Belogradchik. This is a type of cheese made from the milk of an endangered sheep breed, says Bozhidar Tsvetkov, one of the owners of the guest house.
The sheep is of the "Replyanska" breed and grazes in the limestone mountains called glami. More than 40 species of grasses and herbs grow there. As a result the milk acquires a specific flavor, thanks to which the cheese is prepared. It resembles a solid cream and is used for the specialty "Bel muzh".
Tsvetkov started working in the field of tourism in 2011 when he and his partner Stanislav Georgiev applied for funding under the Rural Development Programme. In 2012 they signed a contract and in 2013 started the construction. The first guests were received in late 2015.
The place was not chosen accidentally. In addition to being 10 km away from Belogradchik, the site is located near a strategic Roman road. Tsvetkov jokes that if he had built the house then, it would be one of the most popular inns.
The name of the house comes from the Torlaks living around Belogradchik. They are an ethnographic group such as the Shops in Bulgaria but few of them still remain. Inspired by their culture and customs, we wanted to create a complex presenting them, the businessman says.
The idea to work in the field of tourism came when Belogradchik was included in a ranking of the 7 Wonders of the World in 2007. The rocks near the town remained on the reserve list but more than 150 000 tourists came within just a few days. The sights were waiting for them but the city failed - they had nowhere to stay and eat, said Tsvetkov. The amount of BGN 200,000 received under the rural programme was not sufficient to complete the project. I tried all banks but they refused to give me a loan, Tsvetkov said.
Two years later he heard of the microfinance institution JOBS, part of the Bulgarian Development Bank Group. It provided an opportunity to apply for a loan of up to BGN 200 000. Tsvetkov remembers the credit expert Stanislav Kalinov, whom he met at the bank. He was very impressed by the young age of the people standing before him but also by their ambitious plans. The following month was devoted to the preparation of documents and then a site visit by evaluators. Then Bozidar and Stanislav mortgaged the house and received EUR 100 thousand from MFI Jobs. This is how we completed the site, the businessman says. Now he wants to finish the landscaping and make a summer bar and a pool.
"Torlashka sreshta" offers a small spa area and massages. All rooms have internet and 3D TVs. The house is heated with pellets and the radiators in the rooms have a special design. The first floor is designed for people with disabilities. The first floor has a multifunctional room that is used as a conference hall or a nightclub. Locals were most impressed by the electricity outlet mounted on the ceiling. Tsvetkov explained that it used for a multimedia projector during the day and at night - for the disco lamp.
The restaurant also offers other local specialties, such as the Torlak banitsa. It is made from special sheets of pastry that resemble noodles but are round and hard. The menu also includes a summer soup, called "Kiselko - kosachko." "I do not know how our grandmothers found this technology but they made summer soup from homemade vinegar. Vinegar with water, ingredients for tarator, dry pepper, onion, sugar. It is very refreshing. In the summer mowers used to bring such soup with them in a pumpkin mug," says Bozhidar, explaining the nature of this interesting dish. The problem with the staff is resolved thanks to the knowledge he has from his pedagogical education. Moreover, Bozhidar Tsvetkov is also the chairman of the Bulgarian Youth Forum, which trains young people for their future profession for free. The businessman provides jobs for local youths.