During the pandemic, many of us relished the armchair escape from Normal People, the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel. Now that we can Actually escape to sunnier climes, why not rent the dreamy Croatian villa used in Rooney’s latest adaptation, Conversations with Friends?
Located on the island of Hvar, St George’s Court provides an idyllic setting for CWF holiday episodes, in which the love quadrangle formed by best friends Frances and Bobbi and married couple Melissa and Nick leave Dublin for Croatia.
St George’s Court is actually a farmhouse-style estate comprising four houses (as well as a swimming pool and tennis court) and sleeps a total of 13 people, with weekly rates ranging from €3,900 to €6,900. The estate, nestled amongst fields of lavender and rosemary, spans 30,000m², so there are plenty of places to retreat to, should your meaningful but soulful conversations with friends get boring.
Ivo Drinković, whose family owns St George’s Court, says there’s always a lot of interest in the property and they book up every season. However, as of this writing, there are still a few open dates for this summer. Information on booking this property and other similar villas managed by the Drinković family can be found on myhvar.net.
Of course, as any self-respecting Rooneyphile knows, the holiday scenes in the novel actually took place in Brittany, in northern France. However, the CWF producers wanted a distinctly different look from Normal People’s Italian villa and landscape, and it was felt that a villa in France might look too similar.
“We considered different locations in Europe before settling in Croatia,” explains production designer Anna Rackard. “A local scout found various options before we narrowed it down to St George’s villa. I had been to Croatia before and I knew it was very beautiful and it would be a different look than what they filmed in Normal People.
“St George’s Villa was chosen for its unique texture, and the layout of the various buildings worked for the scenes,” Rackard adds. “Many of the villas the scout found were modern, tall, white, glass-encased buildings with infinity pools. The rustic texture of Villa St George was more warm and romantic than a modern villa.
Vacationers who rent the villa may find that it does not look exactly like it appears on screen. Indeed, the production team made many changes in preparation for filming, bringing all of their own furniture, lamps, artwork, and tableware, as well as their own poolside furniture. They also made covers for the lounge chairs and beds by the pool.
Rackard notes that the villa is very isolated, on the side of a mountain on a long dirt road, but the view is incredible. “It’s definitely a good place if you want to get away from it all!”
So the perfect getaway for a holiday with friends, just be sure to choose them carefully.